‘Minimum wage won’t solve labour problems’

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Critics have argued that the introduction of a National Minimum Wage will not solve problems in South Africa’s labour market.

However, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant has described the National Minimum Wage Bill as a milestone and a direct response to the Freedom Charter.

“This Bill seeks to improve the lives of the lowest paid workers in the labour market and carries the promise of addressing the inequality challenge in South Africa and by extension poverty. The Bill established the National Minimum Wage Commission, the statutory wage minimum level and the exemption from those who cannot afford,” says Oliphant.

Oliphant was speaking in the National Assembly during a debate on the three labour Bills including the Basic Conditions of Employment and the Labour Relations Amendment Bills which the House also passed.

The National Minimum Wage Bill also seeks to establish a commission that will replace the current Employment Commission.

Oliphant says, “The National Minimum wage will take over the functions of the current Employment Commission. The commission will also recommend an annual adjustment to the level of the National Minimum Wage and review it on a regular basis in order to take into account the impact of employment on the level of poverty and inequality.”

Minimum Wage App

SABC Digital News and OpenUp (formerly Code for South Africa) has partnered to develop a Minimum Wage App that will give answers to the question: “Can South Africans survive on R3 500?”

Where does the information come from?

OpenUp has used the following data sources:

How is it calculated?

The money available for food is calculated by subtracting the money used for other expenses from household income.