Congress of South African Trade Unions Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich. Picture: SUNDAY WORLD
Congress of South African Trade Unions Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich. Picture: SUNDAY WORLD

A FIRST round of negotiations on raising the minimum wage in agriculture, held in Cape Town on Thursday, agreed that a differentiated wage model for the various sectors and provinces had to be explored.

At present, the minimum wage of R70 a day applies across the board without considering the differences in profitability of various agricultural products and enterprises.

The talks were attended by Agri SA and other employer bodies, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and a variety of unions, and representatives of non-unionised striking workers and the Department of Labour.

However, no agreement was reached on raising the minimum wage.

Thembinkosi Mkalipi, chief director of labour relations in the Department of Labour, said great progress was made "as all parties arrived willing to negotiate".

Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said a range of models and collective bargaining processes would be discussed. However, the December 4 deadline to avert a resumption of the strike in the agriculture sector remained sacrosanct.