Aug 16, 2012
Patel seeks consensus on wage subsidyBack
Building|By Building|Ebrahim Patel|Infrastructure|Kgalema Mothlanthe|Pravin Gordhan|Tim Harris
"We need to forge a consensus on how to address youth unemployment, instead of a 'kragdadige' (forceful) approach to push through a single measure in the face of opposition from youth organisations and trade unions," Patel said in a debate on the measure in Parliament.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan budgeted R5-billion to start implementing the subsidy from April.
But it was put on ice amid protest from Cosatu, and of late the ANC Youth League and the National Youth Development Agency.
Patel's pronouncement was eagerly awaited after Deputy President Kgalema Mothlanthe on Wednesday responded to questions from MPs on the subsidy by referring to the upcoming debate with the words: "Tomorrow is D-Day."
Patel said the Nedlac debate on the issue had been widened to include more concerned parties and they had agreed on the need for a "social compact" on how to get young people into jobs.
"No single mechanism can address the challenge of youth unemployment," he said.
"We are looking to short- and long-term measures and a package that is proportionate to the scale of the problem."
Patel suggested private and public sector initiatives could be added to existing policies like the expanded public works and the community work programmes.
"We have tabled a proposal for a youth employment committee under Nedlac to consider specific measures to boost employment for young workers," he said.
"By building a collaboration it will avoid unnecessary conflict and exploitative programmes. In addition where young people want to start their own businesses, government will help them."
Patel suggested government would provide support for youth entry into certain sectors of the economy, such as infrastructure and the green economy, but did not provide further details.
Democratic Alliance MP Tim Harris said Patel's speech seemed like the death knell for Gordhan's initiative and was a humiliating defeat for the Treasury chief.
"What an indignity for the National Treasury that Minister Patel is sent out today to set a nail in the coffin of the youth wage subsidy."
Cosatu had expressed fear that the policy would prompt business to replace experienced workers with young, "cheap" labour.
Edited by: SapaComment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Labour and Skills Development News
Updated 3 hours ago Ousted Congress of South African Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is adamant that his expulsion from the trade union federation was unfair and illegal. "I am... in consultations on whether or not I should challenge my extremely irregular, illegal and...
Updated 6 hours ago Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has extended the consultation period regarding proposed changes to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions by one month, following discussions with labour and business at the National Economic Development and Labour Council...
Updated 25 minutes ago Paper and packaging group Mpact has concluded a broad-based black-economic empowerment (BBBEE) deal that will see a purpose-formed trust subscribing for 10% of the ordinary issued shares in group subsidiary Mpact Operations, which holds its South African businesses....
Updated 30 minutes ago With South African business and consumer confidence being negatively affected by the unfavourable exchange rates and ongoing power cuts, JSE-listed Nampak said the performance of its local businesses, particularly its home business division, was under pressure. The...
Updated 32 minutes ago Throwing open a process often criticised for its lack of transparency and frequent irregularities, the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) for the first time on Wednesday opened the adjudication of a tender to the public, describing it as an effort to improve...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...