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Cape Town - A Strand garage has taken on some of the homeless and unemployed - temporarily - to fill the gap left by petrol attendants who are on strike.
The Caltex garage in Main Road, Strand, has given women from the Case Caravan Park and a man living in a Somerset West night shelter an opportunity to earn money by working as temporary petrol attendants. One of the “new temps”, Karen Meerholz, 53, said at first she thought she would not be able to work a full day.
“But I made it. I need the money because currently I do not have a job. I am excited to be here every day and the generous customers makes it worthwhile for me,” she said.
“Although it’s not much, it’s better than nothing. I have been surviving from the one day to the next. And it’s tough out there.
“The work is not as tough as I imagined. I learned how to operate the petrol pumps and it’s been going great,” she said.
Another temp, Shane Bouwers, 28, said: “I walked past the garage in search for work on Monday. I saw some of the people that were working dressed in normal clothes and I thought maybe they were looking for new people. I went to the manager and he gave me the job.”
Bouwers said he started working immediately and was taught how to operate the petrol pumps within less than a day. “I can now save the little money I make here, but more important for me is that I have some work experience. When the (service) station needs me to help I would definitely do that. I believe this temporary job has opened up doors for me,” he said.
The temporary employees earn R17.80 an hour.
The service station’s manager, Liesl van Rensburg, said: “Our business needs to continue. When the petrol jockeys had a strike three years ago, we used the same people from the Case Caravan Park.
“Now we also have someone from the night shelter. It really feels good to be providing the less fortunate a job they are really enjoying.”