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Making a Living

Press Statements


  • Domestic work in South Africa, one year after Constitutional Court victory  (18 November 2021). Friday, 19 November 2021 will mark the first anniversary since the Constitutional Court handed down a monumental judgment in Mahlangu v Minister of Labour compelling the inclusion of domestic workers in legislation aimed at protecting workers. On Wednesday, 24 November 2021, SERI and the Nelson Mandela Foundation will host an anniversary event reflecting on the status of domestic work in South Africa since the Constitutional Court judgment. >> Read the full statement here.
  • New guide helps employers navigate the domestic employment relationship (13 August 2021). SERI and Izwi have written a new guide, called “Employing a Domestic Worker: a legal and practical guide”, for employers of domestic workers in South Africa to inform them of their rights and obligations in the employment relationship and to provide practical advice and support to assist them in improving their employment practices. >> Read the full statement here.
  • SERI and Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance launch new guide for domestic employers (9 August 2021). Many employers are unaware of the laws which regulate the domestic employment relationship, and domestic workers are often afraid to approach them. For example, although the law requires all employers to register their domestic workers for UIF, only about 20% of employers have done so. >> Read the full statement here.
  • SERI seeks clarity from Compensation Commissioner regarding deadline for retrospective claims from domestic workers (5 May 2021). On 8 April 2021, SERI addressed a letter to the Compensation Commissioner on the subject of retrospective claims from domestic workers injured at the workplace as far back as 27 April 1994. The main concern of the letter was the cut-off date for submitting retrospective claims, 20 November 2021, as published by the Compensation Commissioner in the Government Gazette on 10 March 2021. As South Africa celebrates workers in the month of May, SERI wishes to highlight a potential challenge affecting one of the country’s most vulnerable groups of workers. >> Read the full statement here.
  • Midrand waste reclaimers challenge attempts to render them homeless (1 March 2021). On Monday, 1 March 2021, a cohort of 107 waste reclaimers will appear before the High Court in Johannesburg to oppose eviction from their homes. The property is undeveloped land located between a residential complex and a business park in Midrand, Johannesburg. The applicant is Rycloff-Beleggings (Pty) Ltd, the registered title-holder of the property. The occupiers are informal reclaimers who have been residing on the property for at least five years. In addition to living on the property, access to the land has enabled them to eke out a living by sorting and storing their recyclable materials on site. >> Read the full statement here.

For a full archive of all SERI press statements from 2010 to 2021 see here.



For a full list of op-eds written by SERI staff, see here.



  • SERI makes a submission on the COID Amendment Bill. On 19 February 2021, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) made a submission to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour on the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill. The submission focuses on the inclusion of domestic workers in the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 (COIDA) in the light of the Constitutional Court judgment on the Mahlangu v Minister of Labour matter. In this matter, SERI represented Sylvia Mahlangu, the daughter of domestic worker Maria Mahlangu who accidentally drowned at her employer’s home in 2012, and the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU). >> Read the full submission here.
  • on the draft Gauteng Township Economic Development Bill. On 26 November 2020, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) and Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) made a submission to the Gauteng Provincial Government on its draft Township Economic Development Bill.  The submission was developed in collaboration with CSOs, urban planners and academic practitioners across the country. It comprises both a legal analysis, which includes a legal opinion from senior counsel, and an international and domestic law perspective on the draft Bill, and a detailed analysis of the latest research evidence on township economic development. >> Read the submission here. 
  • SERI joins civil society calls for extension to evictions moratorium. On 14 May 2020, SERI endorsed a recommendation by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) to the National Command Council that Regulation 19 be amended to reflect a full moratorium on the institution and hearing of eviction proceedings, as well as the execution of eviction orders and all home demolitions, for the entire duration of Alert Level 4 >> Read the full recommendations here.
  • Legal Remedies from the Unemployment Insurance Act Available to Unregistered Domestic Workers during Lockdown. On Thursday, 7 May 2020, the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers’ Union (SADSAWU), represented by SERI, made recommendations to the National Command Council, the Minister of Employment and Labour and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Commissioner seeking a declaration of domestic workers as UIF contributors so that they can access income protection during the state of disaster >> Read the full letter and recommendations here
  • Submission of recommended amendments to the COVID-19 regulations and directions (29 April 2020). In accordance with the announcement on 25 April 2020 by Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, informal waste recyclers will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity under level 4 of the lockdown as of 1 May 2020. SERI welcomes the inclusion of informal waste reclaimers. On 23 April 2020, SERI submitted recommendations to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on the COVID-19 regulations and directions to allow informal waste reclaimers to operate during the lockdown. The submission was also sent to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Minister of Environmental Forestry and Fisheries. >> Read SERI’s submission here.
  • Submission on the City of Johannesburg's draft Spatial Development Framework (29 March 2016). SERI submitted comments on the City of Johannesburg's draft Spatial Development Framework (SDF). The SDF is a city-wide spatial policy document identifying the main challenges and opportunities in the city, setting a spatial vision for the future city, and outlining a set of strategies that would lead to the realisation of that vision. SERI's submission focuses on three topics: Spatial Justice, Provision of Affordable Housing, and Informal Work. >>Read SERI's submission here and a summary of the submission here.
  • SERI comments on the 2010/11 national budget. SERI was asked to comment on the 2010/11 Budget Speech by Minister Gordhan, choosing to focus on issues around meaningful engagement, industrial policy, informal trading, housing and basic services in its submission. Read the submission here.