South Africa: When Law-Making Falters Even On Legacy Legislation Such As the National Minimum Wage


Four months after Parliament passed the National Minimum Wage Bill - it was signed into law by the President in late November 2018 to be effective from New Year's Day 2019 - there must be an amendment bill to correct what ANC lawmakers on Wednesday said was "a mishap", the wrong sequential cross-referencing of clauses. But the bottom line is those who make the law didn't do their jobs properly, and not for the first time, as 2019 electioneering and politicking upped the pressure.

The national minimum wage legislation was meant to have been in place on Workers' Day 2018, one of those pre-planned symbolism-heavy nods by the ANC government to its alliance partners, the trade union federation Cosatu and the South African Communist Party (SACP). It was not, predominately because Parliament started processing the draft law late, and then got stuck in the procedural and administrative quagmire at the national legislature.

It took the concerted push by Cosatu to help chart a way out of this for the ANC labour study group, one of the formal structures the ANC has for each parliamentary committee to bring together its MPs, ministers and deputy ministers and others in the state to...

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