The department of labour says wages above the national minimum wage will be increased through collective bargaining once the remuneration target comes into force on May 1.
The national minimum wage (NMW) agreed at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) is pegged at R20 an hour for major sectors, with the exception of farm workers, domestic workers and expanded public works programme workers, and will be enforceable by law through the NMW Bill.
"This Bill is an outcome of a compromise. It is an agreement of win-win; and lose-lose for all parties," director of collective bargaining in the labour department Thembinkosi Mkalipi said.
"There are things in this Bill that business does not like, and there are things in this Bill that labour does not like. At Nedlac we managed to strike a balance in that while we do not destroy jobs we also save jobs," Mkalipi told a forum for trade unions and shop stewards in East London.
Delegates at the meeting discussed the implementation of the NMW, amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and other legislation.
Mkalipi said the department was developing an online system to help analyse data submitted by employers applying for NMW exemptions.
He warned employers that they would face serious consequences if they misrepresented facts in their applications.
The East London meeting was part of a series of sessions that began in Johannesburg in November.