Rejection of Minimum Wage Not Dawn of an Era

The call to reject the hard won national minimum wage of R3500 by the new federation launched at the weekend under the leadership of Zwelinzima Vavi can hardly be described as the dawn of a new era for workers in South Africa nor acting in their best interest, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has noted.

“As FEDUSA we are only acutely aware that R3500 a month is not a living wage but in a country with one of the highest wage inequalities in the world, this minimum wage will help lift millions of workers who earn far below this amount out of wage poverty,” FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George said.

“This figure was, and still is a big compromise by the three federations who signed it alongside business, the department of labour and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on the realization that anything above it who embolden employers to start laying –off workers, which any federation acting in their best interest will avoid at all costs”. FEDUSA is also waiting in anticipation for the audited figure of 700 000 as claimed by SAFTU, George emphasised.

In a related development last week, FEDUSA instructed its attorneys, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer Inc., to communicate a letter of demand to SAFTU’s leader Zwelinzima Vavi, to change their name, which has been added to the Register of Federations of Trade Unions by the Minister of Labour Relations, with effect from 23 March 2017, failing which FEDUSA will approach the Labour Court for relief.

Now that the inaugural Congress of the new federation has ratified its name, FEDUSA will proceed to approach the Labour Court to obtain the appropriate relief.


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FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See for more information.

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Issued by:

Frank Nxumalo

FEDUSA Media and Research Officer


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