politics

South Africa May Delay Implementing Minimum Wage, Oliphant Says

  • New wage policy might not be ready for May 1 implementation
  • Process in the hands of lawmakers, not the executive: minister

South Africa’s planned minimum wage policy might not be ready for implementation on May 1 because the necessary parliamentary process must be followed, Labor Minister Mildred Oliphant said.

The speaker of parliament referred the legislation which deals with the minimum wage to the portfolio committee on labor for consideration in November and the process, which includes public hearings, is now in the hands of lawmakers, Oliphant said in an emailed statement on Monday.

“We are aware that interested parties have been making submissions on these bills, and it has become apparent that the ambition for the National Minimum Wage Bill to become law by 1 May 2018 may not be practical given the high volumes of public submissions both written and oral,” she said. “It has never been the intention of government to rush these Bills and we fully recognize and respect the sovereignty of parliament in this regard.”

The accord that companies will pay their workers a minimum of 20 rand ($1.72) an hour was brokered by President Cyril Ramaphosa last year when he was still deputy president.

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