When lockdown hit South Africa, sooner rather than later (a bit sooner than we thought), our first concern was how this would impact SweepStars. In our annual report on pay and working conditions for domestic workers in South Africa, conducted in 2019, we found that domestic workers are the most economically vulnerable members of society. The majority of domestic workers are breadwinners in their homes and support up to 3 children or family members, on average. Due to the devastating effect that COVID-19 will have on the economic security of SweepStars who rely on bookings that they receive via our platform to earn an income, we have launched a fund to help assist SweepStars.
The SweepSouth COVID-19 Sweepstar Fund will pay thousands of SweepStars up to R450 weekly, to assist in covering the cost of food and other basic essentials during the national lockdown.
With regards to funding payouts and distribution, we want to ensure that we are able to reach as many SweepStars for as long as possible. As such SweepStars do need to meet certain criteria, these criteria have been listed below:
- Must have worked at least 1 day between 16 February and 15 March 2020
- If a SweepStar worked fewer than 13 jobs in the period, they will receive a minimum of R150 a week unless their clients have opted to contribute a larger amount.
- If a SweepStar worked for 13 jobs or more in the period, they will receive a minimum of R450 a week unless their clients have opted to contribute a larger amount.
Further to this, we have implemented the capability for customers to contribute directly to their SweepStars, by pausing their upcoming bookings which have been scheduled to take place during the lockdown period. When going through this process, clients are given the following options when putting a single or recurring booking on hold:
- Pay R150 per week or once off to your SweepStar
- Pay R300 per week or once-off to your SweepStar
- Temporarily cancel the appointment(s) without contributing
This way clients are still able to assist their SweepStars during this trying time.
The SweepSouth COVID-19 SweepStar Fund has been set up and has been made available for domestic workers that are currently working via the SweepSouth platform and is not available for private domestic workers in South Africa. We are strongly encouraging all individuals to continue to support their domestic workers in whatever way possible during the extended lockdown period.
For those who wish to contribute towards The SweepSouth COVID-19 SweepStar Fund, we have set up a public fund on the Thundafund platform where members of the public can contribute towards providing financial aid to SweepStars. All funds received will go directly to SweepStars.
SweepSouth was founded on the premise of dignified work at dignified pay, empowering women. With this comes many challenges that we face. However, we’re encouraged by the work that we’ve already done despite our young age, and by the amazing support that we’ve enjoyed both nationally and internationally.
We would like to give thanks to all donations that have already been received, as well as the direct contributions that have been made to SweepStars. We as a country are all in this together, and we are all trying our utmost best in these uncertain times. We would like everyone to play their part in flattening the curve, and ask yourself, ‘What can I do?’
Businesses and private entities who wish to contribute are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.