The department of labour and employment will step up efforts to ensure the implementation of the national minimum wage.
Two hundred people will be added to the current team of inspectors in this financial year to ensure implementation, reports Zululand Observer.
“Despite carrying out 167,000 inspections during the current year, we don’t have adequate numbers of inspectors to reach every workplace.
“We rely on the activism of shop stewards and the public to be our eyes and ears, as well as the goodwill of responsible corporate citizens,” said Minister Thulas Nxesi.
Nxesi said despite fears that the implementation of national minimum wage, set at R20 per hour, would result in massive retrenchments, latest figures indicated otherwise.
“Inspections to date indicate a high compliance rate with only 7% of employers failing to pay the prescribed rate.
“Prophecies that wholesale retrenchments would follow the introduction of a national minimum wage were not borne out.
“An expected massive spike in Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) cases has not occurred,” he said.
The National Minimum Wage Commission will publish research at the end of September on the impact of the changes on employment, poverty levels, and wage differentials.
Nxesi, however, expressed concern at the number of cases that have been referred to the CCMA.
“During the 2018/19 financial year, 194,000 cases were referred compared to 187,000 referrals in 2017/18. This large caseload is indicative of the failure by both business and labour to moderate workplace conflict.
“Nevertheless, this institution continues to serve a critical role in stabilising labour relations,” Nxesi said.