The agriculture sector is worried about the impact of a 9.6% increase in the minimum hourly wage gazetted by government.
“Any increase in costs will further strain already hard-pressed farmers. As the sector battles to contain the costs associated with load-shedding, crumbling infrastructure and high input costs, this increase will further undermine food security and put much-needed jobs on the line,” said Johan Wege, chairperson of Agri SA’s centre for excellence on labour.
“The increase continues a trend of above-inflation increases for more than a decade.
“Whereas farmers were previously in a position to absorb these increases thanks to sustained growth in a number of agricultural industries, that period is over. The sector faces extreme headwinds.”