It has been an interesting month in South Africa. MTN posted its first loss ever, with minus $357 billion appearing on the balance sheets, and the country voted for the ANC with less than the usual enthusiasm leading to them having their worst election results since the end of Apartheid. There has been some good news coming out of the MTN camp. The App of the year Awards, organised by MTN Business, announced Domestly, a domestic job finding app, as its Best Consumer App winner.
Currently, South Africa is buckling under the pressure of high unemployment, which is currently standing at 26.6%. As the picture depicts above, people are forces into standing on street corners hawking their skills, rather than the Coca Cola, or chewing gum you often see hawked throughout the continent. Domestly offers a solution to many who seek any kind of employment to be able to support their families. The app is a platform in which users can browse, book and pay a domestic helper/cleaner whenever they need them, and wherever they are. Users post up their cleaning jobs on the platform and the cleaners can apply. There is a peer review system which will enable the user to choose which cleaner they would like to use.
Domestly say they have created 600 full time jobs since they went live in 2015. The app doesn’t just create one off jobs, it offers people full time work, with some users taken cleaners on regularly.
“These are 600 cleaners from 600 families who are now making a living.” Bernie Potgieter – Co-Founder and CEO of Domestly
I believe tech can really aid job seekers in Africa. From those that are looking to join the formal sector, as well as those in the informal sector. Mobile apps can link people with any kind of skill with those that have been for that skill. It is not only cleaners that could benefit; mechanics, cooks, drivers and even health care professionals could be linked with those that need them using apps.
I found a few other apps that offer similar services to Domestly, in Africa. Giraffe, another South African operation in which you sign up via SMS and answer a series of questions, creates the user an online CV. This is then matched with the needs of employers.
Another, M4Jam takes large jobs, breaks them down into smaller tasks, which allows individual users to complete each task. These are then collated by M4Jam and then sent back to the NGO or company in full, enabling M4Jam and the users to be paid for their work. This innovative method enables many people to work on one job, enabling income for many.
High unemployment rates put big pressure on societies, and are often the cause of unrest. I expect to see many other job finding solutions popping up across the continent. Do you know of any other solutions? Please let me know by either commenting here, or Twitter @InventiveAfrica