2.9 MILLION PRIME WORKING-AGE SOUTH AFRICANS ARE UNEMPLOYED.

Written by on April 2, 2024

Written by: Tasha Siziba

 

RISE Mzansi, on Tuesday led a picket outside the Department of Labour and Employment in an effort to remove the arbitrary age restriction on chances and jobs for those over 35.

South Africans over 35 are self-sufficient individuals, often single mothers, who care for their own children, relatives’ children, and elderly parents.

RISE Mzansi National Leader, Songezo Zibi, said Ageism, a community term, refers to the exclusion of adults from their families, resulting in a life of indignity and a lack of agency.

“Because of this exclusion, there are 2,9 million people aged between 36 and 44, who are of prime working age who are unable to access jobs and skills opportunities. They are forced into a life of poverty. At best, they can get temporary jobs that pay little, or create informal work that does not enable them to put food on the table for their families or build a home of their own.”

Zibi said they are protesting against the ANC government’s neglect and discrimination against jobs for over 35s through inclusionary programs.

“RISE Mzansi values equality, and as set out in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, “no person may unfairly discriminate, directly or indirectly, against an employee, in any employment policy or practice, on one or more grounds, including age …”

RISE Mzansi demands that this be applied to the current government employment and skills programs.

The party wants the Department of Higher Education and Training to lift the age restriction of 18-35 in the Skills Training and Learnership Programmes.

“The government’s SETA program, which administers training and learnership, is reducing the number of job seekers over 35 due to the rapid digital advancement.”

Zibi reiterates by saying, unemployment will increase if job seekers over 35 lack skills training and work experience, as job availability is already challenging.

We need new leaders with experience, with values and with a plan to build the safe, prosperous, equal, and united South Africa, said Zibi.


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