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Low wages attract South African textile giants
28
Jan '11
The South African textile firms which are giving the threat to shift their production base from their homeland to nearby countries like Lesotho and Swaziland would find it comfortable to be in Swaziland as the minimum wages in Swaziland are lesser than those proposed in their home country.

The South African Chinese Chamber of Commerce some three months back raised a demand that the minimum wages should be raised in the country so that an ordinary worker in rural areas can draw R220 per week while an urban worker should draw R300 per week. Whereas qualified machinists in the rural area should draw R280 per week, while those in the urban areas should earn R450 per week, the Chamber said.

But then, there exists discord regarding the implementation of the new proposed wage structure.

Thus, the Chamber has given an intimidation that if a resolution compelling the garment firms to pay minimum wages to its workers is not implemented within 16 months then it would cut back unskilled workers, close the firms and shifting the production base to neighbouring countries like Lesotho and Swaziland.

Further, Alex Liu, Chairman of the Newcastle Chinese Chamber of Commerce said that, as per the assumptions if the minimum wage is to rise to R336 per week by March end, and to R465 by close of the current year and to R516 by April next year, it will become difficult for the Chamber members to survive in business.

According to the agreements entered into at the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry, the current weekly minimum wage average for a qualified machinist employed in a city is R740 and for those in the smaller towns it ranges somewhere between R451 and R522.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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