Operation Dudula has appealed to the government to tackle high youth unemployment.
The group was in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday to highlight the plight of unemployed youth and to assess the aftermath of the floods that wreaked havoc in parts of the province a month ago.
Operation Dudula introduced a group of young people who voluntarily offered to help affected communities and rebuild the province despite allegedly being overlooked when job opportunities become available.
“All the professionals who are here from the construction and building industry are volunteering their services to the government and the communities to assist in the rebuilding of KZN regardless of the fact that most of them are isolated and overlooked when it comes to job opportunities,” said deputy chairperson Dan Radebe.
Secretary-general Zandile Dabula said if the government ropes in the volunteers, that would rid it of the unfair tender system and ensure that work opportunities are distributed equally among skilled South Africans.
“Non-South Africans are sitting with these jobs and are making money from our own government. The youth are here to assist the government, so we cannot say there will be a tender that will be awarded to an architect or town planner, because these services will be rendered voluntarily,” said Dabula.
Radebe alleged professions such as teaching and nursing prioritised the employment of foreign nationals over qualified locals.
The floods in KwaZulu-Natal mostly affected South Africans while foreign nationals who live in hijacked buildings in the province were unaffected, he said.
He called on government to evict foreign nationals who occupy buildings illegally and to house locals who live under inhumane conditions in informal settlements.
“The municipalities have the right to expropriate those buildings and convert them to RDP units. Remove people from riverbanks and house our people there. If these foreigners have hijacked buildings, remove them and prioritise our people. There was no need for us to lose more than 390 people while we have abandoned buildings in Durban,” said Radebe.
The group said it will not stop protesting against youth unemployment until there is a response from the government.
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