SweepSouth, a Cape Town-based online cleaning platform connecting domestic workers with employers, has launched a fund to help provide domestic workers with food and other basic essentials during the national lockdown.
SweepSouth co-founder and CEO Aisha Pandor said, “Our aim is to raise up to R12,000,000 in order to contribute to SweepStars’ living costs for a three-month period. Their financial difficulties will extend far beyond the 21-day lockdown, so it’s important to mitigate this as much as possible. We’re calling on all businesses and able individuals across South Africa to join us urgently in helping these domestic workers.”
Pandor says at least R4 million a month will be needed to ensure that SweepStars and their families are able to eat and at least meet day-to-day living costs during a lockdown.
The fund will provide food and necessities to active SweepStars and their families and is raising more funds from more corporate backers. Michael & Susan Dell Foundation made a R6,000,000 contribution. This initial injection of funds will enable SweepStars to receive weekly financial support in the form of top-ups between R150 and R450 during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Dean Villet, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation country director in South Africa, “Having access to work opportunities with SweepSouth is imperative for the SweepStars to provide not only basic necessities for their families, but to continue toward the ultimate goal of achieving better education and opportunities for their children. The loss of income during this time will be detrimental, making SweepSouth’s fund critical to the communities we serve.”
SweepSouth is negotiating with retailers to secure bulk buying discounts on basic food staples to maximise the buying power of the funds they have available to them.