Unemployed graduates vow never to vote come election time in 2019. This was after they embarked on a peaceful march to the Durban City Hall to seek answers to their grievances. On Friday, a group of unemployed graduates from various places in KwaZulu-Natal marched to the Durban City Hall to seek response to a memorandum they had handed over to the Mayor’s office on 3 July. They say they had given the mayor Zandile Gumede an ultimatum to respond within two weeks to the list of their demands.
One of the march organisers Nkululeko Ndlovu said they were not being taken serious by the leaders hence they decided to take to the streets.
“We have been ignored by our leaders, the same people who encouraged us to study. We were told that education is key but now we are in possession of several qualifications but we are still without jobs,” he said.
Ndlovu added that this whole situation had become distressful to his fellow graduates, especially after some of them had met an accident on their way to the march.
“When we were gathered at the starting point of the march we received a call from a group that was coming from Stanger. They had been involved in a car accident and were badly injured, and had to be rushed to the hospital.”
“It’s a very sad situation and the march was almost cancelled because emotions were high,” Ndlovu said.
Ndlovu graduated in 2016 in his accounting studies and says that since they are seeking employment they are not only looking within the government but they are also pleading with the private sector to give them jobs.
Thamsanqa Nyuswa, who holds an agricultural degree from Mangosuthu University of Technology said he has been unemployed for three years now.
“I was among a group that was retrenched from Rainbow Chicken in 2016 and have never found work again since then. This is heartbreaking because studying takes time and money,” he said.
These graduates who took to the streets in their graduation gowns have threatened that they would not vote come election time in 2019.
“We have taken a resolution that we will continue to assist young people in our communities with the processes of applying to universities, but we won’t be partaking in the elections next year.”
“Our leaders have forgotten that it takes the people for one to become a leader, but we are being ignored as unemployed graduates. We are not asking for anything but a chance to work and contribute to the country’s economy,” Ndlovu said.