South African Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant reaffirmed on Tuesday that the government will implement the national minimum wage (NMW) in spite of strong opposition to it.

Some of the propaganda against the NMW is nothing but pure electioneering and attempts to score cheap political points, the minister said in her Budget Vote Speech in Parliament.

On May 1, massive protests against the NMW took place across the country. Trade unions threaten to stage more protests if the NMW is not raised to a living wage.

Oliphant said the current debates on the introduction of the NMW has helped to expose those, who when it suits them, claim to be on the side of the workers, but when they must walk the talk, they show their true colours.

“It is also disturbing that those who are against the National Minimum Wage have nothing to offer as alternatives, but want to keep the status quo,” said Oliphant.

Setting the inaugural level at R20 per hour was informed by research and robust analysis of various scenarios and their possible ramifications, the minister said, adding that this level is informed by the real world considerations and not some idealistic desires.

She said whilst the introduction of the NMW may not mean a lot to those who are well looked after in the world of work, for the majority of the vulnerable workers, it will make a huge difference.

The NMW wage “is by no means an end in itself, but a means to an end,” she noted. ')}

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South African Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant reaffirmed on Tuesday that the government will implement the national minimum wage (NMW) in spite of strong opposition to it. Some of the propaganda against the NMW is nothing but pure electioneering and attempts to score cheap political points, the minister said in her...