South Africa's main metals employer body has "reluctantly" accepted a government proposal to raise wages by up to 10 percent, it said on Tuesday, raising hopes of an end to a strike sapping the continent's most advanced economy. The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA) said striking unions had until Friday to accept the offer, which it warned could lead to heavy job losses. More than 200,000 workers affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) downed tools on July 2, demanding 12-15 percent wage increases. Under the proposal put forward by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, SEIFSA agreed to raise wages by between 7 percent and 10 percent over the next three years.
Egyptian security officers checked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his top aides with a metal detector as they arrived for a meeting on Tuesday with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, an unusual screening for a senior State Department official. Foreign officials usually extend every courtesy to Washington’s top diplomat. Footage taken at the Egyptian presidential palace and seen by Reuters showed an official briefly raising a handheld metal-detecting wand to the lower part of Kerry’s jacket before waving him through for the meeting, which is to discuss how to stop the two-week conflict between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip. More than 500 people, the vast majority Palestinians, have died in the fighting. Kerry appeared for only a few seconds in the footage, which showed his senior aides walking through a stationary metal detector and being checked with a handheld wand.