Fedusa says national minimum wage will lift 6.4 million workers out of poverty
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has welcomed the passing of the national minimum wage by an overwhelming majority of political parties in Parliament on Tuesday.
Fedusa said although the national minimum wage - of R20 an hour and an equivalent of R3‚500 a month for a 40-hour week – was not a living wage‚ it would lift more than 6.4 million workers - or about 47% of South Africa’s total workforce who earned below this amount - out of abject poverty.
The national minimum wage will not apply to workers in the agricultural and domestic work sectors.
Fedusa said minimum wages for these vulnerable sectors would be gradually increased to the level of the current minimum wage‚ itself to be reviewed two years after the date of its introduction.
The federation said it‚ along with the Congress of South Africa and the National Council of Trade Unions‚ had fought hard for a minimum wage level under which no South African worker should be paid.
It said the federations had wanted a minimum wage of R26 an hour‚ but after difficult negotiations with business and government at the National Economic Development and Labour Council‚ had settled for R20 an hour.