The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has accused government of trying to divide South Africa into two countries by ignoring the workers’ rights.

Saftu’s statement comes ahead of its planned marches in several cities and towns around the country on Wednesday against the minimum wage and amendments to labour laws.

The union says it will stop at nothing to ensure that workers’ demands are met.

Saftu General-Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi says, “Our country will have millions of workers facing poverty, getting R20 and R18 an hour and R11 an hour. Workers will be guaranteed to live in poverty for the rest of their lives.”

Meanwhile, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) has cautioned residents and motorists to avoid the CBD on Wednesday between 10 am until around 2 pm.

This comes ahead of labour federation Saftu’s planned shutdown. The union is calling on all workers across the country to reject the proposed R20 per hour minimum wage and amendments to labour law.

JMPD spokesperson, Wayne Minaar says more than 7 000 workers are expected to take part in the march.

Minaar says, “The protest will start at the Newtown precinct park, that is on Mariam Makeba Street and then it will turn right into Roye Street, it will turn right at Simmons Street where a memorandum is expected to be handed over at the Office of the Premier.”

“Then it will proceed to the Chamber of Mines and also at the Health Department, then it will proceed to Braamfontein along Pritchard Street, Rissik Street and De korte Street at the Department of Labour, then it will return to Newtown, so basically most of the roads in the Joburg CBD will be affected from about 10am. We are expecting a very big protest.”

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:

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.