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No decision taken on youth unemployment

No decisions were taken on how the ANC will address the youth unemployment crisis in SA.

ANC president Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa on the last day of the ANC’s Mangaung conference on 20 December, 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

MANGUANG - ANC delegates have said they are deeply concerned about the effects of youth unemployment and have asked the party to address the matter urgently.

The issue was discussed during policy talks at the ANC's 53rd National Conference in Mangaung which ended on Thursday.

In the ANC's policy documents, various suggestions were made on youth unemployment, but no decisions were taken on which the party preferred.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said there should be incentives to promote youth employment.

"The mechanisms we have adopted until now, to address youth unemployment, have been wholly inadequate."

The ANC has adopted policy resolutions on key economic matters, including whether or not to nationalise.

Gigaba said wholesale nationalisation of mines was off the table.

"The national conference was eager that we provide final clarity on this issue; so there shouldn't be, from here, any expectation that the ANC will move out of here and start deciding who and where we are going to nationalise".

The conference ended last night, with the newly elected national executive committee (NEC) being announced.

It includes most of President Jacob Zuma's allies, while those who opposed his slate in the top six elections have been left out in the cold.

Zuma emerges from the Mangaung conference more politically powerful than ever.

Delegates have backed him on the National Development Plan (NDP) and the new NEC will give him more support than its predecessor did.

This will make Zuma's life easier, and it could also allow him to be more assertive in government.

By anointing Cyril Ramaphosa as his deputy, he may also have managed to stop any damage succession battle before it starts.

Now Zuma should be able to focus on the country's problems and push forward the implementation of the NDP, aims to eliminate poverty and unemployment in the country by 2030.

But if the ANC president is unable to create jobs and the get the economy going, the party could be blamed for rising youth unemployment.

Also, the future existence of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) is now in doubt and has been put in the hands of the new NEC.