Informal workers constitute 30% of working people in South Africa. Some of the informal workers have employers and others are self-employed. In a statement issued on 20 March 2020, the network of worker organisations said the most vulnerable of the informal workers with employers are domestic, agricultural, and taxi workers who aren’t registered for employment-related social security schemes such as Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA). Additionally, there’s widespread non-compliance with relevant labour laws, including the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) and sectoral determinations.
The interventions required
- The mass provision of protective masks and gloves to all informal workers, especially those working with members of the public, organic and waste materials, and where cash exchanges hands;
- The mass provision of water, soap and sanitizers in public spaces, and especially the workplaces of informal workers
- Health guidelines directives for different sectors of the informal economy