Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant says the national minimum wage will make a huge difference in the lives of workers and it is here to stay.
Oliphant reiterated government’s intention to implement the minimum while tabling her department’s R3.2 billion budget on Tuesday.
The minimum wage was set to be implemented on 1 May, but this was postponed after affected parties cautioned against rushing it through Parliament and to also give members of parliament more time.
The proposed minimum wage is R20 an hour or R3,500 a month.
The national minimum wage hasn’t come without its critics, with the South African Federation of Trade Unions labelling it a “poverty-level” wage.
The Democratic Alliance has also voiced its opposition to the minimum wage, arguing a blanket approach to its implementation is not feasible.
But Oliphant says a number of “progressive” employers have already started adjusting their workers’ pay in anticipation of the national minimum wage becoming a reality.