Labour relations and labour market institutions

Minimum wages and compliance in South African agriculture

Ben Stanwix, University of Cape Town on 22 January 2013
Reads 28,922

Average wages in agriculture have risen substantially in all provinces since the introduction of minimum wages in 2003 - the gap between the actual and the minimum wage has declined significantly. Compliance has been highest in the Western Cape and Gauteng, where average agricultural wages were close to or above the minimum wage even before it was introduced and wages have continued to rise thereafter. Although enforcement appears to have had a limited impact due in part to limited penalties, more effective inspection would be an important way to improve compliance.

Is Marikana a forerunner of national labour market instability and disruption?

Haroon Bhorat, University of Cape Town on 19 November 2012
Reads 13,814

The tragic events at Marikana raise the question whether the events and subsequent developments are indicative of a fundamental change in labour market relations and wage bargaining relationships in South Africa - and whether such patterns of behaviour are likely to spread beyond the mining sector. We identify five contributing factors that are specific to the mining sector. These relate to labour relations, public services and migrant labour. Since these factors do not characterise the rest of the economy, we conclude that a spreading of Marikana-type bargaining is unlikely.