lsie Mthimunye works as a domestic worker in Moreleta Park, east of Pretoria. “When I was younger, my parents did not have much money. While I was still at school, I decided to put my studies aside and get a job. I wanted to do this, so I could help my parents – to make life easier for them. The easiest job to get at that stage was that of a domestic worker.”
“An education is not usually a prerequisite for a domestic worker, but the ability to read and write will be an advantage when you are looking for work. Each job is different, because employers like things done a certain way, which is often not the same way that a previous employer wanted. Theft is always a concern to individuals who employ domestic workers. For this reason, people prefer to employ older domestic workers, who have more experience and references from previous employers,” says Elsie.
“My duties generally include keeping the house clean and tidy, and doing the washing and ironing. I don’t live at my place of employment; therefore, I am not required to cook or look after children. If my employer’s baby is at home, I play with her and keep her busy, but she goes to a crèche most of the time.” Elsie’s working hours are from 07:30 to 15:00, Monday to Friday, and she earns R2 200 per month.
“Being a domestic worker is not an easy job. It requires a hard-working person and someone who is fit and strong. Many people think that domestic workers are stupid, but