National Minimum Wage debate
Johannesburg - SA’s national minimum wage (NMW) could be set at R20 per hour or approximately R3 500 per month if recommendations by a panel of experts are agreed to.
The panel, set up by the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) was appointed to determine the level of the NMW and its implementation systems after social partners at the council deadlocked several times over the level.
Labour and Community constituencies had put forth a R4 500 proposal, while business suggested just over R2 000.
Speaking at the release of the panel's report in Rosebank on Sunday, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country was “edging closer” to a finalised policy document that could be enacted into law.
“We are now a step closer to finalising our discussions on the NMW. clearly all the social partners will have to decide precisely what their take is on this recommendations from the panel of advisers. It is a proposal, still has to be discussed and engaged with. we want to get the South African public to discuss this matter and put forward their own proposals if any so that their views can enrich this process,” he said.
The NMW is aimed at reducing the income poverty in the country, while addressing the issue of inequality in society.
However the policy recommendations have listed some sectors which would be exempted from the legislation due to the potential for negative impact on jobs.
These included small business, businesses able to prove they have financial constraints, domestic and agricultural workers who would be phased into the system at a later date.
The panel has also recommended that should the policy be implemented, a two year transition period be phased in to deal with underlying issues which will arise out of the process.
Civil society, business and government said they would be consulting their constituencies before pronouncing on the recommendations of the panel.