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ANC endorses youth employment scheme

The ANC has endorsed the youth employment scheme, an initiative to help first-time job seekers.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe at a post-NEC briefing on 21 May, 2012. Picture: Tshepo Lesole/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) on Monday endorsed the youth employment sheme.
The initiative aims to help first-time job seekers gain entry into the labour market.

The ruling party made the announcement at Johannesburg’s Luthuli House on Monday.

While the ANC and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) are on the same page regarding the scheme, the ruling party's position on teaching being considered an essential service could lead to some conflict.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said, “The lekgotla prioritised the importance of schools in development. It also agreed the mechanism to monitor all round accountability in the sector should be devised as a matter of urgency.

“As a number one priority, the ANC and government will leave no stone unturned in making education an essential service."

The ANC said the subsidy is not a silver bullet, but rather a collection of various interventions to help young South Africans.

“This scheme will target young people marginalised from labour force participation, unemployed young graduates and students in higher education that need to compliment formal studies with practical work,” Mantashe said.

The finance ministry budgeted R5 billion for the plan.

The ANC also touched on the issue of violent service delivery protests, saying anarchy and lawlessness cannot be allowed in South Africa.

ESKOM HIKES

Eskom’s proposed electricity tariff hikes were also discussed.

Mantashe confirmed speculation that the ANC is rejecting Eskom's proposal.

He said the hikes will have an impact on the country's economy.

Mantashe said Eskom's proposed 16 percent tariff hike is not yet set in stone and must be challenged.

“We all accepted that it will actually have a negative impact on the economy and therefore, something will have to be done to keep it [electricity] from going to those levels.”

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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