The third Fairwork report for South Africa continues to chart the evolution of the national gig economy. In South Africa, digital labour platforms could hold the potential to reduce the extremely high unemployment and inequality. However, the annual South African Fairwork ratings provide evidence that platform workers, as in so many countries worldwide, continue to face unfair work conditions and lack the benefits and protections afforded to employees.
The Fairwork South Africa 2021 ratings evaluate the working conditions in 12 digital labour platforms (Uber, UberEats, Bolt, inDriver, MrD, Droppa, PicUp, getTOD, SweepSouth, NoSweat, M4Jam, SecretAgent) against five global principles of fair work – fair pay, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management, and fair representation.
We gave each platform a fairness rating out of ten, with points awarded only if there is clear evidence that the principle is being met. GetTOD leads the 2021 table with nine points, while M4Jam, SweepSouth, and NoSweat are tied in second place with eight out of ten points. At the bottom of the table, there is Droppa with 2 points, Bolt and inDriver with 1 point, and SecretAgent with 0 points.