Domestic Workers To Receive Minimum Wage Increase By December 1

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South Africa’s department of Labour has announced an increase in the minimum wage for domestic workers across South Africa, which will kick in from 1 December 2016.

The department announced this saying in terms of Sectoral Determination 1: the minimum wages will be adjusted upwards for employees in Area A and Area B.

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Area A refers to large metropolitan municipalities and built up areas and suburbs – Area B is all other municipalities. The full list can be found on the department’s website.

The department, according to Business tech, made mention of domestic workers like housekeepers, gardeners, nannies, and domestic drivers, among others, to be among those to receive an increased minimum wage.

Minimum wages are currently determined by sector, negotiated by bargaining councils and unions, but it has been argued that current minimum wages in many sectors – including domestic workers and farm workers way below a living wage.

A research done by Wits university has it that a bare minimum ‘living wage’ in South Africa would be around R4,500 a month – where workers would be able to afford food and housing.



Various groups are predict the wage to stand at between R4,000 and R6,000 – while economists argue against having a minimum wage at all, as such a level would lead to wide spread job losses, damaging the economy.

Groups like Pacsa have also argued that a minimum wage would have to be closer to R8,000 per month (for a family of 5) to give workers the means to live a dignified life.

The new wages are as follows:

Domestic workers who work 27 ordinary hours a week or more

Minimum Area A Area B
Hourly R11.44 R10.23
Weekly R514.82 R460.15
Monthly R2 230.70 R1 993.82

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Domestic workers who work less than 27 ordinary hours a week

Minimum Area A Area B
Hourly
R13.39
R12.07
Weekly 
R361.50
R325.98
Monthly
R1 566.35
R1 412.49