Care workers are classified by their employers as volunteers and not employees. As such, the proposed minimum wage does not cover them. They get paid less than R2,000 a month. If they fall pregnant, women are forced to quit their jobs or take unpaid leave.
The gentrification that is taking place in central Johannesburg has left families evicted from Fattis Mansions last month, stranded in tents set up in a stadium south of the city. In what is effectively a refugee camp, the living conditions are bad. The Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba from the Democratic Alliance, is an advocate for gentrification of the inner city, not the rights of the people living there.
The recent debate on the decriminalisation of sex work, organised by Mail and Guardian and the South African National Aids Council (SANAC), provided no solution but a screaming match between those supporting it and those against.
An unfinished block of flats in River Park near Alexandra township north of Johannesburg has infuriated the local residents who scramble for every piece of land for human settlement. They recently invaded the flats that were built in 2009 but left incomplete. Now wanting to make their occupation permanent, they want to know who owns the flats and why they have been left in that condition.
The service delivery protest movement of largely African working class people since 1994 and more particularly since the early 2000s, represents a low-key civil war which has largely been ignored by the mainstream media. However the spread of the protest movement to the predominantly ‘coloured’ working class areas in Gauteng like Eldorado Park, Ennerdale and Newclare has received widespread media coverage because these areas have been politically silent for the past twenty three years and now suddenly exploded in violent protest.
Whilst delivering his speech on the proposed minimum wage of R3,500 a month, Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa said that the national minimum wage was aimed at reducing income poverty and inequality. The advisory panel which was looking into the the issue proposed that wages in the domestic work sector should be set at 75% of the proposed national minimum wage. In a report released in June by The National Minimum Wage Research Initiative of the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of Witwatersrand, 90% of domestic workers earn less than R3,120 a month.
It will take a long time for the poor to recover from storms that have wrecked homes, especially those in informal settlements like Stjwetla situated on the edge of the Juskei river in Alexandra.
A week of floods as a result of torrential rain in some parts of Gauteng has left many people devastated. Cars and houses were damaged. Above all, eight people lost their lives. While others are saying this is an act of God, others are blaming poor storm water drainage as the cause of the damage. Affected regions were Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni.