National minimum wage bill clears parliamentary passage

Parliament – The National Minimum Wage Act was approved by the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday and now goes to President Cyril Ramaphosa to be legally signed.

The approval of the bill, together with making the legislative change for work-related employment conditions possible, was welcomed by the Congress of South African trade unions (Cosatu) as a step that would increase the income of 6.4 million South Africans.

"This will be a big money injection into the pockets of the employees," Cosatu said and thanked Ramaphosa for his "unwavering support" for the measure introducing a minimum wage of R20 per hour.

"He has contributed enormously, both as deputy president and as president in defending this historic pro-working class law."

It also provides for the establishment of a national minimum wage commission, which will enter into the minimum wage within one and a half years.

Employers who do not keep their wages are fined unless they submit an application and qualify for exemptions.

Critics of the law on the left have said that it does not constitute a sustainable living wage, while those on the right have said that it would only further hamper the economic climate. It was originally intended to take effect in May.

African news agency (ANA)

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