South Africa minimum wages 2019 came to effect from 1 January 2019, setting the minimum payable wage at 20 Rands per hour. This news was received well by all, especially the workers who saw it as a liberation from a long period of historical exploitation. According to President Cyril Ramaphosa, every employer is obligated to pay his employees more than the minimum wage.
What is the minimum wage for 2019?
The minimum wage legislation puts the minimum national rate at R20 per hour or R3500per month (varies with the number of hours worked). This new rate will be effected gradually in the domestic work and agriculture sector, with workers pocketing R15 and R18 respectively.
When did minimum wage bill become law
On the second month of the year 2017, stakeholders in business, government, and labor constituted in the National Economic Development and Labor Council, signed the minimum wage agreement for the first time. This was soon followed by cabinet approval the same year.
In late 2018, both the National Council of Provinces and National Assembly passed the bill, together with the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and the Labor Relations Amendment Bill. Once all this was done, president Cyril Ramaphosa assented the bill into law on November 2018. On the following month of December, he made a public announcement, in Kliptown, Soweto that the law will come to effect on January 1, 2019.
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Work and Wages
Before the setting of a national minimum wage, minimum wages were set at the area level and sectoral level. It was especially common for vulnerable sectors; those where market wages were quite low or had low union density.
The new national minimum wage legislation has been made to preserve the value of national minimum wage, improve the wages of lowest paid workers, support the economic policy and promote collective bargaining. This wage is a standard value, which all employers are expected to abide by. However, the minimum wage can be changed following the recommendations of the National Minimum Wage Commission, which conducts yearly review of national minimum wage and recommend adjustments.
According to Section 9-A of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, BCEA, a worker who works for less than 4 hours in a day should be paid for 4hrs of work on that day.
Supporters, critics and the government
The minimum wage legislation has attracted responses from both sides of the divide. The proponents of the law applaud the move because it will mitigate inequality and encourage economic growth and development, as workers will have more disposable income. The opponents of the bill say it is a bad idea. They claim that the law will lead to increased unemployment, which is already at its record high because most employers will not be able to pay the minimum wage.
Even though the government admits that setting a minimum wage will not solve the income inequality crisis, it surely is a step in the right direction as far as the correction the living wage problem is concerned.
Generally, national minimum wages 2019, is a blessing to all low paid workers in South Africa. It will give the low paid worker more disposable income thus allowing improving his or her living standards.