Annual increase to the national minimum wage

The National Minimum Wage Act 9 of 2018 (Act) was enacted to advance economic development and social justice by, inter alia, improving the wages of the lowest paid workers, and protecting workers from unreasonably low wages by establishing the national minimum wage (NMW).

27 Feb 2023 2 min read Employment Law Alert Article

At a glance

  • The National Minimum Wage Act 9 of 2018 establishes the national minimum wage (NMW) to improve wages for low-paid workers and protect them from unreasonably low wages.
  • The Minister of Employment and Labour determines the adjustment to the NMW, and the adjusted rates were published in February 2023.
  • The NMW increases to R25.42 per hour for ordinary workers, farm workers, and domestic workers, while workers on expanded public works programs will receive R13.97 per hour. Learnership allowances and minimum wages in specific sectors such as contract cleaning and wholesale / retail have also been adjusted. The changes come into effect on 1 March 2022.

In terms of section 6(5) of the Act, the Minister of Employment and Labour (Minister) must, by a date fixed by the President, determine the adjustment to the NMW, and by notice in the Government Gazette, amend the NMW contained in Schedule 1 and 2 of the Act.

In accordance with the requirements of section 6(5) of the Act, the Minister published the adjusted NMW rates in Government Gazette No. 48094 on 21 February 2023, increasing the rates as follows:

  • The NMW increases from R23.19 to R25.42 for each ordinary hour worked.
  • Farm workers are entitled to R25.42 per hour.
  • Domestic workers are entitled to R25.42 per hour.
  • Workers employed on an expanded public works programme are entitled to R13.97 per hour, increasing from an hourly rate of R12.75.

Schedule 2 of the Act, which pertains to the minimum learnership allowance for workers who have concluded learnership agreements contemplated in section 17 of the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998, has been amended. The minimum weekly allowance a learner is entitled to is based on the National Qualification Framework level of the learner and these allowances have now been increased and will therefore impact the cost of learnership agreements.

Contract cleaning sector

The Minister has increased the minimum wage for the contract cleaning sector as follows:

  • In Area A, which consists of the metropolitan councils of the City of Cape Town, Greater East Rand Metro, City of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay, the minimum hourly rate has increased to R27.97.
  • In Area B, which consists of all areas in KwaZulu-Natal, the minimum wage shall continue to be determined by the Bargaining Council for the Contract Cleaning Service Industry.
  • In Area C, being the remaining areas in the republic, minimum rates per hour have been increased to R25.50.

Wholesale and retail sector

The Minister has increased the minimum wage for the wholesale and retail sector. The increases are subject to the relevant geographical areas. Minimum wage rates prescribed for Area A are incrementally higher than those prescribed for Area B.

The minimum rate increases in the retail sector also differ according to recognised job categories such as, for example, general assistant, trolly collector, security guard, forklift operator, driver etc.

The changes introduced by the Minister will take effect from 1 March 2022.

The information and material published on this website is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make every effort to ensure that the content is updated regularly and to offer the most current and accurate information. Please consult one of our lawyers on any specific legal problem or matter. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage, whether direct or consequential, which may arise from reliance on the information contained in these pages. Please refer to our full terms and conditions. Copyright © 2024 Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. All rights reserved. For permission to reproduce an article or publication, please contact us