By Jacklyn Cock

Maids & Madams: A examine within the Politics of Exploitation

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Additional info for Maids & madams: A Study in the Politics of Exploitation

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A reserve list of the same number for each stratum was made, by listing the preceding address, in case I was unable to make contact with the employer at the original address. These sampling frames were chosen because they were taken to be the most inclusive of the universe under investigation. The most obvious sampling frame to use, and certainly an easier one, would have been the numbers of registered domestic workers in European households in the area. However this would have excluded the unregistered workers who, it was suspected, con stitute a large number, especially in Grahamstown.

Mavis and Elsie are two domestic workers encountered in a randon sample in the Eastern Cape. There is no reason to suppose that they are atypical. In order to establish that domestic workers like them are among the most exploited occupational groups in South Africa, seven aspects of their situation will be described: their wages, working hours, status in the community, family and social lives, their level of job satisfaction, their relationship with their employers, and their rights as workers.

M. m. m. in winter. Most of them allow half an hour off for breakfast and an hour at midday for lunch. 4 5 Such working hours obviously involve a considerable level of deprivation of family life for the workers involved. DEPRIVATION OF FAMILY LIFE All the domestic workers in the depth sample had children. The average household size was 6,7 persons and in over half the sample the domestic worker was the sole breadwinner and support of her family. Ultra-exploitation Table 15. Number of Children of a Sample of 50 Domestic Workers Children under 16 Number of workers Children under 16 Number of workers 17 3 16 9 3 1 1 The domestic servant with eight children under the age of 16 (six of whom are still at school) is no longer married and earns R28 a month for an 85-hour week.

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