From zero to hero because she found a job

Namhla Manqele who grew up in Durban could not find employment or support her family and like many in the same boat as her, moved to Johannesburg to find work. After being shunned by the community because she could not pay her own way she decided to get screened by the Lulaway system.

Life is hard, but it becomes even harder if you cannot pay your own way and demoralising and demeaning when one cannot help your family put food on the table.

“After matriculating in 2005 I thought that I would be working within a few months.” says Namhla, “This did not happen and I spent many long hours looking for employment. I realised that I needed to do something drastic and decided to move to Johannesburg to find work.”

Through a friend Namhla discovered that Dis-Chem was looking for cashiers. She was pointed to the Lulaway system which is located in the Johannesburg CBD (in the interim many more centres have opened across Gauteng) and was warned that no positions are guaranteed. At the Lulaway centre she met by a personal consultant who loaded her details and relevant documentation onto the system and a professional looking, colour CV was created and printed.

Afterwards a screening test is performed to determine language, accuracy and listening skills and according to Namhla she found these tests ‘quite easy’. Errol Freeman, MD of Lulaway, says however that many applicants fail the tests that have been custom designed by employers. These names and applications are never discarded and are kept on the system to be matched against future possible positions.

Shortly after completing the process, Namhla was called for an interview with Dis-Chem and has been employed as a cashier since May 2012.

”As we open more centres and expand the services offered, we hope to positively impact many people’s lives by being able to level the playing field and give everyone an equal opportunity at finding employment,” says Errol Freeman, MD of Lulaway, “and it’s great when we receive feedback from people, like Namhla, that have come through our system.”

Namhla concludes, “It has been the best R50.00 that I have ever spent. It felt like I was investing and taking charge of my own future. I understood that that I might not be offered a position, but I was confident in my abilities. Besides being able to spoil myself, I can now send money to my family in Durban and at least know that they are able to look after themselves.

If there are two secrets that I can whisper in people’s ear, is to make sure that you have a matric, as it is the minimum requirement for many companies, and the other is to encourage people who are looking for work to register at the Lulaway Centres. There are many jobs available, and if not successful you know that you always stand a chance because you are not removed from the system.”

Backed by the Gauteng Provincial Government, subsidised rates and reduced service rates are available if applying at branches located at Gauteng Social Development Centres.

It is important to bring all documentation that may be relevant and important to the position applied for. A South African ID or passport is critical, and other applicable documents would include a Matric certificate, driver’s licence, tertiary education, courses attended and diploma’s earned.

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