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
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.