Many foreign nationals who are employed as domestic workers in SA are underpaid and coerced into working long hours‚ according to unionists. In extreme cases‚ they even have their identity documents withheld‚ according to Sizwe Pamla‚ national spokesperson for the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu). The issue came to the fore this week due to a wrangle between former education minister Mduduzi Manana and his domestic worker, a Zimbabwean national. The Cosatu-aligned South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union (Sadsawu) on Tuesday encouraged cleaners‚ including foreigners‚ to resist exploitation by their employers. "[It is common for] employers looking for domestic workers to ask the person if she is a South African. If she is a South African‚ they don’t take her. They say South Africans think that they are smart. These employers want migrant workers‚ not because they love them‚ but because they will be able to pay a low wage‚" said the union’s assistant gene...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now