4 February 2013

South Africa: Democratic Alliance Challenges The Rulling Party to Stop Beating Around the Bush On the Youth Wage Subsidy

press release

The ANC is beating around the bush on the Youth Wage Subsidy. It is time for them to give a final answer on whether the policy, as designed and budgeted for by National Treasury, will be implemented.

4.8 million young South African jobseekers have been waiting for nearly three years to see the R5bn subsidy implemented. They deserve better than this dithering.

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe reportedly said today that "there is general agreement" on a scheme to "target young people, young graduates and students in tertiary institutions who needed to complement formal study with practical work".

This is quite clearly not the Youth Wage Subsidy that has been carefully designed by National Treasury to create the most jobs at the lowest cost, and mitigate unintended consequences.

That subsidy would be available for every job created below the tax threshold for 18-19 year-old workers. It is not clear how this "scheme" Mr Mantashe is referring to would subsidise actual jobs created.

Unfortunately, today's statement simply muddies the water further and indicates that the ANC may have just caved in to Cosatu by watering down Treasury's policy to the detriment of millions of unemployed jobseekers.

Tim Harris, Shadow Minister of Finance

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