Hot off the press

News that informs and inspires in the retail industry

The National Minimum Wage Bill has come into effect

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law the National Minimum Wage Bill, which set an historic precedent in the protection of low-earning workers. The Bill, which came into effect on 1 January 2019, provides a platform for reducing inequalities in society and decreasing huge disparities in income in the national labour market.

The National Minimum Wage Act sets South Africa’s first national minimum wage at R20 an hour, equivalent to R3 500 per month, depending on the number of hours worked.

The Act will raise the earnings of an estimated six million South Africans who currently earn below this level.

The new law allows for the annual adjustment of the minimum wage by a still-to-be-appointed commission, which must conduct a review of the wage within 18 months of the commencement of the Act.

The Act will raise the earnings of an estimated six million South Africans who currently earn below this level.  

Meanwhile, employers who are unable to pay the minimum wage due to business constraints will be eligible for exemptions as per the National Minimum Wage Regulations published by the Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, in the Government Gazette.

The Regulations make provision for employers to apply for exemption from paying the minimum wage of R3 500 per month or R20 per hour. The application must be lodged on the national minimum wage exemption system.

FNB and Selpal partner to connect informal traders

First National Bank and Selpal, a financial technology company in South Africa, are partnering to connect informal traders in townships with fast-moving consumer goods companies. Selpal connects informal merchants ranging from taverns and grocery stores to hairdressers and micro-manufacturers.

FNB is seeking to tap into a market that it estimates could consist of as many as one million enterprises employing three or more people and relying on cash payments.

The traders are provided with a point-of-sale device to enable payments “that lets them view, order, pay for and sell stock and value-added services without the store owners ever needing to leave their shop, and unlocks extra revenue for them,” said Selpal CEO Stephen Goldberg.

“It also changes the way that their customers buy from them, extending the benefits and extra value to the end consumer,” he said. “Our partnership with FNB Business will help expand our network and supercharge our growth.”

Shoprite brings payroll and bulk payment transactions to business owners at no cost

Businesses can now send money to multiple receivers with Shoprite Money – the mobile transactional banking service that is available to everyone, even those without bank accounts.

A business of any size can pay staff salaries or make other multiple payments safely, conveniently, and for free, using the Shoprite Money wallet. Shoprite Money is a mobile wallet which enables customers to deposit, withdraw or send money as well as buy groceries at any till point in all Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper and Usave stores.

Shoprite Money is assisting businesses with their payroll needs and giving employees easier access to their salaries. All transactions are free with the exception of a R9.95 fee that only applies to cash withdrawals. The Shoprite Group absorbs all other costs.

Businesses using the service have a transfer limit of R5 000 per employee per day. The monthly limit is R25 000 per receiver of the money. However, there is no limit on the total file value.

To register:

● Send an email to with "Bulk Disbursements" in the subject line, and include your company details, or register for an account free of charge by dialling *134*3534# – or visit the Money Market counter in any Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper or Usave store.

Shoprite Money is available to anyone aged 18 years and older with a valid SA ID document and an active cellphone number irrespective of their mobile network, device or connectivity.

From waiter to entrepreneur thanks to a unique product

Phenyo Sebaeng (28) had to borrow money from two of his close friends in order to buy a bus ticket from Rustenburg to Cape Town, where he had secured a meeting with a buyer at the Shoprite Group's home office in January 2017.

“I was so scared not knowing what will happen or what the result will be. Amazingly he saw the potential of (my) unique product and gave me a chance.” Today Sebaeng is a national supplier of disposable ice buckets to Shoprite Liquorshop.

He had always harboured dreams of owning his own business, so when Sebaeng was unable to complete his marketing studies due to a lack of funds, he went in search of entrepreneurial opportunities.

“Conventional ice buckets and cooler boxes are heavy and expensive,” he explained. And so the idea for Sebaeng ’s unique product was born. In 2015, while working as a waiter, he registered his company, Sebaeng Solution Manufacturing Company, and the trademark D-C.O.O.L.E.R.

Only two years later, after convincing his friends Refentse Letlhogonolo Mdangai and Thabang Makgamathe to invest in the business, Sebaeng stopped waitering in order to concentrate solely on his business.

“I still can’t believe what the Shoprite Group has done for us. They gave us an opportunity of a lifetime and on top of that they were very patient with us … what the Shoprite Group is doing for us still feels like a dream.”

Sebaeng’s disposable ice buckets are made from recyclable material with the added benefit that any logo can be printed on it. His ultimate goal is to manufacture these ice buckets in South Africa, but for now his main objective is to grow his client base further.

His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to “get an education and look for opportunities. Once you have discovered your strength, your passion and what you are good at, then there’s no need to waste time. Your ‘one day’ could very well be today.”