National minimum wage not a living wage, a milestone towards it - Mabuza at May Day rally

2019-05-01 19:38

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Deputy President David Mabuza says the ANC believes the national minimum wage is not a living wage but a significant milestone towards it.

In January, the national minimum wage came into effect after it was signed into law in 2018, making it the country's first ever minimum wage.

Mabuza was speaking at a May Day rally held in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, his home province, on Wednesday. 

Several celebrations were held across the country under the theme "Deepen the back to basics campaign, consolidate the struggle for National democratic revolution and advance the struggle for socialism".

"We know that some will want to say the minimum wage is too little, but we know that it is a minimum not a maximum wage," he said.

Mabuza said the full implementation of the minimum wage covered domestic workers, those who worked in farming and forestry as well as other vulnerable sectors and that it also ensured effective compliance from employers.

READ: Labour department to name and shame employers who fail to comply with minimum wage

He urged trade unions to continue working with government to ensure that employers were not paying employees anything below the set minimum wage.

Mabuza said that government also continued to call for a safe working environment for miners and all those who worked in harmful conditions.

Noting that workers in the country were now working in much better conditions as compared to 25 years ago, Mabuza said more work needed to be done to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society.

"This is a day of solidarity with workers of the world, we join all progressive forces in the world, in the continued fight for a living wage, decent work and a better South Africa," he said.

Meanwhile ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule, speaking in Huntersfield Stadium in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, said it was important that people embraced the principle of international solidarity, especially on such an important day. 

"We therefore call for the unity and cohesion of the international working class movement. We also express our solidarity with the suffering people of the world, and in this regard we express our solidarity with the people of Cuba, Venezuela…," he said.

Magashule assured that there were no plans by government to privatise state-owned enterprises saying no workers will be losing their jobs.

He also reiterated Mabuza’s sentiments that government would ensure that the minimum wage and the National Health Insurance were implemented as per the resolutions of the ANC’s 54th National Conference held in 2017.

Magashule also shared that the ANC would embark on an aggressive programme of job creation to eradicate poverty.

He added that the party condemned acts of violence during protest actions, saying while citizens had rights to freedom of speech and expression they needed to use those very same rights in line with the rule of law.

Read more on:    anc  |  david mabuza  |  ace magashule

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