23 August 2018
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has welcomed the passing the National Minimum (NMW) Wage Bill by the National Council of Province which now makes it ready to be signed and promulgated into the National Minimum Wage Act by President Cyril Ramaphosa. As then Deputy President of the Republic Ramaphosa was instrumental in securing an agreement on a national floor of wages below which no worker in our country should be paid between the social partners of Organized Labour constituted by COSATU, FEDUSA, NACTU Business and Government at the National Economic Development Labour Council (NEDLAC).
The Act will prescribe a minimum wage of R3 500 a month for the non-agricultural sector which translates into about R20 an hour for a 40 hour week and will lift an estimated 6 million workers who currently earn below this amount out of abject poverty, give them dignity and lay a solid foundation towards closing stark income and social inequality in the country. Strict compliance mechanisms have been built into this new law which will be reviewed every two years to factor in lessons picked on the ground and to adjust it for inflation.
During the difficult negotiations over two years with the social partners of Business and Government at NEDLAC, FEDUSA, COSATU and NACTU had wanted a minimum wage of R26 an hour on the basis of research it had commissioned on the poverty datum line in South Africa but had to settle for R20 an hour in order to set in motion the long-delayed process towards a living wage
Versions of the NMW previously known as sectoral determinations that are announced by the Minister of Labour every year for farm and domestic workers – currently standing at around R8 an hour – will be increased by more than 10% and collapsed into 90% and 80% respectively of the new national floor of R20 an hour wages once the National Minimum Wage Act has been promulgated and minimum wages for these vulnerable sectors will be gradually increased to the level of the NMW.
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 www.fedusa.org.za for more information.
For interviews please contact:
FEDUSA General Secretary
084 805 1529
FEDUSA Media and Research Officer
072 637 8096