COSATU supports minimum wages for workers
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted reports that the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and former President of the National Union of Mineworkers, Senzeni Zokwana, pays his cattle herder, Vuyolwethu Ndabambi, R800 a month, which is the equivalent of R26.30 a day, and that he works every day of the week.
All farm workers are covered by Sectoral Determinations, which stipulate the minimum wages which must be paid to workers defined as vulnerable. This covers all farm workers, regardless of size of farm or the workforce. There is no exclusion.
The farm workers' minimum wage is currently R2420.41 per month or R111.69 per day, R85.39 more that what is allegedly being paid to Ndabambi.
COSATU fully supports and defends the principle of minimum wages, especially for vulnerable workers, and is also calling for the principle to be extended to a national minimum wage for all workers.
Accordingly we call on comrade Senzeni Zokwana and indeed all those who have employed workers, including domestic workers, to lead by example and pay their workers the minimum wages prescribed in the sectoral determinations.
We reiterate our call that the Department of Labour must develop a capacity to enforce legislation as part of a broader strategy to enforce compliance with the law. Failure to do so means that workers will continue to be exploited by their employers.
Statement issued by Patrick Craven, COSATU national spokesperson, June 3 2014
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