Three years ago the ANC undertook to introduce a national minimum wage with the objective of reducing inequality and poverty. This decision led to the deputy president chairing a lengthy process within the tripartite National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), with input from a panel of experts. In February an agreement was reached about key features of the national minimum wage: it will be introduced in a dedicated law by May 1 2018; a rate of R20 an hour was agreed; and a new body, the National Minimum Wage Commission (NMWC), will be established to review the rate annually. However, the national minimum wage will be introduced in the context of an existing framework of labour legislation that includes wage-setting mechanisms. Decisions must be made about how it fits into this framework. In this regard the February agreement states only that "all sectoral determinations, collective agreements, bargaining council agreements and individual contracts of employment must ...

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