The worker in 2016

Those in the in­for­mal sec­tor are di­vided on union­i­sa­tion but mo­ti­vated by a com­mon need to sup­port de­pen­dants, writes Avan­tika Seeth. Ndileka Lu­jabe took the pic­tures

CityPress - - News -

Boi­tumelo Maziwe (56) Cleaner

Iam a part-time cleaner in Auck­land Park. Be­fore that, I was a do­mes­tic worker at a cot­tage for seven years, work­ing twice a week. I have only been a cleaner for three months, but the con­di­tions are fine to work in.

There is no point in com­plain­ing about work­ing con­di­tions be­cause I need the job to sup­port my fam­ily. Maybe the tea­room could be nicer.

I would not join a union, be­cause my boss does not want me to. I am a sin­gle mum with two chil­dren. My hus­band passed away a long time ago, so I am de­pen­dent on this job for an in­come.

Lindiwe Gumbo (26) Wait­ress

Ihave been a wait­ress here for two years. Busi­ness at the restau­rant has be­come very quiet these days com­pared with a year ago, and I feel that, if it was busier, things would be bet­ter for us.

If there were a union for us, I would join it be­cause I would want to learn more about my job and be able to earn more, if pos­si­ble.

We work from 10am un­til 10pm and get one and a half days off a week.

The pub­lic hol­i­day on Mon­day does not mean any­thing be­cause we work on pub­lic hol­i­days.

Khalid Muham­mad (28) Street ven­dor

Icome from Zanz­ibar and have been liv­ing in South Africa for about seven years.

I have been sell­ing my goods in Auck­land Park and I do not feel that any­thing needs to be im­proved in my busi­ness be­cause every­thing is go­ing well. Peo­ple are nice to me, so it’s fine.

I would not join a union be­cause I am happy to be on my own.

I have two chil­dren I need to pro­vide for, so I want to keep my life to my­self.

Thami Molotsi (32) Con­struc­tion worker

We are busy dig­ging up the streets to in­stall the fi­bre­op­tic ca­bles. I have been work­ing on this site in Melville for the past two weeks and it is a tough job, but some­one has to do it.

I usu­ally have a per­ma­nent job, but it is not work­ing out, so for now I am strug­gling here on this site.

If there were a union, I would join it. They must speak on our be­half to en­sure we en­joy more priv­i­leges and bet­ter work­ing con­di­tions. I have two chil­dren I need to pro­vide for.

We do not work on pub­lic hol­i­days, but Work­ers’ Day does not mean much to me.

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