WP 201601 - Investigating the Feasibility of a National Minimum Wage for South Africa

Haroon Bhorat, Tara Caetano, Benjamin Jourdan, Ravi Kanbur, Christopher Rooney, Benjamin Stanwix and Ingrid Woolard

Date of Publication: 
May 2016


Part I was completed by the DPRU and is a quantitative analysis of the feasibility of a national minimum wage for South Africa. The DPRU was commissioned by the Department of Labour to provide an analytical and empirical rubric, with which a more informed and nuanced decision could be taken around the promulgation of a NMW for South Africa. In summary, the report recommends that the South African Government consider introducing a NMW to address low wages. However, we argue that critical attention must be given to the design and implementation of the policy so that it achieves the goal of protecting workers, minimizes the potential negative consequences on employment, and ultimately succeeds in improving levels of compliance with legislated wages. Part II was completed by the CSDA and is a qualitative analysis that investigates how a national minimum wage might affect young people’s labour market outcomes in South Africa.

Download Working Paper: DPRU WP 201601