The tragic events at Marikana raise the question whether the events and subsequent developments are indicative of a fundamental change in labour market relations and wage bargaining relationships in South Africa – and whether such patterns of behaviour are likely to spread beyond the mining sector. We identify five contributing factors that are specific to the mining sector. These relate to labour relations, public services and migrant labour. Since these factors do not characterise the rest of the economy, we conclude that a spreading of Marikana-type bargaining is unlikely.
Written by Haroon Bhorat, Professor, School of Economics and Director: DPRU, University of Cape Town
and Mornè Oosthuizen, Deputy-director, DPRU, University of Cape Town
First published on the Econ 3x3 Forum website