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A minimum wage needs to balance risk and opportunity, says DPRU
27 June, 2016

The benefits of setting a national minimum wage at R2 447 per month could, on average, outweigh the costs, but setting it at R3 400 could risk far greater job losses, warns a research paper from UCT’s Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU).

Weighing up the costs and risks of setting a national minimum wage at these two levels, the DPRU, in a study led by Professor Haroon Bhorat, argue that a baseline of R2 447 could result in job losses of up to 281 000 people across the board. This is far more palatable than the more than 500 000 low-wage workers who might expect to lose their jobs should the baseline be set at R3 400.

But when it comes to the bigger picture of socio-economic equity, a national minimum wage would only be one – and perhaps a minor – component of a broader social programme to reduce inequality, boost employment and grow the economy.

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You’ve been a refuge for the poor
14 June, 2016

Have your hearts on fire and your brains on ice. This was the message Emeritus Professor Francis Wilson left graduands with after he was conferred with an honorary doctorate at the morning ceremony on 14 June 2016.

Some 380 Commerce graduands were capped at the eighth ceremony of a bumper June graduation week and the audience was treated to an address by one of the stalwarts of their discipline. Wilson rose to the podium to share some of the insights he’d gained from a lifetime of studying, and fighting exploitative labour practices, poverty and inequality.

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Big dreams bear fruit
10 June, 2016

When Sibusiso Pinky Sibindi was still in Grade 11, she participated in the making of a Dutch documentary about five South African children. The film was called Leaving Mandela Park and looked at how music and dance could help them to overcome their circumstances.

Pinky was chosen because she was a dancer – the others were a rapper, a violinist, an opera singer and a drummer. The documentary followed their day-to-day lives at home, in school and in their communities and focused in particular on their dreams.

When Pinky graduates, the documentary makers will be there again to record her achievement, although in a discipline some might suggest is as far from the arts as is possible.

On 15 June 2016 Pinky graduates with an honours in accounting, and she has set her sights on becoming a chartered accountant – just one more step on the road to achieving her dreams.

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