This is the new national minimum wage from 1 March

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Written By Maya Cantina

Find out how much employers will be obliged to pay you effective 1 March.

The national minimum wage increases on 1 March to R27.58 per hour, an increase of 8.5% on the current minimum wage of R25.42 per hour employers will pay until the end of the month for general workers.

Thulas Nxesi, Minister of Employment and Labour, announced the new minimum wage in the Government Gazette today. The minster determines the minimum wage in terms of the National Minimum Wage Act. The minimum wage increased by 9.7% in 2023.

Domestic workers, including cleaners, child minders, gardeners, drivers and any other workers in private households, as well as farm workers will earn the new minimum wage of R27.58 per hour, which is an increase of 2.5 percentage points above the average rate of inflation, that was 6% in 2023.

Workers employed in an expanded public works programme will have to be paid R15.16 per hour, also an increase of 8.5%.

Learnership allowances, the minimum wage for contract cleaning employees and employees of local authorities were also increased. Businesses can apply for exemption to not pay the minimum wage.

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How the national minimum wage is determined

The National Minimum Wage Commission conducts an annual review in terms of the Act which requires that the Commission “reviews the national minimum wage annually and make recommendations to the minister on any adjustment”.

The commission’s review report must reflect alternative views, including from the public and the commission invited written representations, receiving varied comments from trade unions, interested parties, employees’ representatives and employers’ representatives.

The commission is also mandated to carefully consider South Africa’s prevailing economic affairs to accommodate all changes in the economy and labour market. According to the commission, these changes include relative living standards, the needs of the low-paid, employment levels and the performance and competitiveness of the national economy.

Specific considerations are given to:

  • Inflation, the cost of living and the need to retain the value of the national minimum wage.
  • Wage levels and collective bargaining outcomes.
  • Gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Productivity.
  • The ability of employers to carry on their businesses successfully.
  • The operation of small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMME) and new enterprises and;
  • The likely impact on employment or employment creation.

This annual review of the minimum wage allows the commission to evaluate available evidence pertaining to these indicators and written proposals advanced by various parties.

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