SOUTH Africa's economic growth rate will dip below 1.5% before the end of the year due to the various crippling strikes.
Efficient Group chief economist Dawie Roodt, guest speaker at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants Port Elizabeth District Association, predicted the various industrial actions would have a devastating effect on the economy, particularly in the Eastern Cape automotive sector.
"You guys cannot afford this strike, because the automotive industry is all you have," Roodt said.
"The motor industry is a highly subsidised and protected industry but in this case it is not about the labour, but about politics. The deck chairs are being moved in the union and new alliances and partnerships are being formed."
Joking about a title given to him by Cosatu, "an extremist, unreconstructed neoliberal fundamentalist" – which is also the subtitle of his latest book, Tax, Lies and Red Tape: Confessions of an unreconstructed neoliberal fundamentalist – Roodt said he had dropped the "extremist" but liked the name given to him.
"Trade unions protect the workers from the unemployed. If we want true economic empowerment we need to empower black and coloured women, Roodt said. "In South Africa, we have the correct policies but we do not have the political leadership to implement them."
Roodt said the strongest contraceptive in the world was "how long a girl child is sent to school". Statistics proved thriving economies had a big adult work force, with a small demographic of older people and children, for example China. By employing and educating women, the work force doubled.