The fourth Fairwork report for South Africa continues to chart the evolution of the national platform economy.
In South Africa, digital labour platforms hold the potential to reduce the extremely high levels of unemployment and inequality. However, the annual South African Fairwork ratings also 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 2022 report assesses 13 of South Africa’s largest digital labour platforms against five principles of fairness—fair pay, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management, and fair representation—giving each platform an overall fairness rating out of ten. The report also shows how the lingering effects of the 2020–2021 COVID-19 pandemic compounded precarity for workers, in the context of rising global unemployment due to national economic lockdowns.
It is our hope that the report will emphasise the urgency of transforming digital labour platforms into workplaces that provide fair, decent, and secure and sustainable work.