Investigating the experiences of workers in exclusionary communities: a case study of waterfall estate

Ajibade, Abraham
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Researchers, in the past, have found that the development of satellite cities has reduced the strain upon the infrastructure of the parent cities. These developments have had negative side effects as well, with urban sprawl proving to not only be an infrastructural challenge, but an environmental problem as well. One of the major critiques that has been levelled against urban sprawl is that it contributes towards pollution by encouraging long commutes and traffic congestion. These negative effects have been factored into the decision-making processes of residents in these areas, as they usually own at least one car that allows them to commute freely between their homes and the metropolitan centre. However, their lifestyle changes also affect another demographic, namely the workers who service these areas. The impact that the distance from the metropolitan area has on their physical, emotional and economic wellbeing has yet to be fully understood. Therefore, the purpose of the research report was to investigate and unpack the experiences and working conditions of domestic workers in Waterfall Estate. This included a representation of the sociological profile of the domestic workers in terms of their class, gender and employment history as well as an understanding of the different ways that the workers access and utilize the same space. The report also shed some light on their experiences, working conditions, relationship with employers and responses to the challenges faced by these individuals, contributing towards contemporary literature regarding the evolution of domestic service in exclusionary communities. The effects of commuting from the periphery to the city affect all who dwell within Exclusionary Upscale Communities, both upper class residents and workers alike. In addition to the socio-economic impact, power dynamics between the employers and workers provide an additional layer of complexity to the workers experiences. The research utilized both qualitative interviews with 5 workers, as well as the distribution of 31 surveys to workers in the area to not only gain a deeper understanding of the forces at play but also to get a sense of what the collective worker experience was. It was found that the domestic workers were heavily reliant on transit nodes such as taxi ranks in order to commute to the estate. In addition to this most of the domestic workers were found to be paying the cost of diverted care resulting in strenuous relationships with their families, resulting in cases where other family members had to care for their children and a negative outlook on the profession and their fulfillment of their roles as mothers.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the Master of Science in Development Planning degree in the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. It has not been submitted for any other degree at any other university.
Ajibade, Abraham Oreoluwa, (2018) Investigating the experiences of workers in exclusionary communities :a case study of waterfall estate, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,