Graduates feel the pain of low economic growth

2017-11-06 14:50
Sibongile Dladla says that even though she has got a diploma in public management she cannot find work in Pietermaritzburg.

Sibongile Dladla says that even though she has got a diploma in public management she cannot find work in Pietermaritzburg. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg's Sibongile Dlala (25) is typical of many South Africans: educated and desperate to work but unable to find employment.

Dladla graduated from the Durban University of Technology in 2014 with a national diploma in public management.

“I have been seeking a job since I graduated in 2014,” said Dladla. “Being unemployed has made life very difficult for me.”

Statistics South Africa reported last week that the rate of unemployment nationally is 27,7% and that in Kwa-Zulu-Natal the unemployment rate was sitting at 24,6%.

Dladla said she was funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme for her tertiary education and now it wanted that money paid back.

“Since I am not working and unable to pay my loan, the interest on the loan might increase,” said Dladla.

Melanie Veness, the CEO of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, says unemployment is high locally.

“We have lost some big businesses in the recent past and I know of several large companies that are teetering on the brink of closure,” she added.

Veness said continued political and policy uncertainty and low economic growth could lead to several businesses shutting down.

Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa) director Mervyn Abrahams said foreign investments usually go to the financial sector of the economy and not the manufacturing sector, where jobs can be created.

“We have to think of other models to create jobs, we should stimulate jobs in townships rather than focussing more on suburbs,” said Abrahams. “Wages should be increased in order for workers to have enough money to support their families.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  unemployment

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