The introduction of South Africa's new minimum wage is the start of a "long, difficult process," the country's minister of finance said Thursday.
South Africa's parliament passed a minimum wage bill by a large majority on Tuesday, meaning that millions of workers will now earn 20 rand ($1.58) per hour. This is equivalent to 3,500 rand ($277) per month.
"It's the beginning of a long, difficult process, because at the end of the day we've never had (a minimum wage)," Nhlanhla Nene told CNBC on Thursday at the OECD conference in Paris.
The minimum wage was due to be introduced on May 1 but was delayed due to government bodies redrafting legislation. South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, opposed the bill. The country's second-largest trade union, unhappy with the proposed wage, organized a strike in April calling for a higher figure.