Original Research

The effect of labour market regulation on domestic workers in Orchards and Soshanguve, Pretoria

Andrew Matjeke, Jacoba M. Viljoen, Phillip F. Blaauw
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 1 | a330 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i1.330 | © 2012 Andrew Matjeke, Jacoba M. Viljoen, Phillip F. Blaauw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 October 2010 | Published: 17 January 2012

About the author(s)

Andrew Matjeke, Department of Science and Technology, South African Government, Pretoria, South Africa
Jacoba M. Viljoen, Department of Economics & Econometrics, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Phillip F. Blaauw, Department of Economics & Econometrics, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Orientation: Domestic work provides employment to many women. The wages or salaries and employment conditions of domestic workers have raised worldwide concern. Domestic work is an unstable, lowly paid, insecure and unprotected form of employment. Abuse and exploitation are common. The regulation of this sector is the result.

Research purpose: The purpose of this article was to analyse and compare the effects of, and level of compliance with, the regulation of the domestic worker sector in two very different residential areas in Pretoria.

Motivation for the study: Researchers have conducted all previous micro-study investigations of the topic in Langenhoven Park, Bloemfontein. We need more micro-level studies to investigate the effects of regulating this labour market because areas with different socioeconomic conditions may yield different results.

Research design, approach and method: The researchers followed a quantitative micro- research design using structured questionnaires. They used the research methodology applied in similar micro-studies as the basis of the survey to make the results comparable. They used the criterion sampling technique. Respondents completed 87 questionnaires in Orchards and 89 in Soshanguve.

Main findings: Evidence suggests that areas in close proximity to one another in the same metropolis yield significant differences in the wages or salaries and non-wage working conditions of domestic workers. A blanket approach to identifying and monitoring the effects of the legislation for this sector is not an appropriate one.

Practical/managerial implications: The sector needs micro-studies over an extended period and in different areas to form a more nuanced picture of this multifaceted labour market. This study emphasised the necessity for improved monitoring of the existing legislation.

Contribution/value-add: This is the first micro-study to compare the effects of regulating the domestic workers sector of two residential areas with different socioeconomic characteristics. The results will give authorities a better understanding of the level of compliance with, and effects of, the regulation of domestic workers. It will also guide the monitoring of, and enforcement decisions for, this labour market.


compliance; employment effects; minimum wages; socioeconomic conditions; structural changes


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