- The Draft Companies Amendment Bill will be made available for the public to make comments for the next 30 days from 1 October
- Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel said the bill aims to ensure transparency while attempting to address inequality
- The minister said astronomical pay disparities at companies contribute to the country's high levels of inequality
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A new bill that proposes that state-owned enterprises and companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) disclose the salary gaps between top-brass employees and those lower down the totem pole, will come into effect soon.
The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) announced that the Draft Companies Amendment Bill will be published for public comment on Friday, 1 October News24 reported.
The public will have 30 days to comment, after which the bill will go to the cabinet for approval and then be sent to parliament before a separate public hearing is held.
The draft bill emphasises transparency about the wage differences between a company's lowest and highest-paid earners, according to CapeTalk.
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Briefly News understands the cabinet previously signed off on the bill for public comment but following a consultative process, further changes were accommodated, said Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel.
Patel told a media briefing the changes address three policy objectives, including providing wider transparency on wage ratios in South African companies.
Pay gap contributes to country's inequality
The minister, who commented that the pay gap is a contributor to the country's inequality, said the pay at the highest levels within these firms is a matter of concern not only locally, but overseas.
"The bill resolves that companies listed publicly and those that are state-owned to disclose information regarding the differences in the salaries between directors and workers in their annual financial statements and annual reports," said Patel.
"Companies will now also be required to publish details of their highest-paid employee, their lowest-paid employee, their average remuneration, their median remuneration and the gap between the top 5 per cent highest-paid and the bottom 5 per cent lowest-paid employees."
Mzansi unmoved by proposal
Hearing the news, vocal South Africans turned to social media to have their two cents' worth on the landmark development.
However, despite the clarity of the announcement, many were sceptical about the move, with others encouraging private firms to challenge the purported bill.
"I wonder what you think about this type of stifling, it was minimum wage, now this, what's next? Shouldn't the government be encouraging entrepreneurship?"
"Um, then he should also disclose his salary versus his own subordinates of his very own department, and even government."
"Please sit down and shut up. Why are your own entities in such shambles if you are such bright sparks? The government is OBVIOUSLY bad at doing business."
ANC has still not paid workers' salaries, 3rd month in a row
In previous related news, Briefly News reported that the governing party continues to frustrate their employees and have stated that they will not be able to meet the obligation to pay workers their salaries for the third month in succession.
Workers were informed by ANC general manager Febe Potgieter, who stated that the party was not in the position to pay salaries, according to The South African.
Potgieter stated that not only will they be unable to pay salaries past due in July but workers will also not be getting their salaries for the month of August either. He stated that salaries would be delayed but gave no indication for how long.
According to IOL, the ANC's financial crisis started to become apparent in December 2019. Things seemed to have gotten better, however, between April and June 2021 the financial woes of the ruling party deepened.
Source: Briefly News