Unemployed graduates took to city streets to hand over their memorandum of demands to the Presidency at the Union Buildings. Picture: Virgilatte Gwangwa

Pretoria - Unemployed graduates from KwaZulu-Natal and Pretoria have taken their #HireAGraduate campaign to the city streets.

With some clad in their graduation regalia, the unemployed graduates with qualifications ranging from teaching diplomas, economics degrees and fine arts diplomas gathered at Burgers Park and staged a peaceful protest.

Although many did not heed the call, the determined few still made their way to the Union Buildings to submit their memorandum of demands to the Presidency. 

The graduates escorted by members of the South African Police Service brought Nelson Mandela drive and Madiba street to a halt.

Graduates said the education system is failing them, saying they were told to get qualifications for a better life but instead they are still swimming in poverty.

One of the campaign organisers, Nkululeko Ndlovu, 28, from KZN said since they were born, they were told education unlocked many doors to success and a way out of poverty but that was not true.

Unemployed graduates took to city streets to hand over their memorandum of demands to the Presidency at the Union Buildings. Video: Virgilatte Gwangwa


“Instead of getting employment, we are just sitting at home as if we are not educated. 

"We need the government to create jobs for us, right now there’s a huge number of depressed young people in the country and one of the things leading to depression is having all the qualifications but not working,” he said. 

The degreed economics graduate from Mangosuthu University of Technology said in July this year 420 graduates who were in internship programmes were declared unemployed as their contracts came to an end. 

He said they are encouraged to volunteer but they did not study to volunteer and do experiments for programmes. 

The #HireAGraduate campaign started last year as statistics revealed that there were an estimated 9.3 million unemployed citizens of which 6 million were those under the age of 35.

Pretoria News