Lockdown misery for domestic workers as salaries cut and living costs rise
A recent study looking at the living conditions of domestic workers in South Africa makes for grim reading.
The third annual SweepSouth Report on Pay and Working Conditions for Domestic Work shows that while there has been a significant increase in the cost of living for domestic workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of workers have also experienced a sharp decrease in their salaries.
75% of workers surveyed say they are earning less than R2 500 since the start of the coronavirus crisis and lockdown.
Measured against a 35% increase in their basic monthly expenses to R4 225, it means that many are simply unable to pay rent, honor school fees, or even put food on the table.
The report also found that 70% of respondents suffered physical or verbal abuse from a spouse or partner during lockdown.
SweepSouth CEO Aisha Pandor says the effects of the pandemic have been dire for domestic workers.
When people were locked inside the home, unfortunately, there were increases in rates of domestic violence.Aisha Pandor, CEO - SweepSouth
We've also seen a big increase in the number of dependents domestic workers are having to take care of.Aisha Pandor, CEO - SweepSouth
Listen to the full conversation below:
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