The Portfolio Committee on Labour will on Thursday listen to the people who chose to orally present their written submissions into the National Minimum Wage Bill.
The committee received more than 40 submissions, some of which were still being processed.
The Committee’s Content Advisor, Mr Sibongiseni Ngcobo, told the members that the submissions dealt with how the National Minimum Wage would be applied to workers who did not have steady salaries, and were paid on commission. “The general feeling from organisations is that the National Minimum Wage be phased in so as to minimise impact of job losses. The MEC for Economic Development in the Western Cape indicated that they do not support the National Minimum Wage in principle, as it will have unintended consequences in the private sector,” Mr Ngcobo said.
He said some even proposed that the amount be increased to at least between R4 500 and R6 000 a month, or alternatively pay living wage. Some members appealed for more time in order to process the submissions as they were voluminous, but however said they were ready for Thursday.
Committee member, Mr Michael Bagraim, raised concerns about the time allocated to the presenters and the interaction with Committee members. “The time is insufficient. This is a disservice to the people who have made the submissions. This piece of legislation is going to affect South Africa for the next 100 years. Some industries will be impacted,” he said.
Committee member, Mr Derrick America, said it was preferable if the process was inclusive. “This law will fundamentally alter the landscape and will change the country,” he said.
The Acting Committee Chairperson, Ms Sharome van Schalkwyk, said the committee was ready and that it will work overtime to make sure that enough consideration is given to the Bill. She said all those who indicated they wanted to do an oral presentation will be given adequate time to do so.
By Sibongile Maputi
20 March 2018