Mbalo Brief – September 2013

South Africa has recently been plagued by a series of strikes. As collective wage negotiations got underway, employers and employees came to a deadlock. Mining, car manufacturing and City Power workers were among some of the workers who downed their tools during this time. Although many would agree that this year’s ‘strike season’, as some call it, was not as violent as the one witnessed in 2012, it still reduces confidence of foreign investors to invest in South Africa and also impacts our country’s economy.
On a lighter note, spring is finally here! Although this year’s winter wasn’t as cold as many anticipated, the change in seasons is always a pleasant one: from blooming flowers, longer days, and swimming to National Braai Day or Heritage Day as it is formally known. On Heritage Day, 24 September, South Africans celebrate their diverse cultural heritage that makes up the rainbow nation. What many don’t know, however, is that it was initially known as King Shaka Day, in commemoration of the former Zulu king, Shaka. When the Public Holiday’s Bill was presented to the parliament of South Africa, it did not include King Shaka Day as a holiday. The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) refused to sign the bill unless it was included as a holiday. However, Parliament and the IFP reached a comprise and agreed to include it in the bill as Heritage Day.
In this issue of Mbalo Brief, our educational article is based on Free State’s Census 2011 results. We look at the province’s population growth in 2011 in comparison to 1996 and 2001, the unemployment rate, educational level, access to housing and basic services, among others.
Solutions to last month’s puzzle and a new puzzle to test your general knowledge are included on page iv. You can also expect to be informed of the performance of various industries in our economy, including land transport, tourist accommodation, manufacturing, and mining, among others.
Articles published in this issue are based on results of industry surveys conducted for the months ranging from May to July 2013 which were released in July and August 2013. For full details on any of the surveys, visit our website at
Enjoy the read.