Aug 16, 2012
Patel seeks consensus on wage subsidyBack
By Building|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 Economy News
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.