PRETORIA– The Department of Labour says the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Bill and the supporting Basic Conditions of Employment Bill and Labour Relations Bill are currently before South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Labour for consideration.

The department says it is dedicating the month of May, which is Workers’ Month, to advancing implementation of the National Minimum Wage, which is aimed at improving the lives of the workers in South Africa. It says more than six million workers are expected to benefit from the National Minimum Wage when it is introduced.

The legislation proposes, among other things, that the National Minimum Wage level be set at 20 Rand (about 1.66 US dollars) per hour and be reviewed annually. However, the minimum wages for domestic and farm workers will initially be set at 15 Rand and 18 Rand an hour respectively.

The department says the National Minimum Wage is heralded as one of the progressive policy tools aimed at addressing wage inequalities and start the journey of strengthening collective bargaining that will lead towards a living wage for working people.

The NMW Bill is supported by the Labour Relations and the Basic Conditions of Employment Bills. The Labour Relations Bill is aimed at also addressing the often long, protracted and violent strikes by proposing clause that will ultimately see labour market stability, while encouraging collective bargaining.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Bill is, among other matters, responsible for setting up the National Minimum Wage Commission, which will review the NMW on an annual basis, the Department of Labour said in a statement here Thursday. The Basic Conditions of Employment Bill will also beef up monitoring and enforcement of the National Minimum Wage.