Cape Town - A small group of domestic workers from the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union protested outside Parliament on Thursday, seeking a minimum wage increase and compensation for on-the-job injuries.
Department of Labour spokesman Mokgadi Pela said Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant was unaware of the protest, but was ready to push legislation through to cover domestic workers under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, from which they are currently excluded.
Union president Hester Stephens said the lack of protection in case of injury was a major problem, as domestic workers often fell while cleaning at precarious heights, were burned in the kitchen, or even became targets of domestic burglaries.
Protesters said the current minimum wage was a disgrace. They wanted a flat R3 500 a month, with additional transport allowances.
Though many domestic workers rely on public transport, transport allowances are not currently regulated under Sectoral Determination 7, the law that controls the terms and conditions of employment for employees in the domestic working sector.