Members of Parliament (MPs) have expressed the importance of government in introducing social services for unemployed youth.
Making their contributions on Wednesday over the president’s State of Nation address MPs said time was overdue for the government to come up with means to cater for the unemployed youth.
Making his maiden speech after having missed the chance in the previous parliamentary sitting, BNF president Otsweletse Moupo called for the government to introduce security social services for the youth.
“The president did mention that unemployment has been reduced from 21 percent to 17.6 percent in the past few years,” said Moupo. “This figure conceals problems of a much more serious magnitude in that it takes into account only those who are actively looking for jobs and not those who have been looking for jobs for so many years that they are now too demoralized to look for work.”
Moupo said that human society distinguishes itself from animals by labour, and the ability to work and produce its own means of sustenance.
“Being deprived of the opportunity to exercise this capacity on account of being unemployed not only condemns one to poverty but leads to feelings of worthlessness , despair and loss of hope which may lead to escapist anti-social tendencies like alcoholism and drug use. Tackling unemployment is therefore an urgent socio-economic challenge”, Moupo declared.
He added that the youth were mostly affected by unemployment and said the time was ripe for the government to introduce social security services.
The out going Palapye MP, Boyce Sebetela, expressed concern over youth unemployment. He said his office was inundated with visits from the unemployed who often complain that they were without money to attend interviews in far away places across the country.
“These youths are really suffering. More often they visit my office to reveal heartbreaking experiences,” Sebetela said. “Sometimes they complain of shortage of money to attend interviews. As for youth women the situation is even much worse…These youth need social services of some kind and the time is overdue.”
MP’s sentiments come at a time when the country is grappling with the influx of unemployed university graduates who roam the streets in search of employment.
Some parliamentary proceedings also reveal shocking scenarios where Batswana youth, having spent 4 to 5 years in South African universities, are denied employment purely because they are unqualified.
Some Batswana law graduates from South Africa complained to Gaborone South MP, Akanyang Magama, that they were denied to practice because they were labeled unqualified.
Lately, nurses who studied in South Africa complained to the MP that they were denied employment in government hospitals because they “do not qualify.”