Harsh economic conditions in South Africa have led to people retrenching their domestic workers.
Work hours are being reduced because employers cannot afford to meet the required minimum wage increases each year.
According to recent unemployment figures, domestic workers are losing their jobs, as households struggle in an economy that’s been stagnant for the past decade.
Florence Sosiba has been employed as a domestic worker for the past 35 years.
After being orphaned at the tender age of 15 she had no option but to turn to domestic work as a source of income for herself and three brothers.
She is is amongst the lucky workers who managed to keep their jobs between July and September this year. It was a period when Statistics South Africa revealed that 30 thousand jobs, were shed by households alone.
However, Florence remains vulnerable to the harsh conditions of the economy which is shrinking the disposable income of many households. Many like her remain at the mercy of their cash-strapped employers.
Despite earning above the minimum wage, she says it’s still not enough.
Eunice Dhladhla is with the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union, she says they’re battling to safeguard jobs of domestic workers.
“We are very worried about these job losses, and we try our all to do the cases,” Dhladhla said.
“We try by all means to go to the Department of labour, do all sorts of picketing to talk to Mildred about this.”
“We do the same thing to the CCMA, but CCMA refers us back to the Department of labour. In other words I think it will be better if they can come together”
Those who do not belong to any union may have a harder time protecting their employment.