BUSA UPDATE ON NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE / ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
In its latest communique to members, BUSA gives an update on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and progress in the Business Approach to Black Economic Transformation:
The National Minimum Wage:
- The National Minimum Wage Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bills have been drafted and are being amended in line with principle agreements reached at the last Committee of Principles meeting. While most of BUSAs concerns have been addressed, there are a few outstanding areas of concern that they are actively addressing through a variety of channels.
- In the week, the principle agreements relating to the Bills were tabled with the Director Generals’ of the Economic Cluster and were approved.
- The Bills will now go to the Cabinet Committee (Economic Cluster Ministers) on 25 October 2017, where they are scheduled to go to Cabinet on 2 November 2017.
- Once approved by Cabinet, the full package of Bills, together with the Labour Relations Stability Amendments to the Labour Relations Act and the Code of Good Practice (which have already been approved by Cabinet) will be tabled in Parliament. The aim is for the Bills to be approved in Parliament this year.
- Regulations relating to the Bills will be tabled for consideration in Nedlac. BUSA will monitor these carefully, particularly in relation to exemption criteria, turnaround times and the extent to which start-ups and SME’s can access the exemption process with minimal regulatory burden.
- Since the launch of the Business Approach to Black Economic Transformation for inclusive growth, BUSA have engaged in a number of processes for business to meaningfully drive transformation. Some of the highlights are mentioned below
Youth Employment Service (YES) Scheme:
- Following a BUSA workshop to engage its members on the YES proposal in August, they continued to engage with the YES and the dti to work on the proposed B-BBEE incentive package. This should be finalised shortly. BUSA also facilitated an engagement of the YES initiative at Nedlac in the week, where all constituencies supported and endorsed the proposal. A soft launch is planned for this year.
- BUSA has secured funding from the Employment Promotion Project to conduct a Youth Employment Audit. The Audit will be conducted on BUSAs behalf, and will provide an evidence based audit of youth and skills initiatives by business.
The National Treasury has conducted an analysis of JSE Ownership (circulated last week to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance). National Treasury will conduct an annual ownership monitor in this regard. It is important to note the alignment of this research with the Business Approach. The relevant documents have been sent to the Transformation Think Tank members and can be obtained on request from the BUSA Secretariat. Click here to view the JSE Ownership document.
Skills Development and Education:
BUSA has actively engaged in Nedlac on the National Skills Development Plan and in the recent TVET Imbizo to advocate for demand-led skills interventions. BUSA will keep members updated in this regard.
Access to market, capital and skill, and the regulatory environment continue to be the key barriers to enterprise development. BUSA has advocated for SME friendly exemption procedures in the National Minimum Wage and are actively lobbying to ensure that the Socio-Economic Impact Assessments (SEIA) consider the regulatory impact on SMEs.
Using the Business Approach as a basis, BUSA is working bilaterally with organised labour leaders to develop a joint position on Transformation for Inclusive Growth, and are also working with the Nedlac constituencies on a High Level Sovereign Downgrade Task Team. In addition, BUSA is lending its weight to transformation efforts of its members and attempting to publically highlight this in the public sphere.
In conclusion, BUSA is pondering on the best way to provide a structured platform within itself to engage, provide information and secure membership input on transformation matters and initiatives.