Posted on July 24, 2012 / Comments Off / Show post tags
If you value the more than one million domestic workers in South Africa, make it trend online this Thursday.
That’s the message from Sizile Makola, the entrepreneur behind the first of what she hopes will become an annual National Domestic Workers Day on July 26.
Makola, who runs the business My Claim Mate which provides human resources services for employers of domestic workers, said it’s high time South Africans value and honour domestic workers.
“These are the people we entrust with our homes and our children, but who are often invisible. In the same way that annually we recognise the work of secretaries, I believe we should do the same for domestic workers,” she said.
Makola has teamed up with the South African Domestic Services and Allied Worker’s Union (Sadsawu) for the awareness campaign. Special badges have been created that can be posted on Facebook or used as an avatar on Twitter, and Makola is asking South Africans to “wear” these badges on social media platforms on July 26.
South Africans are also being asked to comment on what they will do for their domestic worker on National Domestic Workers’ Day on Facebook or on Twitter using the hashtag #thehelp.
Aside from getting National Domestic Workers’ Day trending on social media platforms, the aim of the campaign is to educate people about the need for fair treatment of domestic workers and for employers to abide by the law and register their domestic worker with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
Hundreds — if not thousands — of employers continue to pay domestic workers below the R1 190 or R1 440 per month
Registering domestic workers for UIF became compulsory in 2003. Yet UIF Commissioner Shakes Mkhonto estimates almost 50% of employers continue to ignore the UIF regulation.
In addition, hundreds — if not thousands — of employers continue to pay domestic workers below the R1 190 or R1 440 per month (depending on the geographical area) minimum wage per month as set out in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
Makola said there is a dire need to raise awareness of the exploitation of domestic workers and to encourage South Africans to value their service.
“The day will also preempt Women’s Month and, as most domestic workers are women, it is appropriate for this day to be acknowledged,” she said. © The Big Issue SA
For more infomration on the campaign, or to get your virtual campaign badge, visit www.myclaimmate.co.za.
Find them on Facebook at MyClaimMate1 or follow themon Twitter @myclaimmate