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Tshwane Bahlali Dudula leads march of young people to Ford Motor Company to demand jobs

People gather during the Tshwane Bahlali Dudula protest at the Ford Motor Company. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

People gather during the Tshwane Bahlali Dudula protest at the Ford Motor Company. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 14, 2022

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Pretoria - A large crowd of young people from Mamelodi, Nellmapius and Eersterust marched to the headquarters of Ford Motor Company and the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone to demand the employment of young people who reside in their communities.

The demonstration was organised and led by Tshwane Bahlali Dudula to encourage businesses to hire young people who are sitting with skills and qualifications in the townships and struggling to provide for themselves and their families.

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Organiser, Khutso Smesh Semetjane, said although the movement has always been about highlighting the danger of South Africans losing jobs to foreign nations, they targeted the two economic nodes because they wanted them to hire young people from neighbouring communities instead of people from far away.

Semetjane was followed behind by a large wave of young people holding qualifications like trade test certificates, curriculum vitaes and driving licences to indicate that they were also skilled and qualified to work but only needed an opportunity.

He said although they knew the problem of unemployment was high and very serious among the youth, they did not expect to attract what looked like over 2 000 young people. He said they had the support of student organisations, the South African National Civic Organisation, members of the taxi industry, community policing forums and veterans of the military.

Semetjane said: "We demand the immediate setting up of a collaboration desk that will include representatives from Ford South Africa, the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone representatives and some people from Mamelodi, Nellmapius and Eersterust as the stakeholders.

"We demand the immediate scrapping of the pure mathematics requirement on entry level posts. The requirement is not scientific and it is used to unfortunately discriminate against potential job seekers.

"There must be a clear enterprise development procedure introduced and that it is monitored by the collaboration desk. Ford Motors South Africa should also reveal to us its transformation plan."

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"We further demand that the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone should also reveal the transformation plan on ownership beyond the construction phase. We know that the government has committed to creating black industrialists and we see it as one golden opportunity for such."

People show off their qualifications during the Tshwane Bahlali Dudula protest at the Ford Motor Company. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Naledi Mathosa said: "I studied mechanical engineering at college and I have all the necessary qualifications. What more does a person need to find employment in this country? We are told the companies are given seven days to respond so I hope to hear some good news."

Isaac Ndlovu and Tshepiso Ledwaba said they did courses to earn skills at tertiary institutions and graduated last year but now they end up washing other people's cars and being sent around by their peers simply because they cannot find work.

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Nkele Maduma said: "Youth Day is coming on Thursday. Can these companies please remember us because we are the future. We will continue to push this agenda and also go to industrial areas like Waltloo Industrial Site where some firms have been hiring foreign nationals at the exclusion of South Africans."

Semetjane said this movement was not associated to the Dudula movement led by Nhlanhla Lux. He said they have common interests to see young South Africans employed although their approach differed.

Pretoria News

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