The affordable education loan option
Cape Town - Cabinet has approved a raft of bills for publication for comment, including the Employment Tax Incentive Bill and contested legislation banning alcohol advertising.
The bill would create conditions conducive to bringing young job-seekers into the economy, Cabinet said in statement released on Monday following its regular fortnightly meeting last week.
“The youth employment tax incentive targets young people entering the labour market and earning below the personal income tax threshold. In doing so, it targets lower skill, lower wage individuals who have low prospects of finding a job,” it said.
“The incentive will create conditions conducive to job creation and improve employment prospects for such marginalised workers.”
However, the Democratic Alliance has said the legislation, which will introduce the long-awaited youth wage subsidy, was a watered down version of the measure first mooted by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan years ago, before it ran into resistance from the labour movement.
It proposes benefits to companies which employ people between the ages of 19 and 29 by lowering the amount of tax due from the employer through the pay-as-you-earn system.
DA finance spokesman Tim Harris said the bill would not help small enterprises and seemed to be more of an attempt to win votes in next year’s elections that a genuine attempt to address high unemployment among the youth.
Cabinet also approved the Draft Land Management Commission Bill, which seeks to set up land management commission to adjudicate ownership disputes, and the Control of Marketing of Alcoholic Beverages Bill for gazetting for public comment.
The latter seeks to ban all alcohol advertising and sponsorship and is bitterly opposed by industry lobby groups, which claim it will cost the economy millions of rand.
Cabinet said it stood by the measure.
“While government cannot ban alcohol, it also cannot ethically permit encouragement of alcohol consumption by allowing the public and especially the youth to believe that their life will be enhanced when in fact for many it will have the opposite impact.
“This intervention should not be seen in isolation, but as part of comprehensive measures by government to reduce alcohol-related harm.”
It also approved the gazetting of two bills which will amend the Children’s Act to ensure that anybody convicted of a sexual offence is deemed unsuitable to work with children, and to give effect to a Constitutional Court judgment to provide for judicial review of a decision to remove and place a child in temporary safe care.
The Children's Second Amendment Bill seeks to improve access to social welfare for children and to facilitate the placement in care of those in need of protection.