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New minimum wages (R3700 to R4230): 'Not enough for a household to survive on'

10 February 2021 9:37 AM
Tags:
Poverty
National Minimum Wage
Unemployment
Minimum wage
Employment
Farmworkers
Domestic workers
Jobs
Refilwe Moloto
joblessness
national minimum wage commission
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
restaurant jobs
Jan Truter
Labourwise
new minimum wage
new national mininum wagre
restaurant wages
working poor

Imagine yourself doing backbreaking work all day, every workday for R3700 per month, and having to feed a whole household...

South Africa has new minimum wages.

Now, for the first time, farmworkers (among the poorest workers in South Africa) will earn a wage on par with the mandated national minimum - R21.69 per hour, up from R18.68.

Domestic workers now earn a minimum of R19.09 per hour, up from R15.57.


RELATED: Lowest-paid South Africans work hard, yet so poor they go hungry to feed their kids - survey


© jager/123rf.com

Another increase quite soon is likely as the National Minimum Wage Commission intends to align domestic worker wages with the national minimum wage by 2022.

“Domestic workers” include gardeners, drivers and people who look after children, old people, sick people, or frail or disabled people in a private household.

The term does not apply to people working on farms.

In January, the government gazetted wage increases for the restaurant and hospitality sector, the timing of which caused much anxiety for an industry haemorrhaging jobs.

Waiters must earn at least R22.25 per hour, and this will increase on 1 May 2021 by 1.5% more than whatever the inflation rate is.

Wages of employees who currently earn more than that may not be reduced.

Restaurants with fewer than 10 employees may pay 10% less.


RELATED: New laws force all restaurants to pay higher wages, and a host of other expenses


The national minimum wage excludes allowances enabling employees to work such as transport and equipment, or payment in kind (such as board or accommodation), as well as bonuses, tips or food.

Employers may not pay an employee less than the minimum wage because they contribute to their uniform or provide them with meals.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed LabourWise Director Jan Truter about the minimum wage increases – who it affects, and how it has been received.

It certainly isn’t [enough to survive] … About R4230 per month for a fulltime worker… Many households rely on a single income… Fulltime domestic workers’ minimum wage converts to R 3700 a month…

Jan Truter, director - Labour Wise

You also have to look at the survival of small businesses and small farms… If you increase wages too much, you’ll see job losses. It might happen this time around… You need to strike a balance… Is it a living wage? Is it fair? How can one justify paying someone so little?... Some argue that a low paid job is better than none at all…

Jan Truter, director - Labour Wise

Nobody can say you live comfortably on R4230 a month… but it's better than no job at all…

Jan Truter, director - Labour Wise

It is being challenged [wage increases for restaurant workers] …

Jan Truter, director - Labour Wise

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




10 February 2021 9:37 AM
Tags:
Poverty
National Minimum Wage
Unemployment
Minimum wage
Employment
Farmworkers
Domestic workers
Jobs
Refilwe Moloto
joblessness
national minimum wage commission
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
restaurant jobs
Jan Truter
Labourwise
new minimum wage
new national mininum wagre
restaurant wages
working poor

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