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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday meet officials from the labour ministry to discuss the planned introduction of a national minimum wage, a day after nationwide protests over the policy which he has championed.
Several thousand union members marched in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and other cities on Wednesday to voice their opposition to the 20 rand ($1.6) an hour minimum wage, which they have called “starvation wages”.
Ramaphosa sees the minimum pay, which was meant to be introduced on May 1 but has been delayed, as an important first step to tackle labour instability and wage inequality.
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He has staked his reputation on revamping a stuttering economy and rooting out corruption associated with Jacob Zuma, whom he replaced as president in February.
Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman, Khusela Diko, said his meeting with the labour ministry on Thursday was not a response to Wednesday’s protests but was part of regular updates he had been receiving on the minimum wage.
Protesters on Wednesday called for the proposed hourly wage to be scrapped and replaced with a “living wage” of 12,500 rand ($1,000) a month. That wage would be more than three times higher than the 20 rand an hour minimum wage in monthly terms.
“The president recognises that the national minimum wage is not a living wage, but we need to start somewhere,” Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman Diko said.
Labour ministry spokesman Teboho Thejane said the ministry had received a memorandum from protesters on Wednesday and that officials hoped to finalise amendments to minimum wage legislation with lawmakers by August.
Thejane did not give an estimate for the new implementation date of the minimum wage, which was approved by the cabinet under former president Zuma in November after lengthy discussions with unions and employers.
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Salah withdraws from Egypt Squad
Egypt Football Federation has leave out Mohammed Salah on the upcoming AFCON qualifiers match with Kenya due to injury worries.
Egypt were grouped with kenya, Togo, Comoros in Group G, football fans has tipped Egypt to top the group due to their attacking threat.
The Egyptian talisman has now been ruled out of the upcoming AFCON qualifiers after due assessment by Egypt’s medical team.
The physios believe the Liverpool star’s injury, which was sustained from a challenge by Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury earlier last month, has been aggravated during the clash against Manchester City and needed time to heal.
The Egyptian frontman will miss the two matches scheduled this week.
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Groups criticise Kenya’s census figures
Groups has criticised the released Kenya’s population census figures stating that the results are not accurate.
It found that the total population of the country is now 47.6 million, nine million more than in 2009.
But some regions have experienced a decrease in population.
These outcomes can be hugely controversial because the size of the local population has important implications for the level of government funding they receive.
Kenya’s population is made up of many different ethnic groups, closely aligned to competing political parties.
The government has yet to release all the data on the ethnic composition of the country, but the changes in population in certain regions from this latest census have already caused arguments.
The outcome of such surveys can embolden or weaken claims made by groups for political representation or resources.
In one area of the north-east territories bordering Ethiopia and Somalia, the census indicates a decrease in the population, prompting local political leaders looking to retain funding for their provinces to question the veracity of the survey
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