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Our Branches

All our branches are run by local unemployed volunteers in high unemployment areas around Cape Town. Anyone from any area is welcome at all our branches. However, there is, of course, a cost and convenience benefit to living within walking distance of one.


Bonteheuwel branch launch, 22 Nov 2019

Bonteheuwel


Gugulethu branch launch, 18 Apr 2019

Gugulethu


Harare branch launch, 2 Oct 2019

Harare, Khayelitsha


Kensington branch launch, 5 Mar 2019

Kensington


Langa volunteers helping the pubic, 20 Jun 2019

Langa


Nyanga branch launch, 11 Nov 2019

Nyanga

Site B, Khayelitsha


Site C branch launch, 15 Nov 2019

Site C, Khayelitsha

UCT

Our Three Streams of Work

Our work as a movement is divided into three streams: connecting the unemployed to existing jobs, job creation and movement building.

Stream 1: Existing Jobs

Unemployed volunteers assist the public in making good CVs, training on sending their CV to out directly to a large number of employers and on dealing with hard interview situations.

Stream 2: Job Creation

Our efforts in this area have started with informal work. We are embarking on a pilot to promote informal work which involves two key elements.

The first is a cash back scheme through the use of mobile money. The second element involves member-based organisations (MBOs) per category of trade. These MBOs may be existing trader associations as well as new ones.

The goal is for these MBOs to focus on permitting, collective buying, representation to market (reputation), finding customers, sharing learnings among members, increasing space available for trade and advocating for labour rights.

Stream 3: Movement Building

We develop leadership and good workplace practices (e.g. communication and admin) among our volunteer corp through training and by involvement in all streams of our work.

We also have a concept of what a well functioning branch looks like. It shifts based on how it works to attain goals of the movement and on how it motivates volunteers and members.

It is important that the unemployed are the leaders in their own struggle.

Our movement advocates for better job creation and renders visible the experience of the unemployed. We call for better treatment of the unemployed in their search for work by employers and recruiters. This includes the cost of travel, grooming and clothing for interviews and also printing, copying, postage and mobile phone data required to make applications.

We have national-level policy recommendations to make South Africa a working society, however we have yet to coordinate a campaign to promote them.

Job Opportunities, Fairness & OfW Member Tiering

Being fair to all our members when selecting for opportunities as well as helping our members generate opportunities for themselves is key to what we do.

OfW operates a tiering system at all branches. The higher a member's tier the more likely the member is to be selected for an opportunity OfW as a movement (or a particular branch) has some control over.

The more members search for work for themselves, the higher their tier. Those who help others by volunteering become the highest tier. Volunteers get a week's training on spreadsheets, word processing, calendars, our staff website, running workshops and other elements of running the branch.

As our highest tier, volunteers get first refusal on all opportunities at the branch that they may qualify for. Because of this they disappear quickly into jobs and it compels the movement constantly to keep training new volunteers. This training of new volunteers is done entirely by the experienced existing volunteers.

Tier 1: Inducted Member

A person who has been to the introduction but hasn't properly started on their CV.

Tier 2: Member started on CV

Member has started on their CV on our website - i.e. has at least one entry under education or employment on their CV.

Tier 3: Member with Completed CV

Member has completed their CV and it has been checked by one of our volunteer branch staff.

Tier 4: Member Done Rapid Application Workshop

Member has done our workshop on i) how to generate many prospective employer leads using our personalised email scripts containing their perfected CVs and ii) extremely quick and effective ways of responding to job ads that have an email or WhatsAppable phone number.

Tier 5: Member Is Interview and Job Prepared

Member is familiar with interview and job readiness best principles.

Tier 6: Member Working as Volunteer Staff

A member has completed the full volunteer staff training and how has worked at least one shift. Among working volunteers, the more shifts you do, the more likely you are to be selected for opportunities.

Recent Press


DAILY MAVERICK: Unemployment just before lockdown was worst on record and is expected to get much worse

By Ayal Belling (OfW), 24 June 2020


DAILY MAVERICK: Crisis sees Cape Town suburbs reach across the great social divide

By Pamela Silwana (OfW), 31 March 2020


DAILY MAVERICK: ‘If I tell my daughter there is no hope, I am killing her’

By Pamela Silwana (OfW), 17 March 2020


DAILY MAVERICK: Unemployment scourge: ‘The challenge is macro’ and there is hope

By Ed Stoddard (staff writer), 6 March 2020


WATCH: OfW Gugulethu volunteer, Pamela Silwana, on Unemployment Panel at The Daily Maverick Gathering 2020 at the CTICC

The Gathering, 6 March 2020


DAILY MAVERICK: Reply to Ayal Belling: We are revolutionising government’s approach to youth employment

By Saul Musker (the Presidency), 24 February 2020


DAILY MAVERICK: The SONAs of dead and underfunded ideas

By Ayal Belling (OfW), 21 February 2020


DAILY MAVERICK: Jobless youth one of Ramaphosa’s main priorities

By Sandisiwe Shoba (staff writer), 14 February 2020


DAILY MAVERICK: South Africa's State of Unemployment Disaster

By Ayal Belling (OfW), 12 February 2020


LISTEN: Radio interview with John Maytham on Afternoon Drive

By Ayal Belling (OfW) on CapeTalk, 11 February 2020


DAILY MAVERICK: Using Barack Obama’s organising model to tackle SA’s unemployment crisis

By Ayal Belling (OfW), 21 January 2020

Headline Figures

The following are the figures across the branches of Organising for Work which launched 22 months ago.

Members: 1932

To become a member, a person has only to complete the induction questionnaire on our website (previously it was by attending an in-person introduction).

Jobs: 229

The 229 figure is the number of members who have told us they have received at least one job offer and/or who have started at least one job since we launched 22 months ago. We estimate that around half of those jobs have arisen directly through activities in or through our branches.

Volunteer Staff: 111

The 111 figure is the number of members who have completed our volunteer training.