Wednesday 22nd May 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa will today, Friday, 7 December 2018, proclaim the effective date for the National Minimum Wage at a ceremony with stakeholders in Kliptown, Soweto. This occasion will acknowledge the contributions made by representatives of government, business, labour and community under the auspices of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to achieve the consensus that produced a national minimum wage that is currently set at R20 an hour. This rate is subject to future adjustments in terms of the National Minimum Wage Act.

The national minimum wage represents a marked increase in income for more than six million workers – or 47 per cent of South Africa’s labour force – who at present earn less than R20 an hour.

The President recently signed the National Minimum Wage Bill into law along with the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and Labour Relations Amendment Bill which were negotiated by Nedlac at the same time as the national minimum wage.

Taken together, these Bills introduce the National Minimum Wage and provide for the technical arrangements needed to support implementation of the national minimum wage.

This legislation sets an historic precedent in the protection of low-earning workers and provides a platform for reducing inequality in society and decreasing huge disparities in income in the national labour market.

The President’s signing of the new laws followed four years of Nedlac deliberations on the protection of low-paid workers; fair and effective competition in the labour market, and the challenges of labour instability, caused by violent strikes and the duration of strikes, and wage inequality

The Kliptown event will also acknowledge the guidance provided to Nedlac by an advisory panel chaired by Prof Imraan Valodia of the University of the Witwatersrand and by institutions that included the International Labour Organisation.

President Ramaphosa has elected to conduct the proclamation in this ceremonial setting in order to affirm the centrality of collaboration and consensus among social partners to the resolution of challenges facing the country.

Kliptown has been selected for this engagement for its place in South Africa’s liberation history as the site of the adoption of the Freedom Charter which six decades ago called for a minimum wage as part of protection for vulnerable workers.

The government delegation will comprise departments that participated in the Nedlac negotiations and will include Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, Minister for Economic Development Ebrahim Patel, Minister for Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi and Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni.

Issued by: The Presidency

President Ramaphosa to address the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

President Cyril Ramaphosa will today, Friday, 07 December 2018, deliver the keynote address at the 70th anniversary commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Constitution Hill, Johannesburg.

President Ramaphosa will be joined by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.

The UDHR is a milestone document which underpins all international human rights law and was drafted by representatives from different legal and cultural backgrounds from across the world.

On 10 December 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and on the same day in 1996, the Constitution of South Africa was signed into law by former South African President Nelson Mandela.

The commemoration is particularly significant as it coincides with the centenary celebrations of struggle stalwarts and human rights activists, former President Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu.

The commemoration is a joint initiative by the government of South Africa, international bodies such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Foundation for Human Rights, the European Union, the South African Human Rights Commission and other key partners who actively promote human rights in the country.

Issued by: The Presidency

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