President Nelson Mandela launched a government-funded council Saturday to arbitrate labor disputes and prevent economically damaging strikes.
To help South Africa recover from white minority rule, Mandela hopes to build a more equitable economy. But the effort has been clouded by recent violent strikes.
The National Economic Development and Labor Council will have binding authority to settle labor disputes. Its members will include not only labor and business officials but also representatives of youth, women and other sectors of society.
Its director, Jayendra Naidoo, said the council would reach compromises between community, business, and government interests to make South Africa competitive.