Domestic workers getting paid R23 per day in South Africa

Domestic workers have claimed that they are being paid as little as R700 per month, while also having to work on weekends for no additional pay.

During a strike for better working conditions earlier this month, domestic workers demanded to be paid overtime, maternity leave, and unemployment benefits.

One worker told SABC News: “Employers will often just ask you to work on Sundays and say ‘thanks’ instead of paying you. We want a basic salary since some of us are still getting R700 monthly after working from Monday to Saturday.”

Another said: “At times they will bring visitors and lots of children and you do more work for free.”

Read: This is how many domestic workers in South Africa have lost their jobs in 2016

In December, the department of labour increased the minimum wage payable to domestic workers.

Domestic workers who work 27 ordinary hours a week or more:

Minimum Area A Area B
Hourly Rate R11.44 R10.23
Weekly Rate R514.82 R460.15
Monthly Rate R2 230.70 R1 993.82

Domestic workers who work less than 27 ordinary hours a week:

Minimum Area A Area B
Hourly rate R13.39 R12.07
Weekly Rate R361.50 R325.98
Monthly Rate R1 566.35 R1 412.49

Area A refers to large metropolitan municipalities and built up areas and suburbs – Area B is all other municipalities.

A spokesperson for the Department of Labour said that domestic work is one of the most difficult sectors to ensure compliance. He said that the department does not have the right to simply enter a private property.

A survey conducted by News24 a year ago, which elicited 12,000 responses, showed that people in the Western Cape paid their domestic worker and average of R188.50 per day, with Gauteng at R172 a day, and KwaZulu-Natal averaging R151 a day.

Data shows that South Africa has in excess of one million domestic workers, accounting for more than 8% of the total workforce of the country.

An advisory panel on the national minimum wage was expected to submit a report in October. However, despite 18 months of negotiations in the Wage Inequality Task Team in Nedlac, talks have effectively deadlocked, according to Groundup.

The Alliance Political Council, comprising of the national officials of the ANC, SACP, COSATU and SANCO, said in a statement on Tuesday said it noted  that the process towards the realisation of a national minimum wage is on track.

“The meeting are calling on all the social partners involved in this process under the auspices of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to ensure that the process is concluded by the end of the year (2016).”

More on domestic workers

You will have to pay your domestic worker more from December

How much money you should pay your domestic worker in South Africa

How much money South Africans pay their domestic workers

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Domestic workers getting paid R23 per day in South Africa