D-Day for youth wage subsidy debate

2012-08-15 15:05

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe today dodged questions by opposition parties on the youth wage subsidy in the National Assembly, saying an upcoming debate on the matter would bring clarity.

During question time this afternoon, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko asked Motlanthe about the stalled youth wage subsidy, which was supposed to have been implemented from April 1.

Motlanthe explained that the subsidy was to help first-time job-seekers and that government was “well aware” that labour, business and government would have to discuss it at Nedlac, “so that, when implemented, all social partners would have considered the impact of this policy”.

But Mazibuko said there had been more than enough time for Nedlac to discuss it. She also said many government policies, like amending two labour laws, were pushed through even though Nedlac discussions hadn’t finished.

“Does the deputy president not accept that the time has come that everyone has had a time to say their say, and that the time has come to implement the youth wage subsidy?” she said.

She also hinted that it might be a difficult matter for the ANC to act on, because of party in-fighting in the run-up to its December elective congress in Mangaung.

The youth wage subsidy has faced strong opposition from Cosatu, which has argued that it would see older workers out of jobs, while the DA has supported and campaigned around it.

A request by the DA for the National Assembly to debate the issue tomorrow had been granted by Parliament.

Motlanthe said today Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel would answer all questions then.

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