On 1 February 2024, the Minister of Employment and Labour increased the national minimum wage by 8,5% from R25,42 to R27,58 for each ordinary hour worked from 1 March 2024.

The increase will apply to most workers, including farm workers and domestic workers whose minimum wage has been aligned with the national minimum wage rates since 2022.   

The general increase in the national minimum wage will not apply to employees working on an expanded public works programme or workers engaged through learnerships. The minimum wage for workers employed on an expanded works programme will increase from R 13.97 to R15,16 an hour and workers who have concluded learnership agreements in terms of section 17 of the Skills Development Act, 1998, will be entitled to the increased allowances announced by the Minister, which range from R415.07 to R 2421.13 a week, depending on the learner’s NQF level and number of credits earned by the learner.

The increased minimum wage will not apply to members of the South African Defence Force, the National Intelligent Agency, the South African Secret Service, and volunteers, all of whom are excluded for the ambit of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2018.  A volunteer is a person who performs work for another person and who does not receive or is not entitled to receive, any remuneration for their services.

Employers are encouraged to take note of and comply with the new minimum wages. Non-compliance may also attract fines in terms of section 76A (1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997.   

This blog was co-authored by Likho Chitha, Candidate Attorney.