Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi will launch a new hotline that will allow workers to report cases of non-compliance with the national minimum wage (NMW) without any cost to them.
The launch of the NMW Impimpa hotline with one of the county’s leading cellular providers will provide a messaging interaction mechanism for end-users (workers) to allow them to report cases of non-compliance with the national minimum wage without any cost.
The launch of the whistleblowing hotline also coincides with the latest review of the national minimum wage rates which have been published on the 17 February 2020.
The new minimum wage has increased from R20.00 per hour to R20.76 per hour, and the rate came into effect on 01 March 2020.
“The NMW Impimpa hotline will provide an effective monitoring and enforcement system. Its launch is seen as vital to the success of this significant policy intervention (NMW),” the Department of Labour said.
“The Department is launching the Impimpa hotline as a mechanism to ensure that employers are complying with the Act and are held accountable if they are found to be non-complying.”
South Africa officially introduced a national minimum wage in January 2019 to protect workers from “unreasonably low wages” and promote collective bargaining.
However, the new minimum wage is well below the desired increase of R22.50 which had previously been floated by the country’s major unions.
The unions argued that the level of R20 per hour was settled at back in 2017, when the NMW was first tabled, and it has not changed since then – even while the cost of living in the country continued to rise and the economy deteriorated.
As with the original minimum wage introduced on 1 January 2019, the gazette also outlines the minimum wage for workers in certain sectors.
- Farmworkers are entitled to a minimum wage of R18.68 per hour;
- Domestic workers are entitled to a minimum wage of R15.57 per hour;
- Workers employed on an expanded public works programme are entitled to a minimum wage of R11.42 per hour.
The National Minimum Wage Act empowers the National Minimum Wage Commission to assess and review the wage each year. This means that the wage is likely to be reviewed again in the coming years.