10 things you need to know about South Africa's new Minimum Wage

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has proposed that South Africa’s minimum wage be increased to R3 500 per month. But what does this mean?

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa recently proposed that South Africa’s minimum wage be increased to R3 500 per month.

South Africa minimum wage


1. This total is only a proposition and has not been approved yet.

2. A seven person Advisory Panel, appointed in August 2016, was comprised of leaders in labour, business, government and communities investigated and deliberated an appropriate national minimum wage.

3. The Deputy President chaired the Advisory Panel, formally called the Committee of Principals of the National Economic Development Council (Nedlac).

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4. The committee consulted more than 60 research reports were consulted.

5. The committee met with social partners and experts from small business, youth, care work and informal sectors.

6. R3 500 a month comes to about R20 per hour.

7. 47% of all employed people currently earn less than this.

8. Cosatu is unhappy with this and is demanding the minimum wage be increased to R4 500 a month.

9. In the third quarter of 2016, Stats SA revealed that unemployment in South Africa rose to 27.1%, while the minimum wage for domestic workers rose by 8.2% and 10% depending on whether they work more or less than 27 hours per week.

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10. Economists and business disagree on the desirability of a national minimum wage on two points:

 a. Some argue it will reduce poverty and boost economic growth
 b. Others believe it will hamper job creation in South Africa.

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