ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa says 20-rand has been proposed as a national minimum wage to alleviate South Africa’s high unemployment and give workers an opportunity to continue fighting for a living wage.
He was addressing the Cosatu’s May Day Rally at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium, in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
Ramaphosa says raising the national minimum wage would scare off investors and escalate unemployment in the country.
“Others would have preferred the national minimum wage at 12-thousand or 15-thousand-rand. Half the people in South Africa would have lost their jobs. We want to eventually increase this minimum wage, so that our people are kept in employment. We want to attract investors into our economy, so that we must build new jobs.”
He also commended South African workers for their hard work and significant contribution to the economy of the country.
‘The entire nation needs to be grateful to you as workers because it is you who have built this country to be what it is. It is you who have made South Africa what it is today. This progress was achieved through your hands, labour, suffering, blood and sweat.”
But the labour federation, Saftu has accused the President of promoting the exploitation of workers. The federation has also vowed to step up its fight to oppose the proposed 20 Rand per hour minimum wage.
Saftu’s 24 affiliated trade unions converged in Bloemfontein to celebrate its first anniversary.
Numsa General Secretary, Irvin Jim says, “We want our land back, expropriation of land without compensation. We want the living wages for our people.We want mineral resources and we mean it.”
Saftu has also pledged to fight for the equality of workers and to honour Marikana mineworkers who were killed by police in August 2012.
Saftu president Mac Chavalala says, “Millions of workers are unemployed and poverty is rife. Exploitation continues, employers wants to destroy labour council.”
Saftu’s Workers’ Day rally was celebrated under the theme “Mobilise against slavery national minimum wage and attacks on the rights to strike”.
Saftu says it will intensify its campaign to oppose the 15 percent VAT which was effected on the 1st of April.
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.