South Africa proposes $250 as national minimum wage

Johannesburg, Nov 21 (IANS) South Africa has proposed a national minimum wage of 3,500 rands ($250) per month as the national minimum wage, officials said.

On Sunday, South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said a government advisory panel was mandated to advise on an appropriate national minimum wage, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The panel is proposing that the national minimum wage in South Africa, which will have national coverage with the few exceptions that they will deal with, should start off at 3,500 rands ($250) per month which amounts to 20 rands ($1) per hour,” he told reporters.

The panel also discussed how to deal with labour instability, the deputy president said, calling on South Africans to contribute to the debate about the proposed figure.

Imraan Valodia, professor of the University of Witwatersrand and chair of the advisory panel, believed that the proposed minimum wage would address inequality and boost economic growth.

“It is quite striking that around 47 per cent of South Africans who do have work earn a wage below 3,500 rands. We think as well from this evidence, that this policy can take us some way towards addressing the issues of inequality in South Africa,” he said.

Dennis George, general secretary of the Federation of Unions of South Africa, said, “We look forward (to it) and when we receive the report we will go back to our members so we can brief them on the developments and to get a mandate from them, so that we can try to introduce a minimum wage in South Africa as an important instrument to deal with inequality.”

–IANS

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