Minimum wage announcement brings clarity

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THE announcement of the national minimum wage this week brings certainty for agriculture regarding the remuneration levels that will be payable in the next year‚ Agri SA said on Friday.

On Wednesday‚ parties to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) — excluding the Congress of South African Trade Unions — signed the agreement on the national minimum wage and labour market stability.

The national minimum wage of R20 per hour or R3500 per month for a 40-hour week would take effect from no later than May next year.

However‚ workers in the agriculture sector will be paid 90% of the minimum wage and domestic workers will be paid 75% of the minimum wage.

Agri SA said from March this year‚ agriculture will start paying its employees R15.39 per hour‚ which equates to R3001 per month.

Neil Hamman‚ who chairs Agri SA’s labour committee‚ said according to the Nedlac agreement‚ the agricultural sector would initially have to pay 90% of the said wage‚ which equals R18 per hour.

“Agri SA places a high value on the labour force in the agricultural sector. This sector is still afflicted by drought in many parts of the country and various farmers have not yet recovered from the impact thereof.”

Hamman said farmers who were still unable to afford the increase‚ could apply for a section variation.

He said there would be an opportunity to apply for the variation before the national minimum wage comes into effect in 2018. — search regex

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