By Boitumelo Babuseng MPL, DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Finances:
The DA will today ask MEC John Block to execute his Department’s responsibility for creating awareness on the rights of domestic workers.
This comes after an online survey highlighting the low payment of domestic workers in the Northern Cape has brought to the fore a debate about domestic worker’s rights in the province.
According to the News24 survey the Western Cape came out tops when it came to paying house helpers over the course of one shift.
Earlier this year, the Commissioner of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), Boaz Seruwe, revealed that no more than 20% of domestic workers are covered by the UIF Fund. This means that the unemployment and maternity benefits of the UIF are not available to approximately 80% of domestic workers in South Africa.
In South Africa, it is estimated that around 1,1 million people are employed as domestic workers in private households. In 2012, the sector was the country’s third largest employer of women, employing approximately 15,5% of all women workers.
In this regard, the DA has written to MEC of Economic Development, John Block, asking that his department embarks on an awareness campaign to inform domestic workers and their employers of their rights, including the sectoral determination on minimum wages and the registration with UIF.
The DA will continue to fight for the legal rights of domestic workers as it appears government continues to do very little for these valuable but vulnerable workers.