Workers urged to attend national minimum wage sessions
WORKERS in the province have been urged to take part in the national minimum wage briefing sessions in Kimberley and Upington next week.
Labour organisations said it was critical for workers in all sectors especially petrol attendants, farm, retail and domestic workers to attend.
The minimum wage is expected to be operational from May 1 after a series of engagements across the country.
“The objective of the worker briefing sessions is to ensure the national minimum wage, as a new labour policy intervention instrument, is communicated to all the intended beneficiaries which are the workers.
“The sessions are to inform workers on the implications of proposed amendments to the basic conditions of employment act,” the department said.
The worker engagement and briefing sessions started on November 9 last year and targeted all sectors of the economy.
“The minimum wage for workers on an expanded public works programme is R11 an hour. The National Economic Development and Labour Council’s (Nedlac’s) social partners have agreed that the farm, forestry and domestic sectors will be brought up to 100% within two years, pending research by the national minimum wage commission,” the department said.
The Cabinet said the National Minimum Wage Bill was due to come into effect on May 1.
However, there are a few exceptions to the national minimum wage.
According to a report by the department the minimum wage for farm workers will be 90% of R20 an hour (R18 an hour), while for domestic workers the wage it will be 75% of R20 an hour (R15 an hour) and for workers on an expanded public works programme the is R11 an hour.
Experts have said that with South Africa’s unemployment rate at 26.5% in early 2017, imposing a South African minimum wage is a hot topic at the government level.
In the Northern Cape, unemployment saw a decline from 30.5% in the second quarter to 29.9% in the third quarter of 2017.