Free State Labour Department rolls out National Minimum Wage – Provincial Road Shows


South Africa is a country characterized triple challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty. The social partners at Nedlac committed to engage on modalities of introducing a National Minimum Wage (NMW) as one of the measures to mitigate these challenges. The current NMW Bill before parliament is the result of this commitment and concrete efforts by social partners to partly see to it that wage disparities in the country are dealt with as the floor level wage which no worker should be paid.
A single minimum wage is encouraged by many experts because it covers all categories of workers and it is easier to enforce ensuring higher compliance, and equal benefits to all workers. The National Minimum Wage is also preferred because it can be set to serve broader policy objectives such as the reduction of poverty and inequality.
The Department of Labour in the Free State is embarking on the provincial road shows across the province. These road shows are aimed at raising awareness and educating employers, trade unions and workers in general about the NMW Bill, its provisions, how they stand to benefit from it and how to go about in ensuring that it is fully complied with.
“We are really pushing back the frontiers of joblessness, unchaining the shackles of poverty and fighting inequality with this Bill. We remain hopeful that all employers and workers embrace this ‘beacon of hope’ from which we will all emerge victorious in fighting these triple challenges crippling our nation. We are mindful of the uncertainty, nervousness and apprehension this new piece of legislation may bring to our stakeholders and clients. Thus we resolved and saw it fit to roll-out these road shows to ease the tension, allay the fears and counteract resistance from employers and workers alike,” said Nomfundo Douw-Jack: Chief Director: Provincial Operations.
NMW will apply to all workers – that is, any person who works for another person and who receives or is entitled to receive any payment for that work. No employer may pay wages that are below the minimum wage, unless exemption was applied for and granted. The NMW constitutes a term of the worker’s contract except to the extent that the contract provides for a more favourable wage.

A Road Show will be held on May 11 at 10:00 in Sasolburg. The address is Department of Education District Office, 29 Grobler Street, Sasolburg.

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