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  • Writer's pictureLawtons Africa

Increase in the National Minimum Wage effective 1 March 2024

Authors: Prudence Moselakgomo – Candidate Attorney

Supervised by: Darryn Mer –Consultant

On 3 February 2024, the Minister of Employment and Labour announced that the National Minimum Wage will increase from R25.42 to R27.58 for each ordinary hour worked. The National Minimum Wage takes effect from 1 March 2024 marking an increase of approximately 8.5% from 2023 as determined in accordance with the National Minimum Wage Act 9 of 2018.

Workers within the farming and domestic sectors, whom since 2022 have been aligned with the National Minimum Wage rates, are to remain on par with the National Minimum Wage.

As in previous years, the adjustment provides exceptions which will affect the following groups:

  • workers employed on an Expanded Public Works Programme will be entitled to earn a minimum wage of R15.16 per hour up from R13.97.

  • workers who have concluded Learnership Agreements contemplated in section 17 of the Skills Development Act, 1998 are entitled to the allowances as determined in the latest government schedule.

  • workers in the Wholesale and Retail Sector will enjoy an increase to their minimum wage based on the job category as per the latest government schedule, the lowest of which is in line with the National Minimum Wage.

  • workers in the Contract Cleaning Sector will also see an increase with a minimum of R30.35 in metropolitan areas and R27.67 in certain rural areas.

The National Minimum Wage excludes the payment of allowances that enable employees to work such as transportation, tools, food, accommodation, payments in kind, bonuses, tips and gifts and any other prescribed category of payment.

Employers are advised to give due consideration to the revised minimum wage in their engagements with employees to ensure that they remain legally compliant. This having regard to the fact that the National Minimum Wage must constitute a term of the worker’s contract except to the extent where that the contract, collective agreement or law provides a favourable wage to the employer.

It is also important for employers to note that the payment of the National Minimum Wage cannot be waived, and that it takes precedence over any contrary provision in any employment contract, collective agreement, sectorial determination or law, except a law amending this Act, and would constitute an unfair labour practice for an employer to unilaterally alter wages, hours of work and/or other conditions of employment in connection with the implementation of the National Minimum Wage.


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