Friday, May 17, 2013

Mine union threatens to bring South Africa to 'standstill'

The leader of South Africa's biggest platinum mining union threatened on Friday to bring Africa's No. 1 economy "to a standstill" and demanded a meeting with President Jacob Zuma, ramping up the rhetoric in an 18-month labor crisis.

The rand, which tumbled to a four-year low against the dollar on Thursday on fears of a strike at Anglo American Platinum, extended its slide on concerns about further disruptions to an already struggling economy.

The currency fell as low as 9.4334, its lowest since April 2009 when South Africa was still reeling from the effects of the U.S. sub-prime crisis and the collapse of Lehman Brothers.