During a workshop on a national minimum wage this week Parliament’s labour committee was told that the agricultural sector was trending towards fewer but more highly skilled and more highly paid employees due to mechanisation and consolidation of farming units.   The committee was informed about research on the effect of a minimum wage in agriculture by University of Cape Town professor Haroon Bhorat who found that employment declined in the sector by 17% a year after the minimum wage was introduced in 2002.   This view contrasted with that presented last week that it was macroeconomic policy and not wage determinations that had led to the consolidation and restructuring of farming and job losses.

Linda Ensor’s report Higher minimum wage ‘might hit farming jobs’ was first published on BDLive on 18 September 2014.