Wage subsidy will increase unemployment rate - Numsa

Numsa president added his voice to calls against government’s proposed Youth Wage Subsidy.

Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The president of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) added his voice to calls against the implementation of government's proposed Youth Wage Subsidy.

Cedric Gcina was speaking at the union's 25th anniversary celebrations on Saturday, at the Vygies Kraal Stadium in the Western Cape.

Gcina started his key note address by reflecting on the Union's history. He said it is symbolic that Numsa was formed in the midst of the state of emergency declared by former president Pieter Botha.

The president reminded Numsa members that the union has been at the forefront of the debate to ban labour brokers.

He said the proposed Youth Wage Subsidy will only result in an increase in job losses. He added that the recipients of the project will be used as cheap labour, by employers looking to cut their wage bill.

He said the high unemployment rate "requires a bigger response".

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is also opposed to the wage subsidy; it believes companies could retrench older workers in a bid to avoid higher salaries.

The trade union federation has said the project will also give employers large amounts for hiring members of the youth, which it believes could leave older employees jobless.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has argued that the subsidy could create more than 400, 000 jobs for unemployed youths.