We don't expect Cosatu to come against R20 p/h minimum wage- Labour Department

Department of Labour director general, Thobile Lamati, says the national minimum wage commission will be set up to look at issues related to inflation and state of the economy.

Lamati says it would not be wise to increase the national minimum wage to the point where employers can no longer afford to employ people.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the minimum wage of R20 per hour is expected to be implemented by May 2018.

The only people that we are still going to discuss are people involved in the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The rest of the sectors are going to be covered in the national minimum wage.

Thobile Lamati, Department of Labour director general

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) asked for time to engage with its workers before signing the agreement by parties at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) rejected the rate.

Lamati says they do not expect Cosatu to come out against R20 p/h, except on the two issues that they agreed to look into before implementation.

The first one is the issue of Expanded Public Works Programme

Thobile Lamati, Department of Labour director general

Issues related to guaranteed hours of work. Cosatu proposed six hours. The expert panel proposed four hours. Business proposed five hours and we also proposed five hours as government.

Thobile Lamati, Department of Labour director general

Lamati acknowledges that R20 p/h is not enough, but says will make a difference on lives of marginalised employees.

Listen to the audio below to hear DG explaining government's role in implementing minimum wage...

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