01/07/2011. Shanduka Black Umbrellas Chairman, Cyril Ramaphosa with DRA Managing Director for Mineral Projects, Angus Fynes-Clinton during the launch of the Pretoria Incubator for SMMEs held at the Burgers Park Hotel Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Johannesburg - The committee tasked to investigate the national minimum wage and the violent nature and duration of strikes has made progress.

This is according to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa who acts as convener of the forum at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) which includes business, labour and civil society.

The task team was setup to find solutions on how strikes can be better regulated so as to not hurt the economy, and also establish an ideal minimum wage for workers in the country.

“The issues we were given to address by the president, are issues that are eminently agreeable. I have a sense that we are urging more and more towards agreement. I’ve been encouraged, as I’ve received the reports, about the progress that’s being made.”

On Friday morning, Ramaphosa praised the stakeholders whose deliberations were included in the reports submitted to him.

He has also stressed the importance of the talks, given the current economic challenges faced by the country and international community.

“We will also hear how discussions on the minimum wage are progressing following agreement among Nedlac partners around the definition of what constitutes a national minimum wage,” the deputy president said.

While its unclear what the parties, which traditionally have opposing views on the direction of the contentious subjects being dealt with, have put forward, it’s expected labour and government could struggle to reach an amicable position on issues pertaining to strikes.

Unions were anti balloting laws which would compel them to get consent from their members ahead of strikes.

Ramaphosa said they were also exploring measures which can be used to proactively resolve disputes prior to strike action, while recognising the constitutional rights of workers.

“These discussions as we all know have focused on issues such as measures that can be used to achieve inclusive,fair and just economic growth,” he said.

Labour Bureau