The Chronicle

Government sets domestic workers’ pay at $500

Natasha Adam, Chronicle Reporter

GOVERNMENT has reviewed the minimum wage for domestic workers from $168 to $500 per month, a figure that some domestic workers say is below their expectations.

The Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Lovemore Matuke announced the increase last week in the Senate.

The Deputy Minister said Government pegged the domestic wage for domestic workers at $168 last year but the amount was only gazetted last month due to some delays.

He said the minimum wage has since been increased to $500. “The new minimum wage is $500 but the issue is still under discussion with a view to further review it upwards. It is not the mandate of the Ministry to dictate the salaries but the procedure is that they go through a salary negotiation with stakeholders such as the workers’ unions and other organisations that are involved in discussing issues to do with salaries. I think in the next few weeks, we will be receiving new scales,” he said. 

In an interview yesterday, Zimbabwe Domestic and Allied Workers’ Union deputy secretary-general Mr Toindepi Dhure said his union was not aware that Government had come up with a new minimum wage.

 Job seekers who gather at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Robert Mugabe Way in Bulawayo who are usually engaged as domestic workers said yesterday that the proposed $500 per month was not enough to meet rentals, transport costs and buying basic commodities.

Ms Nolwazi Ndebele (44), a Pumula suburb resident, said Government should further increase the minimum wage.

 “RTGS $500 is not enough because the prices of mealie-meal and other basic commodities have gone up. My landlord is now charging in foreign currency after council increased rates and other service charges recently. We need to fend for our families just like other workers so we need a living wage,” she said.

Ms Joyline Munsali (21) of Parklands suburb said it was difficult for her to support her parents and child back home in Binga with such a little amount.

She said she was being paid $300 via Ecocash and the new minimum wage will not make much difference. “When there is a funeral at home, I cannot attend because what I am earning is not enough for bus fare one way,” she said. – @natashaadam1