Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


S.African protests over new minimum wage

Demonstrators in Johannesburg criticised the proposed minimum wage of the equivalent of $1.60 as too low/AFP

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Apr 25 – Several thousand of protesters marched through Johannesburg Wednesday to demonstrate against a proposed minimum wage, a new test for President Cyril Ramaphosa who took office in February.

South Africa, which is suffering record unemployment, is due to introduce the 20 rand ($1.60) hourly minimum wage, but it has been widely criticised as too low.

“It is a disgrace,” said Martin Kgaladi, a car industry worker wearing a T-shirt denouncing the pay level as “a salary of slaves”.

He accused Ramaphosa, a former trade union leader who supports the minimum wage, of being “captured by the capitalists and oppressing the workers he once defended.”

Ramaphosa has vowed to boost economic growth and tackle unemployment by attracting foreign investment and cracking down on government corruption.

He took over from scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma after nine years of weak growth, ballooning national debt and falling investor confidence.

SAFTU, the second biggest trade union, also held protests in Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, but the strike was not backed by COSATU, the biggest union group, which is a government ally.

Employment has hit a high of 28 percent in South Africa, with the youth unemployment levels often peaking at over 50 percent in some areas.

Last week, Ramaphosa left a summit in London early to hold talks over violent riots against alleged government corruption and poor public services.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Click to comment

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...