"For two years, I had been applying to various places for a job without any success until the PEP came along," says Thembisa Thwala, a 29-year-old from Crossroads who cares for four family members.
As a member of the PEP Safety Teams assigned to escort City services teams and utility companies to job sites, she plays a vital role in creating a safer environment in her neighborhood. "I am thrilled to witness the improvement in our neighborhoods. Our efforts are paying off as people can now walk freely without fearing any harm."
Thwala attributes their success to the program's wise decision to assign participants to their own familiar areas. "The PEP management made the right call by placing us in our own neighborhoods to escort the work teams visiting Philippi. If outsiders were appointed, criminals might have taken advantage, but because we know them, they won't dare."
Securing this job not only met the basic needs of Thwala's family but also significantly alleviated the stress she had been enduring. "Unemployment brings immense pressure, especially when your family depends on you. The uncertainty surrounding our next meal is incredibly challenging. Thanks to the PEP, I am now free from that burden."
The newfound employment also restored Thwala's sense of dignity and self-esteem. Reflecting on her experience, she emphasizes, "Being confined at home with no income leads to depression. That's why I don't take my job for granted. I respect it and look forward to each month-end knowing I will have money."
Thwala fervently hopes that the program will continue, recognizing the significant impact it has made in her life and its potential to help others in similar circumstances. "I don't just want it to continue for my sake, but because there are countless other unemployed individuals. I understand that the PEP can only accommodate a limited number, but I pray it extends its reach."