The magic number is the elephant on the back of the note. It is R20 an hour. With a minimum four hours’ pay a day, which works out to about R3,500 a month for full-time work. A seven-person panel (Prof Imraan Valodia, Prof Murray Leibbrandt, Prof Debbie Collier, Mamokete Lijane, Ayabonga Cawe, Dr Siphokazi Koyana, and International Labour Organisation adviser Dr Patrick Belser, assisted by Wits economics researcher David Francis) spent three months interrogating the research, meeting with the National Economic Development and Labour Council social partners and interviewing specialists to reach this final proposal. This is a very precise number accompanied by clear recommendations for coverage, implementation and time frames. The panel was unanimous that this process should follow an evidence-based approach, and focused on three broad areas of work: microeconomic evidence, macroeconomic evidence and international experience. The one area of research all social partners agreed on was ...

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