SA student creates app to help you find a job – no data needed

The app will help you find a job in 2023, even if you have run out of data.

The app will help you find a job in 2023, even if you have run out of data.

Published Dec 28, 2022


Johannesburg – Most of us know the irritation of having a younger sibling or children always wanting to play on our cellphones.

Whether it’s to deplete your battery playing Candy Crush or download music, many of us are filled with dread as soon as they reach out their hand, asking for our devices.

Well, maybe we should start encouraging them to explore our mobile devices. After all, that is exactly what sparked 22-year-old Mzamo Mbhele’s interest in all things technology, and ultimately lead to him creating a job-hunting app JOB X.

The youngster, from Umlazi township in Durban, is a third-year IT software development student at Mangosuthu University of Technology.

JOB X helps job seekers find employment by showing them available jobs near them based on their qualifications.

So if you are going to be job hunting in 2023, Mzamo’s app may be just what you need.

Mzamo developed his app, Job X, to make it easier for unemployed youth to find work. Picture: Supplied

“So you download the app and then you register your details, like what qualifications you have. The app will then triangulate your location and start showing you jobs available close to your location based on the qualifications you entered.

“JOB X will show you jobs within 10km and then the search becomes wider as you scroll down,” Mzamo explains.

It also streamlines the process of creating a CV and allows you to scan and attach documents from one single application, saving all documents in PDF format.

Most importantly, the app is zero-rated, which means you don't need cellphone data to job hunt.

“There are so many people who are not tech-savvy, so it’s difficult for them to look for work online. That is why an app like JOB X will help because everything is right in front of you.

“Actually, it’s easier to use than other platforms out there,” he says, adding that it is free to use, even without the internet.

“It was important for me that the app to be free because I know how much it costs to print a CV and go to the internet café. It cost a lot of money and if you are unemployed you do not have the money to spend looking for work. Now everyone can find job opportunities.”

The app has been well-received, attracting more than 40 000 users since it was launched.

Mzamo has always been intrigued by how technology works and knew very early in his life that he wanted a tech career. He even began repairing phones at the age of 11.

“I learned how to fix phones from my uncle – he used to fix computers and stuff. So I would sit with him and he would teach me a few tricks in terms of how to repair. At some point I had a lot of spare parts, which I used to put together a Samsung A250 to test my apps,” he said.

But for Mzamo it was not enough to just play on a phone, he wanted to create his apps.

“In terms of developing stuff, I actually learned that from YouTube. It was during the early days of YouTube back then, but this information was already there, you know. So people were just sharing how to build this and that.”

“I remember Mxit was a very big app back then. So I could even build my own themes and all that. It made me love building stuff even more.”

It was never going to be easy for Mzamo to make his tech career dream a reality as his parents could not afford his university tuition. He therefore applied himself to his studies so he could get a bursary.

“I knew early on that my parents would not be able to afford my fees so I applied for a bursary with Absa. I had to maintain a 75% average. I studied hard to make sure I achieved my goal. Without the bursary I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.”

With youth unemployment reported to be at 46.5% in the second quarter of this year, he believes the key to eradicating it is through education and the transfer of skills.

“It all boils down to education and skills development. Once the youth acquire skills surely they can build (or) create their own work opportunities and employ each other. Getting educated will help solve a lot of problems,” Mzamo states.

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