No country for old men

2013-09-15 10:00

Don’t bother applying for a job if you’re not ‘connected’.

Four years have passed since I was kicked out of work.

To make matters worse, I’m a male in my 40s.

I have tried so hard to look for employment, but have failed to find a new job.

I now have to compete with thousands of candidates under 35 years of age for every single job and we practically have to wrestle each other.

The last one standing gets the job.

It seems the only way around the job-seeking scrum is to have a good relationship with the aristocrats of

the revolution and that is something I can’t seem to manage.

All along, I had operated under the misguided notion that things happened for people because they deserved them, not because they had the most influential lobbyists.

I hadn’t known that these days jobs are advertised only as a formality to meet the requirements of labour law.

When a job is advertised, there is someone already earmarked for it – not necessarily the best candidate, but someone who had lobbied or had people lobbying on his or her behalf.

I could have easily benefited from the system if I had played my cards right from the beginning.

I had been involved in student anti-apartheid demonstrations in various parts of the Cape Flats.

But I chose to remain independent and to speak out against what I call patronage.

The black economic empowerment boom has merely enriched a chosen few – the elite clique of black businessmen who have become multimillionaires overnight; the trade union leaders who use the workers as stepping stones to untold riches; and politicians who effectively use their struggle credentials for self-enrichment.

They all have their snouts buried deep in the trough, lapping noisily in the name of the poor, trying to outdo one another in piggishness.

My joints are not what they used to be. I cannot keep up with the dancers.

Some of these dancers go to work in the morning and they stand up all day for a meagre living as maids, factory workers and cooks.

Fortunately, I’m not going to work – not tomorrow, not ever – in this beloved nation.

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