Rand plunges as S. Africa strikes escalate

Oct 05, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT
Striking platinum miners march near the Anglo-American Platinum (AMPLATS) mine near Rustenburg in South Africa's North West Province, October 5, 2012. World no. 1 platinum producer AMPLATS said on Friday it had fired 12,000 workers taking part in a three-week illegal strike, following through on tough talk against the wildcat stoppages in South Africa's mines.
REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The rand fell to its lowest level against the dollar since May 2009 as investors worried that the worst labor unrest since the end of apartheid in 1994 was escalating out of the government's control. The world's largest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum (AmPlats), fired 12,000 workers taking part in a three-week illegal strike, following through on tough talk over wildcat stoppages in South African mines. A mineworker was found shot dead, reportedly by police, taking the death toll to 48. A strike by more than 20,000 truckers has caused some gas stations to run dry and delayed product deliveries nationwide. Earlier in the week Toyota said it has closed a plant in Durban because of a wildcat strike over pay, as the unrest first spread beyond the mines. 

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