The minimum wage has been increased to R23.19 per hour — here’s what basics it can get you

15 February 2022 by Cebelihle Bhengu

The department of employment and labour announced that the national minimum wage (NMW) per hour will, from March 1, be increased from R21.69 to R23.19. 

In line with the new minimum wage, domestic workers will now be entitled to a minimum wage of R23.19 per hour compared to R19.09 previously. 

A domestic or farmworker who works eight hours a day for five days a week will earn R185.52 per day and about R4,000 a month. 

According to the basic conditions of employment act, employees can work between eight to nine hours a day, which amounts to 40-45 hours per week. 

Labour minister Thulas Nxesi said workers employed on an expanded public works programme are entitled to a minimum wage of R12.75 per hour and workers who have concluded learnership agreements are entitled to allowances as determined by the national qualifications framework level. 

A worker must be paid for a minimum of four hours per day even if he/she works less than four hours on a given day.

According to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), the payment of the minimum wage is mandatory.

Employers can only be exempted through an exemption certificate issued by the NMW Commission, which is valid for 12 months “unless renewed accordingly”.

The Household Affordability Index which tracks food prices in cities including Joburg, Durban and Cape Town, showed basic food items for SA households cost R2,338.83 compared to R2,1942.02 in 2021.

The basic food basket, according to the index, excludes cleaning and hygiene products which cost R762.56 per basket. This is an increase from R698.21 in 2021. 

A domestic or farmworker who earns a monthly salary of R4,000 will, according to the index, spend about R3,000 on groceries alone. This excludes other expenses like transport, housing and schooling. 

Here’s a breakdown of the cost of some of the basic food items listed in the index:

Food item 2021 price2022 price
Maize meal 30kg           R 244.02R 248.56
Rice 10kg     R 139.54R 138.24
Cake Flour 10kgR 95.22R 98.04        
White Sugar R 160,04R 169,35
Sugar beans R 155.27

R 171.28

Source: Times Live at