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Department of Labour minister Thulas Nxesi has announced an increase in the minimum wage in South Africa. The aim of a minimum wage is to ensure that those earning minimum wage isn’t left behind when wages increase. This sector is often taken advantage of.

The increase of 9.6% was approved and now brings the minimum hourly rate up to R25,42 per hour. This takes effect from 1 March.

The increase is much higher than the annual inflation rate of 6.9%.

A domestic worker who works on average 8 hours per day and 20 days per month will have to earn just over R4,000 per month.

The new minimum wage not only affects domestic workers but also farm workers. It excludes people employed by the government’s public works system. Their minimum hourly wage is R13,97 per hour. It is still 55% under the minimum wage.

Business Insider reports that the minimum wage for domestic workers has seen big jumps in recent years, as the discount between the minimum allowable pay for first farm workers and then domestic workers was closed relative to the standard, national minimum wage.

With this massive increase, many are fearing that it might mean a lot of households can’t afford them anymore and will have to let them go.

Image credit: Mail & Guardian

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