National minimum wage a ‘historic’ victory for workers: Ramaphosa

The national minimum wage will be a historic victory for South African workers.

This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ who was speaking on Tuesday afternoon at the May Day rally in Kwazakhele in Nelson Mandela Bay.

“Within the next few months‚ workers in our country are going to achieve another historic victory with the introduction of a national minimum wage‚” said Ramaphosa.

“This is a victory no matter what other people may say.”

Though he acknowledged that the minimum wage was not high‚ Ramaphosa said the government hoped to incrementally increase the wage.

“We knew R20 an hour was not a living wage but we needed to form a foundation. If we said workers had to earn R15‚000 many people would lose their jobs and businesses would have to close.

“We concluded that the struggle for a living wage must continue but we must start somewhere. This is a struggle that you as workers must wage.”

Ramaphosa credited Cosatu for the start of minimum wage negotiations‚ saying the federation had identified the need as addressed in the Freedom Charter.

“They took it up as their revolutionary duty to lift up 6.6 million workers.”

“We concluded that the struggle for a living wage must continue but we must start somewhere. This is a struggle that you as workers must wage.”

Earlier‚ Transport Minister Blade Nzimande said: “We are saying to the workers: stand up and defend the national sovereignty of this country… You fought to liberate South Africa‚ you cannot stand by while this happens.”

He said while the media had played its role in exposing state capture‚ they had also spoken up against it.

Nzimande acknowledged the changes brought about by Ramaphosa‚ saying his efforts of appointing new boards to Eskom‚ Prasa and the SABC had not gone unnoticed.

“We support you‚” he said.

By: Odette Parfitt – HeraldLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.


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