South Africa has had a long running unemployment crisis, according to the OECD’s Economy Survey in 2010. To combat this, South Africa has attempted to implement a minimum wage. The New York Times reports that women in South Africa will work for less that minimum wage, because it is better than being entirely unemployed.
The New York Times said in 2010 that South Africa’s own industry is in “ruinous decline,” because too few unskilled jobs are being created in South Africa, and women are more afraid of being unemployed – and 16 years after apartheid, South Africa has tried to westernize its marketplace, opening up to trade and keeping inflation and public debt in check.
Though the economy has grown, it has not grown fast enough to end the unemployment crisis. Still, 57.7 percent of people are unemployed, according to the OECD’s statistical profile of South Africa.
This same statistical profile is blank in the rows of “labor compensation and hours worked.”
All Africa said that some workers earn nothing and survive on tips – others still live on a daily rate that “barely covers the cost of commuting to work and a square meal for the day.” There are some in South Africa who earn “in the region of the median wage…but who fall pret to loan sharks and other debt collectors.”
All Africa reported in October that South Africa must consider a “single statutory minimum wage.” This, they said, could potentially fix a newly formed and sometimes frayed democracy, and can “stop the steady rise of the working poor.”
There is no national minimum wage in South Africa. However, “the Basic Conditions of Employment act permits the Minister of Labor to set minimum terms and conditions of employment, including minimum wages.”
This minimum wage is only able to be implemented in areas of employment where labor has been deemed “vulnerable.” There are nine sectors of vulnerable labor:
-Domestic work sector
-Private security sector
-Wholesale and retail
-Farm worker sector
-Children in the performance of advertising, artistic and cultural activities
If an employment opportunity is not in one of these sectors, there is no minimum wave, even if employees are paid a very low income.
Minimum wages within these vulnerable labor forces change by region and vocation, and the minimum wage is calculated at a daily, hourly, weekly and monthly basis according to My Wage South Africa.
– Alycia Rock