18 June 2012

South Africa: National Planning Commission Also Backs Youth Wage Subsidy

Photo: Werner Beukes/Sapa
A police officer tries to control a tense situation between an angry Cosatu crowd and Democratic Alliance supporters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

press release

Today the National Planning Commission added their name to a long list of individuals and organisations that support the implementation of the Youth Wage Subsidy.

In a reply to a Parliamentary question by Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, Minister Trevor Manuel stated, "we think that some sort of wage subsidy is the sensible way forward", noting that they had not yet explored various specific design options for such an intervention.

Youth unemployment has reached crisis proportions, and the President's failure to implement the Youth Wage Subsidy in the face of overwhelming support for it, even from his own cabinet, serves to highlight his complete disregard for young people in South Africa.

Through his actions, our President has confirmed to young South Africans that he has sold out their dreams to his own political aspirations.

The individuals and organizations that support the youth wage subsidy, and who the President has chosen to blatantly ignore, now include:

  • The Democratic Alliance
  • The National Planning Commission
  • Black Business Council
  • Business Unity South Africa
  • National Treasury
  • Fedusa
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
  • Organisation for Economic Development
  • African Development Bank
  • KZN Broad Black Economic Advisory
  • KZN Premier, Zweli Mkhize

Bowing to Cosatu's lone and spurious opposition to this subsidy now borders on insanity.

It is imperative that Government offers young work-seekers real hope. The subsidy stands to benefit 423 000 young people and furthermore, will give young people a chance to restore their dignity and step onto the first rung of the ladder out of poverty.

It is the President's responsibility to demonstrate leadership and take tough decisions in the interest of the unemployed and marginalized, but so far he has failed the youth of South Africa woefully in this task.

Makashule Gana , DA Youth Leader

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