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media statement...
THE MINISTER OF LABOUR announces
domestic worker minimum wage
 

Domestic workers throughout South Africa will be guaranteed a minimum wage as from 1 November 2002, Minister of Labour Membathisi Mdladlana said when launching the Domestic Workers Sectoral Determination at a parliamentary press briefing this morning.

The speech, which was dedicated to the gallant heroines of the struggle against apartheid, outlined the main provisions of the Sectoral Determination and some of the Department's key achievements during the year.

"We have taken the first steps in the transformation of the domestic worker sector. The labour laws are in place, skills training and social security benefits are underway. Our society should come to terms with the need to give domestic workers a fair deal at work," the Minister said.

The Sectoral Determination is a sectorally relevant replacement of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA). The key concern of this Sectoral Determination is to balance the improvement of the livelihood of domestic workers with both retention of existing jobs and the creation of new employment opportunities.

 "We have set wages with the above in mind. The minimum wages are not only affordable, but very realistic; different wages are prescribed depending on where domestic workers live and the number of hours they work," the Minister said.

"The rate varies between R418,22 for employees who work 27 hours or less in a week and R800 per month for employees who work 45 hours in a week. Employees will only be compelled to pay the new rates as from November 1, 2002," the Minister said.

The Minister emphasised that most of the conditions of employment that were applicable under the BCEA have been retained but certain sectorally specific variations had been introduced.

Minister Mdladlana also discussed the achievements of the Department's Skills Development Strategy and other programmes.

"The Skills Development Strategy has yielded remarkable results. Indeed, many of you were stunned when I said at the beginning of the year that I was confident that my Department would meet the target of registering 3 000 learners by the end of March. It is no minor achievement that we not only reached that ambitious target but more than doubled it. There are about 7 700 learners registered in the learnership scheme," the Minister said

"The National Skills Fund has spent about R150 million to train more than 72 000 people. The National Skills Fund has also disbursed R1,3 billion to strategic projects aimed at benefiting about 350 000 learners over the next three years," the Minister said.

The Minister also condemned certain Sector Education Training Authority officials who had abused their positions to commit acts of corruption, frauds and nepotism, reiterating the Department's intolerance of that behaviour as evidenced by investigations of allegations.

The Minister also referred to the increased visibility of labour inspectors that had led to a realisation on the part of employers that they could no longer violate workers' rights with impunity.

ENDS

Issued by: Chief Directorate Communications
                        Department of Labour

Inquiries: Snuki Zikalala
                        082 561 3842

  • Investigation into Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment of Domestic Workers:  
              Executive Summary
              Domestic Workers Report - Invitation for Representations 
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