Minimum wage bill will trap workers in dehumanising poverty – Vavi

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to officially announce that from January workers must be paid R20 per hour.

FILE: Saftu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

DURBAN – With President Cyril Rampahosa is expected to announce when the national minimum wage will come into effect, union federations agree that the implementation of the bill looms large.

Ramaphosa is expected to officially announce that from January workers must be paid R20 per hour.

The president signed the National Minimum Wage Bill into law in November along with the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill.

Despite having mixed views about the promulgation of a minimum wage, both South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) agree that work needs to be done to make sure its implemented by employers.

After several years of negotiations and pushback from civil society groups and unions, the national minimum wage is expected to come into effect in January.

Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi maintains that the bill will trap workers in dehumanising poverty, adding that its unlikely businesses will implement this law.

“Businesses have mastered sidelining all the gains of workers because they know the trade union movement has been fragmented, divided and it is now weaker than any other time.”

Cosatu’s parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks says they will be going on a drive to educate their members about what this minimum wage means for them.

Questions around the timing of the president’s announcement have been raised with elections just around the corner.

LISTEN: How will national minimum wage work in practice?

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

Source: EWN

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