Domestic worker jobs are on the decline in South Africa.
Government stats body, Statistics South Africa recently released data showing that in the third quarter of this year, there were 32 000 housekeepers without employment. Eunice Dhladhla South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union Assistance General Secretary says on a daily basis her phone rings off the hook flooded by domestic workers who’ve been laid off.
“It is very sad for domestic workers especially at this time as we’re going towards the festive season. However, it has been happening throughout the years. Domestic workers are suffering a lot,” said Dhladhla.
Manyunyu Florence Sosiba has been a domestic worker since 1983. She says with more of her housekeeper mates losing their income, the solution is to upskill and work towards entrepreneurship.
“ It makes feel really bad that domestic workers are losing their jobs. However, as a domestic worker, I always speak with other housekeepers that we should try to create our own opportunities. In this economy, it’s best we empower ourselves,” said Sosiba.
The decline in the number of domestic workers’ jobs is attributed to the financial pressure felt by middle-class households caused by inflation and fuel hikes. However, another reason for the fall in housekeeper employment is that some employers are moving abroad.
“If an employer is moving to another country, the workers right is to get a salary, a notice pay and leave pay which three weeks salary and severance pay for the years she has been employed. Although that money is too little but altleast it is her money” explains Dhladhla.
In recent years, South Africa has had an average of one million employed domestic workers. However, this number is slowly shrinking as the economy faces a decline.
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