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On 2 May 2018, an op-ed by SERI researcher, Kelebogile Khunou, on employers' legal obligations towards their domestic workers was published in a variety of suburban community newspapers accross South Africa, with a total reach of over 15 million readers. Some of the newspapers in which the op-ed appeared included the Northcliff Melville Times, the Alberton Rekord and the Pretoria East Rekord.
There are more than a million domestic workers in South Africa who perform essential work like cooking, cleaning, caring for children and the elderly, and gardening. Domestic work makes all other work possible – it allows people to leave their households and go out into the world to make a living. Despite the implementation of labour laws and the collective efforts of domestic workers to assert their rights, domestic workers remain one of the most vulnerable occupational groups. Many domestic workers have to face exploitative working conditions, disrespectful treatment, low wages, long hours and few employment benefits. The op-ed therefore explains what rights domestic workers have and what obligations employers have towards their domestic workers.