Mandela Feels The Vise Tightening

Conflicting business and labor demands could stifle growth

Ever since he took office two years ago, President Nelson Mandela has juggled competing demands between business, labor, white, and black interests in South Africa with remarkable success. But this spring is proving a testing time for the 77-year-old President. On Apr. 30, hundreds of thousands of workers launched a one-day strike to protest provisions in the country's new constitution. And the markets have voted thumbs down on the government's new Finance Minister, Trevor A. Manuel, who lacks banking experience. Since the start of the year, the rand has plunged 18% against the dollar.

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