‘Nedlac making progress on youth wage grant’

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe assures MPs progress is being made on the youth wage subsidy.

Lindiwe Mazibuko. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on Wednesday side-stepped questions on the youth wage subsidy.

While answering questions in the National Assembly, he assured Members of Parliament (MPs) that progress is being made on the issue by the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

President Jacob Zuma first announced the subsidy during the opening of Parliament back in 2010.

The subsidy aims to help first-time jobseekers gain entry into the labour market.

However, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is opposed to the subsidy, while the Democratic Alliance (DA) supports it.

DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said the scheduled debate on the issue promised by Motlanthe, provided no answers.

"He called it D-day, but I'm not sure if the deputy president briefed the honoured Patel properly on this matter because we didn't get any answers."

Mazibuko complained there has been no clarity.

"In fact, there's more doubt and confusion about the status of the youth wage subsidy than before."

But Motlanthe said, "We've a mandate out to our representatives in Nedlac, to ensure they speed up the process."

Although Mazibuko appeared dissatisfied with his reply, she nodded her head in acquiescence.

In May, the DA marched to the Cosatu House in Johannesburg as it believes the trade union is blocking the implementation of the subsidy.

The protest turned violent when DA and Cosatu members clashed.