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Domestic workers still among the most exploited in SA

5 August 2022 1:02 PM
Tags:
Domestic workers
Exploitation
Sweepsouth
Housekeeping

Refilwe Moloto speaks to chairperson of the Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance, Tshedza Maphosa, on working conditions for domestic workers in South Africa. 

Domestic workers are among the most exploited and abused workers in any industry.

Many face the brunt of employers who overwork them, underpay them and sometimes, do not pay them at all should they not complete the behemoth amount of tasks they are given on any given day. Others face verbal and even physical abuse.

Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance represents over 400 domestic workers who work both independently or under management companies like SweepSouth and Marvelous Maids.

Domestic worker management companies have come under fire for underpaying domestic workers and taking a significant portion of the booking fee.

The alliance's chairperson - Tshedza Maphosa, says the companies can charge around R20+ per hour of their booking fee.

It depends with the agent [and it] depends on the hours, as well. Others they charge you R20-something per hour.

Tshedza Maphosa, chairperson - Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance

However, SweepSouth COO, Luke Kannemeyer, said that the company pays workers 80% to 96% of their minimum booking fee, which is the first four hours.

He also said that workers in their trial phase - usually two to three months - receive 65% of their booking fee.

Maphosa says that this claim can be difficult to track due to management and employers not communicating the amount of money they would be paid for the day.

Unfortunately, it's not easy for [the workers in the union] to tell us that this is the way they do it but when you talk to the employer, the employer says, 'okay, it's better for you to come work straight to me than me paying them such amount whereas you're the one working.'

Tshedza Maphosa, chairperson - Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance

Listen to the full interview above.




5 August 2022 1:02 PM
Tags:
Domestic workers
Exploitation
Sweepsouth
Housekeeping

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