ICYMI: It’s D-Day for input on farmworker minimum wage

Today is your last chance to give input about the proposed hike in the national minimum wage. And a Free State school is receiving farming equipment worth R1.5 million donated by South Korea

Time is running out for submission of inputs for the review of the National Minimum Wage in 2022. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Time is running out for submission of inputs for the review of the national minimum wage in 2022. The proposed yearly increase in the prescribed minimum wage is set to benefit the lowest-paid of Mzansi's farmworkers. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

It’s D-Day for the submission of inputs for the review of the national minimum wage in 2022. Farmers, organised agriculture and unions who still want to make inputs have until the end of the today to do so in writing, to the National Minimum Wage Commission.

Last year, the commission proposed that the minimum wage in Mzansi increase from R21.69 to R23.00 per hour come March 2022.

The commission recommended that both farm and domestic workers should benefit from the increase. This follows the devastating two years of the Covid-19 pandemic that threatened jobs and, in some instances, resulted in workers losing income due to staying at home.

The recommendation is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1%, considering the economy and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on both employers and employees. The actual amount will thus depend on CPI (the average cost increase of basic needs such as food, transport and medical care) when the adjustment takes effect.

Little difference for farmworkers

Despite the minimum wage increase in the farming sector expected to be lower than the previous increase of 16%, organised agriculture is still worried about affordability in the context of the current economy. Meanwhile agri workers say the extra money will make little difference in their lives.

This will be the third time the hotly contested wage will be increased since its inception in 2019. In the year 2020 the wage was increased from R 20.00 per hour to R20.76. Another increased took place last year which put the current rate at R21.69.

Following the closing date for inputs today, the commission will make a recommendation to the minister of labour and employment who will make the adjustments that are scheduled to take effect on 01 March 2022.

Representations on the adjustments of the national minimum wage can still be emailed to should be sent to Unathi.Ramabulana@labour.gov.za . 

ALSO READ: Wage increase: ‘farmers need enabling environment‘ and Minimum wage: ‘A R350 increase feels like R3.50’

Agri school gets donation worth millions from South Korea

Meanwhile the minister of basic education, Angie Motshekga, Free State education MEC Dr. Tate Makgoe and the ambassador for South Korea, Honourable Chull-joo Park will today hand over agricultural equipment to the Trio High School in Kroonstad.

The school was formerly known as Kroonstad Comprehensive High School, Unicom Agricultural School and Landboudal Agriculture, it is situated in the Free State Province.

Valued at $100 000 (about R1.5 million), the donation of equipment includes a tractor and baler for the Trio High School farm.

“The handover of the equipment will play a significant role in improving learning and teaching while enabling learners to get hands-on experience,” the department said.

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