Unemployment is hitting Lephalale to its knees
As I walked into one of the supermarkets at Lephalale mall, I was approached by two middle-aged women who asked me to buy them the cheapest bread and drink. I asked them why and their response was “we have been in town and Onverwacht the whole day looking for jobs, and now we are hungry and desperate”. As I was assisting them with their request, I started asking myself if women are desperate like this, then what about the children?
Driving to Marapong outside town, it’s also quiet compared to when Medupi Power Station was under construction. Traffic was hectic every day and night with lots of accidents. It was also difficult to get accommodation in Marapong. The question is, what happens with the backroom that was specifically built for rentals? Those whom their contracts have lapsed and are still owing cars, furnishers and incomplete houses? What about those vulnerable women who were supported by men who came to Lephalale with companies and left?
This has also taken a toll in the business sector because thousands of consumers have left town. Are we going to wait for another project to come to town before we become financially stable, or are we going to live a frustrated life of being dependent on the working class? With skills that we acquired from Medupi project and the companies that have left us, let us uplift ourselves by thinking out of the box and do something to put food on our tables and sustain our lives together with our loved ones.
We cannot be folding our arms and wait for the government or municipalities to spoon-feed us. Seeking advice is free but starting a project needs dedication and focus. We do not have a university around, which means most of our local people are not well informed neither academics. Let us visit the government sector, the private sector and different stakeholders or institutions to seek advice for free. Time lost will never be regained. The future and growth of this mineral-rich town are in our hands and waiting for us to grab it.
— James Shirindi