South Africa

Minimum wage rises by 8.5%

South Africa’s minimum hourly wage will increase by 8.5% to R27.58 ($1.46) from next month.

The raise, announced in the  Government Gazette on Friday, outstrips labour union officials’ inflation expectation of 5.9% for 2024 but is less than the 11% average increase in food prices last year, data from the statistics office show.   

While the minimum wage was introduced in January 2019 to try and reduce the pay gap in one of the world’s most unequal societies, the latest increment will be insufficient to raise the living standards of a large part of the working population who spend the biggest proportion of their money on food.  

About 32% of the people in the labour market are unemployed. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who will give his state-of-the-nation address in Cape Town on 8 February, hinted earlier this week at introducing a permanent basic income grant, saying there is a strong case for it despite the nation’s fiscal constraints.


Top JSE indices