Johannesburg - The implementation of a youth wage subsidy
would not have a negative impact on the mining sector, but should complement
it, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said in Johannesburg on
"We need to create a base (from) where young people can
acquire skills," Shabangu told reporters at a mining lekgotla.
There was no intention for the subsidy to replace existing
workers or to create cheap labour within the mineral resources sector.
It was important for the government and labour to find
consensus on the subsidy, Shabangu said.
She said the lekgotla was taking place at an appropriate
time, with the ANC's policy conference approaching, as
outcomes from the lekgotla would be carried forward for discussion at the
"The intention is for their voice (the mining industry)
to be heard," said Shabangu.
Mining companies operating in South Africa should contribute
to skills and economic development within the country, a policy referred to as
beneficiation, she said.
"We are aware we are adopting a policy of beneficiation
in the country. This is a process. Not an event... we need skills and skills
Shabangu said the local jewellery industry was a sector
which should grow, especially with the resources required available in South
"As this department, we will sponsor a summit for the
In a speech earlier on Wednesday, Shabangu emphasised the
importance of consistent and stable policy making.
"Whole swathes of the world are far too unstable these
days for us even to contemplate indulging in disruptive activities here at the
foot of Africa."
South Africa had achieved stability and freedom since 1994
and it was imperative that this be built upon.
"South Africa missed the last commodity boom and cannot
afford to miss the next one," she told delegates.