Numsa: Wage subsidy not a solution

2012-05-26 21:30

Johannesburg - The problem of unemployed young people is too big to be solved through a R5bn wage subsidy, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said on Saturday.

"This huge problem requires a bigger response," he said.

Government solutions must involve a massive skills revolution for young people. This included the reopening of nursing colleges, the filling of all further education and training facilities and the adoption of a manufacturing-based industrial strategy, Numsa president Cedric Gina said in a speech.

He was speaking at the 25th anniversary of Numsa in Athlone, in the Western Cape.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions was opposed to the current proposed youth wage subsidy. This was because "unpatriotic" South African employers would use the subsidy to "line their pockets", he said.

There was also a fear employers would replace older employees with younger ones to avoid higher salaries.

"Today, we talk of lack of critical skills as a country because South African unpatriotic employers have not trained young people in numbers in order to ensure that when big projects like Kusile and Medupi take place, we do not import skills from other countries," said Gina

He called on Numsa members to approach the upcoming Cosatu congress with the purpose of ensuring that the federation emerged united.

"We must be self-critical as we approach this congress and pose a frank question about whether (or not) we have implemented the 2015 plan that we adopted in 2003."

Numsa was a forum that debated issues across its structures, he said.

"You are a union that still believes and subscribes to democratic centralism," he told the audience.

"The country is grappling with the role of the Reserve Bank today because of your campaigns. You are striking union. The country is grappling with the issue of labour brokers today because of your campaigns where you achieved superior agreements about phasing out labour in your sectors," said Gina.

  • Squeegee - 2012-05-26 21:36

    Yeah, and metal workers are known as the great intellectuals of our time...

      grootrot.vanzyl - 2012-05-26 21:56

      Cedric Gina, it is not the job of so called "unpatriotic" South African employers to train people. It is their job to provide people that are already properly trained by your unpatriotic colleagues in SADTU with jobs. Your magnamimous scheme should call on those who train to be patriaotic first and train themselves or be trained and to properly educate the youth of this country. It seems as if you skipped the schooling bit in your education, Cedric.

      Al - 2012-05-27 10:26

      Can NUMSA please state who closed those institutes in the first place after 1994 and why they were closed? Not 1 person said the "Youth wage subsidy" is the Golden bullet to end youth unemployment. It is a very good starting point and interium solution while those issues are dealt with. Nothing we do will be the one thing to solve all problems. So if we wait for that idea and do nothin while we wait, the situation we are now in will just snow ball. - 2012-05-27 13:12

      The fact of the matter remains, if the majority of this country doesn't stop multiplying without planning there is never gonna be enough jobs for everyone. Keep it in your pants have you heard of condoms? If nothing else works, we are going to have to think about sterilization, in the same way they are doing with the over population of dogs in cape town. - 2012-05-27 13:44

      They should take the 5bn a year and distribute condoms to the poor. Bring down population growth without planning

      Jazzy - 2012-05-27 13:58

      I agree wholeheartedly with Al.

  • Sonja - 2012-05-26 21:41

    How would you know NUMSA, you couldnt finish grade 2.!!!!

  • Crracker - 2012-05-26 21:43

    Throw the employers out for once and for all. Then let's see the miraculous creation of jobs and food security. COME ON! JUST DO IT! Or is it that little troubling thought in the back of the trade unions elitists' mind that those trade union subscriptions and the LEKKER life they guarantee may just....

  • Lacrimose - 2012-05-26 21:44

    Too big to solve so we'll just wait for the perfect solution that could take another 20yrs to arrive? That's like watching a road-accident victim bleed to death whilst waiting for the perfect blood donor to appear. Wake up to the world we live in. There's no perfect solution *anywhere*, we have to try what we can whilst we still can.

  • Sharon - 2012-05-26 21:49

    It seems everyone has an opinion on why the wage subsidy won't work, but those same people don't seem to have any viable alternative solutions. Come on unions, tell us what will work, we are really looking forward to hearing your bright ideas!

