'Grooms stay in deplorable conditions, sometimes living four in a room'

South Africa's horse-racing industry contributes at least R2.71 billion to the country's GDP annually, however horse grooms live inhumanly and are treated horribly.

Read: Cape cart horses help reduce poverty and carbon emissions - research

Last week, the Public Protector released her investigation into the horse racing industry and was made aware that grooms were not well taken care of and recognised within the industry.

702 Bongani Bingwa speaks to National Grooms Association chairperson Peter Naidoo.

Our objective is to drive the transformation and upliftment projects for the grooms including the living conditions for them.

Peter Naidoo, Chairperson - National Grooms Association

Grooms are the guys that groom the horses; they clean and maintain the horses. They play an essential role in the horses' career. The working hours are long, and the living conditions are deplorable, they live in so-called hostels. The conditions are adverse, you have four grooms in a room, and they share one communal toilet and cooking facility.

Peter Naidoo, Chairperson - National Grooms Association

He says the grooms used to earn as little as R2000 a month, but they have now forced a minimum wage of R1000 a week.

Listen below to the full interview:


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