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“Don’t sideline older job seekers,” young people tell government

todayApril 3, 2024 31

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Job seekers’ file image by youth employment accelerator, Haraambe.

Young people in the country’s capital city of Pretoria say they agree that older job seekers should not be sidelined by government.

They spoke to YNews at the back of Rise Mzansi demonstrations outside the Department of Labour in Pretoria, calling for an end to unfair labour practices.

The young people agree with the new kid on the political block and say their parents and siblings can no longer afford to go without work.

Addressing supporters at the picket, Rise Mzansi leader, Songezo Zibi, said solving the country’s unemployment woes cannot be done at the expense of older job seekers.

The Rize Mzansi leader says as long as issues such as load-shedding, water-cuts and lack of service delivery remain in the country, adequate job creation will not be achieved.

Zibi further slammed political rival, President Cyril Ramaphosa, for government’s failure to protect once hopeful young people, who despite 30 years of democracy, are vulnerable and are part of the job seekers who are deemed old today.

The party says the public sector has only prioritised the youth.

This is despite the latest quarterly labour statistics which show that young people remain vulnerable in the labour market with 44.3% of them without jobs, while almost 30% of people aged between 35 and 44 currently unemployed — despite their efforts to find work.

Among the many labour practices that Rize Mzansi wants scrapped, includes the 35-year age restriction on government employment initiatives like the National Youth Development Agency Grant Programme.

Written by: Lindiwe Mabena

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