Billionaire businesswoman Magda Wierzycka – who recently offered a reward for the arrest of Ajay Gupta – has pledged R200 000 towards job creation as a peace offering after she caused a storm on Twitter for saying more domestic workers and gardeners were needed as part of the solution to deal with the high rate of unemployment in the country.
In a tweet that has gone viral, Wierzycka said on Saturday morning: “I often get asked‚ how can I help SA? Our biggest challenge = job creation. A thought: let every household employ just 1 more cleaning lady or gardener. Just 1. I know it’s a financial sacrifice. But we all need to sacrifice if we are to save SA. Imagine the impact.”
The tweet, which Wierzycka later deleted, led to an uproar with the platform’s users slamming her for her suggestion on job creation.
One of the critics was economist Thabi Leoka who disagreed with the Sygnia CEO.
She tweeted in response: “No Magda! Let’s create a country of scientists‚ economists‚ lawyers‚ neurologists‚ cardiologists … not servants!”.
Leoka said in another tweet: “Corporates and wealthy people can fund entrepreneurs‚ teach people how to run their businesses‚ train people to become artisans —boilermakers‚ plumbers‚ electricians etc and support them by hiring them once they are skilled.”
Though Wierzycka responded positively to the counter suggestion, she, however, added that the economist’s solution seemed not to consider the “11 million unemployed adults and social grant recipients who just need to support their families”.
These unemployed adults are mostly under 40! Corporates and wealthy people can fund entrepreneurs, teach people how to run their businesses, train people to become artisans – boilermakers, plumbers, electricians etc and support them by hiring them once they are skilled.
— Thabi Leoka (@thabileoka) March 17, 2018
Wierzycka eventually withdrew her comment and apologised to anyone who might have been offended by her tweet.
She said she had initially made the comments because she “thought it was a practical solution to a short-term serious problem of people living on social grants.”
I withdraw the comment. I thought it was a practical solution to a short term serious problem of people living on social grants (particularly women who live on child grants of R400 pm per child). I apologize if I offended anyone. @thabileoka https://t.co/XRCicEjnK1
— Magda Wierzycka (@Magda_Wierzycka) March 17, 2018
But black Twitter wasn’t so forgiving. Here’s what tweeps thought of Wierzycka’s comments:
Magda @Magda_Wierzycka your tweet was upsetting on so many levels. But that's done now. You have influence to do something impactful. A pledge for X job spots with training + a challenge to other CEOs for the same? I'm happy to share suggestions from my listeners. @Powerfm987
— Iman Rappetti (@imanrappetti) March 17, 2018
Magda_Wierzycka thank you for confirming what you'll always see us as . pic.twitter.com/Rm4CqGSbn9
— MSAKAZI ???????? ???????????????? (@MpumiMlambo2) March 17, 2018
Every black South African has had to deal with the likes of bo @Magda_Wierzycka – they are always there – reminding us how they really think of dealing with unemployment : Employ more blacks are kitchen girls and garden boys! Bo Satane ka di kwai-kwai
— PhaṱhuMakwarela (@PhathuMakwarela) March 17, 2018
Dear @Magda_Wierzycka, I think I understand what you are saying in this tweet. Even so, it is incredibly insensitive and completely blind to the lived experience of millions of South Africans, then and now. https://t.co/AKGHX86WcY
— Nomboniso Gasa (@nombonisogasa) March 17, 2018
It is @Magda_Wierzycka proposal for reducing umeployment that you should find "devoid of all logic & common sense"…not Bongani's response to it. Do you even know reason & context of @bonglez comment? https://t.co/FPskzPgrVr
— Redi Tlhabi (@RediTlhabi) March 17, 2018