ANC wants speedy youth wage subsidy

Feb 01 2013 10:49
Cape Town - The ANC is set to hold talks with Cosatu as soon as next month to discuss the job seekers' grant for youth, Business Day reported.

ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe said: "We are hoping that before the state of the nation address, or soon thereafter, there must be a bilateral between the ANC and Cosatu in particular to deal with this issue."

Radebe said the youth wage incentive is an issue that has been on the table for quite some time, but that the party would not "rush" into it without talking to its social partners.

"As the ANC we want to move with speed on this issue because we are ready," said Radebe.

The Treasury has set aside R5bn for the subsidy to create 423 000 new jobs, but Cosatu's opposition has stalled its implementation for nearly two years.

Cosatu is of the view that the grant would be a measure for employers to replace older workers with younger ones, and deepen the problem of dual labour markets.

The youth subsidy with be on the agenda during the upcoming three-day ANC national executive committee lekgotla to be held in Gauteng.

Three-quarters of young South Africans surveyed support the idea of a youth wage subsidy, TNS said in May last year.

Some 96% of the respondents agreed it was important to solve the problem of unemployed youth and 73% agreed a youth wage subsidy would make it easier for young people to find jobs.

Business Unity SA (Busa) is in favour of the subsidy.

"A well-crafted scheme of this kind can make a significant contribution towards reducing youth unemployment in South Africa, especially at a time of relatively low economic growth and rising unemployment," said Busa at the time.

In May last year the DA marched to Cosatu headquarters in Johannesburg to highlight job losses and Cosatu's opposition to the youth wage subsidy.

The march turned violent after it was met by toyi-toying Cosatu members, who allegedly stoned the DA supporters.

President Jacob Zuma announced the R5bn subsidy in parliament in February 2010.

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cosatu  |  da  |  anc  |  youth wage subsidy


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