Radebe calls on business to help job creation

The Minister of Justice urged business to create platforms for the recruitment of young people.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Justice Minister Jeff Radebe on Thursday said youth unemployment remains a major obstacle in South Africa.

Radebe was speaking at the South Africa Turkish Business Awards at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, honouring businessmen and women who are putting South Africa on the global map.

He said more companies in South Africa need to invest in young people, putting in place drastic measures to ensure development of human capital.

Radebe added that companies should be encouraged to employ young professionals on a far greater scale.

This followed reports that about half of South Africa's youth are unemployed. A wage subsidy was critically debated by many stakeholders showing its pros and cons.

The scheme was proposed by the treasury in an aim to curb the escalated rate of unemployment among the youth, particularly those with qualifications.

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel confirmed last year 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 2012, 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.

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.