‘Minimum wage is insufficient for low income families’

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Director at the Poverty and Inequality Institute, Isobel Frye says the national minimum wage is insufficient for low income families because of the high cost of food.

Her comments come after the National Assembly passed the National Minimum Wage Bill the past week.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant described the passing of the bill as a historic achievement.

Labour federation South African Federation of Trade Unions has vowed to continue to campaign for a national minimum wage that is higher than 20-rand per hour. Frye says the figure falls way below what a low income family needs.

“There’s an interesting organisation based in Pietermaritzburg called Papsa, who on a monthly basis does very thorough analysis of the cost of living for people. They’ve come up with a basket of food of  R2 370 for a family of 4… now that’s just food, and in essence, what you looking at, R 3500 a month, is that you going to have families who’s just not able to afford the cost of food.”

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