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Accommodation Companies

Grocery Support Software
Domestic Workers


Domestic workers  are the lowest paid people in our country.


We need to look at the circumstances of domestic workers and take everything into consideration.


Remember that most likely more than 80% of the domestic workers have families, meaning that they are not the only persons that earn wages.


They usually have children under their care. It is a fact that most domestic workers work to earn a wage, but they also rely on the Social Grants from Government to help them raise their children [Child Support Grant (12,196,981 beneficiaries). R380 per month to the main caregiver of a child 18 or younger. The applicant must earn less than R45,600 (if single) or R91,200 (combined income if married) per year.]



The minimum wage for domestic workers is R2 545.22 per month. The domestic worker will usually have access to her husband's income (might be a wage as well) plus on average 2 times R380 per child under her care. The immediate family might combined have access to more than

R6 000 cash per month. The domestic worker might one day ask her employer to convert up to R2 200 per month on her behalf into digital vouchers to support her family. It could also be that she will ask her employer for a percentage of support, and her husband will ask his employer to order a number of digital vouchers. (They might use the SASSA Grants for other expenses.)


It is with today's food costs almost impossible to provide to a family of 4 with less than R2 200 per month. R2 200 will barely be enough to purchase the basic essentials plus electricity. Remember that people buy clothes, medicine, food, cleaning materials and alcohol from retailers. They also pay for their airtime (phones) when they visit Shoprite, Spar etcetera.


We also need to take other aspects into consideration. In most cases, the person that buy groceries for the family do this on almost a daily basis. Remember that these people do not own their own vehicles. They use taxis as transport and they tend to purchase a small number of items more regularly. Taxi owners/drivers do not allow a passenger to load large bags into their vehicles. They need the space to transport people.  To back this statement, we can use information published by the Shoprite group:


Shoprite website

Our Group

We are the largest supermarket retailer on the African continent.  Our Group is a R141 bn turnover business, with a staff complement of more than 148,000 people.  We serve local communities with the lowest price promise.  35 million people shop in our footprint of more than 2,811 outlets every day.


There are numerous food supplying groups (Pick n Pay, Spar, OK, numerous smaller independent companies and Spaza shops) who also have clients on a daily basis. The number of people inside food stores is much more than 35 million people per day!


Most salary earners with vehicles might visit food stores on average 6 times per month. Salary earners can purchase more products per visit and transport it home with their vehicles. (Wage earners who will be supported do not have this privilege to purchase in the same way most readers do.)


Wage earners also have additional costs to purchase groceries. If they withdraw cash from ATM machines, the cost is R8 per transaction (native machines via Capitec = lowest compared to all banks). Let’s say the person responsible to purchase groceries visit stores 20 times per month and withdraw cash only 10 times per month. R80 of the funds they received are then allocated to bank fees, due to their circumstances. Most of the wage earners prefer not to carry large amounts of cash on them, fearing robbery. There is unfortunately a lot of people who are not well educated regarding financial management. Wage earners with debit cards might also pay with their cards. The debit costs per transaction = R1.50. This will result in R30 per month on banking fees.


Most likely the largest unnecessary costs is the "Cash Send" costs. Wage earners often send cash to their family members for groceries. These costs is R10 per transaction. We need to help the poor save costs that should have been allocated to groceries.     

There are Three benefits:

  • The domestic worker can earn an additional 4% on their grocery spending. It may not seem to be a large amount, but if you consider that the domestic worker needs to make a living with almost nothing, then every sent they can save or earn additionally will help. The Homecare team can pay out an additional R88.00 (4% of R2 200) per month towards the domestic worker when we support them with the gift vouchers. The gift cards also have no banking costs, hence using it will not befall additional costs for the person. A number of wage earners will gain an additional R80 and others R30 per month (Saving on bank costs).  

  • Having a voucher instead of cash is also beneficial. It is sometimes risky for people to go to shops with cash. Chances of getting robbed especially for older domestic workers is real. In this project, the domestic workers will transfer the amount on their digital vouchers onto gift cards. They will then be able to provide the Employer the gift card numbers. The gift cards create an audit trail. If the card is stolen and the robber use it at the till inside a food store, the police can use TV surveillance to catch these robbers. The Food companies can determine at which till and on what date & time the last transaction occurred on the card. It will actually reduce crime on poor people.

  • The last benefit (most likely the most important one) is the fact that funds earmarked for groceries will not be wasted on items such as drugs. The domestic worker will know that funds send home can only be utilized to pay for groceries/products supplied by retail companies. It often happens that when domestic workers send cash to their family members at home, that these cash is spent on drugs. 

The Grocery spending focus points, enable us to target a larger number of “Lower income” people.


We believe that Domestic workers and gardeners will gain about R170 per month. It might seem to be a small amount, but for the poor, it will be a substantial benefit.


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