Many of you are already working and only come here to get something that you can use to help others in your communities.

This post is a call to you to extend that helping hand to strangers. About 26185 people as of this writing…

Many young people have just finished exams. Many will go home to relax and recharge the batteries in order to get ready for postgraduate studies next year. Others will spend the next few weeks looking for a job/graduate programme/internship programmes to sharpen their skills. While a select few will go straight to a job through their bursaries etc…

But it is not that straight forward. One would think! Most will be required learn, fast, about things they are not versed in. Contracts, how to invest their pension, life and medical insurance etc…

So, if you are already working somewhere and know something, anything that can help a recent graduate, about the workplace, please help with any of the following questions:

  1. From a legal viewpoint, what should a young graduate expect from an employer regarding things such as a contract, salary, tax and deductions etc¹
  2. If an employer does not do what is expected of them legally, in terms of #1, what steps should one take to ensure one gets what is due to them¹.
  3. Not everyone is well versed in law, so what should one do with the contract to ensure they understand what they are getting into.
  4. In your personal viewpoint, what should a young graduate do (or not do) in the workplace. Please limit your advice to behavioural issues.
  5. If you can, what would you advise a graduate about managing  finances given that they are expected to buy a beautiful house (to put a roof under ones head), a luxury car (to travel conveniently and efficiently – to work), furniture (to live in comfort), and lots of pocket money (to pay oneself) and invest (to secure ones future). And repay NSFAS…

Please use the comments form below to share your views. *You aren’t expected to answer all the questions*

¹DISCLAIMER: Please note that these are just my (site editor) personal personal views. Putting them here is not an indication that employers go out of their way to rip graduates off. Or that graduates don’t know what they are getting into or need advice from strangers. But…



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  • Roxetta says:

    Wow thnx this was really educational as am going for my 1st interview now I knw sumthing…thnx a lot

  • isabel says:

    I u pls show me how 2 write an application letter

  • Mbaleigh says:

    Mandilakhe LOl okaaay thanks. Valencia you broke it down nicely, thank you…. This will really help us.

  • Valencia says:

    The employer will explain the details of the contract to you and present you with a contract for the period of a graduate programme or internship (usually one year) and your working hours and conduct etc. Salaries for recent graduates can range from R3000-R6000. When you earn less than R5000 you do not get taxed but after that the normal tax standards set by SARS apply.
    Every employer should register as a tax payer on SARS regardless of how much you earn. Within government departments, graduates qualify for all types of leave except for benefits like a 13th cheque and deductions are only for UIF and nothing else.
    Most companies will conduct an induction programme with HR to go through your contract step by step and explain to you the bits and pieces of the contract otherwise you can take the contract to an elder or a former graduate who studied contract law (for free) to just check for any loop holes.
    Behaviour and conduct say a lot about the kind of person that you are and if you can be absorbed into the company. If its a corporate world always try to be formal and well dressed it counts a lot, do not by all means backchat your supervisor or mentor, you will get a lot of criticism so its advisable to not try and defend yourself by proving how right you are but just take the criticism constructively and use it to better equip yourself, interact with everyone within the company as much as you can and do not engage into office politics because some politics began while you where not even around.
    Gossiping is a no no and try by all means to not form small groups with certain people but interact with everyone as much as you can. You might be educated than your mentor but remember they have more experience than you and the reason you at that company is to gain the experience. Enough about behaviour because i can go all day about it.
    NSFAS does not require you to start paying your loan if you are on an internship so do not stress about that but it is HIGHLY important to notify them that you are working and how much you earn because if you earn somewhere around R8000 then thy will expect some kind of repayment but hey MOST internships do not pay that much.

  • Rejoice says:

    This will be a great opportunity for some of us we jst finished our exams.

  • Mandilakhe says:

    One should ascertain that consensus between your prospective employer and your yourself has been reached and are of the same mind as to the content of the contract, as all duties and benefits should be included in such a contract of employment. Should the employer not carry out his/her duties as stipulated in the employment contract, one should first follow the procedure laid out in the constitution of the workplace as to how to handle grievances in such a situation. Thereafter, if the constitution of the workplace fails to address one’s grievance, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) clearly outline the corrective measures that need to be taken when the employer does not adhere to his/her obligations as provided in the contract of employment.