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Minimum wage for farm workers increased

3 February 2016

Agri SA
Media Release

In 2015 the Minister of Labour announced a process for the revising of the minimum wage for the next three years in both the agricultural and forestry sectors.  “During the last few months, the Minister also took note of the effect that the drought had in most parts of the country and subsequently consulted with social partners to understand the effect of the drought on the ability of employers to pay higher wages.  An increase in wages was announced today.  This increase will come into effect on 1 March 2016,” said Hendrik Ackermann, chair of Agri SA’s Labour and Social Committee.

In calculating the wage increase the consumer price index (CPI), excluding the owner’s equivalent rent, was used, which is less than the figure the department used in the past.   This culminated in a wage increase from R2 606,78 to R2 778,83 per month and from R601,61 to R641,32 per week.

“Agri SA welcomed the Minster’s announcement.  We recognise the need for workers’ wages to keep pace with rising food prices and cost of living, but realise that due to the drought, there will be farmers who would not be able to afford the wage increase.  In such event, I would appeal to those farmers, after consultation with their workers or the trade union, to apply for section 50 variation rather than retrench workers”, said Ackermann.

 Issued by Agri SA, Directorate:  Corporate Liaison