R20 per hour for workers is an insult - Numsa | Fin24
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R20 per hour for workers is an insult - Numsa

Feb 07 2017 19:59

Cape Town - Implementing a deal to pay workers a minimum hourly rate of R20 would be the final nail in the coffin for the workers struggle in South Africa.

This is the message from the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa). The union on Tuesday reiterated its disgust at the proposed amount of R3 500 per month as a National Minimum Wage.

"This proposal reinforces South Africa as a haven for cheap labour, just as it was under Apartheid," said general secretary Irvin Jim in a statement.

His statement comes as the Presidency postponed the signing of a minimum wage agreement with Nedlac that had been planned to take place during a lunch with President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and business executives on Tuesday.

"The postponement follows a request from Cosatu to be given time to provide a full report to its central executive committee," the presidency said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said committing workers to a minimum hourly rate of just R20 per hour was done without any consultation, let alone any mandate from the South African working class.

Jim also lashed out at Cosatu, Fedusa, claiming that their leaders have been captured.

"Once again Cosatu and Fedusa need to go back to basics. They must reclaim their revolutionary credentials.

"These federations should have known from the beginning that a minimum wage of R3500 per month is a betrayal of the worker’s struggle for a living wage and decent work. This proposal should have been rejected outright."

Jim also criticised Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

"Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa who led the process to negotiate this agreement, has proven time and time again that he is hostile to workers."

He said the deputy president has betrayed workers.

"Ramaphosa, the billionaire and ultra-capitalist, values his precious buffalo more than the lives of human beings."

Numsa has been calling for a more considered approach on the minimum wage.

"How does a parent educate, clothe and feed their family on a measly salary of R3 500 per month, when government is also refusing to subsidise tertiary education and public transport."

The union indicated that it will mobilise its members and the working class to fight against "slave wages" and the limitation on the right to strike.

"We will not rest until all of the objectives of the National Democratic Revolution which is the most direct route to Socialism and the Freedom Charter are achieved." 

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

cyril rama­phosa  |  sa economy  |  minimum wages


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