Minimum R20/hour wage from January

Saftu‚ its affiliates and allies in civil society on the streets in a general strike in protest against the national minimum wage and amendments to the labour law. File picture
Saftu‚ its affiliates and allies in civil society on the streets in a general strike in protest against the national minimum wage and amendments to the labour law. File picture
Image: StopLabourBills ‏ via Twitter

South Africa’s new national minimum wage will take effect from January 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday, ensuring workers earn R20 an hour.

Ramaphosa last month signed into law the national minimum wage bill, part of efforts by the government to tackle wage inequality.

The National Minimum Wage Act sets the minimum wage at R20 an hour, equal to R3,500 per month.

Supporters of the minimum wage say it will reduce inequality and stimulate economic growth as workers spend more. But critics say it could lead to increased unemployment, already at record highs, because some employers won’t be able to afford to pay the minimum wage.

The government said it was a first step in addressing the clamour for a living wage.

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