TLU SA suggests the government consider a permit for the unemployed, which will exclude them from the conditions of the National Minimum Wage act. Persons with such a permit will then negotiate their own remuneration when applying for a job.
This suggestion forms part of TLU SA’s submission handed in to the National Minimum Wage Commission (NMWC) today. The NMWC requested comments on the possible adjustment to the National Minimum Wage [Act no. 9 of 2018].
“Before the national minimum wage became law, we repeatedly pointed out that the South African economy cannot sustain such a wage,” says Mr Henry Geldenhuys, the president of TLU SA. “Last year, before the government adjusted the minimum wage for farmworkers by 16,1%, we even declared a dispute with the minister for labour Thulas Nxesi, but still the increase went through.
“It is unbelievable that the government can continue working in silo’s without seeing the bigger picture.”
According to TLU SA, many farms already took the step to trade unaffordable labourers for technology and mechanisation. Therefore, a further increase in the minimum wage will necessarily lead to more reductions.
TLU SA believes that the economy’s growth will solve most of the other problems in the country. The government must therefore review their policies to attract investment in South Africa.
“We are still of the opinion that the application of the Minimum Wage act and any suggestions to increase it in 2022 will have a negative and extensive impact on employment, farmers, agriculture and the provision of food in South Africa. Therefore we oppose any such suggestions,” says Mr Geldenhuys.