Labour analyst, Andrew Levy, has warned that the planned strike action in the construction industry will worsen the already volatile situation in the sector.
Next week Monday some 90 000 workers employed in the industry are expected to down tools over a wage increase.
Workers are demanding 15% increase while the employer is offering between 7 and 9%. Talks between the parties have deadlocked.
“This is going have a very negative effect on the economy, on investments from overseas and on the currency. And unfortunately the position in which the unions tend to take to make demands are such that companies can never pay them. So really, it's nothing short of a natural disaster,” explains Levy.
Meanwhile, the South African Federation of Civil Engineers and Contractors (Safcec) maintains that they cannot afford the percentage that the workers are demanding.
“The South African construction industry at the moment is in survival mode. There's not a lot of work out there and the margins are very tight. The projects are quite complex they need to be constructed quickly. There's not a lot of money to spare, so the industry could certainly not afford the increases,” says Safcec spokesperson Norman Milne.