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
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.
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.
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...