Nog een van die regering se oproepe na die ANC stembus. Dit is die regering wat op nasionale vlak die salarisse en lone bepaal, nie die werkgewers nie. Nou met munisipale verkiesings word hard beloof vir verbetering. Daar was in 2021 ook ‘n verhoging. Daar word jaarlikse verhogings in elk geval toegepas en heelwat van die werkers besit ook byvoordele wat ander werkers nie altyd het nie. Die wat wel werkers het betaal soms meer en soms minder. Baie werkgewers verkies om 100% self te werk. Ramaphosa homself kon in 2019 nie sy eie werkers behou en hul van werk voorsien nie.
ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa says is vital that domestic workers get a decent working environment and improved wages. He was addressing a Cosatu women’s event in Thembisa, Ekurhuleni on 28 October 2021. Ramaphosa said if Cosatu was not in alliance with the ANC they would have found it a lot harder to win rights for workers. He stated that by improving the lowest-paid workers, the national minimum wage contributes to reducing the high levels of poverty and income inequality. He said at the time the national minimum wage was introduced they recognised that domestic and farmworkers are vulnerable to dis-employment.
He mentioned that the national minimum wage for domestic workers has since been increased to 88% of the national minimum wage this year and is expected to be aligned with the general minimum wage next year, and that will be another victory for domestic workers, much as it will take a little bit of time. Also that since February this year domestic workers can qualify for compensation for occupational injuries or diseases act. This means that domestic workers injured at work can claim from the compensation fund. Ramaphosa quoted data from Statistics South Africa. From the first quarter to the second quarter of 2020, the employment of domestic workers decreased by 26%.
Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi said it was an honour to have Ramaphosa present in their event, noting that she was aware that he had a busy schedule but was able to pay respect to the domestic workers who were being honoured and served, in appreciation. Losi said they are serving domestic workers because they are always serving everyone and spent their lives doing that.
Domestic and farm workers
The National Minimum Wage Commission has recommended that the minimum wage be increased by inflation plus 1.5% next year. Currently, that would mean an increase of 4.8% – which would increase the minimum hourly wage by a rand, to around R21.76
The commission says it supported an above-inflation rate of increase because the minimum wage is still below the upper-bound poverty line (of R1,268 per person per month). It also noted that inflation for low-income households is currently significantly higher than for the upper-income group, due to the relatively sharp increase in food prices (food constitutes a higher share of consumption for lower income households).
The national minimum wage was originally set at R20 an hour in 2018, and increased to R20.76 an hour from March this year. The minimum wages of farmworkers and domestic workers are currently R18.68 and R15.57 respectively. But the majority of the commissioners recommended that the minimum for farmworkers – currently 10% below the general minimum wage – should be equal to the national minimum wage by next year.
The majority of the commissioners argue that the agricultural sector was not as severely affected as other sectors by the lockdown because the food value chain constituted an essential sector. The commission also wants the minimum wage of domestic workers – currently 25% below the national minimum wage – to increase to 88% of the national minimum wage in 2021 and to 100% in 2022.
This would amount to an increase of about R450 per month for a domestic worker and about R350 per month for a farmworker over the next two years. But the three business representatives on the Commission – a minority – did not support this proposal, saying that “no sector can absorb such increases.