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Nolwandle Mthombeni | It's about time we stop underpaying our domestic workers

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Nolwandle Mthombeni
Nolwandle Mthombeni

There's a big difference between minimum wage and a living wage. But many domestic workers are still being underpaid by any measure, says Nolwandle Mthombeni. 

Within the coming weeks, domestic workers' minimum wage will be raised to be in line with the national minimum wage. The reality on the ground, however, is that many domestic workers are still being underpaid. Many households still do not comply and our government lacks the capacity to enforce the law. Nonetheless, these wage adjustments are necessary as we should afford domestic workers the dignity that comes with earning the minimum wage.

The introduction of the national minimum wage is meant to help alleviate inequality and poverty. In the National Minimum Wages Act, one of the purposes outlined is to protect workers from unreasonably low wages. Setting a minimum wage is one of the mechanisms being used to ensure that our working poor are closer to earning a living wage.

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