South African president Jacob Zuma demanded that striking miners to return to work, following private meetings with business and labour leaders in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr Zuma said the parties had “emerged with one voice”.

“The parties agree to take steps to improve public and investor confidence in the economy and in social stability, using their respective resources and capacities to build a partnership for development,” he said.

Zuma went on to call for chief executives to freeze any personal salary increases as a “strong commitment to build an equitable economy”.

As months of strikes and labour disputes have threatened to derail the South African economy, Zuma has come under fire for failing to find a resolution. The meetings today, and the subsequent announcements, mark the government’s first decisive step toward quelling the unrest.


“The frustrations and challenges that have become clearer during the protests, and the legitimate grievances, will be attended to,” the president said, listing housing shortages and wage disparities as threats to South African social cohesion.

Zuma also announced development measures to improve the mining towns where the striking workers live, including road and electricity infrastructure investment.

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