Cosatu: New minimum wage will make a positive difference in the lives of workers

The department has increased the minimum wage to R23.19 from R21.69 last year. This comes into effect on 1 March.

FILE: A domestic worker. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The Employment and Labour Department has equalised the minimum wage for all employees, including farm and domestic workers.

The department has increased the minimum wage to R23.19 from R21.69 last year.

This comes into effect on 1 March.

Last year, farm and domestic workers earned an hourly rate of R18.86 and R15.57 respectively - both amounts being lower than the R21.69 minimum wage.

This year those workers are eligible for the same wage as all others - R23.19.

Trade union federation Cosatu has welcomed this.

Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla: "This is very important because it will make a positive difference in the lives of over six million workers that are currently pegged at the level of the national minimum wage."

At the same time, the Employment and Labour Department has warned workers from trying to find ways out of paying workers what they're due.

Acting spokesperson Petunia Lessing: "It is illegal and unfair labour practice for the employer to change working hours or other employment conditions in order to implement the national minimum wage,"

Cosatu said that it was looking forward to hearing more bold intentions from President Cyril Ramaphosa during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday.