Durban — Unions in South Africa have accepted the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Commission’s recommendation for a consumer price index (CPI) plus 2% increase for this financial year.
Cosatu and the Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) said they find the offer by the government reasonable and acceptable since it will ensure that the minimum wage is not repealed by inflation.
Last month the National Minimum Wage Commission said it was eyeing an annual increase in the NMW in the range of consumer price index (CPI) +0.5 % and CPI +1% for 2023.
Chairperson of NMW, Professor Adriaan van der Walt, said all wage-earning workers must earn enough to maintain a decent standard of living, which is defined as sufficient to support themselves and their families at a level that is both socially acceptable and economically viable.
“The target should ensure that the value of the national minimum wage does not decline relative to the median wage,” said Van der Walt.
The current national minimum announced by Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxes, in February last year was adjusted from R21.69 in 2021 to R23.19 for each ordinary hour worked.
The increase came into effect from March 1 last year.
Hospersa KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo said the organisation believed that the 8% was reasonable, so they would accept it.
Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the labour federation was pleased with the progress of the minimum wage talks, which have been ongoing since 2019. Pamla said the amount increased from R20 and it would soon pass R26 an hour.
“We have made progress on this front. It is critical the Department of Labour cracks down on employers who ignore the minimum wage. We expect unions … to work together to expose such employers, and organised business too must play its part.”