Understanding the two sides of implementing proposed national minimum wage

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of the proposed national minimum wage has been met with mixed reactions from South Africans.

The Nedlac advisory panel proposed the R3500 figure, which will be deliberated by stakeholders before a final decision is announced.

National union Cosatu supported the call for the national minum wage of between R4125 and R5276 per month.

702/Cape Talk's Eusebius McKaiser spoke to experts in the field, Prof Chris Malikane and Jason Urbach, regarding their positions towards the issue.

Malikane is the Associate Professor of Economics at Wits University. He believes that the proposed national minimum wage is low as it should take cognisance of enabling South Africans to meet their basic household needs.

The figure is low and not sufficient for the upkeep of a typical South African working-class household. You would need R12000 to sustain a basic household.

Prof Chris Malikane, University of Witwatersrand

Urbach is a director at the Free Market Foundation. He argues that the proposed figure would not reduce inequality and poverty. He said that the proposed figure would harm the people it is intended to assist.

The debate is how do get to the point where you have fast economic growth, not by government intervening by boosting peoples' wages.

Jason Urbach, Free Market Foundation

Listen to the conversation below:


This article first appeared on 702 : Understanding the two sides of implementing proposed national minimum wage


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