Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant. Picture: Bongani shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Labour Minster Mildred Oliphant officially appointed the inaugural members of the National Minimum Wage Commission (NMWC) after consultation with the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

The labour department in a statement on Wednesday said the NMWC will replace the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC) that has been presiding over the determination of wages for difference sectors in the economy.

Department spokesperson Teboho Thejane said: "The appointments are in line with Section 8 of the NMW Act that provides for the establishment of a National Minimum Wage Commission. The appointments include: independent experts, representatives of organised business, organised community and organised labour respectively to serve on the NMW Commission."

Those appointed are Prof  Adrian van der Walt, Prof Imraan Valodia, Dr Neva Makgetla, Dr Sarah Mosoetsa (independent experts); Prof  Adrian van der Walt, Prof Imraan Valodia, Dr Neva Makgetla, Dr Sarah Mosoetsa (independent experts); Mr. Edward Thobejane (NACTU), Mr. Solly Phetoe (COSATU), Mr. Trenton Esley (FEDUSA) (labour representatives); Ms. Isobel Frye  (Financial Sector Coalition Campaign), Ms. Conti Matlakala (Women’s National Coalition), Mr. Tumelo Zwane (South African Youth Council). 

Van der Walt will be chair the commission.

"Some of the functions of the commission include reviewing the NMW and recommending its adjustment, investigating and reporting to the Minister on the impact of the NMW on the economy and collective bargaining, investigating income differentials and advising the Minister on measures to reduce income differentials, setting medium term targets for the national minimum wage within three years of the commencement of this Act, advising the Minister on sectoral determinations; and advising the Minister on any matter concerning basic conditions of employment," said Thejane.

The commission is also required to advise the Labour Minister on sectoral determinations which will continue to exist as they not only prescribe minimum wages but also make provision for determining conditions of employment like leave and hours of work pertaining to a particular sector.

"Members of the Commission will serve for a maximum term of five years, but may be reappointed," Thejane said.

The NMWC is set to have its first meeting in February.

- African News Agency (ANA)