The Wages Commission, which was established to investigate the introduction of a national minimum wage, is continuing with public hearings that were scheduled for June. The hearings were unfortunately postposed due to Covid-19 regulations and other health measures which limited gatherings to no more than 10 people for a duration of not more than two hours.
The three upcoming activities of the commission are public hearings on 06 September 2021 in Otjiwarongo, 07 September in Swakopmund and a final by invitation stakeholders engagement session on 10 September in Windhoek. The purpose of the public hearings is to afford individuals, employees, employers, trade unions and employers’ organisations an opportunity to make oral representations regarding matters set out in the terms of reference of the commission.
In a statement, chairperson of the Wages Commission Marius Kudumo explained that the final by invitation stakeholders engagement is to afford key invited stakeholders an opportunity to make final representations, and for the commission to clarify matters emanating from written and oral representations requiring further clarifications.
“The engagement is, furthermore, aimed at filling gaps from both oral and written representations received thus far with the view of concretising the findings and recommendations of the commission,” he noted.
The Wages Commission was appointed by the labour minister “to investigate all relevant industries, and to report and make recommendations to the minister on a proposed National Minimum Wage, which will apply to all employees, except to related categories of employees specifically exempted by the minister in a Wage Order, and on related supplementary minimum conditions of employment”.
The commission has thus far received 46 written representations, and as per its workplan has conducted public hearings to receive oral representations in Windhoek (Khomas region), Aussenkehr and Keetmanshoop (//Karas region), Gobabis (Omaheke region), Katima Mulilo (Zambezi region), Rundu (Kavango East region), Eenhana (Ohangwena region), Oshakati (Oshana region) and Opuwo (Kunene region). Some 97 oral presentations were made at the concluded public hearings, while 344 persons have attended the hearings.
In addition, the commission has received written inputs from the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
“The commission invites and encourages social partners in labour relations in the two towns to attend the hearings with the view to make representations and to contribute to the work of the commission,”Kudumo stated.