Citizens weigh in on Sona debate, unemployment and government

Citizens weigh in on Sona debate, unemployment and government

A man offers his services at a traffic intersection in Cape Town. Almost 55% of South African youth are unemployed. Picture: EFE-EPA / Nic Bothma

The general sentiment on the street is that the government has failed its people by delivering empty promises.

Londiwe Ndlovu obtained a degree in education and for the past year she has been seeking a job in her field of qualification, only to find herself working at Sports Bet. She expressed that she didn’t have faith in the government anymore, specifically referring to the speech delivered in the state of the nation address (Sona) regarding youth unemployment.

Sarah Moche is a mother who is concerned about her child’s future. She feels that nepotism is the reason why the unemployment rate is so high and that people with qualifications aren’t fairly recognised. She said that the government would forever be delivering empty promises to the nation and she thus suggests that, for the unemployment rate to decrease, corruption shouldn’t be ignored for there to be tangible results. Sarah mentioned that the problem with the youth was that they are lazy and were forever waiting for opportunities to come their way.

Nompumelelo Zulu is a 21-year-old who is currently studying electrical engineering. She said that the unemployment rate in the country had dimmed the light on her future. She had hoped to work at Eskom after her studies, but with the current corruption and the ongoing retrenchments, she doesn’t see hope anymore. Zulu believes that the government is selling the country dreams, and she advises the youth to hang in there and stand up for their dreams and opportunities.

Usherette Manganyi has been unemployed for the past two years, adding that she regretted voting because she could see that the government would not change. She further mentioned that as a young lady who cared for herself, should the unemployment rate not decrease, she feared that she might be pushed to points of desperation where she might just consider prostitution or drug dealing. She pleads with the government to stop corruption.

Nobuhle Hlongwane is a young poet who said that the unemployment rate would decrease considering the fact that there was new leadership. She aspires to be an entrepreneur, but she believes that the government should invest more in entrepreneurial skills. Nobuhle said that another contributing factor to unemployment was teenage girls who deliberately got pregnant so that they could receive Sassa grants.

Ofentse Molepo is a high school pupil from a rural area who expressed that corruption and empty promises were high contributing factors to the unemployment rate. Molepo is concerned about his future and his mother adds that another way to solve the unemployment matter is to reduce the income of foreign nationals.

Morris Masonto said that he was employed but had difficulties finding a job. During his hunt for a job, he realised that nepotism and corruption are behind the unemployment rate, and that is the biggest problem.

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