All the New South Africa Minimum Wage Explained

Employment and Labour Minister TW Nxesi has announced that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for each ordinary hour worked has been increased from R20,76 to R21,69 for the year 2021 with effect from 01 March 2021.

South Africa Minimum Wage
Photo: @breakingpic on

The NMW legislation in South Africa came into effect on 01 January 2019 at a level of R20 per hour. In terms of the NMW Act of 2018, the policy framework is a floor level below which no employee should be paid.

The Act of 2018 requires that the NMW Commission review the rates annually and make recommendations to the Minister on any adjustment of the national minimum wage, while also reflecting on alternative views, including those of the public.

Nevertheless, what are the changes in this new regulation?

About the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act

The National Minimum Wage Act 9 of 2018 aims to provide for a national minimum wage, to establish the National Minimum Wage Commission, and to provide for the composition and functions of the National Minimum Wage Commission as well as providing for the review and annual adjustment of the national minimum wage and became effective on 1 January 2019.

It is illegal and an unfair labour practice for an employer to unilaterally alter hours of work or other conditions of employment in implementing the NMW. The NMW is the amount payable for the ordinary hours of work and does not include payment of allowances (such as transport, tools, food, or accommodation) payments in kind (board or lodging), tips, bonuses, and gifts.

How South Africa’s New Minimum Wage was Determined

In considering the annual adjustment, the NMW Commission consider the following factors:

  • Inflation;
  • The cost of living and the need to retain the value of the minimum wage;
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP);
  • Wage levels and collective bargaining outcomes;
  • Productivity;
  • The ability of employers to carry on their businesses successfully;
  • The operation of small, medium, or micro-enterprises and new enterprises; and
  • Likely impact of the recommendation adjustment on employment or the creation of employment.

South Africa National Minimum Wage for 2021

According to the annual review published by the Minister of Employment and Labour, here are the new stipulations regarding South Africa’s 2021 national minimum wage.

Consequently, these new adjustments affect the minimum wages for workers in various sectors such as farmworkers, domestic workers, workers employed on an expanded works programme, and workers who have entered into a learnership agreement.

South Africa Minimum Wage for a Variety of Workers in a Glance

Basically, the national minimum wage for each ordinary hour worked is R21.69. However, there are exceptions to that, for instance:

  • Farmworkers are entitled to a minimum wage of R21.69 per hour;
  • Domestic workers are entitled to a minimum wage of R19.09 per hour;
  • Workers employed on an expanded public works programme are entitled to a minimum wage of R11.93 per hour; and
  • Workers who have concluded learnership agreements are entitled to the allowances contained in the next section.

Learnership Allowances

The following is a breakdown of the allowance that learnership participants are entitled to receive each week.

  • Level 1 to 2: R326.51 – R652.99
  • Level 3: R326.51 – R1006.73
  • Level 4: R326.51 – R1469.25
  • Level 5 to 8: R326.51 – R1904.58

However, please note that the minimum allowance varies between students depending on the amount of credit they have received.

Minimum Wage for Contract Cleaning Sector

Area A

Workers in the contract cleaning sector located in Area A are entitled to receive R23.87 per hour. Area A includes the following areas:

  • City of Cape Town;
  • Greater East Rand Metro
  • City of Johannesburg;
  • Tshwane and Nelson Mandela;
  • Emfuleni;
  • Merafong;
  • Mogale City;
  • Metsimaholo;
  • Randfontein;
  • Stellenbosch; and
  • Westonaria.

Area B

Meanwhile, conditions of employment and minimum wage rates for Area B (KwaZulu-Natal areas) shall be subjected to the collective agreement concluded in the Bargaining Council for the Contract Cleaning Service Industry (BCCCI).

Area C

On the other hand, those who work in Area C or throughout the rest of the Republic of South Africa are entitled to receive R21.77 per hour.

Minimum Wage for Wholesale and Retail Sector

Area A

The areas covered under this category include the following metropolitan and local municipalities:

  • Bergrivier;
  • Breede Valley;
  • Buffalo City;
  • Cape Agulhas;
  • Cederberg;
  • City of Cape Town;
  • City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality;
  • City of Tshwane;
  • Drakenstein;
  • Ekurhuleni;
  • Emalahleni;
  • Emfuleni;
  • Ethekwini Metropolitan Unicity;
  • Gamagara;
  • George;
  • Hibiscus Coast;
  • Karoo Hoogland;
  • Kgatelopele;
  • Khara Hais;
  • Knysna;
  • Kungwini;
  • Kouga;
  • Hessequa Local Authority;
  • Lesedi;
  • Makana;
  • Mangaung;
  • Matzikama;
  • Metsimaholo;
  • Middelburg (Mpumalanga);
  • Midvaal;
  • Mngeni;
  • Mogale;
  • Mosselbaai;
  • Msunduzi;
  • Mtubatuba;
  • Nama Khoi;
  • Nelson Mandela;
  • Nokeng tsa Tsemane;
  • Oudtshoorn;
  • Overstrand;
  • Plettenbergbaai;
  • Potchefstroom;
  • Randfontein;
  • Richtersveld;
  • Saldanha Bay;
  • Sol Plaatjic;
  • Stellenbosch;
  • Swartland;
  • Swellendam;
  • Theewaterskloof;
  • Umdoni;
  • aMhlathuze; and
  • Witzenberg.

These employees who work in one of the areas above are entitled to receive the following minimum wages.

  • General Assistant or Trolley Collector: R21.69
  • Security Guard: R21.69
  • Forklift Operator: R21.69
  • Driver (<3500kg): R21.69
  • Merchandiser or Shop Assistant or Checker or Deli Assistant: R23.43
  • Cashier: R24.85
  • Driver (3501 <9000kg): R27.03
  • Clerk or Sales Assistant or Salesperson or Block man or Baker: R29.25
  • Driver (9001 <16000kg): R29.44
  • Displayer: R30.37
  • Driver (16001kg>): R32.31
  • Supervisor: R35.99
  • Trainee Manager: R38.86
  • Assistant Manager: R42.33
  • Manager: R46.40

Area B

However, employees who work other than Area A are entitled to the following minimum wages.

  • General Assistant or Trolley Collector: R21.69
  • Security Guard: R21.69
  • Forklift Operator: R21.69
  • Driver (<3500kg): R21.69
  • Merchandiser or Shop Assistant or Checker or Deli Assistant: R21.69
  • Cashier: R21.69
  • Driver (3501 <9000kg): R23.53
  • Clerk or Sales Assistant or Salesperson or Block man or Baker: R29.25
  • Driver (9001 <16000kg): R28.15
  • Displayer: R25.06
  • Driver (160001kg>): R30.94
  • Supervisor: R31.45
  • Trainee Manager: R33.67
  • Assistant Manager: R37.11
  • Manager: R40.25

What Can South Africa Minimum Wage 2021 Give You?

Getting a raise is something you should be grateful for. In fact, this can expand your reach to get more basic necessities. Additionally, you can also get access to better healthcare. That way, you don’t have to worry if you get sick at any time.

Also, this increase in South Africa minimum wage will give you the opportunity to save for an emergency fund. Later, you can use these funds to deal with some sudden incidents without having to worry about your main budget.

Related Post :
Be part of our exclusive WhatsApp Channel sharing premium job opportunities across South Africa at no cost. Join now while it’s free before subscription charges apply! Click here to join: