Minimum Wages

Feb 19, 2024

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) in South Africa is currently R25.42 for an ordinary hour of work.

On 01 February 2024 the Minister of Employment and Labour announced that the NMW for each ordinary hour worked will increase by 8.5% (or R2.16) to R27.58 with effect from 01 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.

As in previous years, the adjustment provides exceptions for several worker groups, including:

  • Workers employed on an expanded public works programme are entitled to a minimum wage of R15.16 per hour, and
  • Workers who have concluded learnership agreements contemplated in section 17 of the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No 97 of 1998), are entitled to allowances contained in schedule 2.

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 from 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.

It is illegal and unfair labour practice for an employer to unilaterally change working hours or other employment conditions to implement the NMW. The NMW is the amount payable for ordinary hours of work and excludes payment of allowances (such as transportation, tools, food, or lodging), payments in kind (board or lodging), tips, bonuses, and gifts.

Also announced are the new minimum wages for employees employed in the Contract Cleaning and Wholesale and Retail Sectors.  Click here to download the aforementioned.

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.

Disclaimer: LabourMan exclusively provides services to employers.

The content does not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Kindly contact us on or 021 556 1075 to speak to one of our consultants.


Wallace Albertyn

Wallace Albertyn is a Senior Associate and Legal Advisor at LabourMan Consultants.

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