Unemployed not included in discussions over National Minimum Wage

The DA is concerned that the voices of South Africa’s 9.2 million unemployed are not being heard in the ongoing discussions over national minimum wage.

On 26 March, Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, admitted that government’s bid to ram through the National Minimum Wage Bill (NMWB) before the 1 May deadline set by President Cyril Ramaphosa during this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) was unachievable. Significantly, the minister conceded that the adoption of the proposed labour legislation is up to Parliament, not the Executive.

The Portfolio Committee on Labour was recently briefed by the Department on public submissions received for the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, The NMWB Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill.

It was during these briefings that the process of public participation was called into question. Indeed, the committee has not heard from the poor, young and unemployed South Africans who will be most significantly impacted by the proposed changes.

The DA is concerned that those who struggle most to gain access to the job market have been ignored during the public participation process and we reiterate our call for the portfolio committee to be allowed the necessary time and opportunity to consider the proposed bill, free from political interference.

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