Corporate SA plans to give unemployed youth a hand up

CAPE TOWN 02 JUNE 2017 – Leading South African corporates have committed to creating more than 300,000 jobs annually, following the announcement that a staggering 58 percent of South Africa’s 14.6 million unemployed people are aged between 15 and 35. Watch full story here.

Mine agrees to talks on Bekkersdal land

Municipality workers erect a road between the land and the mine in Bekkersdaal in Johannesburg, 12 May 2014, which residents want to occupy by force. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
Municipality workers erect a road between the land and the mine in Bekkersdaal in Johannesburg, 12 May 2014, which residents want to occupy by force. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on May 13, 2014. 

Rand Uranium mine on the West Rand will enter into talks with concerned residents in Bekkersdal this week over unused land in the area.

The land close to the mine, which is owned by the mine, has been standing empty for nearly 30 years.

Residents in Bekkersdal attempted to occupy the land earlier this year but were stopped when the mine issued an interdict against their action in January.

Thabang Wesi, spokesperson for the Greater Westonaria Concerned Residents’ Association, said “they (Rand Uranium mine) withdrew the charges because they understand that we need this land”.

Residents were not stopped by the interdict but by “other pressing issues”, said Wesi.

“We need that land. It’s vacant and there’s no development happening there. Bekkersdal must grow like other townships.”

The only residents seen by The Citizen on site yesterday were miners leaving to go home and municipality workers paving a new road to connect the mine to the township.

Wesi described the vacant land as being as big as Bekkersdal itself. “The mine is in the township but doing nothing for the people who live there. They are only developing the land and not the people,” said Wesi.

The current management of the mine also stands accused of not contributing to the community trust fund.

“They have to contribute – if not they must go” said Wesi.

Meet Little Lagos – Jozi style

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on April 9, 2014.

Evans Emeafa does a client's hair at his family owned beauty salon in Braamfontein, 7 April 2014. The area has been nicknamed little Lagos due to the amount of Nigerian owed businesses in the area. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark
Evans Emeafa does a client’s hair at his family owned beauty salon in Braamfontein, 7 April 2014. The area has been nicknamed little Lagos due to the amount of Nigerian owed businesses in the area. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

You can find anything from vegetables to groceries and a unique haircut to traditional clothing when you visit the Nigerian shop-owners in Braamfontein.

It is a busy area, with loud Nigerian music playing in the shops where both foreigners and students do business.

It is also known as Little Lagos by students who stay nearby.

Some of the Nigerian entrepreneurs in downtown Johannesburg told The Citizen they were happy to hear their mother country’s economy had overtaken South Africa as the continent’s largest.

Biccard Street in Braamfontein has quite a few Nigerian-owned businesses that bring competitive services and products to consumers. Everything from salons, to Internet cafes, gyms and clothing stores line the busy street.

Oluwadamilola Apotieri, a Nigerian business owner in the area, said while the GDP takeover was good news, the truth of the matter is that it will not put food on the table of the poor. “It will not reduce the level of poverty. It will only add up to the political mumbo jumbo.”

Apotieri attributed Nigerian business people’s success to zeal. “Nigerian entrepreneurs do not mind spending time, money and energy to build.”

Ameck Ottance, a dressmaker at Graceland Fashion Design, said: “Nigerians are business-minded people. You can see that from the businesses on this street.”

Evans Emeafo, manager and stylist at a hair salon, said his trade secret lays in “keeping it in the family”.

The salon he works at is owned by his brother and their employees are all family members.

Emeafo said he “was happy that the Nigerian economy was doing so well”, but so was his business. He sees no reason to move back home.