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Fri, 17 Aug 2018

According to law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH), the bills deal with a broad range of labour issues including minimum wage, parental leave, disputes, and strike action.

The Bills will now be placed before a plenary sitting of the National Council of Provinces. If adopted, the Bills will be sent to the President of the Republic of South Africa for final assent and signature. Once signed by the president, the bills will become law.

Below CDH broke down the most important aspects of each Bill.

National Minimum Wage Bill

The National Minimum Wage Bill, together with the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill, proposes that the national minimum wage is increased as follows:

R3,900 per month for full-time workers (who work 45 hours per week); or

R3,500 per month for full-time workers (who work 40 hours per week); or

R800 per week; or

R20 per hour.

This bill also introduces different hourly wage rates for agricultural workers (R18 per hour) and domestic workers (R15 per hour).

The bill creates and establishes a National Minimum Wage Commission who will be responsible for annually reviewing the national minimum wage. In deciding on the annual adjustment, the following factors will be considered:

Cost of living;

Minimum living levels;

Alleviation of poverty;

Wage differentials and inequality;

Conditions of employment;

Health, safety and welfare of workers;

Employment levels;


Gross Domestic Product growth;

State of collective bargaining.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill will include provisions of the National Minimum Wage Bill.

Labour Relations Amendment Bill

This bill makes various changes to the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995. These changes mainly concern collective bargaining. The bill provides for the following:

Extension of bargaining council agreements to non-parties by the Minister of Labour;

Extension of funding agreements of bargaining councils;

Picketing through collective agreement or through prescribed picketing rules;

Extension of the meaning of ballot for a strike or lock-out to include a secret vote;

Creation of an advisory arbitration panel.

“The advisory arbitration panel has been established to resolve strikes (or lockouts) that are obstinate or violent,” CDH explained.

“The panel may also intervene if there is potential for the strike (or lockout) to cause a local or national crisis.

“The panel will have the power to investigate the cause and circumstances of the strike (or lockout) and release an advisory arbitration award to assist the parties in resolving the dispute. The panel may only be established if this is directed by the Minister of Labour or Labour Court.”

Labour Laws Amendment Bill

The bill aims to amend the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997. The bill creates parental leave, adoption leave and commissioning parental leave to employees as follows:

An employee, who is a parent of a child, is entitled to ten consecutive days of parental leave;

An employee, who is an adoptive parent of a child below the age of two, is entitled to:

Adoption leave of at least ten consecutive weeks; or

At least ten consecutive days of parental leave.

An employee, who is a commissioning parent in a surrogacy agreement, is entitled to:

Commissioning parental leave of ten consecutive weeks; or

At least ten consecutive days of parental leave.


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Fri, 17 Aug 2018

The lira, the world’s worst performer this year, and South Africa’s rand led the advance as some investors say Turkey’s problems are unique and others look for buying opportunities across emerging markets, writes Bloomberg.

The rand was nearly 2.5% stronger in morning trade against the dollar on Tuesday, after sliding as much as 9.4% on Monday – the most since October 2008.

Bloomberg reported some analysts saying that there are few fundamental reasons for assets across emerging markets to fall because of the lira. Turkey’s problems stem from president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s standoff with the US administration.

With average inflation rates at record lows and current-account balances improving, the developing world is diverging from Turkey. Still, the sell-off has helped make valuations attractive, Bloomberg said. An index of emerging-market stocks is near the cheapest since early 2016, before a two-year rally started.

“After a large sell-off triggered by the rout in Turkey, some investors may have bought emerging currencies on dips,” said Toru Nishihama, Tokyo-based emerging-market economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Inc.

“The global economy is still expanding and that’s providing underlying support for the emerging markets. But Turkey’s problems from its spat with the US, issues of central bank independence and inflationary pressures are not resolved, which means downward pressure on Turkish assets will continue for a while.”

“Concerns will linger over who could be the next hit. Would that be South Africa because of its weak fundamentals or Russia with deteriorating relations with the US or Mexico where the peso has been purchased on expectations surrounding the new president but no concrete outcome has been delivered?” Nishihama said.


The rand’s performance

According to analysis by Rand Merchant Bank, markets are still digesting their exposure to the Turkish crisis as the lira steadied in Asian trade.

“Turkey’s reliance on foreign funding, as evidenced by its wide current account deficit and its corporates’ exposure to foreign currency debt, renders it vulnerable to higher global yields and a stronger dollar,” the group said.

Contagion from the Turkey crisis prompted intervention from central banks in several countries including Indonesia and Argentina.

While South Africa is also heavily reliant on foreign inflows, the South African Reserve Bank confirmed that intervention would not be necessary in the local market.

“We expect the rand will continue to pull back, and have not changed our minds that the year-end range is between R13 and R14,” RMB said.

RMB said that the slipping rand implies that it has pushed weaker than its long-term PPP (purchasing power parity) fair value.

“Interestingly, rand valuation on the PPP scale implies the currency is close to the value of other high risk currencies measured on the same basis,” RMB said.

The rand outperformance at the start of the year has been worked away, the financial services firm said.

Hugo Pienaar, senior economist at the Bureau for Economic Research, said on Twitter that while there is “lots to worry about in SA”, the rand crash was driven by Turkey woes and strong US dollar, and was likely an over-reaction by the market.

Reserve Bank’s view

Bloomberg reported that the [...]

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Tue, 07 Aug 2018

Trade cooperation agreements signed by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and Chinese President Xi Jinping for the investment are to benefit the local infrastructure, ocean economy, green economy, science and technology, agriculture, environment, as well as finance sectors.

“Strengthening partnership with the world’s leading economy and reliable trade partner has afforded South Africa with opportunities to increase its exports, accelerate infrastructure delivery, economic recovery and job creation,” said SANCO National Spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu in a statement released late on Tuesday.



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