Johannesburg - Cosatu is keeping people unemployed by influencing government not to implement the youth wage subsidy, DA leader Helen Zille said on Wednesday.
“By bowing to the narrow interests of Cosatu and refusing to implement the youth wage subsidy, this government excludes young people from the economy. It cuts the youth off from opportunity,” she said in a speech prepared for delivery in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg.
Zille was speaking on the anniversary of the Democratic Alliance's march to the Congress of SA Trade Unions' headquarters in Johannesburg on May 15 last year.
The march turned violent after rocks were thrown during a confrontation between the two. The DA asserted that Cosatu started the violence, while Cosatu was adamant DA supporters threw rocks first.
Zille said on Wednesday Cosatu thought it could scare the DA away, but it could not be more wrong.
“Today we meet again, one year on, to remind young South Africans that Cosatu is still keeping them unemployed, that it is keeping them locked out of the economy and denying them the dream of a better future,” Zille said.
Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said the trade federation totally rejected “the false argument of Helen Zille”.
“We believe that she has no solution. The youth wage subsidy has now been totally discredited,” he said.
“The government and Cosatu have much more realistic policies for creating jobs and we hope that they would be implemented as speedily as possible.”
Zille said the party's political opponents would have South Africans believe that the DA only governed for the benefit of white people.
“They tell you that the DA supported, or even governed, during apartheid. These lies have been so often repeated, that many people actually believe them to be true,” she said.
“That is why we are running the Know Your DA campaign around South Africa.”
She said Cosatu said it knew about the plight of the unemployed, but instead undermined their aspirations.
“Cosatu does not care about the unemployed, nor does it share the DA’s vision of a prosperous South Africa with opportunities for everyone,” Zille said.
“The youth wage subsidy is the only policy on the table that would create real new jobs for young people.” - Sapa