Ok! It's rant time! I was listening to 567 Cape Talk this morning regarding the World Bank and their projections for South African growth over the next year, which are very different from what the SA Reserve Bank seems to think will happen. The representative from the World Bank had a sound bite describing how they believed it would be very difficult for young black South Africans to get jobs!
Now there are a couple of reasons this is a fact. But let’s first look at the status quo as it stands. The ANC has been in power since 1994 which, for you uneducated lot out there, is 18 years give or take a few months. During that time we have had one of the biggest BEE drives and policy shifts in history, these policies are created to assist young black South Africans find jobs. Companies have been able to become BEE rated allowing them to compete for government tenders and give them a business edge to reverse the imbalances of the past. In fact I read somewhere the other day that South Africa is the first country in history that has a Black Economic Empowerment program to help protect the ruling majority against the non ruling minority.
Now don’t get me wrong, Apartheid was a stupid policy that has left many scars in this country, scars that will take generations to fade but will never completely go away. But surely after having the dice loaded in your favour for 18 years there should be massive changes? The fact is there are not.
The government makes it impossible for small business to hire staff with the current employment act. As a small business owner I would love to hire some staff to take the work load off my shoulders, but what if I hire someone who turns out to be useless? I can’t just fire them! It’s a process, a process that I, as a business owner, don’t have the time for. Then while I’m busy trying to “legally” get rid of the moron how much damage are they doing to my business? Damage that may ruin me………….you might laugh but anyone with their own company will tell you that these are real concerns. Then to top it off in the current global economic climate, with businesses closing down left right and centre, the last thing you need is to take a “risk” on someone.
This brings me to my final point……..EDUCATION! it’s no point dropping the standards of education in SA to try and bring Matric pass marks up to look good, because it’s now coming back to bite you on the proverbial behind! Young South Africans do not have the basic skills required for the work place, their use of the English language and their grammar is nonexistent. BBM messaging, texting and What’s App have slowly destroyed the English language, but that’s another rant. They just don’t have the work ethic required to perform at an acceptable level for small business. Small businesses need staff to go that extra mile, to work those extra few hours without moaning. Instead what you get is youngsters just entering the work place with attitudes like "That’s not in my job description!" and "Agg I’m going to stay home today and nurse my hangover, what’s the worst that could happen? I get a warning.....Big Deal".
So the vicious circle has done a full turn, and the South African youth have been done a huge disservice by the ANC government. As a small business owner I will continue to look for someone that stands out above the rest and would be an asset to my business……..but I’m not holding my breath!