30 September 2022
Thabo Quka (32) puts his life in danger every day to regulate traffic in Garsfontein, Pretoria, during load shedding to prevent another accident, whilst hoping that someone will offer him a job.
“I can’t remember when last I did a peace job. It is hard to find a job. I need to provide for six people at home,” says Quka who was born in Bronkhorstspruit.
South Africans are currently suffering through a record-long stretch of load shedding for the past 21 days.
Quka was asking for employment at a traffic light on the corner of Garsfontein Road and Isie Smuts Road more than a week ago when two vehicles collided due to the load shedding.
“It was terrible. Elderly ladies drove both vehicles and they got hurt. I decided to help motorists by regulating the traffic. I like to help people and hopefully, someone will help me with a job,” he says.
He carefully watched how the OUTsurance Pointsmen in the area alleviate traffic congestion and tried to copy what they are doing.
“It works. The traffic is much better and some of the motorist are so grateful that they throw money at me. Some gives me R5, others R2. On average I make R50 per day.”
He is not afraid that he might be seriously injured because he remains “focussed” while regulating the traffic.
“I know it is illegal to regulate traffic if you are not appointed to do so, but there is no law enforcement officers helping motorist during load shedding and big traffic light crossings becomes very dangerous.”
Quka was forced to leave school in Grade 11 and seek employment to help provide for his relatives. He does not own a cell phone.
Martlé Keyter, the Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA’s) Chief Executive Officer: Operations, says Quka is one of the 33.9% unemployed South Africans.
According to the latest Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES), released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) the country shed almost 120,000 jobs from March to June 2022.
With an estimated population of over 60 million, it means that one in six South Africans has a paying job in the formal sector, whilst five out of six do not.
Data released recently by financial services firm PWC indicates that by 2030 South Africa’s unemployment rate will be sitting at 40%.
“South Africa is unable to create enough jobs for its growing population. The ongoing load shedding is killing the progress the fragile economy made to return to prepandemic levels.
“It is unacceptable that the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan can tell the National Assembly that load shedding will only become less as Eskom recovers from the impact of a decade of state capture, knowing that no one has been charged so that the law can take its cause. The Minister says load shedding will remain a reality for another year,” says Keyter.
The Zondo Commission found that while a wide range of state organs experienced the impact of state capture, the financial effect was mostly felt at Eskom and Transnet.
Keyter appeals to the public at large to assist with finding Quka a job.
Issued on behalf of MISA by Sonja Carstens, Media, Liaison and Communication Specialist.
For MISA Press Releases, phone Carstens on 082 463 6806 or email Sonja.Carstens@ms.org.za