Vavi slams DA

Cosatu's Vavi says the DA is not as pro-poor as it claims to be

Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: EWN

It is inconceivable that a neocolonial organisation like the Democratic Alliance (DA) can claim to represent the poor, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi said on Wednesday.

He made the comments while delivering his keynote address at an international policy conference in Kempton Park on Gauteng's East Rand.

Vavi said it was difficult to see white DA members marching side-by-side with poor black youths.

The secretary general said the current 32 percent unemployment rate in South Africa was a "ticking time bomb".

He said radical measures were needed to address the issue.

Vavi said it was not surprising that the poor might view the DA's pro-business policy as the solution to end poverty.

He warned the DA will take over the country if the governing party and its alliances don't deal with this threat.

Meanwhile, DA Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko on Tuesday said she will make an urgent submission in Parliament to ask President Jacob Zuma to explain his reasons for not implementing the Youth Wage Subsidy.

She said Cosatu's stance remains a stumbling block.

"We know that Cosatu has been holding up the Youth Wage Subsidy at Nedlac (National Economic Development and Labour Council), but the president needs to remember that Nedlac doesn't have to have a unanimous process in order for him to implement the subsidy."

Mazibuko said the plan needs to be put in place urgently.

On Tuesday, opposition demonstrators marched to Cosatu House in the Johannesburg CBD to hand over a memorandum of demands in support of the Youth Wage Subsidy.

Shortly before noon, violence erupted and the protest was abandoned.

The DA believes the subsidy will create work for over 400,000 unemployed youths, but Cosatu is opposed to the scheme.

The union believes companies could retrench older workers because employers will receive large amounts of money for hiring young people.