Wednesday, July 16, 2008

South Africans Face 'Toxic Economic Cocktail'

Btw ugly economic times can lead to ugly divorces, breakups etc. "They started to fight when the money got tight, and they just didn't count on the tears ..."

Lyrics from Billy Joel's "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant".
clipped from

Business leaders and foreign investors worry that labour unrest could combine with an electricity crisis and soaring world oil prices to produce a toxic cocktail for South Africa, which is a net importer of energy.

"The proposed rolling mass action will affect productivity and drive prices higher. We are looking at millions of rands, if not billions in lost productivity," said Neren Rau, chief executive of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

A sharp increase in the price of petrol and basic staples, such as milk and bread, and a series of interest rate hikes have stoked labour's determination to thwart the policies.

Unions are also furious over job losses linked to the electricity crisis that began in January. The state-owned power utility Eskom has been rationing electricity to mines and other large industrial customers as well as residents.
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