The introduction of a national minimum wage of R20 an hour in South Africa could be delayed by up to two months as Parliament is yet to approve necessary draft legislation, a spokesperson for the Labour Ministry said on Friday.
The minimum wage - a policy championed by President Cyril Ramaphosa as an important step to tackle labour instability and wage inequality - was approved by the cabinet in November and meant to be introduced on May 1.
Supporters of the minimum wage say it will reduce inequality and stimulate economic growth as workers can spend more. But critics say it could lead to increased unemployment, already at record highs, with some employers unable to afford higher wage bills.
Labour Ministry spokesperson Teboho Thejane said the ministry was focused on getting the minimum wage introduced. “The minimum wage will definitely be implemented. But it could be delayed by one or two months,” he said. On Friday, the portfolio committee on labour was still discussing amendments to the policy.