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Minimum wage increases for the farming and the forestry sectors


After extensive consultations and consideration of submissions received from employers and employees both in the farming and forestry sectors, the Department of Labour has decided to adjust upwards the minimum wages for farming and forestry sectors. Wage adjustments are morally right so as to ensure that workers’ earnings keep pace with the rising cost of living while boosting the purchasing power which benefits the economy. 


To calculate minimum wage increases, the Department applied consumer price index (CPI) excluding owner’s equivalent rent which is lower than what the Department used to apply which was CPI for quintile 1 as published by Stats SA for a specific period. As at 1 March 2016, the minimum wage increases are adjusted as follows: Hour rate of R14.25 (2015/16: R13.37); Weekly of R641.32 (2015/16: 601.61); and Monthly rate of R2778.83 (2015/16: R2606.78). A daily wage for a farm worker is R128.26 (2015/16: R120.32) who works nine hours per day.


The Department is aware of the challenges faced by the agricultural sector with regard to certain areas affected by drought and how farmers are toiling with some tough decisions on whether or not to retain labour.


We encourage farmers in areas that are affected by drought to apply for ministerial variations in terms of section 50 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. Section 50makes provision for the Minister to replace or exclude any basic condition of employment provided for in the Act.


“My Department will expeditiously assist in processing variation applications. I further encourage farmers to solicit guidance on how to apply for variations from their relevant associations,” said Oliphant.


Issued by Department of Labour Communication Directorate:

Mokgadi Pela

Acting Departmental Spokesman 

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