‘Give us time to improve workers lives’, Sdumo on minimum wage

The minimum wage is R20 per hour and was announced by government this week.


Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini also believes as time goes the conditions of the working class will improve, taking the announced minimum wage as a start.

He said the Congress of the South African Trade Unions also believe the R3,500 national minimum wage “is not enough” but is the result of negotiations and consultations.

“We are not saying here that R3,500 is enough or gives dignity to those workers but what we are simply saying is that there has been negotiations in this country for over the past three years which lasted for two years and consultation and research were done. The outcome of that is what we are [having] today,” Dlamini said.

He was speaking during an interview with SAFM’s Ashraf Garda on Tuesday night (1 May) this week.

“We are discussing a national minimum wage, we are not discussing a living wage. Sometime when a debate about a living wage is opened we will talk about that,” Dlamini told Garda.

“We are discussing a floor which once it is introduced in this country there will be no employer should pay a worker below,” he said.

He said though they were also not agreeing with the introduced national minimum wage but it was something given that it was the first time it is introduced in South Africa.

On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed Cosatu’s May Day rally at Isaac Wolfson stadium in the Nelson Mandela Bay and said government will put mechanisms that will ensure that as the national minimum wage increases over time must do so in a way that reduces both poverty and inequalities and is able to contribute meaningfully to inclusive growth.

He said they also agreed that they moved as quickly as possible to introduce a living wage.

“To do this we need to grow our economy, improve levels of productivity, develop the skills of our workforce and create jobs on a far greater scale”.

(edited by MLM)

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