Care Work

In 2013 our members raised the erosion of funding to services as a key issue of concern.

This led to research around funding to post-rape care services based in the Thuthuzela Care Centres including the use of the Expanded Public Works Programme to fund these services. But the project has taken on a broader focus than just post-rape services.

It’s about promoting the recognition of care work in general, which refers the direct care provided in service of others like children, people with disabilities or illnesses, the frail elderly, as well as able-bodied adults. This work is largely performed by women, making our call for proper funding not only a matter of service delivery, but also a matter of gender equality.

So, we developed a plan of action, which includes the following activities:

  • Conducting training around the legislative framework guiding funding to the non-profit sector, as well as the application of the principles of administrative justice.
  • Providing legal advice and support to organisations wishing to query Department of Social Development (DSD) and Lotto decisions and practices.
  • Documenting DSD funding decisions and practices nationally and provincially (and examining their budgets).
  • Compiling a comparison of social worker and social auxiliary worker salaries paid to NPOs and DSD.
  • Engaging with the National Minimum Wage Panel around salaries in the non-profit sector.
  • Contributing to the development and implementation of law and policy in this area – like the DSD’s draft Policy on Financial Awards, the Advisory Board on Social Development, and the Framework for the Management of Transfers.
  • Building partnerships with other groups, coalitions and networks. We hope to create strength in numbers, partially to reduce the risk of individual organisations being singled out for victimisation, and also to prevent a situation where vulnerable groups are made to compete with each other for their slice of the DSD funding pie.

For more information about care work, check out our resources page.

The project is managed by Lisa Vetten of the Wits City Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand on behalf of the Shukumisa Campaign, while Sanja Bornman of Lawyers for Human Rights provides its legal advice and support. The National Shelter Movement, the Vhembe Civil Society Network and the KwaZulu-Natal Welfare Forum are also collaborating with the Shukumisa Campaign around this initiative.