Mining strikes dent S.Africa tax take

A wave of wildcat mining strikes that gripped South Africa last year caused a $1.2 billion shortfall in much-needed state revenue, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said Wednesday.

The country took in a total of 814.1 billion rand ($88.4 billion) for the year ending March 31 which Gordhan said was "admirable" but nonetheless 12 billion rand below his initial 2012 budget expectation.

The amount represented an increase of just under 10 percent, with personal taxes making up the biggest chunk of income.

Corporate taxes grew by just 5.1 percent, mostly due to "the poor performance in the mining sector and the direct consequences of unprotected strikes in the industry."

The mining sector reported losses of six billion rand in provisional tax revenue, he said.

"The direct and indirect impact on tax revenue is estimated to be above 11.3 billion rand," said Gordhan.

The hard-hit mining sector also helped push growth downward from 3.5 percent in 2011 to 2.5 percent last year.

Amid the slow growth South Africa's government is struggling to bring down a fiscal deficit that hovers just above five percent of the nation's total output.