National Minimum Wage in Force on 1 January 2019

The Presidency

The national minimum wage comes into force on 1 January 2019.

President Ramaphosa announced the implementation date at the signing of the official proclamation of the National Minimum Wage Act in Johannesburg at the end of last week.

The act was assented to in November 2018.

The act seeks to:

•    Provide for a national minimum wage;
•    Establish the National Minimum Wage Commission;
•    Provide for the composition and functions of the National Minimum Wage Commission;
•    Provide for the review and annual adjustment of the national minimum wage;
•    Provide for exemption from paying the national minimum wage; and
•    Provide for matters connected therein.

The national minimum wage is set at R20 per hour.

At the signing ceremony, the president described the minimum wage as representing the “triumph of cooperation over conflict, of negotiation over confrontation”.

The president also indicated that the minimum wage was an important part of a “broader engagement among social partners on how to reduce wage inequality and promote labour stability in South Africa”.

Meanwhile, the portfolio committee on labour has welcomed the announcement of the implementation date.

In a statement, the committee reiterated its view that “while the minimum wage is a reasonable beginning, much more efforts should be placed in reaching the desired living wage”.

However, the committee declared that the “minimum wage will improve the lives of many families that have been earning less and will contribute in stimulating the economy as a result of increased participation by many in the country”.

The proclamation will be published in the government gazette soon.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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