Graduate of ’07 hopeful

2017-01-11 06:01
Kelebogile Leeuw, Bachelor of Commerce graduate, is yet to land her dream job. Photo: Mlungisi Louw

Kelebogile Leeuw, Bachelor of Commerce graduate, is yet to land her dream job. Photo: Mlungisi Louw

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When Kelebogile Leeuw (31) completed her Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree at the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2007, she never anticipated that her job-seeking journey would be so grim.

Kelebogile is one of thousands of graduates wondering if all the hard work and money spent on getting a decent education is worth it.

For the past four years, she has worked as a cashier at Spar in Rocklands, Bloemfontein.

Despite it being far from her dream job, she has made the best of the opportunity.

Kelebogile says she has not given up on landing a job in a country of which the un­employment rate continues to soar.

“I thought I would progress in life after graduating,” she says.

Despite challenges facing hundreds of graduates who are desperate for a job, this last-born of three siblings says job hunting for the past nine years has not destroyed her ambition to further her studies.

She plans to enrol for a law degree this year with the hope of increasing her prospects of securing a dream job.

“Waiting for calls for job interviews was frustrating and depressing, but bills have to be paid,” she says, referring to her job as a cashier.

In addition to her BCom degree, this overqualified cashier has two certificates mounted on the wall of her house in Seven Days location, Bloemfontein.

The first certificate is for Breaking Barriers to Entry into Public Service and the other for International Competition Driving Lessons facilitated by the Free State Department of Education.

Kelebogile did her internship at the Department of Correctional Services in 2007 after graduating from the UFS.

“I was disappointed when I was not employed by the correctional services, but I remain hopeful.”

Kelebogile is one of the more than 405 000 unemployed graduates in South Africa – some of which can be seen standing at traffic intersections with the hope of finding work.

According to statistics compiled by the Institute of Race Relations 2016 South Africa Survey, the chance of being absorbed into the workforce with tertiary education is 76,7%.

The chance of being absorbed into the workforce with matric is 51,1%, while the number of unemployed South Africans with matric is 1,7 million.

Statistics further revealed that unemployed youth between 15 and 24 years is: black – 53,7%, coloured – 46,4%, Indian/Asian – 23,5% and white – 25,0%.

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