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Parliament, Cape Town - Government is confident the controversial youth wage subsidy, now called the youth wage incentive scheme (Yeti), will work, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Wednesday.
Replying to questions in the National Assembly, Motlanthe dismissed a notion by DA MP Tim Harris that the Yeti was similar to its namesake, the Himalayan mythical creature, also known as the abominable snowman.
“We all hear it exists, but no one sees it,” Harris said.
Motlanthe responded by saying the government acknowledged youth unemployment was a tinderbox that it intended addressing through various schemes and projects.
“We are aware that there are about 2.8 million of the cohort of 18-24 year-olds who are not in any institution of learning, who are not in any job,” said Motlanthe.
The youth employment tax scheme was one of many ways the government hoped to tackle the problem.
“The youth tax incentive will work... and we will employ it.”
Harris asked the deputy president how the scheme would become a reality when union federation and ANC alliance partner the Congress of SA Trade Unions spent three years blocking it, and remained opposed to the idea.
“We are quite confident... that working people inside and outside of Cosatu will come to understand that this is an important instrument to address this burning problem of youth unemployment,” Motlanthe said.
The incentive scheme was re-tabled in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's budget earlier in March.
It would take the form of a tax credit, meaning employers would get money back through the Pay As You Earn system for hiring unemployed young people. - Sapa