Although the Yes4Youth youth employment scheme today announced on Twitter that its registration page can now also be accessed by the unemployed white youth, the opposite is true.
This is the reaction of Solidarity Youth following the announcement by the Yes4Youth scheme after the scheme this week came in for harsh criticism for blatantly excluding white unemployed young persons from the scheme because of the colour of their skin.
“Although Yes4Youth claims that the programme is now accessible to all races you are still being excluded from it if you are white. A message refers you with polite contempt to other websites where you should deposit your CV. You still don’t qualify for the YES programme because not only are you young and unemployed – but you are white,” Solidarity Youth Coordinator Paul Maritz said.
“Confronted with the clear immoral implications of their efforts to discriminate against white people in such a shocking way, the managers of the programme evidently thought it necessary to change their message. Unfortunately, they did not see fit to stop their immoral behaviour. Yes4Youth does not only try to mislead the public on social media – where they came in for harsh criticism, but by its actions the scheme also shows that those heading the programme concur with the exclusion of people based on their race,” Maritz said.
Maritz also said this step is a kick in the teeth for young white unemployed persons: “You are still being excluded from the service being offered, but officially, it is claimed that you are included. By this contemptuous message Yes4Youth is now insisting that young unemployed persons stand in different queues based on skin colour. This reinforces the notion that in reality white people are second-class citizens in South Africa because they are white. It is indefensible that the website now tells the desperate young white female that she should stand in a different queue, and that she should deem herself lucky that she had access to the YES website at all.”
According to Maritz, Solidarity Youth will continue to compile a formal petition in which people will be given the opportunity to sign a letter to the President regarding the exclusion of unemployed young people simply because of their skin colour. “The developing narrative is that it is right and normal to exclude people based on the colour of their skin. We simply cannot keep quiet about this, and the voices of thousands of people should be heard in this regard,” Maritz said.
“The unemployment crisis among the youth is indeed greater than race. Yes4Youth indicates that they are also greater than race. The time has come for them to suit their actions to their words. Remove the racial classification at registration and reward businesses that assist young unemployed people – regardless of their race. To constantly assert that the unemployed youth of a specific race are worthier than those of another race is morally unjustifiable. The idea that young, unemployed black persons could only be assisted if young, unemployed white persons are excluded, remains absurd,” Maritz argued.
“By removing the message that blatantly excludes people based on their race, and by replacing it with two queues for the unemployed, did not change anything regarding this issue. Yes4Youth is still saying to young white unemployed persons, ‘Actually, you are not welcome; please go and stand in a different queue.’ When you are too ashamed to confess what you are doing, the time has come to stop your actions and not simply to lie about them,” Maritz concluded.
Solidarity is currently seeking legal opinion on possible litigation in this regard.