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Dimpho Sepeng | 21 March 2024

AS Mzansi commemorates Human Rights Day on Thursday, 21 March, South Africans are reminded of the sacrifices and the struggle when 69 lives were lost in the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960.  

This is the day set aside to honour and remember those who fought for the liberation and the rights South Africans enjoy today.  

The day also honours 35 people who were killed on 21 March 1985 when apartheid police targeted community members after a funeral at Uitenhage/Langa. 

Mzansi observes this day to promote respect for human rights for all and restore and uphold human dignity in line with the Bill of Rights, but the alarming rate of joblessness, especially among the youth. 

Dimpho Sepeng, a young social media manager and part of the marketing team at The BEE Chamber, has also raised concerns about the persistent youth unemployment crisis in the country.  

Dimpho indicated that the alarming youth unemployment is a challenge rooted in high inequality, inadequate education systems, and a sluggish economy. 

“The right to work, as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, emphasises "the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment," said Dimpho. 

She said that youth unemployment extends beyond economic consequences as it affects mental health, self-esteem, and overall well-being. 

“Human rights advocacy necessitates a focus on education and skills development, but access to employment opportunities post-training is crucial for empowering youth to navigate the job market successfully. Therefore, collaboration between the government and the private sector is vital in creating sustainable job opportunities aligned with the country's developmental goals." 

According to Dimpho, there's an urgent need for comprehensive and actionable plans to create a more inclusive and equitable society.  

“Collaborative efforts between the government and the private sector, which prioritise education and skills development, are essential to address the root causes of youth unemployment.  

“Only by ensuring suitable opportunities for the youth can South Africa move toward a future where all its citizens, especially the youth, can enjoy the full spectrum of their human rights," she said.


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