South Africa will officially introduce a minimum wage on Jan. 1, President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
Legislation that will force companies to pay their workers a minimum of R20 ($1.42) an hour will take effect on the first day of 2019, Ramaphosa said Friday in a speech in Soweto, west of Johannesburg, that was broadcast on television.
While the wage is “far below” the ideal level, it must help create jobs in a country where 27% of the labor force is unemployed and will provide an economic stimulus, he said. The implementation of the law has already been delayed from the initial planned date of May 1. Ramaphosa brokered the accord when he was still deputy president.