National minimum wage 2021

minimum wage

Despite the weak state of the South African economy, as well as the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and negative effect of the lockdown on employers’ financial position, the Minister of Employment and Labour announced the amended national minimum wage on 8 February 2021 in the Government Gazette 44136.

The amended minimum wage will come into effect on 01 March 2021. The current national minimum wage of R20.76 per hour will increase to R21.69 per hour.

Take note of the minimum wage amendments in the following industries:

Agricultural sector

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National minimum wage – Agricultural sector

The agricultural sector minimum wage will from 01 March 2021 be equal to the national minimum wage for 2021 of R21.69. The agricultural sector previously received an exemption to pay only 90,0% of the national minimum wage (it amounted to R18.68 in 2020).  However, this exemption has now expired and the minimum wage for farm workers has been equalised to the national minimum wage for 2021.  This calculates to a 16,1% increase of the previous minimum wage for farm workers of R18.68 per hour (2020) to R21.69 per hour (2021). Employers in the agricultural sector should take note that domestic workers on a farm are regarded as farm workers and must receive the correct wage.

Domestic worker sector

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National minimum wage – Domestic worker sector

The domestic worker sector minimum wage will increase from 01 March 2021 to R19.09 per hour.

Contract cleaning sector

National minimum wage – Contract cleaning sector

The contract cleaning sector minimum wage will increase from 01 March 2021 based on the specific area in which the employer is doing business (see the amended Schedule 2 on page 5 of the Government Gazette):

  • Area A: R23.87 per hour – City of Cape Town, Greater East Rand Metro, City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane and City of Nelson Mandela, Local Councils of Emfuleni, Merafong, Mogale City, Metsimaholo, Randfontein, Stellenbosch and Westonaria.
  • Area B: Collective Agreement as contained in the Bargaining Council for the Contract Cleaning Service Industry – All areas in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Area C: R21.77 per hour – All areas not listed in Areas A and B.

Wholesale and retail sector

National minimum wage – Wholesale and retail sector

The wholesale and retail sector minimum wage will increase from 01 March 2021 based on the specific area in which the employer does business as well as the respective job descriptions of employees (see the amended Table 1 and 2 on page 6-7 of the Government Gazette).

It is important for employers to continuously comply with labour law. It is therefore necessary that you adjust the national minimum wage rate that your employees will receive from 01 March 2021 according to the amended national minimum wage.


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