Wage subsidy no solution - Numsa
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 said at the weekend .
Speaking at the 25th anniversary of the union in Athlone, Western Cape, Numsa president Cedric Gina said this huge problem required a bigger response.
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, he said.
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.
"Today we as a country talk of a lack of critical skills because unpatriotic 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," Gina said.
He called on Numsa members to approach the coming 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 a striking union," Gina said.
"The country is grappling with the issue of labour brokers today because of your campaigns, where you achieved superior agreements on phasing out labour brokers in your sectors."