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National minimum wage set to dominate May Day speeches

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the proposed R20 per hour was not enough but a good start.

FILE: Saftu President Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The proposed national minimum wage looks set to dominate speeches at rallies on Tuesday as workers mark this year's May Day celebrations.

The issue is still a contentious topic among unions, the business sector and the government.

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the proposed R20 per hour was not enough but a good start.

However, South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) wants the minimum wage set at R12,500 a month.

Saftu's Zwelinzima Vavi says following the success of the national shutdown strike against the proposed hourly wage, it’s clear who is on the side of workers.

However, Congress of South African Trade Unions' Sizwe Pamla says this should be seen as a start and not the final answer to workers' plights.

“Cosatu has been at the forefront of championing national minimum wage and we’ll continue to do so. There are countries who actually attempted to use minimum wage as a silver bullet to solve all their problems and there were problems.”

Both federations host their main events in the Free State and Eastern Cape respectively.