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: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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