With my layman understanding of labour and how it affects everything, I am wondering why is it that most of South African citizens are not really employed in the restaurant sector. Slowly most are no longer taking positions in the so-called low paying jobs. Are we so spoiled that we feel we’d rather go hungry than eat a slice of bread without butter. Do we remain unemployed because we’d rather be jobless than take a low paying job or maybe we will not settle since the government promised us jobs and many other services at no cost to us.
My basic understanding tells me that even the social grants that we so rely on are not sustainable because only few people are contributing towards them. All the foreigners doing the low paying jobs are taking the last cents back to their country of birth, this is that last cents which was supposed to be channeled towards the social grants. In short, my understanding tells me that we are loosing more than just the so-called monthly low salary.
Until the government can deliver, are we going to remain seated? Will we continue organising more and more matches and vandalising everything on our way in an attempt to make sure that we are heard? Are we finding it hard to stomach the fact that government says employment, development and sustainable growth should be brought about by the private sector?
For me, the most challenging question in South Africa is any question aimed at getting a solution to the current unemployment problems that we are experiencing. In an attempt to answer or come up with solutions to this problem. Many people and our government believe that our answers will come from Brazil and what they did will improve our current status.
I wonder if the plans to learn from Brazil in a way include Reconstruction and Development Program or Growth, Employment and Redistribution. I ask myself if it includes focusing on using the urban areas and not just developing most of them into big metropolis. I ask myself if it includes lower labour cost and Brazils favorable climate? While we learn from Brazil’s rise, are we also looking at the possibilities of high priced goods or it does not matter since most of the population will be earning an honest leaving and should afford what will be on offer.
I hope as much as we learn from Brazil, we will take the time and accept that all of the learning from Brazil will just be copy and paste if we do not take the time and research. Only if we could insist on custom made solutions for South Africa and not those intended for Brazil to be tweaked here and there. I hope more focus will be directed at improving our education system, reality is we can not all work in offices, in front of a computer. Part of our population has to learn how to get their hands dirty, how to refurbish the infrastructure we have, how to repair the trucks aimed at transporting all the goods we produce and at the end of it all, be able to educate the younger generation even if we get paid peanuts in the process.