A job opportunity for all! Vote PROGRESS!
PROGRESS formed out of the Cape Town-based unemployed people's organisation, Organising for Work (OfW). Since 2018, OfW has helped hundreds of people find jobs.
Through the gathering of signatures for our party registration, we have discovered a high-turnout, ultra-low-cost mobilisation and organising strategy. PROGRESS attracts people through our branches’ ability immediately to improve people's chances of finding work, along with the hope PROGRESS brings for 2024.
Here are the steps to get involved...
PROGRESS was founded as a party for jobs - out of the unemployed people's organisation, Organising for Work (founded 2018). However, it is a party that sets out to improve the lives of all who live in South Africa.
We see it as perverse that a country that needs so much improvement, cannot find work for all its people. Through guaranteed work opportunities, our vision is to employ the effort, skill, ingenuity and passion of all South Africans to improve the situation in the country across all spheres of life.
A member induction, Langa branch, 4 Sep 2018
Organising for Work, as an organising arm of PROGRESS, continues its grassroots community organising - organising communities in high unemployment areas to run their own branches that both support the unemployed in their search for work.
Our branches are open to the unemployed of ALL ages, educations, abilities and criminal records and act like free job centres to connect the unemployed directly to employers from where they live (always for free).
Gugulethu branch volunteers helping the public, 4 Oct 2019
Our work is, and will always remain, rooted in communities. Our Organising for Work branches exist in public spaces, particularly libraries and are run at near-zero cost. Wherever we open branches, we train local unemployed volunteers to staff them.
When COVID-19 hit, we got behind the city-wide organising effort, Cape Town Together, and our volunteers helped launch many areas' community action networks.
We played the lead role in formalising the partnering of neighbourhoods across the city, starting with Gugulethu and Sea Point. This partnering created a profusion of new CANs from the financially less well off parts of the Cape Town.
A workshop in Langa on making high volume job applications, 15 Nov 2018
Search and Employ our Conscientious Work-Seeking Members
Candidates at no charge to employers and recruiters. Run at no charge for and by the unemployed.
|In employment||16.3m (40% of working age)|
|Not in employment||24.4m (60% of working age)|
|Needing work||20.3m (50% of working age)|
|Unemployment (expanded)||11.9m (42% of workforce including discouraged)|
|Youth unemployment (expanded)||2.6m (70% of 15-24s in workforce)|
|Country||Unemployed (strict)||Employed of Ages 15-64|
|(World Bank and International Labour Organisation various periods, Stats SA QLFS23Q2)|
The party is run first and foremost by its many unemployed volunteers who are trained to run the branches that are within walking distance of where they live.
Until our first full members' assembly - early in 2024 - the central aspects of the party are run by our advisory council. The top leadership of PROGRESS which has brought us to where we are today, comprises Ayal Belling, Pamela Silwana and four of our most active Cape Town volunteers.
OfW was founded in 2018 by Ayal Belling in collaboration with Luke Jordan and was incorporated as a nonprofit in May 2019. Keren Ben Zeev joined Belling and Jordan at incorporation as a director of OfW. In September 2020, Pamela Silwana, a volunteer at our Gugulethu branch, replaced Jordan as a director. Ben Zeev served as director until June 2022 when she was replaced by Suzanne Solomons. The board centralises and helps coordinate the branches and advocacy.
Belling and Solomons are serving, and previously Ben Zeev and Jordan have served, pro bono. The movement has been funded from inception until January 2020 by Belling in his personal capacity. Small donations have been received from individuals since and a total of R450,000 has been received from the DG Murray Trust (R350,000) and from Open Society Foundation South Africa (R100,000).
Previously worked in finance and tech in London and Cape Town. Studied applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town and real estate investment at Cass Business School in London.
Started as volunteer staff at OfW's Gugulethu branch. She is the admin and founder of the Gugulethu community action network - part of Cape Town Together and is a fellow of a programme at the University of the Western Cape that is studying the response to Covid-19. She has been a peer facilitator at the National Youth Development Agency and Khulisa Social Solutions, has done fieldwork and admin for UCT and University of Stellenbosch. She also does occasional tutoring and childcare work.
Executive assistant at Inyathelo - The South African Institute for Advancement - which works to sustain and strengthen civil society organisations and grow local philanthropy in support of a vibrant democracy in South Africa. She holds degrees in community development and development studies and has a wealth of experience in supporting diverse types on nonprofits as well as in the field of mental health.