• 7 Community House, 41 Salt River Road, Salt River
  • 021 486 1100

Project: National Minimum Wage Campaign

Although set far lower than a living wage, the national minimum wage is a meaningful development that raises the floor for many in South Africa’s ultra-low wage economy.
Globally, trade unions have seized on the national minimum wage as a powerful weapon against low pay. Closer home, the LRS has a long history participating in the minimum wage debate. 

In 1991, we published our first paper on economic policy, putting the view for trade unions who wished for a national minimum wage to fight low pay in South Africa. Our advocacy at policymaking and union levels sprung from the data on the huge disparities in income in the labour market and the fact that South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world. We advocated for a national minimum wage policy as a legislative drive to strengthen the protection of vulnerable workers.

On the 1st of January 2019, the National Minimum Wage Act came into effect in South Africa. Our Executive Director was nominated by a trade union federation and appointed by the Minister of Labour and Employment as a commissioner to the National Minimum Wage Commission, representing the interests of organised labour. Although the national minimum wage is set far lower than a living wage, it is a meaningful development that raises the floor for many in South Africa’s ultra-low wage economy.


We welcome input from our constituency (the labour movement) on its thinking about the national minimum wage and areas of concern. 




RELATED RESOURCES


National Minimum Wage Act 

National Minimum Wage Commission Progress Report, by Trenton Elsley (Member, NMW Commission) | February 2020

A report on proceedings of the NMW Commission, by Trenton Elsley (Member, NMW Commission) | September 2019

The National Minimum Wage: The post Implementation Conversation, by Prof Adriaan Van der Walt, (Chairperson, NMW Commission) | September 2019

Enforcement of the National Minimum Wage in South Africa 

Towards a national minimum wage in South Africa

The National Minimum Wage: How to fight for low pay in South Africa

Wages and the Living Wage | LRS Bargaining Indicators 2019

South Africa and the introduction of a National Minimum Wage | LRS Bargaining Indicators 2017

Gender Pay Gap: How can a national minimum wage contribute to narrowing the gender pay gap and moving us closer to gender equality? | Bargaining Indicators 2015