Government more a hindrance than a help to young people: IRR

Labour law amendments to regulate labour broking and plans to extend minimum wages will keep unskilled youngsters out of the economy‚ the SA Institute of Race Relations (IRR) said in a statement.

“Contrary to what it claims‚ the Government is doing more to hinder than to help young people participate in the economy‚” the IRR said on Monday.

The IRR was reacting to a statement issued by the Presidency in response to its recent report entitled Born Free But Still in Chains.

That report found that “born frees” — people born after 1990 — will increasingly become more involved in violent protests and abandon democratic institutions‚ due to ongoing political and economic alienation.

Plans to extend minimum wages would likely exacerbate this situation‚ the IRR said‚ as they would “price even more young people out of the labour market”.

 “These policies might have been designed to appeal to Cosatu”‚ the IRR said‚ but the major beneficiary was likely to be the Economic Freedom Fighters as government “had no answer to the populist rhetoric the EFF was using to attract black youth”.

 The IRR agreed with the Presidency’s statement that said “recent statistics have painted a picture that indicates that black South Africans are still missing out on essential skills while young white and coloured people are soaring in gaining skills”.

But correcting this‚ the IRR contended‚ “can never be fulfilled as long as the government fails to fix the dysfunctional schools which the great majority of young black South Africans have no choice but to attend“.

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