TO: Print and Electronic Media Houses
FROM: Office of the President, ADeC
SUBJECT: ADeC: NMW a Step in the Right Direction
DATE: Thursday, November 29th, 2018
EMBARGO: For Immediate Release

ADeC leader, Moses Mayekiso says the National Minimum Wage (NMW) bill recently signed by
President Cyril Ramaphosa is a step in the right direction for many South Africans burdened a
crippling economy.

An overarching minimum wage is not practical and we would advocate for a sector-based NMW.
Although a basic salary is better than no salary at all, we must consider that R3500 is not a living
wage. With the high cost of food, travelling, school and household needs, it is practically impossible
to maintain a home on R3500 every month.

What’s worse is that this law may see increased job losses as companies look towards automated
machinery instead of manual labour. The unemployment rate in South Africa rose to 27.5 percent
in the third quarter of 2018. Government is looking for an easy way out on this debate. NEDLAC,
organized business and civil society should be the key drivers of determining and implementing a
feasible NMW that’s sector-specific.

We believe that tax breaks for SMMEs will help grow the economy and increase job creation as
smaller companies are heavily reliant on manual labour. This will also stop employers from
exploiting workers, especially domestic workers, security guards and retail workers.
This particular issue is both paradoxical and complex. We need to address the high employment
rate against the reality that a minimum wage is likely to reduce the number of jobs. Whilst R20 per
hour is pitiful, our hope is that government will use this baseline to empower the poverty stricken.

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