Byline: Kelebogile Masemola

06 April 2022

The Forgotten Nation of South Africa movement led by Mmatlou Tsipa put forward a memorandum to the head office of Department of Employment and Labour in Pretoria on Wednesday, 06 April 2022, to address the issue of age requirement for job opportunities in government and the private sector.

Mmatlou Tsipa said the movement is advocating and representing the needs and aspirations of those who are over the age of 35 years.

“We have identified ageism as one of the things which government use to discriminate people who are over the age of 35 and older.

“We are submitting the memorandum to the department as referred to by the presidency when we initially submitted a memorandum at Union Buildings,” Tsipa said.

The forgotten Nation of South Africa movement requires the Minister to end the age requirement policy as it leaves out the 35 and older group not qualifying for internships.

“It is not written anywhere under any administration in this country as it is not a government policy.

“It is being used as a way to address youth unemployment but at the same time forgetting that there are people who turn 36 years everyday who are unemployed in this country,” Tsipa said.

He gave an example of those who graduate from university at the age of 35 who will no longer qualify for internships because of age requirement but need those internships to gain work experience and enter the job market.

Despite the unemployment rate amongst youth being so high, Tsipa emphasised that they do acknowledge that however, depression amongst those 35 and older is higher because of being unemployed.

He said they want the department to help in training them in various sectors such as agriculture so that they can be able to create jobs.

“We are not saying we want jobs with big salaries but something stable.

“We also want to create jobs with skills that they can provide us with,” he said.

Thendo Nethonzhe said unemployment affects women more given the high numbers of gender based violence in this country.

“Some of us stay in toxic relationships because we are unemployed.

You might find that a person is unemployed yet they have all the necessary qualifications but age is hindering him/her from getting employment.”

Nethonzhe hopes that the department and the government end the age requirement for job opportunities.

The memorandum was handed over to the director of Labour Relations Stephen Rathal on behalf of the Minister of the department.

Rathal said the department will respond to the memorandum within 14 days.

“Your demands are genuine, there is no policy in government that discriminates against age.

“If you read the employment equity act there is no such policy,” said Rathal.

The movement submitted the memorandum along with a proposal that has solutions to addressing the issues they penned down on the memorandum.