WHILE the largely meaningless “verbal pyrotechnics” of the matric examinations and results are thankfully behind us, the reality of hundreds of thousands of school leaving job seekers is most definitely not, says Terry Bell in his first Labour Wrap of 2017. This is potentially the most volatile element in South Africa at present.
At least, he notes, there are now more voices being raised about what a farce this fetish about matric examinations results is. This especially in a country that has still not dealt seriously with early childhood education, let alone adult basic education and training, both promised in the Freedom Charter and the Bill of Rights.
He maintains that angry and jobless young people with few prospects of betterment make for an additional charge to an already ticking time bomb of discontent. This is a worrying outlook.
However, amid all the doom and gloom there are many examples bravery, heroism, compassion, dedication and solidarity. Bell says he will concentrate on some of these in his future Inside Labour columns, starting with what now seems to be the longest-running labour dispute in history.
But these columns by Terry Bell will now appear once a fortnight instead of weekly. Every second week, the Inside Labour slot on Fin24 and City Press will be written by Patrick Craven.
Craven is a former official spokesperson for Cosatu and acting spokesperson for the National Union of Metalworkers following its expulsion from the federation. He is, Bell says, “one of the best known and respected voices in the labour movement”.
Bell’s first column for 2017 will appear on this platform on Friday. Patrick Craven’s debut column will appear on Friday, January 20.