Jobs put food on the table, grateful beneficiaries say

For mother of three, Vuyiseka Ntsompi, being one of the 1,000 people roped in to the Covid-19 youth brigades programme, it is more than just a job — it is about restoring her dignity.

Ntsompi is one of the beneficiaries who were included in the programme.

As a monitor, she has to screen and record everyone who enters all government buildings and project sites.

This means Ntsompi and other monitors are effectively the first line of defence in the fight against Covid-19, as someone with a high temperature or displaying symptoms will not be allowed into government buildings and will be referred to go for a test.

Before being chosen as a beneficiary in the department of public works & infrastructure programme, Ntsombi had been job hunting for more than five years.

“I am very happy about being part of this programme.

“I last worked more than five years ago while I was still in Cape Town.

“Ever since I came back home, I had been looking for a job, any job, with no success.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have been afforded because now I can provide and put food on the table for my three children and mother,” she said.

Before being chosen as a beneficiary, her family had relied solely on a social grant.

“Now my dignity has been restored,” she said.

“I was just trying my luck because I really did not have anything to lose by applying, even though I had initially heard that the programme was only for the youth.

“I am very glad and grateful that it was open up to us because we are also struggling,” she said.

Another monitor, Fezeka Notoko, said the youth brigades programme opportunity came at the perfect time in her life.

“I have been unemployed for over a year and had been desperately looking for jobs with no success.

“I am very happy that I was chosen as a beneficiary.

“This is a great programme that shows the government cares about us and is doing something to address the challenges we are facing,” she said.

She said she was enjoying her new job, and that the participants in the programme were were given tools of trade.

“We were also warmly welcomed,” she said.

Sisipho Mgezezi, who was employedas a cleaner, said she had also been jobless.

“This is a great opportunity for me because now I can assist by contributing to whatever is needed at home.

“Before this programme I felt helpless because I could not help out at home as I was unemployed. I am very happy,” she said.

Mgedezi said the fact that she was in the frontlines in the fight against the spread of the global health pandemic meant she was doing her part in ensuring the war against the coronavirus was won.

This article was paid for by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure

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