Minimum wage will leave workers worse off – justice group

With the 10% exemption, the NMW comes out to be less than many sectoral determinations for low- skilled general workers.

When the National Minimum Wage (NMW) was first spoken about, it was said that it would help the 6.7 million lowest paid workers earning less than R4 000 a month.

Now that the National Minimum Wage Act has been passed, and with the publication of the Regulations to the National Minimum Wage Act, which see exemption thresholds taking 10% off the hourly rate for workers; the wages of many of the most vulnerable workers will be set even lower than the current sectoral determinations, this is according to the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group (PEJDG). 

Mervyn Abrahams, programme coordinator for the PEJDG, says the introduction of the NMW regulations will mean that many workers will be even worse off than they were before and that this will cause economic structural damage. 

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