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Young people still the biggest losers in the job market: Xhanti Payi
20 June 2021, 10:14 AM

Young people have been the biggest losers in the job market during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s according to Economist and Director at Nascence Advisory and Research, Xhanti Payi.

Payi says many young South Africans have lost their jobs since the lockdown came into effect.

Recent data released by Statistics South Africa paints a bleak picture of youth unemployment.

First-quarter unemployment figures show that 46.3 percent of young people between the ages of 15 and 34 are unemployed.

While many young South Africans have turned to entrepreneurship, Payi says the odds may still be stacked against them.

“I’ve said this many times, I think entrepreneurship is a cruel hoax on South Africans. Remember, I can speak on my personal experience. The literature is very decisive that the people who make it in entrepreneurship are people with good personal backgrounds and support, good education systems, and good networks to be successful in entrepreneurship. We also know that the majority of people who are not making it in business are black people. They don’t have many networks because they come from poor communities.”

Unemployment increases to 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021: Johannes Khosa

Kliprand community vaccinations rescheduled after increase in COVID-19 infections
20 June 2021, 9:23 AM

The Matzikama municipality in the rural Western Cape says it has rescheduled the vaccination of the Kliprand community after many were found to be infected with COVID-19.

Municipality officials say they were in the area last week to vaccinate the over 60s when many tested positive for COVID-19.

The entire town is currently under quarantine.

Manager of Medical Services in Matzikana, Doctor Earlin Okhuis, says mass transmissions are not uncommon in very small communities.

“Because the community is so small transmission can progress quickly, this is not uncommon in small areas with community transmission. Our contact tracing teams are in contact with those affected, and the right thing to do with anyone who tested positive or who has been identified as a close contact is to isolate. Vaccinations for over 60’s have been rescheduled to give those who tested positive enough time to recover before getting vaccinated.”

Western Cape Health authorities say social gatherings are one of the main drivers behind the rapid increase in COVID-19 infections in the province.

Meanwhile, the Gift of the Givers is set to provide the rural town with much-needed humanitarian aid. Leaders of the town say quarantine has become difficult as people live in RDP houses, while the nearest isolation centre is hundreds of kilometres away.

Gift of the Givers’ Ali Sablay says residents are relying on outside support for water and food at the moment.

“There are no forms of food security in the area, it was alarming the rate of people going to bed hungry, and in terms of having proper PPE’s as well. Gift of the Givers will be sending an emergency response on Tuesday, we are providing the whole town with a food hamper, hygiene pack, sanitisers for each house as well as cloth masks. We will be donating bulk food to the local school and church, to provide meals for those families. The food hampers we will be giving will carry them through for the whole month.”

Half of the households have positive cases:

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi’s message on World Refugee Day
20 June 2021, 8:17 AM

Two days ago, we announced that an unprecedented number of people have been forced to flee their homes. More than 82.4 million men, women, and children have had their worlds turned upside down by war, violence, and persecution. While the rest of us spent much of the last year at home to stay safe, they had to run from their homes just to stay alive.

And as world leaders are seemingly unable or unwilling to make peace, more and more displaced people pay the price. In the past three years alone, some one million children were born into a life of exile. What will their futures hold? What opportunities will they have to achieve their potential?

Today, World Refugee Day should serve as a stark reminder to politicians of the need to do more to prevent and resolve conflict and crises. And of the imperative to protect people irrespective of their race, nationality, beliefs, or other characteristics. Of the need to speak out and fight injustice, instead of fueling division and fomenting hate. To resolve to find pragmatic and lasting solutions to crises instead of blaming others or vilifying victims.

Simply put, leaders need to step up and work together to solve today’s global challenges.

Yet World Refugee Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the fortitude of refugees. Those who have been stripped of everything and yet carry on, often bearing the visible and invisible wounds of war, persecution, and the anxiety of exile.

Over the past several months, a time dominated by the pandemic, we have seen that refugees – while needing, deserving, and having the right to international protection, safety, and support – also give back to each other and to their host communities.

When given the chance, they have run to the front lines of the COVID-19 response as doctors, nurses, cleaners, aid workers, caregivers, shopkeepers, educators, and many other roles, providing essential services as we collectively battled the virus. We have seen them and their hosts selflessly share meager resources and help lift those in the greatest of need.

Next month, we will see them in another arena demonstrating what can be achieved if included in society and given the same opportunities as the rest of us: refugee athletes will approach the starting line as they compete with the world’s best in the Tokyo Olympics.

So on World Refugee Day, as we pause to express solidarity with refugees in our communities and around the world, I hope each of us will also acknowledge and admire the drive, determination, and contributions made by people forced to flee. My colleagues and I have the privilege of witnessing their tenacity and achievement every day, which – especially today – should be a source of inspiration for everyone, everywhere.

