CAPE TOWN. — The South African Department of Labour yesterday released the minimum wage for farm and forestry workers for the period starting March 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019.

The new minimum wages will see a significant increase. Employees in the farm and forestry sectors are set to benefit from a 5,6 percent increase. The minimum wage for farm and forest workers is calculated based on a 9 hour shift.

When considering the updated wages, the monthly wage increased by R168,06 from R3 001,13 to R3 169,19 in the 2017 /2018 year whereas the weekly rate stayed the same.

The daily wage increased by R7,76 from R138,52 to R146,28. The hourly rate increased from R15,39 to R16,25. Despite the overall 5,6 percent increase in the minimum wage, The Congress of South African Trade Unions says that all minimum wages should be reviewed to ensure that they are above the minimum wage to be implemented.

“The essential crisis of the SA economy is that workers are too lowly paid and are not consumers to assist in driving up aggregate demand in the economy. The moral implications of this wage policy is that the growing inequalities are leading to less social cohesion and sustainable development. We need to see decent work and a living wage top the agenda of the department of Labour”, said regional secretary of the Western Cape region of Cosatu, Tony Ehrenreich.

The comments from the agricultural industry association, AgriSA is still expected to state whether they believe that the recent minimum wages for farm and forestry workers is feasible.

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