- The national minimum wage bill has been sent to President Ramaphosa to be signed into law after clearing its final hurdles in Parliament
- The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) approved the bill along with amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act on Tuesday
- Cosatu has welcomed the news and said more than 6.4 million South African workers would immediately benefit from its introduction
The somewhat controversial new national minimum wage bill has been sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa to be signed into law after clearing its final hurdles in Parliament. The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) approved the bill along with amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act on Tuesday.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has welcomed the news and said it expected more than 6.4 million South African workers to benefit financially from the introduction of the bill.
Cosatu has thanked Ramaphosa for his tireless efforts and personal involvement in ensuring that South African workers are finally protected by a minimum wage. The trade union said it expected millions of South African families to benefit from the boost in their wages.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the bill will for the first-time see all South African workers earn a minimum of R20 per hour or around R3,500 per month based on a 40 hour work week.
While Cosatu has praised Ramaphosa for his tireless efforts in making the new national minimum wage a reality, the bill has not been universally welcomed with its critics saying that it did not constitute a living wage.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) have been some of the more vocal critics of the bill and have held various marches and rallies to oppose the introduction of the bill.
IOL.co.za reported that as part of the bill’s introduction a National Minumum Wage Commission would be established to review the minimum wage after 18 months of being introduced.
The commission is also expected to enforce the minimum wage and will be expected to fine companies and employers who fail to implement the bill in the correct manner.
The bill was originally slated to launch on International Workers Day (1 May) this year but its introduction had to be delayed due to Parliamentary procedures not being followed correctly.
Ramaphosa admitted that the current bill was not a living wage but said it was an important first step towards a brighter future for South African workers. He noted that the current base rate of R20 per hour provided a good platform for future negotiations.
Ramaphosa said the expectation from some quarters to receive a R12,500 per month minimum wage was unrealistic and would lead to a large number of small to medium sized business having to close their doors.
The president said the new bill was the best compromise between what workers rights and keeping business leaders happy.
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