Behind each number is a person forced from their home: 

Mozambican refugees in Mpumalanga concerned over the blocking of their identity documents
20 June 2021, 7:47 AM

Mozambican nationals who fled the civil war in the ’80s, now living in Lilydale east of Bushuckridge in Mpumalanga have raised concern about the blocking of their identity documents.

They allege that their refugee status that was granted in 1992 has now been cancelled and they are regarded as illegal immigrants.

The Mozambican refugees say they arrived in Lilydale in the 1980s. They claim that they obtained refugee status by following all the processes. They say life is extremely difficult for them. Since their IDs were blocked a few years ago, they can’t access their money in banks and children can’t go to school.

Cebile Shelenge says her parents came to South Africa in early 1980. Shelenge went to school in Lilydale and completed matric. However, she can’t pursue further studies, because she has no ID.

“One of my four-year-olds was supposed to be at crash now but she doesn’t go there because she doesn’t have a certificate so as a mother it affects me because I have to make a plan but there’s nothing I can do because I don’t have an ID because my mom wasn’t born here, she was born in Mozambique. Even though we grew up here because she doesn’t have the necessary documents, we have to end up suffering now as we also don’t have those IDs. I completed my matric at Mbodzeni High school, at the time of the examinations they told me to go to the police station and ask for an affidavit.”

Zweli Ngomane states that his ID document was suspended in 2017, after having voted in all the elections that were held in South Africa. He says is currently owning vehicles and unable to pay for their license discs because his ID has been deregistered.

“I started to stay in South Africa in 1983 and then in 2017 I went to the bank – I wanted some money, then at the bank I was told that my ID has been blocked and they advised me to go the Home Affairs offices. At the Home Affairs, I wanted to know what was wrong with my ID, Home Affairs confirmed that my ID has been suspended. Then I’ve asked them what to do because I also wanted to live like any person because now I can’t have access to my money and now with the COVID-19 I can’t register to get the vaccine.”

An Organisation representing the Mozambican Refugees, Mahlo ya Rixaka, has taken the government to court over the matter.

Mahlo ya Rixaka’s Hamilton Thabakgole says the North Gauteng High Court instructed the Department of Home Affairs to unblock their IDs, but nothing has happened so far.

Thabakgole says World Refugees Day means nothing to them because their children have no future.

“It means now they cannot access a lot of things which they could before. Let say a business person, who had people, who had taxi owners, their taxis are grounded, they cannot access the money they banked. They cannot pay their debts, all sorts the guys who are employed they cannot access their salaries at the end of the month, their accounts are closed and all sorts. So from just closing, we experience different problems whose ID is has been deregistered.”

Thabakgole says they are pleading with the Department of Home Affairs to at least challenge the court order and not remain silent, while they are struggling. He says they are not sure if some of them are being vaccinated for the coronavirus without ID’s.

“Of course it is a worrying factor because we not looking at a person whose ID is deregistered, we talking about just anyone who doesn’t have an ID because being without an ID or with a deregistered ID is just about the same thing. You need an ID to get into the system. There is no other way we know that you can follow to get a vaccine without an ID.”

The Human Rights Commission in its research stated that in the last years of apartheid and during the 1994 elections in South Africa especially in Bushbuckridge, the community regarded Mozambican refugees as part of their community.

The plight of Mozambican civil war refugees: 

Court finds Umsunduzi municipality in violation of the Constitution
19 June 2021, 1:05 PM

The Pietermaritzburg High Court has found the Umsunduzi municipality in violation of the Constitution for the poor management of the New England Road Landfill Site.

Last year during Level 4 of the lockdown, fires at the Pietermaritzburg landfill site burned for several days causing discomfort for residents and disrupting traffic due to the severe soot and toxic fumes that filled the air.

This prompted South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to take the municipality to court over the mismanagement of the site.

Environmentalists say the Landfill site has been the source of several fires that have engulfed Pietermaritzburg in recent years. The emission of strong toxic fumes poses severe threats to the sustainability of the environment and to those who live in the area both in formal and informal dwellings.

Last year, a week-long blaze had commuters caught in a traffic backlog for hours, complaining of black soot.

Advocate for the SAHRC in KwaZulu-Natal, Lloyd Lotz, says their focus was to fight for the people living in poor environments.

“Everyone has a right to a healthy environment and our focus was to fight for the communities who live in that environment, its a very important judgement because it holds the municipality to account and now they have to give a detailed report on how they going to do that in court with all parties again.”

Court finds Umsunduzi municipality in violation of the Constitution: 

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