Labour Ministry unsure of date for implementation of national minimum wage

Minister Mildred Oliphant announced at Parliament on Monday night it won’t be possible to introduce the wage on 1 May.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant briefs the media on the national minimum wage on Monday 26 March 2018. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Labour Ministry is unsure over when the new national minimum wage will be implemented.

Minister Mildred Oliphant announced at Parliament on Monday night it won’t be possible to introduce the wage on 1 May as announced by then deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa last year and again in his State of the Nation Address as president in February.

Oliphant says that a new time frame for the introduction of the minimum wage is now totally dependent on Parliament.

Oliphant says that the 1 May implementation was always subject to Parliamentary processes.

She says that she personally briefed Ramaphosa on Friday that it won’t be possible to meet the deadline.

Parliament goes into recess this week and it’s still considering public submissions on three bills that will give effect to the minimum wage of R20 an hour.

The minister says that even when the bills are passed by both houses of Parliament, it might be necessary to make changes to the regulations drafted by Nedlac.

“They will weigh whether there will be any changes during the Parliamentary process and review the regulations.”

The minimum wage won’t immediately include domestic and farm workers, but it’s the intention that they will earn on par with the national minimum wage within two years of its introduction.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)