The Parliamentary Committee on Labour has welcomed the announcement by South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa of a proposed 3,500-Rand (about 250 US dollars) national minimum monthly wage.

Ramaphosa released a report by an expert panel on Sunday recommending the minimum wage to be set at 3,500 per month or 20 Rand per hour.

The Chairperson of the parliamentary Committee, Lumka Yengeni, said here Monday that as an entry-level wage, this amount would save the most vulnerable workers from further exploitation.

“The Committee appreciates the opportunity granted by the Deputy President for all stakeholders to discuss the proposal. The opportunity is for further consultation on the proposed figure. During the nationwide public hearings on the national minimum wage, different figures were raised by the public,” Yengeni said.

The investigation into the modalities of introducing a national minimum wage came as a result of the President’s State-of-the-Nation address in February 2014. President Jacob Zuma delegated this task to Ramaphosa.

Yengeni said the proposed figure allowed for further consultation since the Deputy President had submitted the report to all the social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

“The social partners will then take this proposal to their constituencies for further discussions. Parliament will also need to discuss the proposed figure. The panel itself was widely consultative and took into consideration the country’s economy,” she said.


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