Monday, 27 August 2007

Is this gambling or economics at work

I always thought that I am unlucky maybe because I am black in the world that favours pale. but now I have realised that actually I am one of those who are lucky, I have a job, and I have roof over my head. There are people who can’t put bread on the table even though they have the skill and education to match... thanks to this growing economy. In this new South Africa, which we are told, is full of possibilities there are people who are yet to see these possibilities I am one of them.

Since 1994 more and more people lost their jobs due to retrenchment and the government didn’t help the situation by commercialising the state owned enterprises. Thabo Mokoni used to work for telecommunication Giant Telkom. He was retrenched and later recalled as a part time worker and his luck ran out he is now unemployed. He joined more than 35 000 thousand workers that Telkom retrenched since 1997. This is almost half of Telkom workers in 1997.

According to Frans Baleni the General Secretary of the NUM ESKOM and transnet did the same. He says that ESKOM employed 6000 workers in 1999 and now they have 31000 employees. You ask yourself how did this happen? when more people now are getting electricity and new telephone lines one would expect the companies to hire more but no instead they decrease the number. The Para-statals were meant to boost the economy, provide people with training and secured jobs and of course cheaper products, which our new government saw as less important. Is it not ironic to hear over and over again President Mbeki saying South Africa have skills shortage? It is his government that commissioned consultants who recommended that the government commercialise State owned Enterprises.

Needless to say that this backfired and the government was forced to reverse the policy, but the damage was already done. State owned companies were helping to develop the economy and not making profit, but that have since changed. Politically we are free economically we are till far from being free. So how can you tell those people who have lost their jobs that their country is alive with possibilities? You will be speaking Greek to them


Ridwan said...

Nice post brother. I am feeling you here.

I January through June in S.Africa. Between positions in academia. Or that is what I thought.

Weeks and then months and nothing, nada, niks.

I started growing resentful. Folks saying, "hey that is how it works in S.Africa."

Others telling stories of not hearing about a job for more than a year. The one day, a letter, a turn down or even worse, your application has been moved up.

Inside of all of this one can feel useless, hopeless. And the worry that you will never find a job.

I decided that it was best to work overseas again. My Ph.D. my commitment, and I miss home like no ones business.

But, more than 6 months have passed and not one of the many jobs I have applied for has even answered my applications.

This is capital and the ism part than makes no sense sometimes.

Still, SAfrica is home always and I am happy that you are happy too.


Ps. good to stop by and read you here!

Beenz said...

At least the battle to find jobs in SA is a multi racial issue - finally, something that affects us all.

I'm not talking about the 'big shot' players here - they'll always find jobs be they black (BEE and old boys network) or white (gift of the gab and old boy networks!). But for the normal South African, its an uphill struggle.

Its also crucial to reducing crime...but according to our govt, thats not really a problem in SA!

You should see what the govt is doing to farmers in SA, and they are huge employers - not to mention the fact that we feed the nation! Its such a waste.

Muzi said...

Hey Ridwan hope is the name of the game as beenz said it's an uphill battle for all at least for the none elite. Lets work hard to build SA and forget government rhetoric

Ridwan said...

I remain hopeful Muzi. Working overseas does not equate with looking down on SAfrica.

Hell no broer. SAfrica has its problems no doubt. But I can tell you from here on the left coast of the US, there is no other place I would be if I could just make a living there.

So, I plan not to just give up but to persist.

Luckily my work as an academic does not take me too far from SAfrica.

I wish you and Beenz well hey.

Peace and struggle,