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Alex job seekers to walk to Union Buildings to protest for jobs

A group of 150 jobless people from Alexandra who are members of the Imisebenzi Yethu organisation will undertake a 12-hour walk to the Union Buildings to demand the creation of jobs for the unemployed.

The Alexandra-based Imisebenzi Yethu (our jobs) organisation that seeks to place the jobless in employment will undertake a strenuous walk from the township to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to hand over a memorandum of demands.

Chairperson of Imisebenzi Yethu Mush Raletjena said the walk, which was due to take place tomorrow [December 3], has been moved to December 11 and 12 to allow his organisation to complete the application processes with metro police in both Johannesburg and Tshwane before it can go ahead.

Raletjena said they will hand over a memorandum of demands to the Office of the Presidency, which includes the creation of job opportunities in the economy, strict monitoring of the BBBEE [Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment] programme which seeks to empower the previously marginalised.

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“We believe that the government is not doing enough to monitor and ensure this programme delivers on its mandate. For now, it’s just a policy on paper and no action at all. We want the government to give it teeth so it can function properly and deliver the promised goods.

“We are deliberating targeting the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency which was introduced in 2009 with the sole aim of ensuring that government departments perform and deliver on the programmes they have been tasked with.”

Raletjena said plus/minus 150 people will take part in the walk which is expected to start at the Alexandra Heritage Centre [previously known as the Mandela Museum] on 7th Avenue and will leave for Tshwane at 20:00 on December 11 and arrive at 08:00 the following day.

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“We deliberately chose the site as this is where the former President Nelson Mandela first settled when he arrived in Johannesburg as a job seeker from the Eastern Cape.”

Raletjena said the walk is also meant to symbolise the struggles of the unemployed as they walk daily in search of jobs and hope the government pays serious attention to their plight and fighting unemployment and poverty.

An ambulance will be on standby for the 12-hour journey for any emergencies that may arise but once the job is done on December 12 and the memorandum accepted, Raletjena said they will then board public transport back to Alexandra. “This is why we asked walkers to bring R100 as pocket money so we can then catch public transport back.”

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