Forestry in South Africa
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June : Final NMW Bill & Amended BCEA and LRA Bills + Draft NMW Exemption Regulations

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27 June, 2018

Final NMW Bill & Amended BCEA and LRA Bills + Draft NMW Exemption Regulations

Please find Below for your information the abovementioned Bills which were passed by Parliament on 29 May 2018 together with the draft NMW Exemption Regulations.  The three Bills will now be tabled in the National Council of Provinces for their approval. Once this is done, they will be signed into law by the President.

Despite various recommendations being made by FSA, Agri SA and other like-minded bodies to the Parliamentary Labour Portfolio Committee, to reduce the potential negative impacts that the NMW could have on employment levels and the economy in general (as members have been made aware of), the final NMW Bill has not changed much from that initially gazetted in its draft form.   

Notwithstanding this, certain positive changes that have been made and relate to the following:

  • Sectoral Determinations have been retained and will now be administered by the NMW Commission (previously the Minister of Labour).  This is important because the NMW Commission will determine future wage rates for, amongst others, forestry and agricultural workers.  This could well lead to an extended phasing in period i.r.o. the wages for these workers (as recommended by FSA).  The initial Bill only allowed for a one year phasing in period - 90% in year one, 100% in year two).
  • The "allowable deductions" from wages for food and accommodation (in terms of the Sectoral Determinations), again, as recommended by FSA, will continue.  This is a major concession as these were not allowed in terms of the orginal NMW Bill. Allowable deductions for food and accommodation will thus be up to 10% each from a workers wage  as currently the case  (if certain criteria are met, as per the Sectoral Determination for the Forestry Sector).

Other important issues to note are that:

  • Jahni de Villier, Agri SA's Head: Labour & Development, has been appointed as a member of the NMW Commission. This is to be welcomed as it will give organised agriculture a voice on the Commission
  • The final NMW Exemption Regulations will be circulated to members in due course.
  • The implementation date of the NMW has still not been decided upon.  Members will be informed in due course as to when it will be implemented. 


Forestry South Africa
Roger Godsmark
Operations Director
Tel :+27 33 346 0344