Geology honours graduate Glen will persist until he finds a job

04 October 2017 - 15:47
By Katharine Child
Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Mashau Glen Ndouvhada, POSES for a picture holding a cardboard box. He claims to have a B.S.C in Mining and Geology and is looking for employment .
Image: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Mashau Glen Ndouvhada, POSES for a picture holding a cardboard box. He claims to have a B.S.C in Mining and Geology and is looking for employment .

Geology honours graduate Glen Mashau Ndouvhada from Limpopo has been looking for a job for a year - driving to Rustenburg mines‚ handing out his CV and using every recruitment company he can find. 

On Wednesday‚ he decided to stand near KPMG's offices in busy Johannesburg with a poster asking for work and advertising his qualifications.

Ndouvhada said he graduated with an honours degree in geology and mining at the University of Venda last year. He is determined to get a job. "I am growing up. I am 25 in December."

But "all the emails he gets back from recruiters are the same‚ saying there are no jobs at the moment"‚ he explained. 

He studied mining as he believed it would bring a good career path‚ with opportunities for advancement and a competitive salary. "I love mining actually." He was told growing up that mining is a career you can "grow in and you can get more money".

Before coming to Johannesburg‚ he went twice to Rustenburg‚ to the mines.

He told security guards at the heavily secured mines he had appointments with the managers to convince them to let him in. "I couldn’t go there and come back without talking to them [managers]." The mining managers all told him: "There is nothing [any]more. If something comes up‚ I will contact you."

He has been in person to recruitment companies in Johannesburg to hand over his CV. "I apply online to every single job but nothing happened." He lists the websites that he uploaded his CV to‚ including major banks and recruitment sites. 

His friend who works at a bank invited him to stay in Johannesburg and look for a job. He plans to stand with his cardboard poster in different spots around Johannesburg. 

After a year he keeps going‚ saying he cannot give up. 

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"When I think of my goal‚ that's what keeps me going. I can't stay at home and think my country is in a bad space and be depressed. I have to find a job. I have to go out there. I will find a job. I have to eat." 

Between standing in the hot sun‚ he said‚ he would "sit down and pray" in the shade. 
He has a 4-year-old son and parents to support. His dad was retrenched in 2010 from job in a mall in Polokwane. 

A member of a mining recruitment firm said geology graduates would struggle to find work in South Africa‚ as geologists explore areas for new mines and South Africa is not opening new mines. Most areas have been explored for minerals in South Africa. 

The recruitment company places most people in other countries on the continent: "Africa has so much untapped land."

"People who have specialised in mining suffer when the mining industry is down‚ as their skills are not easily generalisable to other fields." The recruiter‚ who asked not to be named‚ said the mining industry was very volatile locally. 

South Africa's unemployment rate is 27%. There are more than 6 million unemployed people in the country. 

Between March and June this year 34 000 jobs were lost in the non-agricultural sector from 951 000 in March 2017 to 917 000 in June 2017. The mining sector increased jobs by 3 000. But Anglo Gold Ashanti wants to retrench 8 500 miners‚ and Lonmin retrenched more than 5 100 miners last year.

Speaking at the Johannesburg Indaba on Wednesday‚ Chamber of Mines head Roger Baxter said the mining industry was now smaller than in 1994.