Anti-Ageism Rights Group Want Government Intervention for Unemployed Over-35s: "Age Is a Blessing Not a Curse"

Anti-Ageism Rights Group Want Government Intervention for Unemployed Over-35s: "Age Is a Blessing Not a Curse"

  • The ForgotteNation of SA is seeking intervention to end socio-economic rejection in the workplace
  • The rights group says the unemployable group feel the effects of being too old to get work but too young to benefit from pension
  • Some young unemployable parents believe that their government is burying them while they are still alive

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Anti agesm right group The ForgetteNation of SA.
The ForgetteNation of SA is advocating against age discrimination for unemployed over-35. Image: The ForgotteNation Unemployed against Ageism
Source: Facebook

EKURHULENI - Anti-ageism rights group, The ForgettenNation of SA, advocates for the rights, needs and aspirations of unemployed people who are over 35 years old.

Blacklisted, side-lined and socially rejected

Over-35s in the country feel that the government doesn't understand the extensity of being unemployable. Many in the forgotten age group have experienced hopelessness and depression, which ultimately leads to death.

According to Dr Olive Shisana, an honorary professor at the University of Cape Town said that despite sufficient data and research, South Africa ranked the lowest for mental-wellbeing in a 2021 Mental State of the World report, IOL says.

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Speaking to the founder and national chairperson of The ForgetteNation, Mmatlou Tsipa it has come to light that the lack of financial freedom has caused mental damage as members of the group have lost their dignity and respect:

"We are mostly a generation of the late 70s and early 80s, and we have been written off by both our communities and our own families.
"We want embrace our individuality and strive to live a fulfilling life on our own terms."

The invisible and automated disqualification

Youth Day celebrations are like a countdown for unemployed South Africans. Hopelessness begins to set in a few years before the 35 mark for a struggling job seeker because all prospects of finding jobs without connections go out the window.

The ForgettenNation of SA says the economic uncertainty of the country has become a challenge because of the high number of unemployed youth, deviating attention from over-35s:

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"We age as not a curse but a blessing, it is just one aspect of who we are, and it does not define our worth or capabilities."

At this year's celebrations, Premier Panyaza Lesufi launched the Nas' iSpani campaign, opening up over 8 000 government vacancies across Gauteng, reported 702.

The initiative was salt to injury to the age-excluded group:

@Malome Genëral Malatši said:

"Our labour laws says no one should be discriminated against age , gender, religion but the ANC is discriminating. You started to teach companies to discriminate too. Panyaza why are you working for our government if you are this very old? Give youth your positions!!!"

@Madonsela Mfanafuthi asked:

"Panyaza Lesufi what about us over 35 years, do something about this your cadres are above 100 years and are employed. What must we do after 35? Pay us pension money then! Even those Jobs have name tags already ️"

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@Millz Millz shared a sad reality:

This age restriction is driving us to depression

@Mama-Prince Gates lamented:

"Panyaza Lesufi this under 35 thing is unfair to some of us, what are we suppose to do because wow! Almost all opportunity are for under 35? "

@Wiz Khanya Ntombohlanga affirmed her position in society:

"I'm just wondering what is it that a 36 year old cannot do that an 18-35 years old is capable of doing? We more than competent, thanks."

@Pheladi Pheladi had a question for Gautemg's premier:

"Why age ristriction if am Gauteng resident n above 35 n didn't choose to be unemployed ya government voting next year it's a waste of time."

Rights groups challenge the government head-on

The advocacy group was brazen enough to secure presentations with Lesufi's advisor and representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Infrastructure and the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller.

Tsipa tells Briefly News that they have a petition signed by 15k people that was submitted to the secretary of a portfolio of employment and labour. Here is a list of some of the challenges they outlined:

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  • Graduated during the no internships period
  • We lack the experience to fairly participate in job markets
  • We have been blacklisted because we have never had a steady job
  • We lack experience and training
  • We lack job references because of being idle for a long time
  • There is a skill gap because jobs are constantly changing and evolving

In a previous Briefly News report, the premier had promised to relax age restrictions and open up more job opportunities for unemployed over-35s.

Lesufi has been mum about how he would work around adjusting the employment policies since vowing to do away with age discrimination.

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Source: Briefly News

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