Wage subsidy talks 'going well'

2011-11-02 17:02

Parliament - Government is confident of a positive outcome to the youth wage subsidy discussions under way at Nedlac, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Wednesday.

Responding to questions in the National Assembly, he said a number of accords had already been signed in this regard at the National Economic Development and Labour Council level.

"We are quite positive that a positive outcome will emerge out of those discussions."

Motlanthe was replying to Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, who said government continued to stall on introducing the much-needed youth wage subsidy.

Had this been done on April 1 last year, it could have benefited almost 225 000 unemployed young people thus far, she said.

Every day of further delay denied even more young South Africans the chance to move out of poverty and into meaningful employment.

Mazibuko wanted to know whether government would have the subsidy in place by April 1 next year - the target date set by the National Treasury.

Motlanthe said the matter was being discussed at Nedlac, which was made up of four chambers, because it was necessary to have "buy in" on the youth wage subsidy.

It was important for the subsidy not to be resisted by unions, which believed it would casualise labour.

"It's that fear of competition by employed workers, and we believe that through that discussion in Nedlac consensus will emerge," Motlanthe said.