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Youth wage subsidy rejected

ANC delegates have rejected the youth wage subsidy in favour of a national youth service.

Gauteng ANC Chairman Paul Mashatile speaks to media at the ANC Policy Conference. Picture: ANC

JOHANNESBURG - Chair of the ANC's social transformation commission Paul Mashatile said on Friday its policy recommended the introduction of a form of compulsory national service for young people, who lack enough skills to get a job after leaving school.

Mashatile was speaking to media on the fourth and final day of the ANC Policy Conference in Gallagher Estate, Midrand.

He said people who were studying or have other options would however not be forced to participate.

Mashatile said the party wanted to help people who do not have options after finishing school.

"This should be made compulsory as far as possible, but we should not introduce any ideas of conscription."

He said it should get people off the streets.

"The compulsory nature of it is to avoid loitering rather than distracting kids who are already at university."

Mashatile said they were also looking at transport subsidies for those who needed them.

It also seems that the youth wage subsidy is no longer a viable option, after ANC delegates rejected the plan.

The subsidy was first proposed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, but was strongly opposed by The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

Mashatile was upfront about the fate of the youth wage subsidy.

"In the commission there was no support for youth subsidy as it was initially proposed."

He said delegates wanted to help job seekers, but not necessarily by putting money in their hands.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane and Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba, were speaking to the business community about government monitoring programmes and infrastructure projects.

The business briefing is taking place on the sidelines of the conference.

Chabane said one of the concerns raised by the business community has been late payments made by government departments.

"Some departments don't pay, and our suspicion is not because there is no money or capacity to pay, but because of corruption."

He said a system has been implemented which will see every payment being tracked properly.

"Every transaction will be registered by National Treasury and every payment will be tracked electronically."

At the same time, Gigaba told business role players that private investment will help state owned companies achieve what they cannot afford to do on their own.

Meanwhile, the conference delegates are expected to report back on policy discussions on the economy and land reform.

Delegates broke into 11 commissions this week and started reporting back late on Thursday night.

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