EXPLAINED | The national minimum wage is set to increase in March — here's what it can get you

The national minimum wage for domestic workers has been increased to R19.09 per hour. File photo.
The national minimum wage for domestic workers has been increased to R19.09 per hour. File photo.
Image: 123RF/Asawin Klabma

Employment and labour minister Thulas Nxesi has announced that the national minimum wage for each ordinary hour worked will, as of March 2021, increase from R20.76 to R21.69.

Nxesi said the national minimum wage (NMW) commission considered factors including inflation, the cost of living and GDP in the annual adjustment. 

Farmworkers are now eligible for an increment of R21.69 per hour and domestic workers will be entitled to R19.09 per hour. 

A daily rate for domestic workers is R152.72, while a monthly rate for 20 working days comes to about R3,054.

Nxesi said workers who are part of the expanded public works programme are entitled to R11.93 per hour and workers who have concluded learnership agreements are entitled to allowances as determined by the national qualifications framework level.


Besides housing, transport and schooling, workers also have to budget for food each month.

While the minimum wage may have increased, a rise in food prices over the last few months has seen the grocery bill get more expensive.

Recent data released by the Household Affordability Index shows that basic food items for South African households cost R2,194.02. These items exclude household and personal hygiene products, which cost R698.21 according to the index.

Here's a breakdown of the cost of some of the basic food items: 

Maize meal 35kgR244.02
Rice 10kg R139.54
Cake flour 10kg R95.22
White sugar 10kgR160.04
Sugar beans 5kgR155.27 


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