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Minimum wage can boost job creation, economy - labour experts

The implementation of a minimum wage will increase buying power, a university report says.

Wits University released a report on a national minimum wage for South Africa. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Labour experts at the City University of New York say if South Africa implements a minimum wage it will boost job creation and economic growth.

Wits University released a report containing these findings yesterday, suggesting a national minimum wage beginning at between R3,500 and R4,600 a month, and the increased buying power it would create, would stimulate the economy.

However, economists worry that this it too high and could in fact cause job losses.

The National Economic Development and Labour Council has been discussing the implementation of a minimum wage for at least a year, and a panel of experts is expected to report on a proposed threshold for the minimum wage soon.

The City University of New York's Stephanie Luce says: "It is not the ultimate solution, it is just one tool but many countries have found that it's one way to reduce inequality. It can actually be a job creator because it puts money in the hands of the workers who spend it. They end up creating economic activity."

To read the full report click here.

Editor's note: The figures in this article have been corrected after an initial error.