Wits Lecture

On 9 February 2018, SERI researcher, Kelebogile Khunou, gave a presentation on domestic workers' need for adequate housing as part of a housing theory course offered by the the University of the Witwatersrand's School of Architecture and Planning in Johannesburg. Khunou’s presentation considered the housing needs of docmestic workers from a gendered perspective.

Domestic workers represent one of the most vulnerable groups in South African society. There are more than one million domestic workers in South Africa who perform household tasks like cooking, cleaning and taking care of children and the elderly. Many of these workers are subjected to low wages and unfair working conditions. The vast majority of domestic workers in South Africa are women, who face a number of unique chanlleges in relation to housing, tenure security and access to basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation.

In light of these challenges, Khunou concluded that specific measures need to be taken for redress including strategies to ensure greater gender equity. Consideration needs to be made for the specific needs of women (and barriers to entry to women) in the design, financing and implementation of housing programmes. Lastly, special efforts need to be made to meaningfully engage with women who have work and child care responsibilities.

  • Download Khunou's presentation here