The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the national wage bill into law, bringing the national minimum wage to 3,500 Rands, an equivalent of N91,225 per month.
As per hourly pay, the Act fixed the country’s minimum wage at $1.45 (N527) for every 60 minutes of human labour. Yet, South Africa’s minimum wage is due for review in 18 months.
Ramaphosa, who signed the bill into law on Monday, said the law was aimed at reducing inequality in the country, and advance living wage with the second biggest economy on the continent after Nigeria.
“The National Minimum Wage Act sets South Africa’s first national minimum wage at R20 an hour – equivalent to R3 500 per month, depending on the number of hours worked.
“The President’s signing of the new law comes four years, to the month, after the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) first began deliberations on the protection of low-paid workers, fair and effective competition in the labour market, and the challenges of labour instability, caused by violent strikes and the duration of strikes and wage inequality.
“While national minimum wage will not end income inequality, it provides a firm and unassailable foundation, which is agreed to by all social partners, from which to advance the struggle for a living wage,” read a statement from the Office of the President.
The law, which will improve the pay of over six million workers in South Africa is expected to take effect from on a date to be announced by the President.
This news from southern Africa is coming at a time when the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, are demanding a raise in Nigeria’s minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000 per month.
The Nigerian government has expressed its readiness to meet NLC’s demands, which pales in comparison to what South Africans will now earn, but state governors are still at variance with the federal government.