Ministers to attend Nedlac to expedite resolution on youth subsidy

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cape Town - Three government ministers are expected to attend Nedlac sessions soon to expedite the debate around the implementation of a youth-wage subsidy, the Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe revealed on Wednesday.

In response to questions from opposition members on when the youth wage subsidy would be implemented, Motlanthe said the cabinet had agreed that the process at Nedlac should be fast-tracked and finalised and that the specifics of a multi-pronged youth strategy be developed before it proceeds with new measures.

"We are treating this matter with the urgency that it deserves, that is why three ministers are going to be interacting with Nedlac to ensure that we get this report (on the initiative).

"We are no less eager to get the report and get going than you on the other side of the house (opposition members) are," he said.

Commenting on the initiative, Motlanthe said: "It (the youth wage subsidy) may not be in the original form, it may be in the form of a more effective way".

In a question from DA MP Tim Harris on whether he would support the scrapping of the extension of bargaining council agreements to small businesses that were non-party members, Motlanthe said that his view was not as important as that of Parliament, which should debate this suggestion.

However, he said he was weary of any suggestion which would do away with the rights of workers.

In response to a question from the opposition on the economic effect that the Marikana shooting has had, Motlanthe said it was too early to make an assessment as to whether the Marikana shooting had impacted negatively on shareholder confidence.

In response to a question from the ANC on what measures the government was putting in place to improve infrastructure on the continent, Motlanthe said based on lessons in the past, a new engagement framework was being developed to guide and catalyse state-owned companies involvement in infrastructure projects.

"The framework will provide a clear funding model and a process of building mutually beneficial relationships between our state-owned companies and partner countries on the continent," he said, adding that Eskom, Transnet and SAA had set up business teams focused on developing strategies to target Africa.

He said broadband infrastructure to be rolled out in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West and would improve international connectivity to the West African Cable System.

Currently, Infraco is connecting two clients, Namibia and Botswana, in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, he said.

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