  • des.cider - 2012-05-26 22:01

    The idea involves the selection of appropriate trainees with adequate ability to learn from and to pass tests and examinations that indicate their competence in term of international standards. How many do we have?

  • Fourhundredkg - 2012-05-26 22:03

    WTF has a union like NUMSA got to do with the unemployed anyway? Unions represent the employed, not those who need jobs.

      SaintBruce - 2012-05-26 22:42

      Exactly ! What the Unions want is the R 5 Billion spent on them not on the disillusioned youth who have been sidelined by the ANC policies. Without even trying to come up with a solution for 40% of the unemployed, which would help business prepare them for gainful [and possibly union membership] employment at a later stage, NO - just keep the youth out of it to use as pawns in the 'struggle'against Capital! What is never mentioned in a socialist model is that it takes having Capital to be able to fund Welfare. But - this they miss, when welfare consumes more than it produces [usually nothing] the Capital gets eroded until there is none! Then EVERYONE qualifies for Welfare and there is nothing in the kitty. Great plan Tripe - apart alliance! NOT! Dumb is as Dumb does.... - 2012-05-27 13:16

      @ Fourhundredkg - really bro don't you see it at all? They are campaigning for new members. Once they get jobs, they will need a union. SHIES some of these comments are really uneducated

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-05-26 22:06

    So it's ok for the ANC to "be patriotic" and line their pockets at the expense of the people. The ANC will not be able go get their sticky fingers on it, So it's a no go?

  • Crracker - 2012-05-26 22:08

    We know by now what does NOT work. The trade unions have not created jobs outside their trade union offices. They instead have been looking out for their own little nest eggs and have been feathering them by unreasonably attacking employers AND THE REST OF PRODUCTIVE SOCIETY. If altruism must guide our society and create work opportunities where are the big mouths in the trade unions? WHY DON'T THEY THEN BRING THEIR EXPERTISE AND BRAINS TO THE TABLE TO CREATE JOBS? Reason: They are useless losers in the real economy. - 2012-05-27 13:18


  • kobie.nel1 - 2012-05-26 22:28

    Everybody is shooting him down now, but let us look at a few points. "Government solutions must involve a massive skills revolution for young people. This included the reopening of nursing colleges, the filling of all further education and training facilities and the adoption of a manufacturing-based industrial strategy, Numsa president Cedric Gina said in a speech." THAT is going back to the efective system I was trained in and could tand my shoes full in the industry. It make sense big time,...but.. I do not think the ANC have the weight in their pants to do that like the old white goverment did. "There was also a fear employers would replace older employees with younger ones to avoid higher salaries." That will be a stupid move by the employer. You do not get rid of your old experienced skill and by young arrogant 'know it alls' to do the job if you are serious about your firm. You pay for the man that can do the job and have the training and experience to do it. Those ones are the ones that can transfer the skill to a young one that start, BUT, that young one MUST earn the respect of the old one so that it will be a pleasure to transplant his experience. They can blame nobody but themselfs for destructing and closing down the training systems that WAS in place when they took over, but well, we old ones remember it and the liberals and young ones just ignore it because they want to be PC. There is no worst stupidity than ignorace of simple fact.

      kobie.nel1 - 2012-05-26 22:32

      Now, they will attac me for the missing "f" in effective, and the missing "s" in stand, because they don't have the guts and brains to acknowlege fact....typical.. bring it on.

  • Larry - 2012-05-26 22:29

    So lets have a bigger youth subsidy then. Or would you rather do nothing?

  • keith.recore - 2012-05-26 22:29

    While certainly a wage subsidy is not the perfect answer, it is a start, so that in conjunction with the cooperation of unions, business and the government in furthering skills training and other methods to address unemployment, this is a start. Simply legislate with the measure the employement concerns regarding older employees and move on to solving the big picture. A more permanent solution to getting people to work. These 400000+ young people will at least get a chance to do something, learn something and gain experience. Couldn't some be used as paid interns, oh let's say in police, water, billing, hospital staffs just to pick up some of the slack and shorten some of the wait time for service delivery? Gaining on the job training surely has to be better than no training at all. It is all facets of the community working towards a solution and tweaking it as it progresses. Roadblocks aren't solutions.

