Today's Labour News

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earningsThe Citizen reports that according to a survey by SweepSouth on pay and working conditions for domestic workers, at least 79% of domestic workers are sole breadwinners, with 64% being single mothers.

The survey, which painted a grim reality for domestic workers in the face of the economic climate, conducted the study with more than 4,000 domestic workers currently employed in SA. That reality has darkened even more after it was reported that consumers have seen the highest inflation in 13 years. According to the study, the average income of domestic workers is between R3,000 and R4,000 per month. Even with the current mandatory increase in minimum wage rates – which increased to R23 per hour as of March 2022 – this figure has not changed by much. Outlining the monthly cost of living for the average domestic worker, SweepSouth drew up a budget of about R965 for food, R82 for airtime, R1,054 or rent, R481 for transport and R308 for electricity. Add to that R136 for school fees. That is a total of R3,026, leaving only R684 as disposable income. Victress Mtutu, a Johannesburg domestic helper, commented that while the budget put together by SweepSouth was fairly spot on, it was missing one of the larger expenses that domestic workers have to factor in – black tax. “Yes, this is roughly how much I spend on food, transport and electricity, but we also have to send money back home for our families. So, we don’t really have this thing of left-overs or as you say, disposable income,” she explained.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Devina Haripersad at The Citizen
  • Read too, Dwindling wages a concern for domestic workers’ union, on page 6 of The Star of 4 August 2022

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