Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Rand reacts to mining wage dispute

The rand declined for the first time in three days on Tuesday as gold-mine workers rejected a proposal at the start of wage negotiations in the industry, fuelling concern that labour disruptions may weigh on exports and economic growth.

Trade unions representing gold-mining employees dismissed an offer to increase wages by 4%, increasing the prospects of a further deterioration in labour relations. Commodities account for more than 50% of South Africa’s exports, according to government data.

The country’s central bank will probably leave borrowing costs unchanged this week to support growth, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.

“Local factors are again increasingly rand negative,” John Cairns, a currency strategist at Rand Merchant Bank said. “The likelihood of major industrial action in the mining sector should be a concern.”

South Africa’s currency retreated 0.3% to 9.8970 per dollar as of 9:35am in Johannesburg.

Yields on benchmark 10.5% bonds due December 2026 dropped eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 7.87%.

Labour groups and the Chamber of Mines, which represents employers, will reconvene on July 24 to discuss the offer. The South African Reserve Bank will leave its benchmark repo rate at 5% on June 18, according to all 18 economists in a Bloomberg survey. 

The central bank has left the rate unchanged since a surprise 50 basis-point cut a year ago. – Bloomberg

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Tourism industry hopeful of UK red list review

Meeting between scientists of both countries may pave way for removal from red list

R350 social relief grant not enough to live on

Nearly half of the population in South Africa — one of the most unequal countries in the world — is considered chronically poor.

More top stories

Tourism industry hopeful of UK red list review

Meeting between scientists of both countries may pave way for removal from red list

Triple murder in Khayelitsha investigated by police

Three young women have been shot dead execution-style in one of Cape Town’s gang-riddled communities

Q&A Sessions: Kagiso Rabada — ‘When I retire, I will...

Kagiso Rabada talks to Eyaaz Matwadia about his love for music and production, how the lockdown affected him, and how he hopes to get back to his best

State to subpoena and fact-check Agrizzi’s ‘illness’ claims

The National Prosecuting Authority will conduct its own probe into Angelo Agrizzi’s claims of ill health, after he failed to attend court again

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…