Joe Mtwazi stood on the corner of Rose and Strand streets in Cape Town, signaling to passing vans that he’s available for hire. A pickup truck stopped and he joined a scuffle of about 10 men for slots on a building crew, emerging unsuccessful.
“I’ll do anything,” Mtwazi, 34 and a black father of two, said in an interview on Aug. 1. He hasn’t been permanently employed since being fired as a painter four years ago and competes for part-time jobs, earning between 100 rand ($12) and 200 rand a day if he gets hired. “Sometimes I don’t eat because I don’t have money,” he said.