Work­ers urged to at­tend na­tional min­i­mum wage ses­sions

The New Age (Western Cape) - - Northern Cape News - TNA RE­PORTER prov­inces@the­newage.co.za

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.

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