‘Micro-jobbing’ now a growing trend in South Africa

The term ‘micro-jobbing’ is a new one in the South African vernacular. It refers to a growing trend whereby anyone with a smart phone and an internet connection is able to earn a few extra rand by doing basic little jobs, generally for large companies.

The jobs available vary and include tasks such as completing a survey to visiting a store and reporting on the quality of service, or even taking photos of landmarks to prove they exist. Payments per task are typically low, but since the jobs generally take only moments to complete, earning potential is high. Payments can be collected at till points at major supermarkets, and can be accepted in cash, airtime, electricity or data.

School leavers, students and graduates might find micro jobbing a useful first step into the world of work, as a way to begin to build a CV and gain work experience. In South Africa, currently, micro jobbing is most popular among ages 25 to 35, and interestingly, among full time employed professionals.

Absolutely anyone with a smart phone can earn an income, and jobs are not exclusive to a particular demographic, age (although some platforms require you to be over the age of 18), race, gender, marital status, geographic location or education level.

On the other hand, micro jobbing comes without the security of full time employment, they don’t pay benefits and work opportunities fluctuate, which means no steady paycheck. Nonetheless, websites listing micro jobs available are on the rise, and offer a wide variety of different jobs to interested workers.

Locally, a micro-jobbing service called Money for Jam (M4JAM) has surpassed 85 000 monthly active users since launching in August 2014. The service provider accepts jobs from local organisations, turns them into tasks that can be executed in under ten minutes, and distributes them via its platform on WeChat.

The South African site offers jobs as diverse as from helping navigation services to validate and create mapping data, to price-checking for organisations, and even helping ad agencies to test different versions of pre-flighted TV ads. Employers, or ‘jobbers’, can collect their earnings at Pick n Pay, Boxer and Shoprite Checkers stores.

Money4Jam Chief Executive Andre Hugo says that the service is mainly reaching employed South Africans who are looking to earn a little extra cash. “I think it’s one of the key misconceptions of the platform that we’re largely aimed at unemployed,” he recently told Fin24. “Only 4% of the people were unemployed on the platform. Our oldest jobber is 89. We’ve got 15% that are over 55,” he added.

Posted by Durban Chamber on November 24, 2015 at 9:35