South Africa’s paid care economy contributes 13.8% towards total employment in the labour market and is largely undertaken by women – estimated at 84% in Graph 1 below.

Historically, the care economy has been a neglected sector, however, recent attention has been brought to it by South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa. This presents an opportunity to create momentum around expanding solutions for the care economy.

This report is structured to dive into each of the care economy sectors, starting with early childhood development, and then education, healthcare and domestic work. Each section will provide an overview of the sector, specify key operators, outline challenges and bottlenecks, and identify opportunities for targeted investment.

Source: Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and the International Development Research Centre Canada, June 2022.

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