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MPs concerned about rush to implement national minimum wage

Public hearings have begun in Parliament today with an indication that the public input period may be extended.

Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The implementation of the national minimum wage on 1 May is in jeopardy, as MPs raise concerns over the process to introduce the necessary legislation being rushed.

Public hearings have begun at Parliament on Thursday, with an indication that the public input period may be extended, further jeopardising the deadline.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during his State of the Nation Address last month that the minimum hourly wage of R20 will come into effect in May, but the Democratic Alliance (DA) says this is undermining a comprehensive and necessary parliamentary process.

Then Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa concluded an agreement with Nedlac in February 2017 to introduce a national minimum wage.

But Parliament is only now considering public input on the bill to give it effect.

Chairperson of Parliament’s Labour Committee Sharome van Schalkwyk says the final bill will not be ready to be introduced to the National Assembly before it goes on recess next week.

The DA’s Michael Bagraim says the process is being rushed.

“We’re just going through the motions to endorse the bill as it stands. Whatever submissions we get, well that would be lovely. We’re just going through those motions and submissions.”

MPs only return from their break in mid-April.

The bill also still has to be considered by the National Council of Provinces before it can become law.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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