Cosatu a contradiction – Mazibuko

2012-03-13 12:55

Congess of South African Trade Unions’ (Cosatu) refusal to discuss youth unemployment with the Democratic Alliance (DA) reveals a contradiction in the union federation, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said.

“On the one hand, they oppose corruption, and programmes such as e-tolling in Gauteng,” she said in a statement today.

“On the other hand, [Cosatu] continue to oppose a policy which would create an estimated 423 000 jobs for young, unemployed South Africans.”

Mazibuko said there was growing consensus that the proposed youth wage subsidy was necessary to fight unemployment.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had both addressed Parliament on the need for the wage subsidy to be implemented.

“Cosatu therefore finds itself increasingly isolated in its opposition,” said Mazibuko.

She had written to Cosatu’s general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi to ask for a meeting on the high levels of youth unemployment, and the youth wage subsidy.

Vavi declined Mazibuko’s request.

“We see no benefit... in discussing these issues with the Democratic Alliance, with whom we have fundamental ideological differences on many issues,” Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

“The basis for these difference are rooted in the fact that while Cosatu represents the working class and the poor, the DA speaks for big business, the wealthy and the privileged.”

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