The government website that is supposed to assist unemployed young South Africans to find jobs are set to kick you for touch if you stumble at the first hurdle – not being black, coloured or Indian.
The jobs website – called ‘Yes’ – is aimed at helping unemployed young South Africans. But not unemployed white South Africans.
The website, and the Yes initiative, was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March as a partnership with business and organised labour. It was set up to help young South Africans who have been unemployed for longer than six months to find a job.
The website proclaims: “Yes recognises the critical role the youth play in shaping our economy and our country. Yet six million young people are shut out of the economy. The only way to reduce inequality is to get us all into work, to build incomes and to invest inclusively. Now is the time to lend a hand.”
But, says labour movement Solidarity, white South Africans are “unwelcome”. They simply cannot register on the website because one of the first question you need to answer is to confirm you ar black, coloured or Indian. If you are not, you are locked out.
“The problem is that on the Yes webpage, it blatantly declares to prospective white applicants that this project will only be open to black, coloured, and Indian candidates,” Solidarity said.
The organisation stated that the exclusion is part of a “long list of policies obsessed with race”, and that exclusion based on race was becoming the norm.
“We dare not allow racial exclusion to become commonplace and normal – the past has shown us how dangerous that is.”
Solidarity said it will draft a letter to the President asking that this scheme should permit white people to apply.
When registering on the Yes website, users are asked three questions:
– Are they Black, Coloured, or Indian.
– Are they South African.
– Are they between 18 and 34.
Selecting “no” to the first question, and yes to the other two questions, produces a pop-up which says: “I’m sorry. Yes is only available to Black, Indian, or Coloured South Africans who are 18 – 34 years.”
Exclusion through apartheid
MyBroadband, co.za directed several question to the Yes initiative about the controversy. The Yes organises said people need to appreciate “how difficult the job-seeking journey is for people of every race… However, Yes’s approach aims to redress the skewed economic realities created by South Africa’s past,” it stated.
“The most recent quarterly labour survey from Stats SA shows that the rate of Black, Indian, and Coloured youth who are not in employment, education, or training are significantly higher than those who are white. Black youth experience the highest rate – at more than double that of white.”
Yes stated that thanks to decades of systematic exclusion through apartheid, these youth are “also less likely to be able to afford tertiary education, or have access to the networks that give first-time job seekers a leg-up into the working world”.
“For these reasons, the Yes programme focuses on connecting previously disadvantaged youth to job opportunities.”