6 September, 2017
National Minimum Wage - Apparent Omission of Forestry Workers from 90% Dispensation
I realise that the
draft NWM Bill has still not been released for public comment but I am
particularly concerned about what is contained in subsections 2 and 3 of
the Draft Bill under "SCHEDULE 1: NATIONAL
MINIMUM WAGE" - refer text highlighted in yellow.
The entire Schedule reads as follows:
SCHEDULE 1: NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE
Subject to item 2, the national minimum wage is R20 for each ordinary hour worked.
Notwithstanding item 1 -
farm workers are entitled to a minimum wage of R18 per hour from 1 May2018;
(a) domestic workers are entitled to a minimum wage of R15 per hour from 1 May 2018.
For the purposes of item 2-
a worker who is employed mainly or wholly in connection with farming
activities, and includes a domestic worker employed in a home on a farm
and a security
guard on a farm or other agricultural premises, excluding a security
guard employed in the private security industry;
‘domestic worker' means a worker who performs domestic work in a private household and who receives, or is entitled to receive, a wage and includes -
(i) a gardener;
(ii) a person employed by a household as a driver of a motor vehicle;
(iii) a person who takes care of children, the aged, the sick, the frail or the disabled;
(iv) domestic workers employed or supplied by employment services.
From the above it would appear that the dispensation of 90% contained in the NWM Draft Bill for
"farm workers" (i.e. R18.00 per hour) will not apply to "forestry"
workers. Given that (a) we regard "forestry" as being part of
"agriculture" and (b) in recognition of this, DoL has aligned both
minimum wages i.t.o. both the Agriculture and
Forestry Sectoral Determinations, we would like Agri SA , through BUSA,
to negotiate to include forestry workers in the dispensation. This
would result in making changes to the abovementioned Bill's clauses as
- Amending clause 2 (a) to read as follows:
and forestry workers are entitled to a minimum wage of R18 per hour from 1 May 2018;"
new clause 3 (b) to read as follows (this is the definition of forestry
workers contained in Sectoral Determination 12: Forestry Sector, South
Africa) and renumber subsequent paragraph.
workers refer to those employed in operations related to the planting,
growing, tending and harvesting of trees. Without limiting its meaning,
‘forestry activities' includes:
where the majority of time is spent in relation to forestry contracting activities;
(d) all transportation
within the sector not covered by the Road Freight Bargaining Council;
(e) a domestic
worker employed in a home on a plantation where forestry activities take place;
guard employed to guard a plantation or other premises where forestry
activities are conducted, who is not employed in the private security
(3) The NWM does not apply to:
(a) community forestry employers and employees;
(b) employers where the majority of the time is spent in relation to conservation forestry activities;
any person employed or engaged in forestry activities covered by
another sectoral determination or by a bargaining council agreement in
terms of the
Labour Relations Act, 1995 and includes but is not limited to:
(i)transportation covered by the Road Freight Bargaining Council;
the forest products sector, which includes all primary and secondary
timber processing activities including the pulp and paper sector and
are currently covered by bargaining council agreements.
It is, in our view,
essential, that forestry workers are included in the dispensation being
offered whereby the minimum wage w.e.f. 1 May 2018 would be R18/hr
rather than R20/hr. Any assistance that you could
provide through your dealings with Nedlac / BUSA, would be greatly
appreciated. Please keep me informed of any developments in this
FSA will make a
submission to DoL once the public participation process gets underway.
First prize, however, would be to get forestry workers included in the
90% dispensation contained in the Draft Bill before
it goes out for public comment.
Any assistance that you could render in resolving this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Forestry South Africa
Tel:+27 33 346 0344
Fax: +27 33 346 0399
Cell: 082 805 7123