Cosatu calls on government, banks to cancel study loans for young people
Durban - Cosatu has called on government, commercial banks and institutions of higher learning to consider the cancellation of academic loans for new workers entering the labour market and all those who are sitting at home, jobless.
The trade union's call comes as the country commemorates the 44th anniversary of the June 16 1976 Soweto Uprisings.
Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the youth were struggling with severe unemployment and the coronavirus and the ensuing lockdown had affected young people the most.
Pamla said that this year's Youth Day should be used as an opportunity to reflect and explore solutions that will help the country fix the problems that had been heightened by the lockdown and the pandemic.
"The federation would like to see the government helping the significant number of young workers who enter the labour market with an albatross of historical debt largely acquired through student loans around their necks.
"About 41% of these young people who have graduated are sitting at home and watching their dreams passing them by because of unemployment and indebtedness.
"It is about time that commercial banks, government, and institutions of higher learning need to review and consider the cancellation of academic loans for new workers entering the labour market and all those who are sitting at home," Pamla said.
Pamla also said that they wanted to see the assessment and the modification of the Youth Employment Scheme (YES), Employment Tax Incentive Scheme ( Youth Wage Subsidy) that "have both failed to deliver the required results in terms of youth unemployment alleviation".
"The YES programme is now about two years old and the ETI is almost eight years old but unemployment figures for young people have not changed for the better.
"We need a report on the funds allocated and tax relief schemes for companies versus the number of employment and learning opportunities created for young workers," added Pamla.