President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked all employers to implement the National Minimum Wage with immediate effect and warned employers who exploit workers to stop.
Ramaphosa told a Workers’ Day rally organised by Cosatu at Clermont near Durban yesterday that there were still employers who violated workers’ rights,
He said, as the ANC, they would put the interests of the workers at the forefront of whatever they did and would never surrender their and working-class interests to other interests.
Similarly, they would never surrender the institutions of democracy to certain interests and patronage.
However, he did not elaborate about the interests he was talking about, but it was clear that he was referring to capitalists and to Zuma-styled political patronage.
Ramaphosa told a Workers’ Day rally organised by Cosatu at Clermont near Durban yesterday that there were still employers who continued to violate workers’ rights, who paid poverty wages and endangered the lives and the well-being of their employees.
“And we say we want them to stop exploiting the working people of our country, we want them to stop violating the rights of our workers and we want as we now implement the national minimum wage comrades, that all companies must implement the national minim wage without fail so that the workers in our country should start moving away from poverty wages and start earning decent wages as we move towards a living wage,” Ramaphosa said.
He was elected as ANC president at Nasrec south of Johannesburg with the backing of Cosatu, which hoped he would use his experience as a former worker leader to stand for their rights.
Ramaphosa headed the National Union of Mineworkers before being elected as ANC secretary-general in the early ’90s.
The president was credited for pushing for the implementation of the national minimum wage, which was R20 per hour or R3,500 per month. This was seen as victory for the workers, although some criticised it as too little.
Ramaphosa said Cosatu was “here to stay”.
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