Cape Town – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the R20 per hour minimum wage agreement between labour, business and government on Tuesday.
That is according to Dennis George, general secretary of the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa declined to confirm the signing late last night. “Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will provide details on the status of discussions of (National Economic Development and Labour Council) Nedlac committee of principals on labour relations and wage inequality tomorrow (Wednesday),” he told Fin24.
The signing was supposed to have taken place at Tuesday's InvestSA lunch that President Jacob Zuma hosted in Cape Town ahead of his State of the Nation address (Sona) on Thursday.
However, the Presidency announced on Tuesday that it was postponing the signing due to Cosatu’s request to delay the agreement until its central executive committee (CEC) could review the new proposal.
However, George said Cosatu was not able to stop the signing. “Our friends from Cosatu think they can stop the process,” he said. “Cosatu said they were in agreement and that all they want to do is speak to their CEC. They must tell us when they are ready to sign.”
“This agreement kicks in from May 2018,” he said. “After this, we need to draft legislation and that must go through a public consultation process.
“There were concerns around the R20 per hour salary as employers could try reduce hours,” he said. “But we will put in a law that workers cannot be worse off.”
He said Zuma will spell out the details of the agreement in his Sona.
The deal follows Ramaphosa’s proposal of a R3 500 national minimum wage. He has been heading up the negotiations with Nedlac.