Fedusa: Agreement on national minimum wage signed by Ramaphosa

The agreement was meant to have been signed on Tuesday by all stakeholders but Cosatu had asked for more time.

FILE: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) says an agreement on a national minimum wage has been signed by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This is yet to be confirmed by Ramaphosa’s office.

The agreement was meant to have been signed on Tuesday by all stakeholders but the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) had asked for more time to consult further on the issue.

Fedusa’s Dennis George says the wage will only be implemented next year.

“The process now will unfold where the legislation will be drafted and then Parliament has to consult with the public and so the implementation is only going to be in 2018 anyway.

“So if parties didn’t sign yesterday, the door is still open to come and sign the agreement.”

Ramaphosa is on Wednesday expected to provide details on the status of the National Economic Development and Labour Council’s discussions on labour relations and wage inequality at a briefing in Cape Town.

Meanwhile, Cosatu said while the proposed national minimum wage of R20 an hour is still too little, it believes its members should seriously consider the offer.

Cosatu says it needs to consult with its leaders and its members because it had a mandate to agree to a deal of R4,500 a month.

This proposal would however see most workers getting around R3,900 a month.

Cosatu’s Sizwe Pamla said this proposal is progress.

“It’s something that we think we can work with because you should understand national minimum wage is not a panacea to all of our problems, it’s not a living wage but it’s something that we can work with.”

But the National Employers Association says it will put some jobs at risk.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)