Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended the proposed R3,500 minimum wage, saying it will improve the living conditions of many locals. The figure was presented to the National Economic Development and Labour Council partners in November. During his final question and answer session for the year in Parliament on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said the proposed minimum wage would also apply to foreign workers. United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa asked Ramaphosa what the government was doing to prevent the exploitation of foreign nationals. Concerns have been raised that some employers exploit foreign nationals. "[The set] wage will cover all employees in our country regardless of their nationality… Our labour laws cover all employees regardless of their nationality," Ramaphosa said. Employers who did not comply with the agreed minimum wage would be penalised. About 47% of working people in SA earned less than R3,500 a month and 51% lived on less than R1,036 a month, he said. ...

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