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What can ordinary citizens do to create a better economy?

South Africa is not in the best shape, and government cannot seem to get on top of things. However, that should not stop us, as ordinary South African citizens from playing our role in tackling unemployment and finding ways to create jobs and incomes in our communities, and our country.

Here are some practical things we can do to help our situation

  • Continuous Learning: We can invest in our own education and skills development. This includes pursuing formal education, attending workshops, and learning new skills relevant to the job market. Go through government posts on social media (local provincial and national) and check to see if they are offering any workshops, or training courses to attend. Do the same with the private sector.  Learning any new skill is better than doing nothing.
  • Online Courses and Certifications: Many online platforms offer free or affordable courses. Do yourself a favour, and explore platforms like Coursera, edX, and LinkedIn Learning to enhance your skills.
  • Apprenticeships and Internships: Young people can seek apprenticeships or internships to gain practical experience and build their resumes.
  • Start a Small Business: Individuals with entrepreneurial aspirations can start small businesses. This could be anything from selling food and clothing,  to offering services like gardening, cleaning, or tutoring.
  • Identify Market Gaps: Take the time and effort and look for gaps in the local market and consider starting a business that addresses those needs.
  • Collaborate with Others: Don’t be that person who wants to prove to everyone that you can do things on your own. Rather join local business networks and collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs. Collective efforts can lead to job creation.
  • Buy Local: Support  local products and services. It’s the right thing to do. Choosing to buy from local businesses helps create demand and sustains jobs.
  • Promote Local Brands: Spread the word about local brands and encourage others to support them.  Show off our community brands with the same pride as you would international brands.
  • Mentorship Programs: If you are an experienced professional, you  can volunteer your time to mentor young job seekers. Sharing knowledge and guidance can make a significant impact on someone else’s life.
  • Participate in community development projects. Volunteer at local schools, community centers, or nonprofit organizations. In this way you gain experience in particular fields of work, and also learn how to work well as a team.
  • Attend Events: Attend industry-specific events, conferences, and job fairs. Networking can lead to job opportunities.
  • Online Networking: Use social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your field.
  • Stay Informed: Use you data wisely. Stop scrolling to silly videos on TikTok and other apps. Rather use your data to stay informed about the job market..
  • Join Advocacy Groups: Join or support organizations that work toward employment rights and better working conditions.
  • Budget Wisely: Manage your money so that you avoid over-indebtedness and financial stress. Cut down where and when you can
  • Seek appropriate financial assistance: Contact a registered debt counsellor or financial advisor to gain insight into your financial options with your money matters, especially your debt.
  • Savings: Try to create an emergency fund. Anything can happen.
  • Physical and Mental Health: You don’t have to go to an expensive gym or psychologist. Do the little things that will keep your body and mind in good shape. You want to be in a good space when a good job or business opportunity comes along
  • Resilience: Develop a “thick skin” Job searches can be challenging. Don’t take rejection personally.
  • Embrace Change: The job market evolves. Be open to learning new skills and adapting to changing circumstances.

All our individual efforts, when combined, can lead to significant positive change. By taking small steps, ordinary South Africans can contribute to reducing unemployment and building a stronger economy.

We have to find ways to better our situation. Sitting around and moaning about it, doesn’t change anything. I pray that whoever is looking for a source of income, finds it legitimately and  in abundance.

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