Drone footage taken Tuesday, April 7, shows the empty streets of Cape Town, South Africa, as the tourist destination is under a strict coronavirus lockdown.
READ MORE: Like millions of South Africans, Georgina Maepa is confined at home, as her nation tries to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Under the rules of the lockdown, the 53-year-old mother of four can’t leave home to handle her job cleaning other people’s homes for about $80 a month. Like the majority of domestic workers, she doesn’t have a formal contract.
And so, as the nation prepared last month to lock down for 21 days, Maepa’s employers’ words were final: No work, no pay.
Labor activist Pinky Mashiane said this scenario is all too common across South Africa, where persistent, deep inequalities have entrenched race and class divisions. The union she leads, United Domestic Workers of South Africa, counts 400 members, including gardeners, nannies and cleaners like Maepa.