READ| High job-seeking costs for young South Africans on Daily Maverick - Youth Capital
What does it really cost young people to look for work?
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READ| High job-seeking costs for young South Africans on Daily Maverick

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Buy food or look for work — the awful choice facing young South Africans.

The process of looking for a job involves many costs, ranging from data packages to taxi fares, printing rates to application fees. For a young person like Buhle Jentilemane, living in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch, these are costs she can ill afford. 

Jentilemane has been hunting for work for more than a year. She was laid off from her previous job in February 2021 due to the pressures the Covid-19 pandemic placed on her workplace. 

“[The Covid-19 pandemic] impacted me because before it I was employed, and I even signed a contract of permanence, but I would say I signed on [permanently] in December [2020], then next thing in February the following year I was unemployed,” said Jentilemane. 

At around the same time that Jentilemane lost her job she became a new mother. Supporting her family, including her child, mother and sisters, has been a struggle ever since. Paying for data is one of the most challenging aspects of the job-seeking process for Jentilemane. The expense is made all the more frustrating by the lack of results her online efforts produce. 

“They post a job online, they say apply. It’s just a waste of time,” she said. “I’ve been applying — I don’t know how many CVs — but never got even a rejection email saying, ‘Sorry, you didn’t meet the requirements’… it was just like I didn’t even send a CV.” 

Often, Jentilemane has to choose between spending money on finding a job and purchasing necessities for herself and her family.

The article written by Tamsin Metelerkamp appeared on Daily Maverick on 5 May 2022. Read the full article at the link below.

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