EFF won’t back down from national minimum wage demand

Party says it will shut down businesses until they agree to R4 500 proposal


12 November 2015

On the 11th of November 2015, the Economic Freedom Fighters tabled a motion for debate and resolution in Parliament. The motion is as follows: 

"That the House:

1. Notes the continuing inequalities and poverty in South Africa 21 years after democracy;

2. Further notes that apartheid, economic and racial discrimination were based on, among other things, job reservation and the cheap labour of black people in general;

3. Acknowledges that wages continue to serve as a source of perpetuating the dehumanisation of the majority of black people, including in the professional sectors;

4. Further acknowledges that South African wages have remained stagnant, with the median low wage increasing by only 2,9 % between 1997 and 2013; 

5. Recognises that more than 60% of South Africa's workers are paid less than R3 000 per month;

6. Resolves to - 

a. Call upon the government to introduce a national minimum wage of R4 500 per month in both the private and public sectors with effect from 1 May 2016 as a way to deal with high levels of inequality and poverty; and

b. Establish an ad hoc committee, the committee to –

i. Further investigate and recommend what sectoral minimum wages should be in both the private and public sectors, all of which must not be less than R4 500 per month;

ii. Consist of 11 members, as follows: ANC 6, DA 3, EFF 1 and other parties 1;

iii. Exercise the powers in Rule 138 that it may deem necessary for the performance of its task; and

iv. Report to the Assembly by 31 March 2016".

The people of South Africa and the world should know that even after persuasive and well reasoned arguments by the EFF, the ANC working with the DA rejected the motion on introduction of a national minimum wage. 

Like they always do, the ANC referred Parliament and the people of South Africa to an incomplete process which is chaired by a businessman called Cyril Ramaphosa. There is no justification that people of South Africa should wait for the introduction of national minimum wage, particularly for a political party that has been in office for more than 21 years.

The EFF believes that introduction of national minimum wage will stimulate economic activity in South Africa, create jobs, reduce inequalities and deal decisively with poverty. With additional amounts in their pockets (increased disposable) income, more workers will be able to participate in the economy and such will lead to increased growth. 

The EFF will not retreat on its war for the introduction of  national minimum wage for all workers both in public and private sector. The Economic Freedom March has presented demands to the Reserve Bank, Chamber of Mines and Johannesburg Stock Exchange and all companies that fall under these institutions demanding the introduction of a national minimum wage of R4 500 for all workers per month. 

The EFF expects all companies to comply to our demand or we will shut them down. We will target individual companies and the institutions and demand minimum wage until it is realized. We engage in these activities and programmes because we appreciate as the EFF that the struggle will never be won in Parliament only, we should take it to the door step of capitalists. 

We will also mobilize workers to demand a national minimum wage in all public in institutions, inclusive of government departments, SOEs and Parliament. We will never retreat until victory. We shall overcome.

Issued by EFF National Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi, 12 November 2015