The Organisation Advocacy Donate

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. In 2021, we are embarked on a pilot to promote informal work. Sadly, this pilot, which involved two key elements - mobile money and trade associations - did not proceed beyond the concept stage due to issues with our mobile money providers (Ukeshe and MTN's MoMo).

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

The goal was 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.


DAILY MAVERICK: Nine million people out of work for more than a year — whither unemployment in South Africa?
By Ayal Belling, 15 November 2023

DAILY MAVERICK: Hundreds of thousands of jobs likely to disappear with Godongwana’s public employment budget cuts
By Ayal Belling, 6 November 2023

DAILY MAVERICK: A job opportunity for every South African – the promise of a new party formed by unemployed people
By Ayal Belling, 21 June 2023

DAILY MAVERICK: An ‘extraordinary and loving’ activist – who was struggling for dignity in Gugs – has been gunned down
By Pamela Silwana, Ayal Belling and Marina Hall, 24 January 2023

DAILY MAVERICK: The high price of economic bumbling and austerity: 64% of working-age people are without jobs
By Ayal Belling (OfW), 2 December 2021

DAILY MAVERICK: Unemployment for black South Africans is worse today than in 1994
By Ayal Belling (OfW), 12 November 2020

DAILY MAVERICK: Local government elections 2021 – a chance to put the ‘public’ back into public institutions
By Pamela Silwana & Ayal Belling (OfW), 28 July 2020

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