Congress of South African Trade union will vehemently oppose the Minister of Small Business Development’s efforts to exempt small businesses from the minimum wage legislation, the organisation’s spokesperson, Patrick Craven told Transform SA.
There were more than enough provisions for small business to benefit from already, said Craven. “The laws already contain flexibility to take account of the particular problems of small businesses, which are entitled to various exemptions.”
He expressed fear that some small businesses, which could afford to pay the minimum wage, could use a new exemption to exploit their employees.
“The only legally enforced wages are those for vulnerable workers covered by sectoral determinations. These are minimum wages, and are certainly not high.”
Small Business Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, stirred a hornet’s when she made a suggestion that labour laws should not apply to big and small businesses in the same manner. “When owners of small businesses make little profits, they can’t be forced to pay high wages or be forced to keep staff at the cost of their business,” she commented.