Minimum wage pay scale rises

2016-11-30 06:00

DEPUTY President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the proposed new minimum wage could be R3 500 per month.

That amounts to about R20 per hour.

Professor Imraan Valodia, leader of the panel that investigated the matter, said 27% of currently employed people earn below this new proposed rate. Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said collective agreements will remain in place.

The figure is for those who earn less than R3 500, Eyewitness News tweeted.

South Africa’s current wage acts establish two main mechanisms for wage determination — collective bargaining and sectoral determinations, which sees the Minister of Labour set minimum wages for an economic sector.

The current average minimum wage, which is often paid hourly, comes to R2 731,74 a month across all the private-sector bargaining councils, and averages R2 362,36 across all the sectoral determinations.

A study that was commissioned last year by the Department of Labour found that South Africa’s employers ignore the country’s numerous prescribed minimum wages for almost one in every two workers — 45% of the time — particularly in the domestic work and agriculture sectors.

The department has 800 inspectors charged with examining labour practice and minimum wages.

If an employee lodges a complaint with the Department of Labour concerning minimum wages and an employer is found to be guilty of paying below the stated minimum wage, the employer can be fined, unless the employer can come to an arrangement with the employee to pay arrears.

The website economists.co.za compares South Africa’s minimum wages to that of China, while gold miners earn a minimum wage that compares favourably with Poland, Turkey, Japan, Spain and Israel.

— Reporter.

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