Kgomotso Phooko
3 minute read
29 Apr 2022
11:04 am

Solidarity gives Yes4Youth deadline to include white unemployed youth in job creation programme

Kgomotso Phooko

Solidarity is giving the programme until the end of business on Friday to include white youth in their unemployment programme.

SA's unemployment rate is at its highest ever. Photo: iStock

Solidarity is giving Yes4Youth until end of business on Friday to open their job creation programme to all races.

Yes4Youth is a joint initiative by private sector and government to assist South African Youth to gain work experience through employment placement.

This comes after the Yes4Youth came under scrutiny for excluding white unemployed youth from their programme.

According to a statement by Solidarity, in a letter to the programme, they stated that failure to adhere to this request, they will have to take them to court.

“This letter follows after it was revealed earlier this year that Yes4Youth and other companies that form part of the project still exclude white unemployed youth from the programme,”

“Despite an agreement in 2019 between Solidarity and Yes4Youth that the programme will be opened to all races,” read the statement.

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The union cited that excluding white unemployed youth is not morally or legally justifiable.

“We strongly condemn the arbitrary allocation of race to South African citizens. An absolute race-based approach to addressing poverty and unemployment is morally offensive and will do little to uplift the indigent, even for the so-called designated racial groups,” said Solidarity’s national spokesperson Connie Mulder.

The union says this approach is discriminatory and conflicts South African Laws including the institution.

“The Yes4Youth programme, as it is currently operated, does not at all comply with the principles of PEPUDA, which strives for justice, fairness and human dignity. It is also in direct conflict with the foundation of the Constitution, which is based on human dignity and the attainment of equality.

Intitial Controversy

The controversy started back in 2018 when people noted that the registration process of the programme excludes whites reported by The South African.

The programme was hit with backlash by allegations of reverse racism.

In response to the allegations, they issued a statement saying that YES aligns with government aims to redress the skewed economic realities as outlined by the B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice.

“Companies that participate in YES can earn points on their B-BBEE scorecard. YES is thus required to align with the B-BBEE race requirements stipulated in the Codes, which state that B-BBEE is intended for black, Indian and coloured South Africans,” read the statement.

The statement then cited they updated their registration programme to provide an alternative method for job-seeking white youth to create a profile.

This seems to have not worked as issues of whites being excluded has arose again.

“Finally, it is painfully clear how it is in contrast with South Africa’s international obligations as well as the principles as proclaimed by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). Such morally offensive, illegal behaviour can in no way be ignored.

“We cannot allow young unemployed people to be kicked while they are already lying on the ground simply because of the colour of their skin,” Mulder concluded.

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