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'Youth unemployment not a game'

Gordhan warns MPs not to turn youth unemployment into a petty political issue.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament (MPs) should not turn employment and the Youth Wage Subsidy into a political football game, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Friday.

He was speaking ahead of the Treasury's budget vote in the National Assembly.

Earlier this week, the Democratic Alliance condemned the delayed implementation of the Youth Wage Subsidy.

Gordhan said creating jobs for the youth cannot be delayed.

But, he asked MPs to give the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) process a chance.

"These are real people. These are young people who have aspirations for themselves and their families. Let's not make them the subject of cheap political shots."

The DA's Tim Harris took the opportunity to hit out at Cosatu for delaying the process.

On Tuesday, Cosatu and DA members were involved in violent clashes during a protest march in Johannesburg CBD over the Youth Wage Subsidy.

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

The federation believes companies could retrench older workers because employers will receive large sums for hiring youth.