Everyone who has tried to hire a domestic worker or a nanny understands that it can be a struggle. You know the drill: your friend will recommend so and so who worked for them, or someone they know, and even then there’s no guarantee you’ll get the service you want.
Despite working long hours, most career women are still expected to juggle work and home responsibilities. At the end of a demanding day at the office, the last thing you feel like doing is getting stuck into the housework. This is where Book a Maid, the app created by Lufuno Mudau and his partner Dr Wayne Maphula, comes in handy.
“We actually noticed that mostly, women that are career driven don’t really have time for house chores. After a long day at work, they still have to submit reports and there is hardly any time to do chores,” says Mudau.
He explains that he and his partner saw a gap in the market for people who want cleaning services without having to go through the hassle of hiring a full-time domestic worker. The app allows people to book a professional cleaner, nanny or gardener from their phone without worrying about registering their helper for UIF and dealing with paying a salary at the end of the month
The application caters for differing needs: “We have three packages. One is for someone who wants a helper to come once off and do a proper spring clean, and for that we charge R25 per hour,” explains Mudau.
There is also a subscription option for those who want someone to come in twice a week, and another for those who want someone four times a month. Bi-monthly cleaning costs R399 per month and having a person come in once a week will cost R699 per month. Payment can be made via EFT or debit order.
Recently, the Department of Labour issued new laws regarding the minimum wage for domestic helpers. Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant announced that this means that an employee who works more than 27 hours in Area A (an area in a large metropolitan area) should be paid not less than an hourly rate of R11,44. An employee who works less than 27 hours in Area A should be paid not less than an hourly rate of R13,39.
A domestic worker who works more than 27 hours in Area B (all other municipalities) should be paid not less than an hourly rate of R10,23, while one who works less than 27 hours in the same area should be paid not less than an hourly rate of R12,07. This brings the total amount to R2 230 per month.
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Mudau says one of their objectives is to empower people and create employment. “We decided that we would source unemployed widows from the townships. At the moment we employ five, and we source them ourselves from squatter camps in Soweto.”
Each person is paid between R2 800 and R3 500, which is above the minimum wage.
Mudau says the aim is to try and grow the company to 500 cleaning staff working in 50 000 homes per month.
“It has made people’s lives easier, and now we get a lot of bookings, mostly on the weekends,” he said.
The app currently services homes in Gauteng, and is available on the Android platform