Youth challenge Zuma over jobs

YOUTH bodies that met for South Africa's first "jobs for the youth" summit have challenged President Jacob Zuma to include the creation of jobs for young people in the performance agreement with national ministers.

Young Communist League secretary Buti Manamela told a media briefing at Cosatu House in Braamfontein last week that assessment of ministers that excluded the creation of jobs for young people lacked relevance.

"Any form of performance monitoring that does not include the creation of jobs for the youth does not help us," Manamela said.

"The stability of this country hinges on the creation of jobs for young people."

Youth unemployment in South Africa has been described as a ticking time bomb posing a bigger problem to stability than crime.

The latest Labour Force Survey published by Statistics South Africa found that more than 35percent of capable citizens were unemployed.

At least 74percent of these were young people while 63,5percent of these job seekers have been without income for more than a year.

The jobs summit also lamented the failure of the National Youth Development Agency to assist young people.

The agency, which applied for a R1billion funding from the state, was allocated only R340million in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's budget for the 2010/2011 financial year.

Manamela said a coalition of youth formations would also engage Gordhan on the proposed wage subsidy.