Agri SA has cautiously welcomed the passing of the National Minimum Wage Bill by the National Assembly on Tuesday.

The agriculture union said it has also noted the passing of the Labour Relations Amendment Act and Basic Conditions of Employment Act, which were passed by parliament.

” Agri SA will focus on ensuring that all its members are aware of their rights and responsibilities in terms of the Act. Agri SA has excellent relationships with the Department of Labour and the CCMA, who will have to enforce the legislation,”

The bill will now move to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence before being passed to the President, who may turn it back before signing it into law.

Agri SA’s Chairman of  Labour and Development Centre of Excellence Neil Hamman said the body cautiously welcomed the passing of the bills even though agricultural sector was very complex, considering that the vast majority of farming operations can be considered SME’s.

“Many of whom are already loss-making through a combination of drought conditions and low international commodity prices,” Hamman said.

Hamman said the adaption of the Minimum Wage Bill was, however, a step in the right direction.

“We are glad that our sectoral determination is still there, and we welcome the formation of the National Minimum Wage Commission, which will have the responsibility of determining the National Minimum Wage, going forward,” he said.

He said the agricultural body will focus on ensuring that all its members are aware of their rights and responsibilities of the act as the body had excellent relationships with the Department of Labour and the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) who will have to enforce the legislation.

-Afro Voice Reporter