  • Larry - 2012-05-26 22:31

    The problem with trade unions, is that they would not, and cannot exist without a boss.

      SaintBruce - 2012-05-26 22:53

      So Larry, if we offered all the unemployed youth an opportunity to have their own business in Network marketing and to make some serious money working for themselves with start up cash from the Youth Subsidy, then the Unions would hate this as these youth would not have a boss for them to bully, intimidate, strike against etc.??? I think you are right. The Unions cannot stand independence or success! They simply hate entrepreneurs who get on and make it for themselves in ways the Unions can't touch or influence. If every employed person resigned tomorrow and then contracted back as an independent contractor to his or her company at the same CTC rates and showed the Unions the finger - they would collapse overnight! It's a nice fantasy but I don't think South Africans have the mettle to take the plunge.

  • Jerry - 2012-05-26 22:38

    This reminds me of unpatriotic employers who overlooked people with abilities and fast tracked imbeciles just to fill equity quotas. Num has a point, the policy might be good on paper but it's open for abuse. I know comrades will have the bulk of unemployed youth so that they don't have to pay anyone.

      Koos - 2012-05-27 01:15

      I will have a business that doesn't produce anything but make milions because I employ the youth?

  • Antin - 2012-05-26 22:40

    Numsa, protecting the employed (their members) at the expense of opportunities for the unemployed youth -nice of them! Fully agree with their "skills revolution" idea -in principle. Prob is that as soon as the words of unions + revolution crop up, you can be sure that NOTHING good of it will come! In the end they are good in spewing impractical rhetoric, based on completely outdated ideals of socialism, Marxism. (And getting their alliance partners to implement ever more ruinous labour legislation, of course.)

  • Crracker - 2012-05-26 22:53

    Chastise the boss (employer) like Cosatu (and the ANC do) and you chastise the worker and the unemployed. The worker and the unemployed cannot and will not create jobs. If they could they would not be workers and and they would not be unemployed. Now who must create the jobs? The government? We know they can't. The trade unions? They are total failures and parasites. Incidentally, the Cosatus are trying to create a workers' paradise out of nothing. They think that paradise falls from above.

  • Tony - 2012-05-27 00:26

    you want to creat work (not jobs) for the youth relook at the emplyment laws and get the apprenticeship up and goinging get bee side lined give the companies credit for running training centres .manpower is enougth to control the workforce because no businessman will waste all the resources on training an employee to loss him later to a competitor . uninions where are the training center that you have set up to help the unempolied?

  • Koos - 2012-05-27 01:16

    As soon as young people are skilled they leave. That is the reality.

  • Sidney Gilroy - 2012-05-27 07:32

    Wake up Unions. You're free-range hold on striking, above-inflation increase demands and tunnel-vision to labour laws has made you UNEMPLOYABLE!!! You are so busy blowing smoke up each other's a&*#s, you don't even notice the mass automation and mechanization, streamlining, retrenchment and position-freezes happening in every industry. Soon - Government will be the ONLY driver fir unemployment.

  • Charl - 2012-05-27 08:32

    if u give me 1 million i would create 5 jobs for a year! If u give the remaining 4999000000 to 500000 ppl thy could create jobs for 2500000 million ppl in one year! Wake up numsa, we need this, dont be fools , work it out!

  • robqb - 2012-05-27 11:05

    Strange. As a youngster,about 50 years ago, I knew of a training school called "Westlake". It admitted men from the age of 21 to train as "appys" for various trades. They were paid a sub for the 6months to 12 months they spent there. They had the option of commuting or "boarding" at the school.It wasn't all that long ago that I heard that these "pupils" now have to pay to be trained at Westlake. Why? Surely the country benefits by training these people?

  • ro.jhb.1 - 2012-05-27 16:40

    Is Gina slightly mentally challenged? I thought workers were his perogative - now business must train them - I am confused.

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