Ramaphosa to meet labour ministry after #SAFTUstrike

File. President Cyril Ramaphosa

File. President Cyril Ramaphosa

Published Apr 26, 2018


JOHANNESBURG - South African President

Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday meet officials from the labour

ministry to discuss the planned introduction of a national

minimum wage, a day after nationwide protests over the policy

which he has championed.

Several thousand union members marched in Johannesburg, Cape

Town, Durban and other cities on Wednesday to voice their

opposition to the 20 rand ($1.6) an hour minimum wage, which

they have called "starvation wages".

Ramaphosa sees the minimum pay, which was meant to be

introduced on May 1 but has been delayed, as an important first

step to tackle labour instability and wage inequality.

He has staked his reputation on revamping a stuttering

economy and rooting out corruption associated with Jacob Zuma,

whom he replaced as president in February.

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Ramaphosa's spokeswoman, Khusela Diko, said his meeting with

the labour ministry on Thursday was not a response to

Wednesday's protests but was part of regular updates he had been

receiving on the minimum wage.

Protesters on Wednesday called for the proposed hourly wage

to be scrapped and replaced with a "living wage" of 12,500 rand

($1,000) a month. That wage would be more than three times

higher than the 20 rand an hour minimum wage in monthly terms.

"The president recognises that the national minimum wage is

not a living wage, but we need to start somewhere," Ramaphosa's

spokeswoman Diko said.

Labour ministry spokesman Teboho Thejane said the ministry

had received a memorandum from protesters on Wednesday and that

officials hoped to finalise amendments to minimum wage

legislation with lawmakers by August.

Thejane did not give an estimate for the new implementation

date of the minimum wage, which was approved by the cabinet

under former president Zuma in November after lengthy

discussions with unions and employers. 


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