Mpumalanga premier and DA meet

By Drum Digital
03 July 2012

Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza has asked the DA in the province to send a submission to Nedlac for the proposed youth wage subsidy, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

"Premier Mabuza told the DA MPL leader [Anthony Benadie] at a meeting today [Tuesday] that although he personally supported the youth wage subsidy, it would be advisable to send a submission to Nedlac as the matter was currently [being] discussed there," Mabuza's spokesman Zibonele Mncwango said in a statement.

This was after Benadie had asked Mabuza to sign a letter of endorsement to run a provincial programme.

Mabuza told the Democratic Alliance the matter was at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) so they could not start their own processes.

Mncwango quoted Mabuza as saying: "We cannot start our own processes, otherwise we would be seen as people who are discussing not in good faith."

Benadie on Tuesday said Mabuza endorsed the proposed youth wage subsidy.

"During the course of our meeting with the premier, he expressed his agreement on the importance of the youth wage subsidy as a means to address the ever-increasing youth unemployment rate in the province," Benadie said in a statement.

"We agreed on the basic premise of the subsidy and what it would mean to employers and employees alike."

He said the DA appreciated the "openness and spirit" in which Mabuza discussed the subsidy.

The DA was going around the country lobbying premiers to implement the wage subsidy in their respective provinces.

Last month, KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize said the province supported the subsidy, but would wait for a recommendation from Nedlac.

Last week, during the African National Congress' four-day policy conference, Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile said delegates rejected the youth subsidy.

President Jacob Zuma announced the R5 billion subsidy in Parliament in February 2010.

Last month, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said moves had been underway to accelerate discussions at the Nedlac, particularly in June, also known as youth month. Until now talks had consistently deadlocked amid opposition from the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

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