IF YOU thought Mzansi’s unemployment rate of 36% was frightening, wait until the national minimum wage gets introduced!
Instead of helping workers, the national minimum wage would lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said yesterday.
He was addressing the media on the DA’s policy in this regard as it was discussed at the party’s elective conference last week.
He said government knew job losses were coming as the National Treasury estimated that 715 000 jobs were at risk following the introduction of a minimum wage.
“But they’re adamant because they’ll get votes out of it.”
Maimane said the most vulnerable workers were first in the firing line and the unemployed would struggle to get a chance since there would be many job losses.
He said they supported the principle of the minimum wage, but it should be refined in a way that didn’t cause unemployment.
DA labour shadow minister Michael Bagraim rejected a blanket national minimum wage in its current form.
“A one-size-fits-all approach will result in job losses.
“Sectoral minimum wages are important to ensure the rights of workers are protected and to guard against the abuse of the most vulnerable members of society.”
Last week, Saftu marched to parliament to fight the proposed amendments in labour laws, which includes the national minimum wage.
Saftu and its affiliates said the bills should be scrapped.
The portfolio committee on labour will meet to discuss problems surrounding the bills today.