EFF statement on job losses of domestic workers
5 August 2022
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) notes the job loss crisis of domestic workers as reported by SweepSouth; in the latest annual domestic worker survey. According to the latest SweepSouth survey, more than 100 000 female domestic workers and 25 000 male domestic workers, have lost their jobs since its last report in 2021.
In addition, data published from Statistics South Africa's Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for Quarter 1, of 2022, shows that the hiring of domestic workers has dropped significantly during the period between January to March 2022.
Domestic workers make up an essential part of South Africa's socio-economic fabric, and the industry is highly gendered and is dominated by mainly black African women who are breadwinners of at least 5 dependents in a household. It is important to emphasise that one job lost is equal to at least 5 dependents who will not only lose bread, but will not be able to travel to school, afford basic amenities and at worst will not be able to pay for their rented backrooms in the township.
Historically, data also shows that domestic workers are often one of the first monthly household expenses to get cut during tough financial times. The last two years have been particularly challenging for domestic workers as they were the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis, by losing more jobs and working fewer hours than any other sector. Domestic workers lost their jobs in greater numbers and saw their hours of work reduced to a greater extent than any other workforce.