July 2018 1st Edition

Minimum Wage seeks to bridge the gap

The National Minimum Wage Bill was passed by the National Assembly at the end of May, in a bid to tackle wage inequality in South Africa.

Once approved by the National Council of Provinces (NCOPs), the Bill will be signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He has called the Bill a foundation on which the fight for a living wage would be built. The minimum wage is set at R20 per hour in the main industries while the minimum rate for farm workers is R18 per hour and domestic workers R15 or more an hour.

Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant, who described the Bill as ‘ground-breaking’, also presented two other amended labour bills to the National Assembly – the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill – both of which were also passed.

Minimum wage gets a thumb up

*Dorris Khambule a domestic worker in Carletonville in Johannesburg expressed that she is thankful for the minimum wage and trusts that it will change the plight of her family.

 “Once passed into law, I’ll definitely be in a better position to look after my family and put on food on the table.”

Khambule said she hopes that the minimum wage will also improve the dynamics for domestic workers throughout South Africa who are overworked.

“I must say that I am pleased that Government decided to look into ways to pay us better. taken seriously,” This shows that our trade is being taken seriously said Khambule.


 The evolving minimum wage

South Africa has seen the minimum wage evolved over the years in a quest to bridge the gap between the rich and poor while also giving workers’ rights to basic wages. 

  • 2001- The South African minimum wages were set at R800 for those workers in areas of the country where average household income is more than R24 000 per year and at R650 for those where average household income is less than R24 000 per year.
  • 2003 - The a new minimum wages for farm workers were revised and stood at R1 041 per month. In urban areas the minimum wage was R1 041 but rural areas the minimum wage was R989.
  • 2009 –The minimum wage for farm workers stood at R6,31 or R1 231 monthly.
  • 2010 – The minimum wage for farm workers increased R674 or R1 316 monthly.
  • 2014 – Minimum wages for domestic workers in major


* Dorris Khambule is not her real name she chooses to remain anonymous due to fear of being victimised by her employer.

Share this page