Unemployed youth in the Eastern Cape feel government is failing them. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 34 is around 38%.
Mthatha is an economic hub of the Eastern Cape and a provider to the provincial economy.
Yet young men and women in the area are unable to find jobs. This has forced them to beg on the streets for a living.
Unemployed Sphenathi Gladini says: “Instead of going around and robbing people it’s better I come here on the streets so that my child can not suffer and not have milk.”
“The municipality needs to stop hiring people because they are relatives. They need to get to the streets and look for young people and look at what people are possessing,” adds Sipho Vantya also unemployed.
As the sun sets the dark side of unemployment surfaces in the area.
The local municipality says they are rolling out an entrepreneurial programme to assist young people between the ages of 18 to 35.
King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality, Dumani Zozo says: “The reality of youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb. We will be opening something like small shops or businesses where young people will sell all the products from Coca Cola. They can actually sell airtime and electricity and all the things that are benefiting communities.”
The municipality says it is also training young people as entrepreneurs in the Blue Economy Sector.
These are the opportunities the young people are hoping will reach them.