Job hunting is everyone’s nightmare. It can go on forever, causing depression and sometimes even leading to suicide attempts. Fifty-one percent of South Africans between the ages of 15 and 24 are unemployed, according to an SA Institute of Race Relations survey.
Real life Experiences
Live Magazine spoke to five young people who are frustrated about the job hunting that’s delayed their dreams. Here’s what they had to say:
Yonwaba Ntlabati (18) Cape Town, Langa
Yonwaba finished her Matric in 2009 and applied for a bursary months before she wrote her last paper. It’s been two years and she is still waiting for the sponsor to respond, so that she can further her studies. Her dream is to study Radiography and Emergency medical care. However, it’s all been placed on hold as she has since had to look for a job. She now works as a domestic worker. “It’s been tough, but I had to look for a way to survive,” she says. “I could have been choosy, but beggars are not choosers.”
Bandile Thwala (25) Cape Town
Since 2005 Bandile has been in and out of jobs. He has tried everything to the point that he has applied for a bursary from the health department, even though his dream was to study film and video.
“I can tell you, looking for a job in South Africa can be very difficult,” says Bandile. “Experience is every company’s punch line.” When Bandile was out hunting for a job, he didn’t have any mode of transportation or any access to an email to post his CV. Pressure, and expectations from both family and friends kept him on his toes at all times.
“Not getting a response or being called for interviews dents your self-esteem,” he says. “And knowing that you have all the qualifications needed for a particular job, but still can’t find one, depresses you even more.”
Tawanda Chisasa (23) Zimbabwe
The primary problem that Tawanda faces is that he is a Zimbabwean citizen, and this continues to hinder his job applications. Having no work permit is his major challenge. Furthermore, the fact that he is not in possession of a drivers license also delays the process. “I’m forced to do whatever that is laid in front of me,” he says. He’s made several attempts to apply for positions that he believes he qualifies for. However, even with the qualifications, Tawanda is still unemployed.
Lebogang Mokwena (26) Klerksdorp
Lebo finished his matric in 2002. He couldn’t start university due to financial contraints at home, so he spent the whole of 2003 twiddling his thumbs. He decided to go for military training, so he could hopefully study through its financial assistance programme. He stayed with the military for three years, after which he decided that that was not where he wanted to be, and started applying for bursaries to study Electrical Engineering. He was awarded a bursary and started university in 2007. “I graduated, but I’m now dealing with the stress of job hunting,” he says, having had to move to Johannesburg to look for a job. He is still unemployed.
Nomava Gaji (22) Johannesburg
The biggest challenge that Nomava faces is that she’s constantly broke and having to live on the most basic things. “It’s difficult to depend on someone else for rent, food and petty cash,`’ she says. “It’s demoralising, because at times you wake-up and feel more depressed knowing that it’s another day of just sitting around and doing nothing.”
On an average day Nomava posts 30-35 applications on Gumtree and other job hunting websites. Most of the companies don’t even bother to reply to her with regrets. “I’ve been called in for about six interviews during the last six months to no avail,” she says.
“Make the right choice. Decide your future”- Khetha
Khetha is an educational campaign created by the South African Qualifications Agency (SAQA) under the leadership of the Department of Higher Education and Training. It uses radio programmes, on nine SABC radio stations in nine official languages, and career expos featuring industry experts and skilled workers. It gives learners all the information they’ll need to plan for their future: from which subjects to choose in Grade 9, to career choices, and finding funding for their studies.
Khetha is here to help youth in school, school leavers, students, parents, teachers and professionals.
- While it’s too late to apply for University, you can still register for an FET College.
- Don’t wait to be shortlisted on a bursary sponsor, keep going back till you’re attended to and helped. – I DONT UNDERSTAND THIS SENTENCE
- Don’t just choose the course with the shortest queue, go for what you really love.
According to the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, Khetha will sufficiently equip learners to make informed decisions and be able to take greater responsibility for their career paths. “We look forward to the support and guidance of… all tiers of government in helping us build an accessible and successful post school education and training system we can all be proud of,” sais Nzimande.
This means that anyone needing to choose school subjects, a school leaver wanting to study further, or a working person wanting to switch to a different field – can access the information and support the need to take the next step.
To find out more about information on bursaries like the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) or if you want to study teaching, through the FunzaLushaka bursary, You can go to your local University or Technikon.
For information contact
Call centre helpline: 0860 111 673 or SMS the free toll number: 072 204 5056
Khetha is brought to you by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and Minister of Higher Education and Training (DHET).
Writers: Vanessa Kungwane and Melody Chironda