It is unsurprising that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) did not accept the offer made by the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) of a 6% wage increase.

While some might suggest 6% is a seemingly favourable outcome if one considers that the Reserve Bank governor says “we all expect” inflation to be about 4.4% or so by 2022. Yet, as Irvin Jim and his more than 400,000 comrades continue with their picket, they will be looking at more than just inflation in calibrating their demands. They are entirely justified in doing so, in the context of the rally in steel and iron ore prices that we have seen in the recent moment...

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