According to a report in the Cape Times today it is possible that the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC) will recommend adjusted minimum wage rates for approval by the Minister of Labour before 1 March 2013.   According to the report a spokesperson for the Department of Labour stated that ‘affected parties were given sufficient time to influence the process and therefore the proposed wages won’t be published for comment’.

The report Minister to consider daily farm wage hike first appeared in the Cape Times today.


THE decision on whether Western Cape farm workers will secure a R150 daily wage lies in the hands of labour minister Mildred Oliphant and her six advisers.

The Economic (sic) Conditions Commission (ECC) is set to meet at month end to discuss how much the farm workers’ minimum daily wage will be increased from the current R69.

Before then, farm workers and farmers alike will have a last chance to raise their voices at a second round of hearings.

Labour department spokesman Musa Zondi said yesterday that an additional round of public hearings would take place across the province on January 14 and 20.

“We will hold these hearings after several worker groups in the Western Cape asked for more consultation,” said Zondi.

The department held public hearings at the end of last year.

“Once the consultation process has been finalised the ECC will draft a report with recommendations (of minimum wages) to the minister.

“The report will be based on the information submitted, information collected through the public hearing process, and any other information which the ECC (deems) necessary,” said Zondi.

Cape Town academic Ingrid Woolard heads the commission.

Woolard is associate professor in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town.

She was appointed by the government along with KwaZulu-Natal University economist Professor Imraan Valodia.

Labour is represented by two spokespersons, while business also has two members on the commission.

Cosatu deputy general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali and the trade federation’s policy research officer Jane Barrett represent labour on the ECC, while Kaizer Moyane, business convener for the labour market chamber within Nedlac, and Aruna Ranchod, director of industrial relations at South African Petroleum Retailers’ Association, represent business.

If Oliphant agrees with the ECC recommendations she will publish new minimum wages before the end of February.

The new minimum wages are due to come into effect on March 1.