Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant says the R20 per hour minimum wage introduced by government is better than nothing. This comes after many groups, including labour federation Saftu, rejected the minimum wage.
The minister was speaking in a debate in Parliament on Workers International Day: Celebrating 100 days of Nelson Mandela in parliament.
Oliphant says those who reject the minimum wage fail to see the bigger picture.
“Whilst the introduction of the minimum wage may not mean a lot for those who are well looked after in the world of work. The majority of the vulnerable workers, in fact over six million of them the minimum wage will make a huge difference. We all agree that the proposed minimum wage is by no means a living wage. But in its all intents and purposes the introduction of the minimum wage remains as an important and timely policy intervention.”
Labour federation Saftu says it will continue to challenge the government until it begins to take the rights of workers seriously. About 8 000 Saftu members embarked on a peaceful march in Durban on Tuesday against the 20-rand per hour national minimum wage.
They described the figure as an insult to workers.
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Minimum Wage App
The National Minimum Wage Act, 2017 is set to be implemented in May 2018. However, according to the Department of Labour, the process could be delayed by one or two months.
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:
- Stats SA “Poverty Trends in South Africa” report
- Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA) “Food Price Barometer“
- Stats SA “Income and Expenditure of Households Survey”
How is it calculated?
The money available for food is calculated by subtracting the money used for other expenses from household income. It could be said that it comes after these expenses, though they are actually in conjunction with each other.