Over 600 young people visited the job opportunity and career expo hosted by the Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association (MURA) and Government Communications and Information System (GCIS) at the Mitchell’s Plain Indoor Sport and Recreation Centre in Portland.
Norman Jantjes, chairperson of Mura, said they did not expect the amount of people who turned up on Friday November 20.
With Covid-19 regulations they could only allow 200 people inside the venue at a time, while the rest had to queue outside the building, he said.
Sikelela Zokufa, regional GCIS communications co-ordinator, said it was important for them to be part of this event for the youth of Mitchell’s Plain.
GCIS embarked on a youth dialogue as part of the pre-State of the Nation Address earlier this year on Wednesday February 12. The dialogue was designed to form part of a career expo, focusing on matriculants and unemployed youth.
“Youth raised their frustrations of being unemployed while having several certificates completing different courses,” said Mr Zokufa.
“They also requested GCIS to organise a job opportunity expo where they are able to seek job opportunities, entrepreneurship and also register on the unemployment database of the Department of Labour,” he said.
“The large number of young people shows that there is a demand. During Covid-19, people lost their jobs, people are unemployed. We have to organise another event like this so that we can assist as many young people as possible,” said Mr Zokufa.
Michael Jacobs, deputy chairperson of Mura, said young people need to have the opportunity to be skilled.
“This is not the first or the last event we will be doing. We would like to visit all areas in Mitchell’s Plain so that it (events like these) is accessible to all,” he said.
Mr Jantjes said they are very proud to be part of hosting the event.
“Some have been waiting for many years for this opportunity – the youth want to develop themselves. If we want to see a prosperous future, we need to make sure they take hold of these opportunities. We need to have more of these events going forward,” he said.
Renecia Ficks, 31, from Harmony Village said the event was very helpful, especially during Covid-19.
She has been working in retail since 2009 but lost her job and finding employment is challenging.
“I am securing my future, so that my children will be able to do the same. I did not have these opportunities in my time. Things will get better for us; I am positive,” she said.
Yasmienah Dollie, 22, from Heinz Park said her mother informed her of the event. She would like to start her own madressa but needs certification to do so. She said she found the job and career expo helpful.
Chrissanda van der Merwe, 30, from Tafelsig is unemployed and attended the expo to find out what she can do to find a job or to start studying.
Stacey Cloete, 32, has a qualification in business management but is unemployed.
“It is difficult to find a job even when you are qualified in the field. This is the third expo I am at. I am hopeful that I will find a job,” she said.
Robertha le Roux, administrator at Atvance Academy, said they welcome the youth taking steps to up-skill themselves. “We definitely want to have more of these expos in our community to bring about change,” she said.