SMS2work is a SMS-based, automated middle tier between blue collar workers and employers seeking trustworthy and rated employees.

Once an employer is registered on SMS2Work, they can search for blue collar workers online by simply searching and requesting to hire the worker for the appropriate time. Once an employer has requested to hire a worker, SMS2Work will contact the worker via SMS and send them the job detail. If the worker agrees to take the job, SMS2Work will notify the employer and book the worker.

Finding workers that suit your needs, from gardening to painting to construction work has never been so easy!

COMPRSA in partnership with Business Against Crime (Eastern Cape), is seeking a long-term partnership with a major financial institution, to successfully launch a National crime-fighting and informal sector employment-stimulating initiative called SMS2Work.

On any given day in South Africa, over 900,000 temporary and flexible jobs are being filled. This figure can safely be doubled if one were to include workers hired from the informal sector – i.e., unskilled and street-corner transactions. One of the major factors driving rampant crime in South Africa (arguably the highest in the world), is unemployment. It is difficult to measure crime accurately over sustained periods. For crime to make it onto the official police records two things need to happen. First, victims or witnesses must report the incident to the police. Second, the police must record it in their records. As many crimes fail to make it over these hurdles, official statistics significantly undercount the number of crimes that are committed. Victimisation surveys – which ask a random sample of the population whether they have been victims of crime – are estimated to uncover between 60% and 70% more crime than that reported by official statistics.

Business Against Crime (Eastern Cape) was established in 1997, in response to former president Nelson Mandela’s appeal to business to assist Government in the fight against crime. As a registered NPO, we partner with a variety of public, private and civil society organizations to launch and manage projects aimed at making South Africa a safer place in which to invest, live, work and play.

COMPRSA, also established in 1997, provides turnkey website design and web application solutions to clients in South Africa and offshore.

Why the SMS2Work project?

Simply put, the project is aimed at formalising the informal sector. In a country where people are literally being killed for their cell phones, where hopelessness is such that some are prepared to contract HIV/AIDS just to qualify for social disability grants and where access to the legitimate economy is far from the norm, we are obliged to address (as best we can) the fundamental reasons for the moral degeneration and despair so prevalent in our communities. “In speaking to many inmates at St Albans Correctional Facility outside Port Elizabeth, I have been struck by the over-riding reason given for their criminal acts and subsequent incarceration: Financial desperation.” Bryan Howard – BAC.

For someone who has little education, no fixed address and no prospects and for whom the next meal is uncertain, life is indeed cheap.

Yet every day, on virtually every street corner in every town and city in South Africa, you’ll see dozens of able, willing and oft-times talented men and women expectantly waiting for someone to hire them. They offer blue-collar expertise in all manner of trades. There’s just one snag. Given the rampant crime, precious few prospective employers are prepared to stop and give them a job – albeit for an hour, a day or a week. How is one to distinguish a legitimate worker from a criminal or opportunist? That’s where the SMS2Work project comes in…

COMPRSA’s team has developed a unique online application that enables the jobless masses to be hired on-line, with no middle-man (e.g., employment agency), at little or no risk.

How does SMS2Work actually work?

Assume you’re looking for someone to do some tiling / painting / carpentry / domestic work / gardening / bricklaying / whatever. You’re reluctant to hire just anyone, so you log on to and select a workmate from the database, after having considered other previous employers’ ratings. Each workmate has been registered, fingerprinted and has a colour-coded profile in terms of competence, as displayed on-line. You simply send an SMS to your chosen workmate(s), indicating your preferred starting date, time and place. The workmate responds by SMS and (if available) the hiring process is complete. At the appointed venue, you’ll know your workmate is legitimate by virtue of his/her colour-coded ID tag. Come compensation time, you make a direct electronic transfer into the workmate’s FNB account – for added security; so no hard cash exchanges hands. As the employer, you are encouraged to rate the workmate, assisting others who log on to make an informed decision regarding hiring those whom you have employed.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping an employer from offering a workmate full-time, formal employment; in fact, the project’s success will, in part, be determined by such events.


The SMS2Work project requires two major role-players:

  • A financial institution prepared to provide each workmate with a bank account and card.
  • A cell phone provider, so that each workmate can be allocated a basic complimentary cellphone. He/she is thus connected to prospective employers (both corporate and individual), and need not frequent roadside intersections in order to obtain work.

Once registered (via participating offices) and equipped with a cell phone and bank account, every workmate is, in effect, instantly vetted, self-employed and immersed into the legitimate economy.

We have no doubt that the SMS2Work model is not only viable, but will set the stage for an entirely new modus operandi in employment seeking and hiring practices, particularly in the blue-collar labour categories.

Initially, we envisage piloting the SMS2Work project in the Eastern Cape, which has traditionally been South Africa’s “have not” province. Once established and fully operational, we expect to roll the program out nationally.

We believe in associating with winning organizations. The fight against inextricably linked crime and unemployment is both a moral and national imperative, and we welcome an association that will go a long way toward reversing both aforementioned societal ills.

With South Africa playing an increasingly active role on the international stage, the SMS2Work project offers a cellphone partner a golden opportunity to endear themselves to consumers by addressing their REAL concerns. What will significantly increase your market share? The practical application of pro-active measures to alleviate rampant crime and hopelessness. In the process, SMS2Work will provide opportunities for both intra- and entrepreneurship by facilitating linkages between employers and employees / workmates.

As a major partner, the SMS2Work initiative will enable their partners to capitalize on the favourable Rand – Pound exchange rate. The SMS engine utilized by COMPRSA is fully integrated, and capable of sending SMS’s to any SMSC worldwide. Every SMS is personalized, and represents an agreement between two consenting parties – the workmate and the employer.

We welcome discussions with you or your designates and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial association.