Ramaphosa’s minimum wage favours business at the expense of workers’: EFF

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Sunday said it rejected the national minimum wage of R3500‚ saying the proposal announced by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa “favours business at the expense of workers”.

The party’s Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi also took a personal swipe at Ramaphosa for being at the “forefront of this process; and we know he loves money and business than he does the people”.

“The proposal will not lead to the desired resolution of the problem of inequality‚ instead it is going to institutionalise these inequalities at low poverty wages‚” he claimed.

Ndlozi said the EFF‚ “following proposals by worker organisations like the Congress of South African Trade Unions‚ had tabled a minimum wage of R4500 to Parliament based on figures from 2014‚ which is two years ago”.

“Since then‚ inflation has increased by more than 6%. This means the initial R4500 proposal by workers/labour should now be set at about R5 000.”

He also said the EFF rejects “the idea that there must be exceptions for farmworkers and domestic workers”.

“We reiterate that no one — from petrol attendants‚ security guards‚ farms and domestic workers‚ to cashiers in all big retail stores — no one must earn less than R4500 per month.

“The EFF will not support Ramaphosa’s proposal and will mobilise all workers to reject it in favour of a much more meaningful national minimum wage of no less than R4500.”

The proposed national minimum wage of R3500 per month was presented to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) by a panel of advisors appointed to advise Nedlac on the level at which the country’s national minimum wage should be set.

Addressing the media after the panel’s report was presented to Nedlac‚ Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said labour‚ government and business would need to take this proposal to their constituencies to decide whether or not this was acceptable to them.

“We are now a step closer to finalising discussions on the national minimum wage. All social partners will now decide what their take is.”

He said the parties would discuss the proposal and come back to Nedlac. If there was agreement‚ this would be made into legislation.

Ramaphosa stated that the proposed national minimum wage was aimed at reducing income poverty and inequality.

Ramaphosa expressed happiness with the proposed figure‚ and said people would engage with this figure.