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National minimum wage to help decrease poverty?

Two labour experts say a minimum wage, if set at the right amount, can help reduce poverty.

 Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - At least two labour experts agree a national minimum wage will help address poverty, if set at the right amount.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a panel of economists to research and determine an appropriate national minimum wage.

Economist Dieter von Vintel is among experts who say the main question is not whether a national minimum wage is necessary, but how much it should be.

"The level that it's at will determine whether it could reduce or increase poverty."

Wits University's national minimum wage research coordinator, Gillard Isaacs, says there are various ways to determine the level of a minimum wage.

He says officials will have to look at a worker's basic needs.

"For an average worker in South Africa to meet the most basic poverty needs amounts to about R4,300."

Ramaphosa has given the seven-member panel two months to report back with a figure or a range.

LISTEN: Should SA have minimum wage?

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