Eyewitness News on 26 January 2016

In late 2005, a young student from the Eastern Cape nearing the end of her journalism degree received an email from a women’s glossy. It detailed the fact that despite her being an incredible candidate for the job on offer, the fact that she did not have a driver’s licence and car meant that they could not hire her. In many entry-level jobs and internships, cars are currency. She argued that given this country’s historical economic equality, this was unfair and discriminatory. They hired her. She shouldn’t have had to send that email. That young girl was Milisuthando Bongela, who would go on to become an award-winning fashion journalist and social commentator. She was almost locked out.

As #FeesMustFall highlights the multiple sites of exclusion in higher education and their societal echoes, we must also remain aware that the working world that students enter into is not immune to the same pitfalls. It is one founded on the same kind of privilege and exclusion that is built into the way that internships, and some entry-level jobs, are designed.

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