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Nzimande calls for minimum wage to be implemented across all sectors

Nzimande said: "Wages of South African workers have been going down for the past 20 years."

SACP SG Blade Nzimande speaking at the launch of the party’s 2019/2020 Red October campaign in the Eastern Cape on Sunday, 6 October 2019. Picture: @SACP1921/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - South African Communist Party secretary general Blade Nzimande has on Sunday called for government to implement the minimum wage in all the sectors.

Nzimande was speaking at the launch of the party’s 2019/2020 Red October campaign in the Eastern Cape.

The campaign seeks to commemorate the October uprising that originated in the 1900s, in Russia, under the pro
working-class Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin.

With South Africa’s unemployment rate sitting at an alarmingly high rate of 27.6%, some employed South Africans still face many challenges including earning salaries that weren't enough to get by on, despite being part of those fortunate enough to have a job.

South Africa’s national minimum wage currently is R3,500 and research has shown that 29% of the working class earns less than that. For those earning above the minimum wage, the average salary was R6,400, which is not quite enough to get by on a monthly basis.

According to research conducted by an automated recruitment platform, Giraffe released this year, the biggest employer of people in the country was the retail industry, employing 18% of the workforce, but it also happened to be the most exploitative industry with 40% of workers earning below minimum wage.

Nzimande said: “People can’t come and tell us and say, the reason why our economy is in a bad situation is because of the wages of the workers. Wages of South African workers have been going down for the past 20 years. But we are not asking the key question; how about these big bosses who are earning millions per annum, what do you do with that money when there are people who don’t have nothing?”

Banking and IT were the highest paying sectors, but were the smallest employers, employing only 8% of the working population.

Nzimande also said the aftermath of the 2008 global economic crisis, combined with the economic distress and political problems of our region and continent, was also a key factor unravelling in South Africa.

WATCH: SACP 2019-2020 Red October Campaign launch