While Nigeria’s minimum wage is still under contention between the Federal Government and labour unions, South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a new national minimum wage bill as part of efforts to tackle wage inequality.
South Africa, which has the most industrialised economy in Africa has set the country’s minimum wage at 20 rands ($1.45) an hour, equal to 3,500 rands per month.
Although supporters of the new wage say it will reduce inequality and stimulate economic growth as workers will spend more, critics opine that it could lead to increased unemployment – already at record highs because some employers won’t be able to afford higher wage bills.
Thousands of union members protested against the proposed minimum wage in April, saying it was too low.
Ramaphosa’s office said in a statement that the national minimum wage will not end income inequality, but was a first step towards addressing the clamour for an improved living wage in the country.
The law which will come into force on a date to be determined by Ramaphosa, the presidency stated.
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