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Massive Supply Chain Disruptions Expected on Key China-Africa Trade Route Due to South African Labor Unrest

File image of a ship mooring outside Cape Town harbor, behind the harbor-control tower of Transnet, the State-owned Transport/Logistics company that is currently embroiled in a bitter labor dispute. RODGER BOSCH / AFP

Key strategic resources exported via South African ports to China are expected to face severe disruptions in the coming days and weeks in response to the declaration of force majeure by SA’s state-run logistics operator Transet in response to the escalating labor strife with its unions.

Two of the company’s unions, with a combined workforce of 76,000 laborers, have vowed to “paralyze” the country’s rail and port operations unless Transnet increases wages to keep pace with the rising cost of living. The unions have said they will launch a general strike beginning Monday unless their demands are met.

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