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Wage boost for hundreds of workers

Written by Edwin Tshivhidzo
Farmworkers across the country can breathe a sigh of relief after Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced a salary increase from 1 March 2015.

In terms of the new adjustments, farmworkers will earn a minimum wage of R2 606.78 per month (up from R2 420.41 in 2014/15), a weekly minimum wage of R601.61 (up from R558.60 in 2014/15), a daily rate of R120.32 (up from R111.72 in 2014/15,) and an hourly rate of R13.37 (up from R12.41 in 2014/15).

According to the Department of Labour, the new sectoral determination level is applicable until 29 February 2016.

“The sectoral determination broadly deals with the protection of workers involved in farm activities.

“The determination regulates minimum working hours, minimum wages, number of leave days and termination rules,” said the department.

Increase on the cards for security guards

Plans are also underway to increase the wage structure of security guards. The Department of Labour is in the process of setting up a new wage adjustment structure for the private security sectoral determination.

The current sectoral determination is coming to an end this year.

The department will hold public hearings with all stakeholders in the private security sector, who are directly and indirectly affected, including employers, employer organisations, employees and trade unions.

“In terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), the Labour Minister should consult with stakeholders in the sector with the aim to source information in relation to the wage adjustment,” said the department.

The private security sector employs about 1 070 387 people. The sectoral determination for private security sector in South Africa was published in the Government Gazette on 30 November 2001 and provisions in respect of minimum wages became applicable on 10 December 2001.

Prior to the promulgation, the private security sector, like any other sector, was covered by the BCEA.

The department said the current minimum wages in the sector lapse on 31 August 2016 and the new minimum wages should be in effect from 1 September 2016.

Increase for wholesale, retail workers

Workers in the wholesale and retail sector are now entitled to minimum wage increases that vary between 6.1 per cent and 8.1 per cent in various job categories. The increase became effective from 1 February 2015. The new minimum wage will be applicable until 31 January 2016.

Minister Oliphant has approved the new minimum wage for the sector in terms of the sectoral determination governed by the BCEA, which makes provision for setting of minimum wages.

Various categories of workers, who stand to benefit from the new minimum wage determination, include cashiers, clerks, assistant managers, displayers, forklift operators, security guards, merchandisers, managers, sales assistants, sales persons, shop assistant supervisors and trainee managers.