William Twala’s Story

williamMy name is William Twala. I am 32 years old.I am originally from Thokoza in the Ekhuruleni municipality of Johannesburg. I came to Cape Town in 2011 to find a job and to live in a new city. I am a person who likes adventure and to explore.

I had little in the way of money or possessions on me when I arrived in Cape Town, only a bag of clothing and an unwavering faith that I was going to change my life for the better in this city. My arrival, however, instantly opened me to a side of the city I did not anticipate. On my alighting of the train at the Cape Town Station, my intention was to find a motel or cheap overnight accommodation where i could stay for a few days, and look for a room to rent in the city or the outlying townships as permanent residence before finding employment.

I had been trained and worked as a truck driver in Johannesburg and was going to go out to look for similar employment here too. My first night turned out to be a horrible experience as I ended up being robbed outside the station on my way to a motel. I was stripped of all the money I had and my bag of clothes.

After the thugs had disappeared into the night, I was almost immediately assisted by a passerby who offered me some money to buy food and directed me to a shelter in the city centre. I went straight to the shelter and was offered a further meal and accommodation to sleep over for the night. Due to the convenience of being right in the city, I decided on furthering my stay in the shelter for a while whilst I searched for a job.

I was specifically looking for a job as a driver as I had the experience. It was hard to find a truck driver’s job here because as someone from outside, I was not familiar with the routes and towns here, and that proved to be a big inconvenience in my job applications. Eventually I ended up working as a waiter for various restaurants in town and in the V&A Waterfront so that I could sustain myself and pay for my shelter accommodation while looking for a driver’s job.

It was in November last year that my job as a waiter in a V&A Waterfront restaurant came to an end as the restaurant was facing closure.I was tired of working as a waiter and wanted to work as a driver as I felt I knew the city and surrounding areas well enough to take up such employment. I found myself unemployed and desperate. I was then told by someone in the shelter to visit the Scalabrini Centre for them to help me find a new job.

I came to the Scalabrini Centre on a Monday morning and was directed to the Employment Access Programme Help Desk. I spoke to a consultant on the desk. He was most helpful and showed real interest in assisting me. He advised me to return to the centre on a daily basis and go through the newspapers, job boards and go online on the free internet offered in the centre for my job searches.

I began my morning journeys to the Scalabrini Centre every Monday morning up to Friday going about my job searching by email, phone calls and faxing at the centre. It was in January this year that after two months of trying to find a job as a driver that I received a response to my email and phone application. It was a meter taxi driver’s position, and not the truck driver’s position as I had initially searched for.

I am now happy and working as a meter taxi driver in the CBD area and outlying areas for a reputable taxi company. I have moved into a place of my own. I am working on saving enough money to buy my own taxi by the end of the year.I am also making plans for my family, wife and two kids, to come and join me for us to live together as a family here in Cape Town.

I would like to thank the Scalabrini Centre for being of assistance to me when it was most important in my life. I am eternally grateful to the Scalabrini Centre. I would like to encourage others, especially my fellow South African brothers and sisters who are newly arrived here in Cape Town and have no clue as to how to begin with their employment searching, to come to Scalabrini Centre for assistance.You can be helped here too.


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