SweepSouth and youth employment engine Lulaway creates new job opportunities in Mpumalanga.
SweepSouth has opened offices in Nelspruit and Delmas, two of Mpumalanga’s towns.
Currently operating in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Centurion and Durban, is expanding its national footprint.
Jake Willis, Lulaway CEO, says that this partnership is particularly exciting as it demonstrates how government support for tech-based employment can generate brand new economic opportunities without displacing existing jobs.
Since 2011, Lulaway, the brainchild of Jake Willis and Errol Freeman, has placed 30,000 young South Africans in jobs, facilitated the distribution of over R150 million in internship funding, and established over 200 network partner job centres nationwide. The local youth employment engine receives over 10,000 job applications every month.
“Up till now, homeowners in these towns had no access to SweepSouth services. These homeowners may not be employing other staff if they did not use SweepSouth,” said Willis.
“These are brand new jobs, which would not exist if not for this development, and have been created in a short time frame. The shared economy opens an untapped earning potential, allowing people to support their families with dignity.”
Similar to how Uber connects drivers with people looking for rides, SweepSouth connects domestic workers registered on the app with clients looking for a domestic worker, allowing this underserved segment of the workforce to find dignified, flexible work at decent pay.
The rapid expansion has been made possible through a workforce development collaboration between Lulaway and the local provincial government.
As part of its mandate in implementing the province’s workforce development project, Lulaway is driving the expansion of Internet-based services with the goal of creating new jobs.
Other app-based services will also begin operations in the province due to the collaboration between Lulaway and the local government. Over 350 unemployed SweepStars have been onboarded in just one week in these two new cities and can begin earning money through the platform.
SweepSouth co-founder Aisha Pandor says that Lulaway’s job centres were a key consideration when assessing the viability of entering this new market in Mpumalanga.
“Lulaway has a large infrastructure of job centres which we can leverage off. This infrastructure is funded by the local government’s investment in job creation. Utilising Lulaway’s job centres has made it easier for us to enter into this market and provide the kind of opportunities millions of South Africans are looking for in these difficult economic times.”.
Commenting on SweepSouth’s goal to create economic opportunities Pandor adds, “In a survey we did on the pay and working conditions of domestic workers last year, we found that 84% of domestic workers are the sole bread winners and 70% are single mothers supporting, on average, three dependents. As such, at SweepSouth, our mission is to create happy homes by providing dignified, flexible work at decent pay to our SweepStars. Our model is easily scalable and with partnerships like this one with Lulaway, the potential is unlimited,”.
Willis emphasizes that any regional government can become involved in similar projects with relative ease, and support job creation on a local level. “We believe this is the start of a new job creation model, which can take off nationally. By simply providing funding to the right partners, we can transform our economy”, he says.
With SweepSouth vetting and training cleaners, or “SweepStars” as it calls them, the Lulaway job centres will streamline the onboarding process, allowing them to complete their registration and partake in the required training at local Lulaway job centres.
“Most of SweepStars currently registered on the app were previously not working. Some had or have work but are using SweepSouth as a means to supplement their incomes. We are proud to have provided employment opportunities for thousands of people, many of whom are single mothers. To be able to bring these opportunities to a new region in South Africa is both rewarding and exciting,” Pandor said.