Long queues in Mamelodi as domestic workers return to work
Pretoria -Taxi and bus queues are much longer this morning in Mamelodi as people, mostly domestic workers, prepare for their first day at work after two months of being at home.
All domestic workers and other care workers employed in private households may return to work, as long as their employer ensures that adequate safety measures are in place.
The employer is also required to issue them with a permit.
Millicent Thubakgale said she was happy to return to work to earn a living for her family. The 40-year-old, who works for an elderly couple in Faerie Glen said she was happy to return to work. “I need to take care of my kids. The lockdown was hectic. We barely got by and relied on food parcels,” she said .
She said although her employers gave her some food parcels before lockdown she had a tough time making ends meet for her and her three children. “ During lockdown we ate more than usual. There was literally nothing to do other than eat, watch TV, sleep and eat again. I felt it in the pockets, it was heavy,” she said.
So far, about 14,000 domestic workers have received money from the Unemployment Insurance Fund as part of the Covid-19 Temporary Relief scheme.
The UIF is paying out money to workers who are put on unpaid leave, have been laid off temporarily, or whose employers can’t afford to pay their full salaries.
Until recently, only domestic workers who were registered with the UIF could get some money – but that has now changed.