Treasury supports the national minimum wage

Pretoria - National Treasury fully supports the report and approach of the national minimum wage, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.

“The report represents a balanced, thoughtful and constructive approach to addressing the challenge of inequality and unemployment. It represents an important milestone in our government’s efforts over the years in this regard. The report also takes account of the need to support employment creation,” said Minister Gordhan.

On Sunday Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa released an expert-panel report recommending the minimum wage to be set at R3 500 per month or R20 per hour.

In a statement, Minister Gordhan said National Treasury, like various other stakeholders, contributed to the preliminary minimum wage task team discussions at National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

“We believe that the panel has taken all the submission into consideration in coming up with a framework that seeks to support inclusive economic growth.

“We encourage all stakeholders and South Africans to participate in, and support actively this collective effort to address fault lines, like inequality in society and in the economy,” said the Minister.

At the release of the report the Deputy President said the proposed figure was still to be discussed by stakeholders before a final amount is decided on.

In his State of the Nation Address on 17 June 2014, President Jacob Zuma called on Nedlac social partners - under the leadership of the Deputy President - to address low wages, wage inequalities, the national minimum wage and violent and protracted strikes.

The Deputy President, in his capacity as chairperson of the committee of principals of Nedlac, appointed a seven-person panel to advise on an appropriate level at which the national minimum wage can be set.

The panel of advisors are expected to convene in two weeks to consider responses from Nedlac constituencies. –