Minimum wage is no magic bullet
Higher pay helps, but South Africa requires a structural reform plan, writes Joel Netshitenzhe COMPLEX issues have been put on the table in the gold mining wage negotiations. Employers are calling for a compact that includes a pay increase, job retention, accommodation, wellness, skills development, retirement savings and debt management.There have been hints at profit-sharing and employee share ownership so as to "share the pain and the gain" in the ebbs and flows of the commodity cycle. However, this has been rejected by the major unions. The gains were not shared during the "fat years", they argue, and workers deserve their pound of flesh.Assessment of both sides’ arguments belongs in the negotiation chambers. However, these matters relate to the broader debate at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) on the advisability or otherwise of a national minimum wage, the level at which it should be set and whether money metrics and cash wages should be the sole ...
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