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Organising for Work: Community Organising to Alleviate Unemployment

9th Oct 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Launched on 13 August 2018, Organising for Work (OfW) does grassroots community organising and advocacy around unemployment (see www.ofw.org.za). Its model is to organise communities in high unemployment areas to run their own branches that broadly support the unemployed of ALL ages, educations, abilities and criminal records. The branches, predominantly run from public libraries, also act like free job centres to connect the unemployed directly to employers from where they live. OfW has over 1,300 members across 3 branches (Langa, Gugulethu and Kensington). A 4th branch is opening in Khayelitsha on 9 September.


Belling will present an overview of this early stage, novel, and extremely low cost approach to the alleviation of unemployment. Through an iterative learning strategy, OfW has developed a branch structure that the unemployed of diverse educations and abilities can operate to improve their own chances of finding work as well as those of unemployed population within walking distance of each branch. OfW attempts particularly to alleviate the challenges of travel costs, data costs, cost and effort of copying and certifying of documents, the difficulty of discerning which opportunities are strong, the solitude of the search and discouragement more generally.


OfW’s outcomes are not yet studied or independently verified. However, there is evidence to suggest that well over 100 members have found work of varying durations directly through their association with OfW branches either as volunteers or regular members. Many more members appear to have found work simply by using OfW’s CVs and/or internet access. Of the 68 volunteers trained to run branches since January this year, around half have found work of various durations.


About the Presenter


Ayal Belling is the Founder of Organising for Work in collaboration with Luke Jordan. He previously worked in finance and tech in London and Cape Town. Studied applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town, real estate investment at Cass Business School in London.


9th Oct 2019
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Amy Jephthah


UCT School of Economics, 4th Floor Seminar Room
UCT Middle Campus
Cape Town, Western Cape 7700 South Africa
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