Youth rejects ‘discredited’ subsidy

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IOL feb 6 Youth meeting .JPG INLSA The ANC Youth Leagues Khusela Sangoni-Khawe, left, sits with leaders of other youth organisations yesterday during a meeting at Luthuli House in Joburg. Picture: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - Youth organisations aligned to the ANC have vowed to halt any government effort to implement the “DA-sponsored youth wage subsidy”.

They made the announcement on Tuesday as the ANC’s cabinet lekgotla convened.

The lekgotla was expected to discuss youth unemployment and the proposal to declare education an essential service.

The threat by the ANC Youth League, the Young Communist League, the Congress of SA Students and the SA Students Congress emerged after media reports on the ANC’s proposed youth incentive scheme.

The DA last year made several requests to the government to implement wage incentives to assist unemployed youth.

In one of a series of marches to demand the wage subsidy, the party became involved in violent clashes with labour federation Cosatu.

The ANC’s incentive scheme was announced by secretary-general Gwede Mantashe on Monday, but he did not give details on how it was going to work.

He said the youth unemployment strategy would be dealt with in the cabinet lekgotla, which got under way in the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The youth organisations, which met under the banner of the Progressive Youth Alliance, said they “noted newspaper reports which claim that the ANC lekgotla which sat over the weekend resolved to implement the DA-sponsored youth wage subsidy.

“We were part of the lekgotla and are aware that the ANC will be discussing policy details in relation to the youth employment incentives, which include the job seekers grant.

“The (youth alliance) was part of the consultative process of the youth employment accord which was presented by government to all stakeholders at Nedlac. We believe that we are on the verge of an agreement with all the stakeholders at Nedlac,” said ANCYL acting secretary-general Kenetswe Mosenogi.

She said they would be watching closely the policy discussions seeking to resolve the crisis of youth unemployment and were confident that “the discredited youth wage subsidy will not be thrown into the process through the back door by our ANC government”.

Mosenogi said their youth structures were finalising a discussion document on jobs for youth that they hoped would take into account all their views and those of other young people in the country.

The youth alliance said it would be convening a summit from March 7 to 10 to discuss various issues affecting young people.

“The aim of the summit will be to adopt a common national youth programme that will look into socio-economic transformation, education, health and an integrated youth development strategy, and our approach as young people towards a total victory by the ANC in the forthcoming general elections,” Mosenogi said.

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