Government to introduce the first national minimum wage in May

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the introduction of a national minimum wage is an example of what is possible when South Africans engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve differences.

The national minimum wage will be introduced on 1 May 2018.

The President said this was a historic achievement that is expected to increase the earnings of more than six million working South Africans and improve the living conditions of households across the country.

The introduction of a national minimum wage was made possible by the determination of all social partners to reduce wage inequality while maintaining economic growth and employment creation.

It stands as another example of what is possible when South Africans engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve differences and confront challenges, said President Ramaphosa, delivering his maiden State of the Nation Address on Friday.

Cabinet approved the National Minimum Wage Bill in November last year.

Representatives of government, business, the community sector and two of the three labour federations represented at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) signed the national minimum wage agreement.

The minimum wage agreement was overseen by President Ramaphosa while he was Deputy President.

According to the Department of Labour, all workers who do not fall under the farm/forestry, domestic sectors, Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) and learnerships should not be paid less than the set R20 minimum wage per hour.

According to the National Minimum Wage Bill, the farm/forestry sector’s minimum wage is R18 an hour, which is 90% of the set minimum wage. The domestic sector will get 75%, which amounts to R15, EPWP workers will get 55%, which is R11, whereas the wage for learnership agreements are set out in Schedule 2 of the National Minimum Wage Bill.

The Department of Labour has been conducting engagement sessions on the implementation of the national minimum wage.

Source: South African Government News Agency