BENEATH THE CHURCH EPITAPH “TO THE GLORY OF GOD” SCREAM THE VOICES OF THE UNEMPLOYED
Keywords:Unemployment, Employment, Poor, Dignity
The unemployment crisis is a growing threat in the socio-economic fabric of South African society. Close to fifteen million people live on social grants, while seven million are registered as unemployed. The number is growing exponentially. High-school leavers and university graduates have no assurance of employment at the end of their academic careers. The church, in general, is bombarded by demands of these masses for survival. The number of beggars at the urban church doors increases daily. In the meantime, the church is, in a broader context, silent or passive towards the voices of the unemployed. There is not only deafening silence, but also no plans, strategies, or initiatives to launch projects that can assist in minimising unemployment in society. However, acknowledgement is attested to many churches undertaking some programmes to address this threat. The unemployed feel marginalised. They are robbed of their dignity through short-term interventions instead of proactive initiatives that can make them employable and streamline them into job accessibility. Handouts and charitable activities that offer no long-term solutions enhance the dependency syndrome. This article promotes a proactive approach to the threat of the unemployed as a way of hearing their voices in the midst of poverty. Unemployment affects the economy of the church in a more tangible manner, and should thus be addressed.