Unpacking labour’s declining income share: manufacturing, mining and growing inequality

reads 3,920
Philippe Burger on 3 February 2015

While the share of capital increased, labour’s share of total income earned in South Africa fell significantly during the first two decades after 1994. These trends could contribute to a deterioration of income inequality, given that the ownership of capital – and thus the income from capital – is concentrated in fewer individuals than is the case with salaries and wages. This article explores labour’s falling share, with particular reference to the manufacturing and mining sectors.

Is Marikana a forerunner of national labour market instability and disruption?

reads 10,514
Haroon Bhorat, Mornè Oosthuizen on 19 November 2012

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.