Gwede Mantashe: Jobs ministry on the cards

2014-02-21 19:14

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has called union federation Cosatu selfish for opposing the youth wage subsidy.

Mantashe was addressing hundreds of ANC volunteers in Ginsberg, King William’s Town, in the Eastern Cape today.

“Cosatu should not be selfish. We are prepared to engage on this matter as the ANC but we are going ahead with it [youth wage subsidy],” Mantashe said.

Addressing a half-full hall, Mantashe said the ANC government would continue to do everything in its power to create jobs, especially for the youth.

Speaking not far from the Bhisho legislature, where Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet had delivered her state of the province address earlier, Mantashe revealed that a new ministry was on the cards.

He said the small, medium and co-operatives ministry was being discussed in the party.

“It’s a discussion we are having and we are seriously considering it. The small, medium and co-operatives ministry will be at the forefront of job creation,” he said.

It was Mantashe’s last leg of a three-day door-to-door campaign in King William’s Town and East London townships ahead of the May 7 general elections.

The governing party’s secretary-general was clearly in electioneering mode, saying the ANC would like to see every child in school equipped with a tablet in a bid to improve the quality of education, much to the delight of the audience.

Following recent service delivery protests around the country, Mantashe condemned protesters who were destroying property while they protest.

“We recognise the rights of people to protest but that right comes with responsibility. No protester has a licence to burn buildings and destroy properties,” Mantashe said.

He echoed President Jacob Zuma’s remarks during his state of the nation address last week to the effect that service delivery protests were a result of successes.

Read: Service delivery breeds dissatisfaction. Fact?

Mantashe said there were those who were embarking on service delivery protests because they genuinely had problems and those who were doing so because they were impatient because they saw delivery elsewhere.

He said the ANC government was making steady progress in the fight against HIV/Aids.

“When we introduced ARV’s, undertakers said we were killing their business because our people now live longer ... life expectancy is longer,” Mantashe said.

Mantashe also took a swipe at Numsa for the union’s plans to start recruiting the members of other unions.

He said it was mischievous for Numsa to move away from its roots.

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