Last week, the Pretoria High Court ruled that the exclusion of domestic workers under the Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) is unconstitutional.
Speaking to CapeTalk, Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa researcher Kelebogile Khunou explained a case which was brought forward by their client, Silvia Mahlangu.
Mahlangu’s mother drowned in her employer’s swimming pool, and was denied compensation because domestic workers are not included in the Compensation of Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.
“Our argument at the high court was that the exclusion of the domestic workers is unconstitutional and it was found that it is indeed unconstitutional,” Khunou said. “This means that domestic workers will soon be covered by the Compensation of Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.”
“This also means that employers will be obligated to register their employees and contribute each month to the Compensation Fund,” Khunou said.
The Department of Labour is yet to establish the conditions in which a domestic worker is eligible to benefit from the Compensation Fund.