<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

In view of the recent changes to the Labour Relations Act that allow strike action, labour cut-backs could give rise to more strikes this year. ‘This could lead to conflict in the public sector on the matter of privatisation, but it will probably be a brief strike after which the government will continue with its privatisation programme,’ declares Levy.

Labour cut-backs as a result of the decline in the world economy will also place job opportunities in greater jeopardy this year as compared to last year, Levy believes. The average wage / salary increase that was negotiated in central bargaining forums was 7,8% and the average rate for wage increases in other negotiations was 7,4% as opposed to the average inflation rate (CPI) of 5,7% last year. The highest agreement was 9% in the car production industry, where a drawn-out strike in August last year lasted for 15 working days. That led to a loss of 315 000 working days. Mr Andrew Levy who wrote the annual report, expects that average wage agreements will be between 8,2% and 8,5% this year. There is no fear that wage increases will lead to inflation pressure this year, but in the next two to three years it could be cause for concern because real wages increase very slightly while imported inflation pressure increases steadily. Levy predicts that the number of HIV positive people will increase from approximately 4 million at present to 6 million within two years. ‘Organisations can expect to lose more than 4% of their labour force in the following ten years.’

Trade union membership has again begun to increase after a slight drop in 2000 and presently it stands at 3,5 million. COSATU, the country’s largest federation of trade unions, has 1,883 million members. The membership has increased since last year despite severe labour cut-backs. FEDUSA, the second largest federation of trade unions, represents 503 241 members, and NACTU, the third largest, represents 398 106 employees.

Source: Die Burger , October 2002

Activity 1: strikes

Judge the influence of the strikes from the following table:

Influence of: Social conditions Economic conditions
  1. Working days lost
  1. Labour cut-backs
  1. Wage increases

The political role played by trade unions in South Africa is clearly to be seen in the activities of the CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE UNIONS (COSATU), an organisation that was established as early as 1985. COSATU is a federation of a group of South African trade unions. In 1985 COSATU joined the UNITED DEMOCRATIC FRONT (UDF) in the MASS DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT and actively supported the movement in its fight against apartheid. Conditions in the workplace were politicised through strikes, stay-aways and the so-called “go-slows” that had a severely negative effect on production.

Their active participation in the struggle for political and economic change in South Africa led to the fact that COSATU joined the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) as a partner in the 1994 election campaign. This partnership won the election with an impressive majority. Today COSATU is still part of the three party partnership that governs South Africa. As an equal partner in the alliance it is thus possible that COSATU, which represents a great mass of the workers in South Africa, could offer a significant contribution and exert a profound influence on economic and political policy.

Activity 2: trade unions

Explain the following abbreviations and indicate which occupations are represented by these federations of trade unions:

  1. FEDUSA:
  2. NACTU:
  3. NUM: NUMSA:


Learning Outcomes(LUs)
LO 1
the economic cycleThe learner will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the economic cycle within the context of “the economic problem.”
Assessment Standards(ASs)
We know this when the learner:
1.5 explains the different flows of money, factors of production, goods and services in the economic cycle within the South African economy;
1.6 discusses the role of the foreign sector in the economic cycle;
1.7 illustrates by means of a graph and discusses how demand and supply influence prices;
1.8 critically assesses the influence and actions (strikes and stayaways) of trade unions in general and during the apartheid era on:
  • the South African economy;
  • political, economic and social transformation;
  • labour issues;
1.9 discusses the effect of the national budget on the economy (e.g. taxation and expenditure on education, social welfare, health and security.)


ACTIVITY1: Strikes

Effect of strike action

Social conditions Economic conditions
Work days lost loss of income – poorer production decreases - losses
Labour cuts loss of employment opportunities– poorer production decreases - losses
Wage increases improvement in expendable income input costs increase – inflation
HIV/AIDS greater pressure on health services work force diminished – losses

ACTIVITY 2: Unions

Identify labour unions

  1. FEDUSA: Federated Unions of South Africa - General
  2. NACTU: National Congress of Trade Unions - General
  3. NUM: National Union of Mineworkers - Mineworkers
  4. NUMSA: National Union of Metalworkers of SA - Workers in the automobile industry

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Economic and management sciences grade 9. OpenStax CNX. Sep 15, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11074/1.1
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Economic and management sciences grade 9' conversation and receive update notifications?