On Sunday, the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) proposed a national minimum wage of 3,500 rand (about 246 U.S. dollars) per month, which amounts to 20 rand per hour.
The proposed wage is expected to help ease labor tension at a time when South Africa’s credit rating faces the risk of being downgraded to junk status by international rating agencies later this year.
The ANCYL will like to appreciate first and foremost that there is move and consensus on the principle of a minimum wage across the country and among stakeholders, ANCYL national spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.
“The ANCYL is however not happy with the current proposal. The ANCYL holds a strong view that the minimum wage ought to be R5,000,” it said.
The ANCYL, he said, wishes to advise stakeholders to first conduct a study of living conditions and expenses of the least paid workers rather then looking at what employers say how much they can pay workers.
The most affected here are general workers, domestic workers, security guards and cleaners. These sectors are highly populated by the youth, some of whom are parents and heads of households, according to Mkhize.
Earlier, the ANCYL’s parent group, the African National Congress (ANC), welcomed the proposal which it said would help reduce prolonged and violent strikes.
The proposed wage is part of interventions meant to stabilize the economy and help create jobs as envisaged in the 9-Point Plan, a blueprint for economic growth in the country, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa has said.
Currently around 47 percent of South Africans who do have work earn a wage below 3,500 rand a month.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the biggest national trade federation in the country, has also said it is not impressed by the proposed minimum wage.
The federation voiced concerns that the minimum wage alone is not enough to combat poverty and inequality.
“While R3,500 is a move from what government and business were proposing from NEDLAC, it still falls short of what the federation put on the table,” COSATU spokesperson Sizwe Pumla said.
COSATU is unhappy with the fact that it’s not the R4,500 that it wanted, Pumla said. Enditem