The DA will make a detailed written submission on the draft National Youth Policy (NYP): 2014-2019 that was released for comment last week.
Despite the fact that youth unemployment is one of the most serious problems facing South Africa, with a youth unemployment rate of 67.4%, the NYP is woefully thin on workable solutions for job creation and economic inclusion.
The NYP tries to funnel old wine into new bottles, but its ideas are so corked they might as well be thrown on the rubbish heap.
For example, the draft policy threatens to introduce a “second phase” of the Youth Employment Accord, the first phase of which has been an abject failure. It waxes lyrical about the introduction of hare-brained schemes such as “youth brigades”, which it hopes will engage 1 million youth in public employment schemes over the next two years, without saying exactly how. And it makes vague noises about the Department of Small Business Development developing a “mass youth enterprise creation programme”, which is likely to be a non-starter.
The NYP completely misses the boat on job creation for the youth. Instead of tinkering at the edges, it should put forward bold proposals on how to:
Ramp up Youth Wage Subsidy, the need for which was recently reinforced by a University of Cape Town report into the effect of the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI)
Deregulate the labour markets so that the youth can more easily find work. This means making it easier to hire workers through amendments to the Labour Relations Act, enhancing temporary work, democratising labour negotiations, and easing the burden of labour regulations in the small business sector and
Create incentives for (rather than impose penalties on) the private sector to take on first time-employees and get more involved in training.
Because the Deputy Ministry in charge of drafting the NYP is beholden to the Young Communist League and other crypto-communist organisations like the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), its approach is misguided. It offers up stale, interventionist, public-sector-led proposals, to appease the likes of Cosatu and the SACP.
Instead, the NYP should commit unequivocally to the implementation and intensification of the youth wage subsidy so that we can begin to make a real dent in youth unemployment.
Shadow Deputy Minister for the Presidency
Source : Democratic Alliance