Attempts to speed up youth wage subsidy

Officials are trying to speed up talks around the controversial youth wage subsidy.

Hellen Zille marches. Picture: Andrea van Wyk/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel on Monday confirmed that attempts to speed up the youth wage subsidy were underway.

He said efforts to accelerate talks at national level continue.

The scheme sparked heated debate, which led to violent protests in South Africa.

In May, the Democratic Alliance (DA) marched to the Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) House in Johannesburg.

The demonstration turned violent after Cosatu members clashed with the protesters.

Several people including a Mail&Guardian reporter were injured.

President Jacob Zuma has admitted that Cosatu was blocking the introduction of the wage subsidy.

Negotiations at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) have deadlocked as Cosatu opposes the initiative.

The federation believes employers will hire younger workers at a lower wage, at the expense of older and more experienced employees.

Patel said discussions regarding the wage subsidy have been escalated to senior level.

In a written reply to a Parliamentary question, he said the process was being accelerated to coincide with youth month.