‘Language of the land should be used to conduct job interviews’

Johannesburg – Rural youth aspiring to be employed at any National Freedom Party-(NFP) run municipality will be eased off the burden of having to conduct their interviews in English.

The IFP splinter party made an unexpected comeback during the recent municipal elections, gaining a seat in almost all municipalities in which it fielded candidates.

The party announced that it would  be introducing sweeping changes in the municipal employment criteria to ensure that rural dwellers were not overlooked on employment opportunities.

According to NFP secretary Canaan Mdletshe, the party intended using its majority in the eDumbe municipality to pilot the proposal.

“At some stage we need to level the playing field. This plan is aimed at addressing the impasse where rural youth and capable candidates continue to fall through the cracks when it comes to employment opportunities because they can’t articulate themselves in English.

“If a rural-based municipality serves 100% isiZulu or isiXhosa or SeTswana community, the language of the land should be used to conduct interviews,” Mdletshe told Sunday World.

He said the proposal would be tabled at the first meeting of the municipality before being canvassed to other municipalities.

“Where we are currently governing in eDumbe local municipality, this is one of our key priorities.

We are certain that the municipal council will vote in favour of the proposal. The intention is to afford locals a fair opportunity when it comes to employment.”

Mdletshe said isiZulu was a widely spoken language and it should be accorded the status it deserved, saying the move would target entry-level posts.

“This will not be a blanket approach because for senior posts and in those jobs that are regarded as scarce skills, we don’t mind if interviews are conducted in English because candidates might not be native isiZulu language speakers,” he said

If the proposal sees the light of day, eDumbe will be the first municipality in KwaZulu-Natal to officially recognise isiZulu as a language of choice for job interviews.

Mdletshe described the move as a linguistic revolution.

The eDumbe local municipality is located in Paulpietersburg in far northern KwaZulu-Natal.

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