Mr Nyatsumba said that it was deeply regrettable that the union had rejected a “very good final offer” that was intended to end the strike, and which was made following a meeting with the leadership of NUMSA, which had indicated that it believed the offer could end the strike.

“We have now done everything that we could possibly have done to end the strike and we deeply regret the fact that all our efforts have been in vain. It is very unfortunate that a strike which has already caused much damage to our economy appears set to continue indefinitely,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

He said that NUMSA had scheduled a meeting with the SEIFSA leadership for tomorrow morning, where it would officially communicate its response to the Federation’s offer. Mr Nyatsumba said that it was unfortunate that SEIFSA first heard about NUMSA’s response to its final offer through the media.

Mr Nyatsumba thanked the SEIFSA Council for the clear mandate that it had given him and the SEIFSA negotiating team, but expressed regret that the final offer approved by the vast majority of employer Associations affiliated to SEIFSA had been rejected by NUMSA.

Mr Nyatsumba also expressed SEIFSA’s thanks and appreciation to Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and her team for their efforts in brokering a settlement between the Federation and NUMSA.

He said that the SEIFSA leadership had made the best possible offer that it could have made to end the strike and had now exhausted its mandate.