CAPE TOWN South
Africa (Xinhua) -- President Cyril
Ramaphosa has signed into law the National Minimum Wage Bill (NMWB)
which sets an historic precedent in the protection of
low-earning workers in the country, the Presidency said on
The NMWB provides a platform for reducing
inequality in society and decreasing huge disparities in income
at the national labor market, presidential spokesperson Khusela
The NMWB will come into force on a date to be determined by
the president, said Diko.
The bill sets a floor of 20 rand (about 1.5 U.S. dollars) per
hour, or 3,500 rand (about 254 dollars) a month for the majority
of the country’s six million workers, more than half of the
The president’s signing of the bill into law came four years
after the National Economic Development and Labor Council (NEDLAC)
first began deliberations on the protection of low-paid workers.
Following these deliberations and recommendations by an
advisory panel, Ramaphosa has also assented to the Basic
Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and Labor Relations
Amendment Bill which were negotiated by the NEDLAC at the same
time as the NMWB, according to Diko.
Taken together, these bills introduce a national minimum wage
and provide for the technical arrangements needed to support
implementation of the NMWB, said Diko.
The NMWB recognizes South Africa as one of the most unequal
societies and notes the need to eradicate poverty and
inequality, she said.
Ramaphosa has reiterated his appreciation to all stakeholders
engaged in the development of the legislation for their focus on
creating a new dispensation for the country’s most vulnerable
workers and for bringing South Africa into line with
international best practice, Diko said.
The president has also underscored that while NMWB will not
end income inequality, it provides a firm and unassailable
foundation - which is agreed to by all social partners - from
which to advance the struggle for a living wage, Diko said.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the
country’s largest trade federation, welcomed the signing into
law of the NMWB, saying this is a victory for millions of
COSATU applauded and thanked the president, for his
unflinching support in seeing the realization of the NMWB.
South African National
Assembly passes Cybercrimes Bill
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
The South African National Assembly on Tuesday
passed the Cybercrimes Bill in a bid to curb the increase in
The general purpose of the Cybercrimes Bill is to criminalize
the distribution of data messages which are harmful, parliament
spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.
The bill provides for interim protection orders in cybercrime
cases and seeks to regulate the powers to investigate
cybercrimes, said Mothapo.
When tabling the bill last year, the Department of Justice
and Correctional Service said the bill aimed to stop cybercrime
and improve the country’s security.
The bill was first initiated in August 2015, updated in
January 2017 and was introduced in Parliament in February 2017.
There were extensive comments on the bill during public
hearings, and particularly on onerous aspects of the bill.
Those comments were considered and incorporated into the
latest version of the bill that was published in October 2018.
The enacted bill creates many new offences in relation to
data, messages, computers, and networks such as hacking,
unlawful interception of data, ransomware, cyber forgery and
uttering, or cyber extortion.
Under the bill, if somebody is convicted of a cybercrime, he
or she could spend between one year to 15 years in prison,
depending on the cybercrime.
The bill gives the courts jurisdiction to try these offences
in some cases where there is uncertainty.
It also enables the Minister of Justice and Correctional
Service to make regulations on information sharing, including
sharing information on cybersecurity incidents, detecting,
preventing and investigating cybercrimes.
South Africa has the third highest number of cyber crime
victims worldwide, resulting in a loss of about 2.2 billion rand
(about 159 million U.S. dollars) each year to cyber attacks,
according to the South African Banking Risk Information Center (SABRIC).
This means that every time a user logs onto his or her
smartphone, computer or opens an email, he or she is at risk of
being exposed to cyber crime, the SABRIC said in a report
released earlier this year.
Globally, 978 million consumers were affected by cyber crime
in 2017, with a total of 172 billion dollars stolen, cyber
security firm Norton said in its latest report.
South Africa wants G20
Summit to advance global governance reforms
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
South Africa views the upcoming G20
Summit as an opportunity to advance global governance reforms
and reorient the international developmental agenda, the
Presidency said on Wednesday.
South Africa also takes the summit as a platform from which
to promote and strengthen interests of the African continent and
of the South, the Presidency said before President Cyril
Ramaphosa leaves for Buenos Aires, Argentina to take part in the
summit that will take place between November 30 and December 1.
In the course of this working visit, Ramaphosa will hold
bilateral meetings with various heads of states to strengthen
and deepen relations with partner countries, presidential
spokesperson Khusela Diko said.
The president will present South Africa as an attractive
investment destination and trade partner, said Diko.
Argentina assumed the G20 Presidency in November 2017, with a
focus throughout this year-long term on "building consensus for
fair and sustainable development."
This theme resonates well with Ramaphosa’s emphasis on the
importance of consensus and collaboration in South Africa’s
efforts to build an inclusive and sustainable economy and
advance social cohesion, Diko said.
The G20 was formed in 1999 with the aim of bringing stability
to the global financial system, promoting long-term sustainable
growth and strengthening global financial governance.
However, it has since expanded its agenda beyond economic and
financial issues to encompass geopolitical matters and issues of
peace and security, global governance, environment and
The G20, which consists of the leading developed and
developing economies, accounts for 85 percent of global economic
output, 75 percent of international trade and 66 percent of the
AfDB signs loan agreemnt
with Eskom to expand power pool in Southern Africa
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB)
and South Africa’s power utility Eskom on Tuesday signed a loan
agreement worth 2.886 billion rand (about 209 million U.S.
dollars) to improve power transmission in Southern Africa.
The loan will be used for the construction of 552 kilometres
of transmission lines and associated substations across
Mpumalanga and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces, the upgrade of
substation equipment including earthing systems at various
existing substations in Mpumalanga, Eskom said.
It’s anticipated that this will translate to integration of
distributed generation of mainly large-scale renewable energy,
into the transmission network, ensure reliability and security
of supply, reduction of transmission losses, improved regional
integration and safety of operations and maintenance personnel,
according to Eskom.
The financing of the Eskom Transmission Project will result
in a significant strengthening of South Africa’s transmission
infrastructure, said Kapil Kapoor, Director General of AfDB’s
Southern Africa Bureau.
"Not only will this improve the reliability and security of
electricity supply, but will also allow for the integration of
large-scale renewable energy into the transmission network,
enhance network capacity for future load growth and ensure
reduction in transmission losses," Kapoor said.
Eskom, South Africa’s major power provider, also contributes
about three quarters of the total installed power generation
capacity in the Southern African Power Pool, exporting power to
at least six countries in the region.
Eskom and AfDB have enjoyed a productive partnership since
2009 when the bank approved the first facility in support of the
utility’s capital expansion program.
This project has contributed to the realization of the New
Deal on Energy in Southern Africa, one of the bank’s priority
development areas, by ensuring capacity to add new connections
in South Africa and the region.
"We are encouraged by the level of support that we continue
to receive from Developing Finance Institutions, such as the
African Development Bank which continues to be a significant
partner and a key contributor to the progress achieved by Eskom
in the execution of the current capital expansion program," said
Calib Cassim, Eskom’s Acting Chief Financial Officer.
The loan comes at a time when Eskom has made major
advancements towards fully securing the 72 billion rand funding
requirement for this year, according to Cassim.
These kinds of facilities are a demonstration of the bank’s
mandate to contribute to the economic development and social
progress of African countries, he said.