Youth subsidy back on agenda

2012-12-20 00:00

THE youth wage subsidy may be back in play.

Yesterday the Minister in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel, was asked about the subsidy, which started out as an ANC idea, but was never been implemented by the government.

On its implementation, Manuel said the issue would be covered in three big speeches: the ANC’s January 8 statement by President Jacob Zuma, his state of the nation address in February and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech.

If the ANC does decide to push through the subsidy, it will be seen as a significant move against its largest alliance partner, Cosatu, which has been vocal in its opposition to the plan.

Manuel declined nomination to the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) earlier this week, citing the need to give youth more room in the party’s top structure.

“I was politically active from my teenage years. I was a member of the NEC at 35. This isn’t retirement, it’s about understanding that political activity isn’t about being on the NEC.”

Manuel said the ANC had put a lot of trust in him when he was young. “And part of understanding transformation [and renewal] is to put trust in a younger cadre of people and to support them.”

He planned to remain in goverment and would not be leaving the country, the minister said.

“I have nowhere to go … No one else wants me so South Africa is stuck with me.”

Asked why there was insufficient development of young entrepreneurs in South Africa, Manuel said the country could not be developed on “ag shame” policies.

“There’s no entitlement in life,” he declared.

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