Numsa: Wage subsidy will only line the pockets of rich employers

The problem of unemployed young people is too big to be solved through a R5-billion wage subsidy, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said on Saturday.

“This huge problem requires a bigger response,” he said.

Government solutions must involve a massive skills revolution for young people. This included the reopening of nursing colleges, the filling of all further education and training facilities and the adoption of a manufacturing-based industrial strategy, Numsa president Cedric Gina said in a speech.

He was speaking at the 25th anniversary of Numsa in Athlone, in the Western Cape.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) was opposed to the current proposed youth wage subsidy. This was because “unpatriotic” South African employers would use the subsidy to “line their pockets”, he said.

There was also a fear employers would replace older employees with younger ones to avoid higher salaries.

Democratic centralism
“Today, we talk of lack of critical skills as a country because South African unpatriotic employers have not trained young people in numbers in order to ensure that when big projects like Kusile and Medupi take place, we do not import skills from other countries,” said Gina

He called on Numsa members to approach the upcoming Cosatu congress with the purpose of ensuring that the federation emerged united.

“We must be self-critical as we approach this congress and pose a frank question about whether (or not) we have implemented the 2015 plan that we adopted in 2003.”

Numsa was a forum that debated issues across its structures, he said.

“You are a union that still believes and subscribes to democratic centralism,” he told the audience.

“The country is grappling with the role of the Reserve Bank today because of your campaigns. You are striking union. The country is grappling with the issue of labour brokers today because of your campaigns where you achieved superior agreements about phasing out labour in your sectors,” said Gina. — Sapa.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Guest Author

Taxis and Covid-19: ‘The ideal doesn’t exist’

After months of complaining about the regulations imposed on the industry, taxi owners have been given a lifeline

Mask rules are not meant to ‘criminalise’ the public

Shop owners and taxi drivers can now refuse entry to people who defy mandatory mask-wearing regulations

Ramaphosa asks all South Africans to help to avoid 50...

Calling this ‘the gravest crisis in the history of our democracy’, the president said level three lockdown remains, but enforcement will be strengthened

Reinstated Ingonyama Trust managers hit with retrenchment notices

The effect of Covid-19 and the land reform department’s freeze of R23-million because the ITB didn’t comply with budget submissions are cited as some of the reasons for the staff cuts

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday