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Nedlac Minimum Wage Agreement

In Tuesday`s statement, issued by Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla, the unions called for Nxesi`s intervention and said the value of wages was “severely undermined” by inflation. Farm and domestic workers earn R18 and R15 per hour respectively, compared to the national minimum of R20 per hour. Government, labour and economic actors represented at the National Council for Economic Development and Labour signed the national minimum wage agreement for the first time in February 2017. The bill was then approved by the cabinet in 2017 and President Cyril Ramaphosa signed it in 2018. The wage contract was concluded for about four years and followed the signing of the ekurhuleni declaration by companies, government, labour and civil society, which was represented at the National Council for Economic Development in November 2014. Organized work has been calling for a national minimum wage for years. Organized workers have written to the Commission in 2019 to justify an increase that would take inflation into account since 2017, he added. Unions are calling for an increase of at least 12.5%. “While the minister cannot afford to delay the increase in the working poor, he must immediately intervene with the NMW commission to ensure that an additional increase comes into effect in 2020 to take into account the impact of inflation in 2017 and 2018 on the value of NMW,” Pamla said.

Correction: The title of this article has been amended to make it clear that the opposition was from some unions and not from Nedlac. “Given that the NMW has not been increased for three years, the proposed increase is totally unjustified and totally offensive to the noble ideals of the legislation, which was expected to lift millions of workers out of the poverty trap. The amount of RMW for workers in general, R18 for farm workers, R15 for domestic workers and R11 for EPWP was agreed in March 2017. It is now 2020,” he said. Unions also want farm, domestic and public workers to receive higher increases to reduce the gap between them and the national minimum wage.