National minimum wage on the cardsThe commission appointed by the Ministry of Labour in February last year for the possible introduction of a nationwide national minimum wage, presented its final report last Friday.
Chairman of the commission, Dr Marius Kudumo, informed labour minister Utoni Nujoma at the handover that the report should be completed by the end of September 2021, but that there had been delays due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“We held 13 public hearings nationwide with a total of 433 in attendance and 115 oral comments were made,” Kudumo said. “We received 60 written submissions and statements from eleven bodies, including the International Labour Organisation (ILO).”
Nujoma said that “Article 95 of the Namibian Constitution requires that government shall, inter alia, aim to ensure that workers are paid a living wage in order to maintain a decent standard of living and enjoy social and cultural opportunities”.
The introduction of a national minimum wage is also enshrined in the government's second Harambee prosperity plan. “This is intended to reduce inequality, the wealth gap and poverty,” Nujoma said. “A national minimum wage is becoming an important part of regulating the Namibian labour market.”
The report has not been made public yet because the minister and his staff have to read and examine it first. Recommendations will then be submitted to Cabinet for approval. Thereafter the ministry will publish an announcement in the Government Gazette.