Today's Labour News

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farming thumb medium80 84Business Report writes that the agricultural industry has warned that the recently announced increase in the national minimum wage (NMW) would cripple the sector and impact any prospects of creating further jobs.  

AgriSA on Friday said that its survey showed that the earnings threshold of the new NMW gazetted by the Department of Labour and Employment (DEL) earlier this month could be devastating. AgriSA’s executive director Christo van der Rheede said the study found that the majority of farmers were opposed to the increase in the NMW and that 549 out of 577 participants said they would have to exceed their budget for wages this financial year due to the new NMW rate. He added: “They will also be halting any new job creation initiatives. Unemployment rates are already high and have increased even more due to the pandemic. There are many other ways to alleviate poverty than simply increasing the minimum wage. If a higher minimum wage leads to fewer available jobs, then it is counterproductive.” Earlier this month, Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi increased the hourly NMW from R20.76 to R21.69 from 1 March. Following a transitional phase, the agricultural sector has been aligned with the NMW rate of R21.69 an hour. TLU SA president Henry Geldenhuys said the department had pushed through the increase of 16% for farm workers despite inputs questioning the proposal’s sustainability and its implications. He advised that the industry would be declaring a dispute with Nxesi and would ask him to put the NMW increase on ice pending negotiations.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Siphelele Dludla at Business Report

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