Adjustment of National Minimum Wage: Out of touch with realities

Aanpassing van Nasionale Minimum Loon: Uit voeling met realiteite

Free State Agriculture (FSA) notes with shock and disappointment the increase in the National Minimum Wage, as published in the Government Gazette on 8 February 2021.

“The government’s decision to adjust the National Minimum Wage by 16% comes at a time when it is economically extremely challenging to produce food and it seems as if the government is out of touch with realities.” says Francois Wilken, president of FSA.

The National Minimum Wage has been adjusted from R18.68 to R21.69 per hour.

“Despite Free State Agriculture’s and other institutions’ objections to the proposed increase, substantial adjustments continued, regardless of the economic challenges the country is currently experiencing.” says Wilken.

In addition to joint comments, Free State Agriculture also individually objected to the proposed adjustments and warned that the adjustments could lead to job losses. The proposed adjustments were in some respects based on assumptions, as information relevant to the recommendations was not available to the National Minimum Wage Commission. It seems that the organisation’s warning has fallen on deaf ears and the seriousness of the current unemployment rate will in all probability show further significant upward trends and consequently have a negative impact.

“Time will tell, but this ill-considered decision will force farmers to put alternatives in place to survive economically.”

Vrystaat Landbou (VL) neem met skok en teleurstelling kennis van die verhoging van die Nasionale Minimum loon, soos in die Staatskoerant op 8 Februarie 2021 gepubliseer.

“Die regering se besluit om die Nasionale Minimum Loon met 16% aan te pas kom in ʼn tyd waar dit ekonomies geweldig uitdagend is om voedsel te produseer en dit wil voorkom asof die regering uit voeling is met realiteite.” sê Francois Wilken, president van VL.

Die Nasionale Minimum loon is aangepas van R18.68 na R21.69 per uur.

“Ten spyte van Vrystaat Landbou en ander instansies se beswaar teen die voorgestelde verhoging is daar steeds voortgegaan om, sonder inagneming van die ekonomiese uitdagings wat die land tans ondervind, wesenlike aanpassings aan te bring.” sê Wilken

Vrystaat Landbou het benewens gesamentlike kommentaar ook individueel beswaar aangeteken teen die voorgenome aanpassings en het gewaarsku dat die aanpassings kan lei tot werkverliese. Die voorgenome aanpassings was in sommige opsigte gebaseer op aannames, aangesien inligting relevant tot die aanbevelings nie tot beskikking van die Nasionale Minimum Loon Kommissie was nie. Dit blyk dat hierdie waarskuwing op dowe ore geval het en die erns van die huidige werkloosheidsyfer gaan in alle waarskynlikheid verdere wesenlike opwaartse neigings toon en bygevolg ʼn negatiewe impak hê.

“Tyd sal leer, maar hierdie ondeurdagte besluit gaan landbouers noop om alternatiewe in plek te stel om ekonomies te bly voortbestaan.”