Desperate youth scramble for jobs as Alex’s Pan Africa mall reopens

Everson Luhanga

The Pan Africa mall in Alexandra closed down last year after the looting that took place during the July unrest.

On Thursday the mall – which had to be rebuilt after the looting – reopened at 9am. Standing outside as early as 7am there were long queues of people.

Instead of fighting for shopping baskets and looking for special offers from different shops when they opened, these people were bringing their CVs into the shops.

The kasi’s unemployment rate was laid bare as dozens of mostly young men and women reached into their bags, pulling out CVs that they submitted to different shops.

One such is that of a young woman who identified herself only as Charmaine.

She told Scrolla.Africa that she printed 10 copies of her CV to submit to different shops, to increase her chances of getting employed as a cashier.

 “My twin sister and I lost our jobs after the shops were broken into and looted.

“It has been so hard for us not to work at the same time and we haven’t had another chance of finding a job,” she said.

She said every weekend she struggles to find transport to go to nearby malls like Mall of Africa, Sandton, Kempton Park, and Randburg to submit her CV. But for seven months, she hasn’t been able to find something concrete.

Like many thousands of others Charmaine is looking for a job, any job.

Meanwhile, there are concerns that members of Dudula have been causing havoc outside the mall.

For nearly two weeks, the Dudula members have been removing foreign-owned street vendors and burning their stalls.

On Tuesday this week, members of Dudula confiscated goods and stock belonging to foreign nationals and took them to the Alexandra police station.

On Thursday, Dudula members went from shop to shop asking owners who they employed in their shops.