| SOUTH AFRICA

Farm worker wage up R40 a week

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Rate of increase to slow down in future

Photo of farm worker on land
Farm worker wages go up by about R40 a week from today. Photo: Masixole Feni
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The minimum wage for farm workers goes up from today by just under R40 a week, the department of labour has announced.

The hourly wage is up from R13.37 to R14.25. For an employee who works nine hours a day, the daily wage goes up from R120.32 to R128.26, the weekly wage from R601.61 to R641.32 and the monthly wage from R2,606.78 to R2,778.83.

Until now, the annual increase has been based on the inflation rate plus 1.5%. But from next year, the increase will be the inflation rate plus only 1%.

Elize van der Westhuizen, senior manager, labour relations, at AgriSA, said today’s wage increase had taken into account economic conditions, “especially the drought situation.”

She said though the wage increase “doesn’t look like much”, farmers could probably not afford more in the current economic climate.

“We are seeing some retrenchments due to the drought,” she said, adding that she hoped the lower increase would help.

COSATU’s national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla told GroundUp that the trade union federation welcomes the increase for the “vulnerable sector”. He said that most farmers disregard labour laws so that ensuring compliance with the wage increase would be essential.

He said that a wage increase was not the answer as “we need a living wage in this country”.

“The first step is a legislated national minimum wage,” he said.

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TOPICS:  Farming Labour

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