Graduates show initiative to find entry-level jobs

2017-01-19 10:43
DUT graduates Sibusiso Buthelezi (left) and Siyanda Bhengu try and find employment by holding up placards at the traffic lights on Old Howick road on Wednesday.

DUT graduates Sibusiso Buthelezi (left) and Siyanda Bhengu try and find employment by holding up placards at the traffic lights on Old Howick road on Wednesday. (Ian Carbutt)

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We don’t want sympathy, we want work.

This is what two unemployed graduates from Imbali told The Witness as they stood with placards on Old Howick Road in Wembley seeking employment on Wednesday.

Sibusiso Buthelezi and Siyanda Bhengu displayed their details and the fields they have qualified in.

Buthelezi (24) holds a Bachelor of Technology in Management while Bhengu (23) holds a National Diploma in Management and they both majored in financial management.

The pair obtained their qualifications at the Durban University of Technology in 2014.

While youth unemployment stats continue to be a concern in KwaZulu-Natal and in the country, Buthelezi lamented the government’s systems, saying they favour certain people.

“I have been looking for a job for the past two years, but nothing positive comes out of it.

“I send many applications to different departments and attend interviews but nothing happens. I have even offered to volunteer at some departments but they turned me down,” he said.

Buthelezi, who lives with his grandmother and two younger sisters, said he can’t continue with his studies as he still owes money to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

“They [government] insists that we must pay NSFAS back, but how is that possible when we can’t get jobs. It is really a concern that after 23 years of democracy we are still discussing unemployment, especially for graduates,” he said.

Bhengu, who has never been given the opportunity to do in-service training, said they were not looking for sympathy or hand-outs.

“At home you even become ashamed or embarrassed to ask for money to fax applications or attend interviews.”

The pair believe the private sector could provide opportunities for them to support their families.

“We decided to stand near Redlands Estate and these other private companies with the hope that we might get recognition from them. Even if it’s an entry level job in the field we studied in where we will be paid less. We just ask to be recognised and acknowledged,” said Buthelezi.

Other graduates were expected to join the pair, but no one else arrived. Bhengu believes it is because many people are too ashamed to stand on the road and ask for employment.

“Sitting back and blaming the government for our unpleasant situation will not change anything. We don’t want to take the easy way out and end up in a life of crime,” he said.

Bhengu and Buthelezi will also be going to Durban to try their luck there.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  unemployment

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