Cosatu blocking youth subsidy, says Zuma

2012-05-16 16:10

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma confirmed that the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) remained the stumbling block to the implementation of the youth wage subsidy, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said on Wednesday.

"The president also said government is still seeking trade union buy-in for the youth wage subsidy that would create more than 420 000 new jobs," according to Mazibuko.

Zuma, in a reply to a DA parliamentary question, said discussions on the youth wage subsidy had taken place within the economic sectors and employment cluster, and consultation with social partners began at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) on May 10 last year.

"Social partners continue to discuss the youth employment incentive at Nedlac. As such, final proposals have yet to be made to Cabinet," he said.

Cabinet did not intend to abandon the policy. However, discussions with social partners, alongside the public comments received on the discussion paper, would inform a revised document and the design of the proposed youth employment incentive.

Zuma said Cabinet would respond to the final proposals made.

The government had undertaken to resolve the concerns raised by social partners, in particular organised labour, in Nedlac.

This included outlining the role of the youth employment incentive as an important pillar of the economic development department's multi-pronged strategy to confront youth unemployment, and adjusting features of the proposed incentive to address the specific concerns of social partners.

Zuma said there had been a number of valid concerns raised with the youth employment incentive, including the potential displacement of older workers by younger workers, the age of those potentially qualifying for the incentive, and the duration of probation. The government's discussions with social partners were aimed at mitigating these concerns.

The rules, design, and monitoring of a youth employment incentive would be critical to actively reduce the risk of negative unintended consequences, including potential displacement, and help maximise net job creation.

The government would focus on accelerating social dialogue and finding satisfactory solutions to the valid concerns that social partners had raised, Zuma said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    cosatu  |  da  |  lindiwe mazibuko  |  jacob zuma  |  politics  |  labour
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