South Africa

Casual Workers Advice Office

The CWAO is a registered, non-profit voluntary association. It has a staff of 14, seven women and seven men. In addition, there are various volunteers that assist on projects from time to time.
The organisation supports precarious workers with advice, education, legal support, research and organising.
The management team has over 30 years’ labour and NGO experience, while its law society accredited Worker Rights Centre is staffed by a practising attorney with eight years’ social justice experience.
The organisation’s biggest strength is that the majority of its staff have the first-hand experience of the problems faced by precarious workers. The precarious workers the CWAO does work with have organized themselves into the Simunye Workers Forum, an initiative that is attracting national, regional and global interest as the international labour movement searches for new ways in which to organize this burgeoning layer of workers.

Please list links to your Website and Social Media Platforms here:

Website: www.cwao.org.za
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CasualWorkersAdviceOffice/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CWAO_ZA
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiBP7Ap2WTg3TtUwBzJuMaw

Describe in detail what your Organisation does:

The organisation aims to improve the conditions of work and existence of precarious workers. The CWAO undertakes:

Advice and support to workers, individually or in groups Mass education, mainly through community radio, and Support to other advice offices, through the production of essential resources for worker advice.

The organisation networks with other advice offices and support organisations, institutions such as the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration (CMMA), the Department of Labour (at national, provincial and local level) and Legal Aid South Africa.

The CWAO envisages involvement in campaigns and advocacy, in alliance with other advice offices and social justice organisations.

Through these activities, the CWAO hopes to encourage and support the emergence of organisation among precarious workers.

How long has your Organisation been operational?

Since 2011

In your opinion, what has been the most challenging aspect of running your Organisation? *

Finding suitably skilled personnel

Describe your Nonprofit Journey in three words:

Challenging, Exciting, Rewarding

Do you collaborate with other Causes? If yes, would you like to mention them?

Yes, the organisation is part of the Unpaid Benefits Campaign, which strives to ensure that ex-workers access provident and pension fund monies due to them.

If you had one Organisation wish, what would it be?

To be financially self-sufficient

In your opinion, which skills do Nonprofits in your Country lack?

Strategic, innovative thinking

Looking back at your Cause Journey, what advice would you give a newbie Organisation?

Define your goals and objectives clearly from the outset

If you could change one thing about the Nonprofit Landscape, what would it be?

Their distance from grassroots developments

Which Cause achievement are you most proud of? Feel free to elaborate on why and include any links:

From October 2011 to May 2018 the organisation has handled 2620 cases, assisting 38 316 workers in the process. Of the latter total, over 9000 have been converted from either casual or contract status to permanent employees, with significant wage increases, improved working conditions and access to benefits such as provident fund and medical aid membership.

Last question, if your friends had to describe your Organisation in three words, which would they use?

Fearless, innovative, principled

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