Economic Freedom Fighters notes that the National Treasury has re-introduced the Wage Subsidy mechanism through a Bill, which if agreed upon by Parliament will legitimate tax incentives for all companies that employ youth. This is despite numerous efforts to practically illustrate to the people of South Africa and the ANC government that the problem of unemployment in South Africa is not simplistically the problem of unskilled/skilled workers, whom government must pay companies to employ for experience purposes.
The crisis of South Africa’s unemployment is a consequence of joblessness, meaning that there are no enough jobs in South Africa to absolve all the people who are looking for jobs. The South African economy is because of its colonial features, a jobless economy which in the current state cannot be able to absolve the entirety of the workforce available for job opportunities. The current structure of the South African neo-liberal economy is structurally incapable of giving jobs to all the people who are capable of working and cannot find jobs.
To simplify this obvious question, wage subsidy or tax incentive which government is insisting is a solution to youth unemployment is tantamount of bribing a bus conductor to load more people into a bus which is already full, with the view that such will take all people to their destination. EFF does not agree with such kind of a formula because we believe that with the resources at its disposal, South Africa is capable of buying additional one, two or three buses to take people to their destinations.
Economically, this means that South Africa should create more job opportunities for the youth in all sectors of the economy, particularly in agriculture, minerals, retail and services sectors. The South African government can and should create more job opportunities in agriculture through substituting all food imports, and beneficiating/industrialising the country’s mineral resources.
To create sustainable jobs in agriculture and minerals sector requires a thoroughgoing land and minerals redistribution which should be State led. This also requires protected industrial development and introduction of adequate minimum wages to improve the quality of work and people’s livelihoods. This lies at the centre of EFF’s economic policy approach, which includes protected industrial development and introduction of minimum wages as one of the non-negotiable 7 cardinal pillars for economic freedom in our lifetime.
Wage subsidies and tax incentives will not address the youth unemployment dilemma as companies will only employ youth for the duration of the subsidy and dump them into the pool of the unemployed once the subsidy or the incentive is no more existent. This happened during the era of internships, wherein companies employed youth as long as their salaries were paid for by government, and dumped them once the internship programme lapsed. Corporations will replace existing workers with subsidised/incentivised workers, therefore worsening job losses in the formal sector.
The current government is confused and recurrently failing to diagnose the simple and obvious reality that SA’s economy is structurally jobless. The economy is jobless because the South African economy does not have a strong industrial and manufacturing sector which could absolve many young unemployed people. It is only an EFF government which will implement in all spheres of government, job creation initiatives and programmes which will absolve the unemployed youth, because EFF has a cogent programme on beneficiation, industrialisation and expansion of the manufacturing sector of the economy. The Youth of South Africa should not be misled by the current government, which only believes in giving money (bribing) corporations into creating jobs, instead of creating additional real job opportunities for the people.
The youth, elders and all South Africans should now realise and accept that in the area of creation of sustainable job opportunities, the post-1994 government is confused, directionless and altogether mediocre. There will not be additional jobs created by the current government as claimed, instead many jobs will be lost due to the wage subsidy and tax incentives introduced by the National Treasury.
The 2014 General Elections should be the platform to dismiss the ANC from government because they simply do not know what they are doing and are going around cycles of structural poverty, unemployment and inequalities with no real solutions. EFF is the only hope for a sustainable future and all youth should vote EFF for a better tomorrow.
ISSUED BY THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 73 133 3012
Email: [email protected]