Bills setting minimum wage passed in Parliament

Three contentious labour bills giving effect to a national minimum wage in South Africa and the introduction of a requirement that trade unions institute a secret ballot before deciding on strike action were passed in the National Assembly on Tuesday. The National Minimum Wage Bill, which sets minimum wages at R3 500 a month or R20 an hour, except for farmworkers and domestic workers, was passed by the majority of members of Parliament (MPs) gaining 202 votes from mostly African National Congress (ANC) benches. MPs from the Democratic Alliance, one of the bill’s biggest critics, walked out before the vote commenced. Sixteen MPs voted against the bill.