Unemployed people of South Africa must unite for rights

Xolile Mpini

Thu May 27 2021 22:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Truth must be told, those we voted into the positions of power do not have the interests of the unemployed at heart. We are watching as they squander state resources for the benefit of their families and friends.

The solution to our unemployment is to put decisions about our jobs in our hands. We call on Parliament to create a Job Seekers Exemption Certificate in the law that we can apply for, that will exempt us from the labour laws. It must give us the freedom to contract with any employer of our choice. Those who do not want to be exempted need not apply. The certificate must allow us to enter into any agreement with any employer, at any wage and on any conditions that we are prepared to accept. Small businesses, individuals and the unemployed will then demonstrate how freedom in the workplace can transform a country.

The Langeberg Unemployed Forum (LUF) has discovered that the above is a solution to the unemployment problem in South Africa. All we need is for government and Parliament to listen to us. Unemployment is caused by the labour laws that benefit the employed and disrespect the constitutional rights of the unemployed. Giving back to the unemployed their rights to make their own decisions about their working lives will solve the problem.

The LUF is taking a stand and says, it would be unfair for the unemployed people of South Africa to wait for government to grow the economy for the unemployed to be able to get employment opportunities. The South African economy will not grow while the job market is closed to more than 12 million people. The SA ECONOMY is on junk status and there are no chances that the economy will recover if the government continues with its policies that exclude the unemployed from the labour market.
Hence, we propose the solution. The Elephant in the room is the legislation and regulations adopted by Parliament that are suffocating the unemployed and preventing unemployed people from getting jobs. We are calling on all unemployed people to unite and demand that Parliament must remove the barriers that cause us to be unemployed.

Sometimes we fail to understand how democracy works. During election campaigns unemployed people are promised jobs and the unemployed become excited and vote for the politicians who make these promises. Then arrogance kicks in from those we voted into power and the promises are forgotten.
They reject any proposal brought before them by the voters. They take seriously the so-called expert advice from academic Professors. The majority are detached from reality on the ground. We, the unemployed, are experts in our own right in the field of unemployment. So why are we ignored by the people whom we voted into power? If that is democracy, then we reject it on the basis that it does not benefit the unemployed people of South Africa.

Truth must be told, those we voted into the positions of power do not have the interests of the unemployed at heart. We are watching as they squander state resources for the benefit of their families and friends. State Owned Enterprises are dysfunctional, municipalities are dysfunctional, and on the other hand these politicians are living a lavish lifestyle at our expense as voters, and all that is happening under our watch.

Unemployed people would also like to have a better lifestyle and they are prepared to work for it. But Parliament has passed laws that stop employers from employing us. The unemployed demand is very simple. We demand to be exempted from the labour laws so we can decide the conditions with employers. Is that a difficult thing to ask from the parliamentarians whom we voted into power?
What we have learned is that government and the members of Parliament either do not understand what is happening in the job market or they do not care about the unemployed. How else can anyone explain one law after another being passed that makes matters worse for everybody at the bottom end of the job market?

The unemployed people of South Africa must unite to peacefully but with determination get the politicians to listen to us. We are not asking for hand-outs, or government jobs, or empty promises. We want our rights returned to us to make our own decisions about our work lives and we want employers we choose to have the right to employ us. As we have said, the Job Seekers Exemption Certificate has the answers to all these questions.

Author: Xolile Mpini is the CEO of the Langeberg Unemployed Forum – Email address xolile@letmework.co.za

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