Like every country in the world, South Africa also has a pre-set minimum wage, which companies offering jobs have to follow. No worker in the country can be paid less than the minimum wage set by the government.
There are a ton of reasons behind setting a minimum wage, but the most important one is to allow workers to have a decent standard of living. It is critical for every person to know about the minimum wage before starting a job to reduce the chances of getting exploited.
Those who are unaware of the South African minimum wage per month will find every bit of information about this topic in detail below. You will also find out about the professions that the minimum wage is for to prevent being taken advantage of. So, without any more delay, let’s get straight to the topic.
What is Minimum Wage Per Month?
The minimum wage in South Africa is ZAR 25.42 per hour in 2023. Therefore, if a worker works for 38 hours a week, their minimum wage per month would be ZAR 4182.6. Their weekly wage would be ZAR 965.9, and then multiply it by 4.33, and you get the monthly wage.
However, those who work for 40 hours a week will get a higher minimum wage per month. They will get ZAR 4402.7 per month. Similarly, those who work 45 hours a week will have to get paid ZAR 4953 per month, according to the per-hour minimum wage set by the government.
Who Sets the Minimum Wage in South Africa?
The minimum wage per hour, per week, and per month is set by the government of South Africa. However, if we go into more specifics, then the body responsible for the minimum wage in the country is the National Minimum Wage Commission (NWMC). They make a report to the Minister of Employment and Labour, who then sets the minimum wage in the country.
The National Minimum Wage Commission has a meeting once every year. In this meeting, they discuss all the factors that are affected by the minimum wage, such as the cost of living, the impact on the economy, and the needs of domestic workers.
These factors then led to the team making a list of recommendations for the Minister of Employment and Labor. The Minister reviews the suggestions and then sets a minimum wage while considering those said suggestions.
Once the Minister of Employment and Labor sets a minimum wage, it is announced to the public. After that, it becomes vital for every employer and company to follow it.
Almost every employer and company in South Africa follows the minimum wage requirements and pays their employees the government-mandated amount. However, in case an employer fails to do so, the workers can lodge a complaint against him in the Department of Employment and Labor. The department will conduct a thorough investigation, and if found guilty, there will be strict action against the employer.
Which Professions Get The Minimum Wage?
The minimum wage is set for workers in different fields in South Africa. However, if we have to make a list of all the professions that come under the requirements of minimum wage, then the list is as follows.
- Dometic Workers
- Farm Workers
- Retail Workers
- Factory Workers
- Construction Workers
- Restaurant Workers
- Office Workers
- Security Guards
These are some of the major professions to which the minimum wage, set by the Minister of Employment and Labor, is applicable.
Minimum Wage of Domestic Workers
If we take a closer look at the category of domestic workers, then this category includes all the workers who are hired to do different household tasks. They are hired by private household owners. Domestic workers include gardeners, nannies, cooks, house cleaners, security guards, drivers, and housekeepers or maids.
The minimum wage of a domestic worker is the same as the minimum wage across the country, which is ZAR 25.42 per hour. So, if a domestic worker works for 40 hours a week, they will have to be paid a minimum wage of ZAR 1016.8 per week and ZAR 4402.7 per month.
Importance of Minimum Wage in South Africa
We have heard and read the word minimum wage a ton of times in this article alone. But the one thing that pops up in the mind of every person is why it is important to have a pre-set minimum wage.
In addition to that, the role of the minimum wage, as well as the importance of following the government-mandated minimum wage, also crosses every person’s mind from time to time. Well, a minimum wage is critical in more ways than one for not just the workers but for the economy of the country.
Setting a Minimum Wage is important to
- Prevents Exploitation of Workers
- Reduce Poverty
- Helps the Economy
Here is further detail on each of these above points.
Prevents Exploitation of Workers
The first reason why it is important to have a minimum wage is that it prevents the exploitation of the workers. When the government has set a minimum wage that every employer has to pay to their employee, it ensures that the workers get the exact worth of their work paid to them in monetary form.
When there is no minimum wage set, employers will pay the workers less wage despite making them work the same amount, which is mere exploitation of the workers. This is why the government of South Africa sets a fixed amount every year, and no person should be paid less than that amount so they get paid their work’s worth properly.
The second reason why the minimum wage is important in every country and not just South Africa is that that it reduces poverty. When the workers are paid a fixed and decent amount of money for the services they provide, it allows them to afford different items that are a necessity, such as food, clothing, and shelter, being the most important. It allows them to afford the education of their children, which will then lead to them having a chance of a good life.
So, if there is no pre-set minimum wage, employers will not pay their employees fairly, which will decrease their chances of affording even one of the three necessities that are required by every person. Their way of living will take a major hit and go downwards. Moreover, they will not be able to afford the education of their children, which will push the upcoming generations into poverty as well.
Helps the Economy
The most important reason behind having a minimum wage is that it helps the economy of the country. When the workers are paid a minimum wage, they have enough money to spend on different goods and services. Therefore, the need for more goods and services is heightened, and this way, more jobs are created.
Workers being paid a fair wage also leads to a lesser amount of crime rate in the country. On the other hand, if the worker is not being paid fairly and the minimum amount, they will not be able to afford goods and services, which will decrease the demand for more jobs. It also increases the crime rates in the country, which directly affects the economy.
What is Africa’s minimum wage per hour?
The minimum wage in South Africa is Zar 25.42 per hour in 2023. It has increased this year, as it does every year; in 2022, the minimum wage per hour was ZAR 23.19 in the country.
How often is the minimum wage reviewed in South Africa?
The minimum wage in South Africa is reviewed once every year. The National Minimum Wage Commission holds a meeting annually in which the minimum wage is discussed, and then they make recommendations to the Minister of Employment and Labor, who then sets the minimum wage.
What are the benefits of increasing the minimum wage?
The major benefit of increasing the minimum wage in South Africa is that it allows the workers to spend money on more goods, hence boosting the economy. Moreover, it also helps the workers afford and live a decent life out of poverty.
What can I do if I am not being paid the minimum wage?
It is against the law for an employer to not pay the minimum wage to their employees. So, if a person is not being paid the minimum wage in South Africa, they can make a complaint to the Department of Employment and Labor, and they will investigate the issue and then take the required action against the employer.
Every country is run by the government, but its economy highly depends upon the domestic workers who perform small yet critical jobs every day. Therefore, it is important to make sure that these workers are paid at least the South African minimum wage per month. If you desire to find out more information about this topic, you will find it all discussed in detail above.