Catholic bishops call for review of youth wage subsidy

Bishop Gabuza, the chair person of SACBC Justice and Peace Commission, has said that there is not much to celebrate on the international workers day this year as long as millions of young people in the country remain unemployed and desperate.

Justice and Peace Commission believes that youth unemployment in our country has now reached dangerous levels, with many of our unemployed youth now being highly exposed to drug abuse, human trafficking, recruitment to life of crime and manipulation by unscrupulous politicians who recruit them for violent protests and political destabilisation.

Bishop Gabuza has therefore called on the government and the ANC policy conference in June to review the youth wage subsidy and its ability to reverse the youth unemployment trends in South Africa.

In the absence of an impact study that demonstrates the contrary, to us, the youth wage subsidy will remain a costly and unsustainable venture which subsidizes the private companies and boosts their profit margins, without creating an enforceable obligation on the part of private companies to develop a certain level of skills and retain a certain percentage of young people as permanent employees.

Bishop Gabuza has also warned that youth unemployment will not be addressed comprehensively in our country if the culture of corruption and patronage networks continues to prevail.

It is true that, to lower the current levels of youth unemployment, the government needs to adopt a radical economic transformation. It should however be a radical economic transformation that benefits all, and not only a few who are politically connected. We also note with sadness that the current culture of political leadership, which is rooted in corruption and patronage politics, lacks the ethical capacity to realize such a radical and inclusive economic transformation.

Person: Bishop Gabuza

Designation: Chair person of SACBC Justice and Peace Commission


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