Parliament, The Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities has expressed its concern about the mistreatment of domestic workers by their employers. The comments by the committee are subsequent to an article that was published in the media where a 60-year-old domestic worker had to be rescued from her employers in Rylands, Cape Town.

According to news report, Ms Lydia Gwele reported the matter to the police, after she had been held against her will and had not been paid her full salary since April 2019. Committee chairperson Ms Nonhlanhla Ncube-Ndaba said domestic workers are amongst the most vulnerable occupational groups of people in society. Many domestic workers have to face exploitative working conditions, disrespectful treatment, low wages, long hours and few employment benefits. The work that is performed by domestic workers is often undervalued because it takes place in the home, said Ms Ncube-Ndaba.

The committee urges the Commission for Gender Equality with the Department of Labour to take up this matter and investigate the case so that issues can be addressed. Furthermore, the police need to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book. Law enforcement agencies should not fail Ms Gwele after having the courage to stand up to her employees by opening a case, added Ms Ncube Ndaba.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa