News Brief
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

South African Farm Workers’ Minimum Wage Just Got Raised, And It’s Still Peanuts

Try raising a family on R3, 169.19 per month.

South African farm workers are among the worst paid in the country. Some farmers don't even pay them the minimum wage, which is low already.


Yesterday, the South African Department of Labor announced an increase in minimum wage for farm works. The new figures will come into effect on the 1st of March, and will be reviewed again in February 2019.

Even though a 5.6% increase is reasonable, the figures are still ridiculously low. The figures will be as follows: R3, 169. 19 (monthly), R731. 41 (weekly), R146.28 (daily) and R16.25 (hourly).

These figures are still scant. Try raising a family on R3, 169.19 per month.

According to IOL, the Congress of South African Trade Unions says that all minimum wages should be reviewed to ensure that they are above the minimum wage to be implemented.

The news website quoted the regional secretary of the Western Cape region of Cosatu, Tony Ehrenreich, as saying: "The essential crisis of the SA economy is that workers are too lowly paid and are not consumers to assist in driving up aggregate demand in the economy. The moral implications of this wage policy is that the growing inequalities are leading to less social cohesion and sustainable development. We need to see decent work and a living wage top the agenda of the department of Labor."

The agricultural industry association, AgriSA is still to make comments on the feasibility of these figures.

We surely can do better.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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