The South African government expects an agreement on a minimum wage to be finalised soon at National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He told the National Assembly, the lower House of Parliament, here Wednesday that 95 per cent of the issues discussed had been resolved. The parties represented in the discussions were the government, business sector and trade unions.

Ramaphosa said the discussions would pave the way for a new labour relations dispensation in South Africa. Once the Nedlac process on the minimum wage was concluded, its report would be sent to parliament.

Ramaphosa said the proposed law would definitely change the country’s labour landscape, especially for farm workers. He added that a few issues still need to be finalised.

“The labour deliberations on labour stability are nearing a completion. A meeting of committee of principals on Oct 2, found a common ground in most of the areas that were discussed. In fact, I can report that 95 per cent of the issues that have been discussed have been agreed. Only few amounts of those issues that were discussed are still to be resolved.”

A question was also raised about the violent nature of protests by workers in their demands for better working conditions. Ramaphosa says this matter was on the table.

“The issues that have been under discussions include the codes of good practice on collective bargaining, industrial actions and picketing. The code aims to strengthen, as well as to promote orderly collective bargaining council and provides guidelines to those employees and employers… employees obviously being led and guided by their by their trade unions. It includes the code for picketing which includes the generic picketing.”

Asked what was being done to stem the tide of job losses in the country, Ramaphosa said: “There has been discussions on what we do to stem the job losses that continue to haemorrhage our economy and one of those is to hold a summit, a job summit and that is the matter that is being discussed.”


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