The exemption provided for in regulations under the National Minimum Wage Act means that workers in some sectors will, in effect, be earning poverty wages, the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group said in a statement. “When the national minimum wage was first mooted, it was said that it would help the 6.7-million lowest paid workers earning less than R4,000 a month. Now that the National Minimum Wage Act has been passed and with the publication of the regulations, which see exemption thresholds taking 10% off the hourly rate for workers, the wages of many of the most vulnerable workers will be set even lower than the current sectoral determinations,” the group's programme co-ordinator, Mervyn Abrahams, said. “We had been promised that the national minimum wage would come in at a higher level than the sectoral determinations, as this rate is already considered by many workers as a poverty wage. The introduction of the national minimum wage regulations will mean that many...

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