The National Minimum Wage Bill will come into effect on 1 January 2019, after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed it into law on Friday.
The legislation will benefit millions of workers who currently earn less than 3 500 a month, or less than R20 an hour.
Lemias Mashile says the new legislation will help vulnerable workers who earn less than R20 per hour to earn a decent living wage of no less than R3500 per month. The Act, however, exempts certain sectors from paying R20 per hour.
The minimum wage law was formulated at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). Its initial implementation date was pushed from May this year following a series of blunders during the bill’s drafting period.
In its initial response to the proposals, National Treasury warned that the system would affect jobs and the economy in the long term if it were to be implemented recklessly. Critics have warned that the law may lead to job cuts in an economy that is already struggling with unemployment of more than 27%.
It was one of four labour bills that Ramaphosa signed into law.
Others were the Labour Laws Amendment Bill, amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill.
The Labour Laws Amendment Bill allows for the implementation of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Act, which will extend the benefits of retrenched workers