Without providing further details, the African National Congress (ANC) said it wants the rising unemployment among young people declared a national crisis. This is according to economic transformation sub-committee chairperson Mmamoloko Kubayi.
Briefing reporters at the party’s policy conference held in Johannesburg, Kubayi said delegates were adamant that “a response and intervention” was needed.
Asked whether a grant was being proposed similar to the government’s Covid-19 relief social grant, Kubayi said policy and implementation regarding the proposal was in the hands of government.
“What is proposed is that the same we had done with the Covid pandemic, which was declared a national disaster… There are interventions to cut the red tape and resources be given.
“Remember this is policy discussion so the ‘how’ part needs to be done by the state,” she said on Saturday night.
Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) data shows that young people bore the burden of high unemployment and are disadvantaged in the labour market with an unemployment rate higher than the national average.
The current official national rate is at 34,5%.
‘Change labour laws’
The ANC commission further discussed changing labour laws to allow certain skills to be set aside for South Africans, in response to the growing discontent with foreign nationals accused of taking locals’ job opportunities.
Kubayi said many South Africans are desperate and are competing with foreign nationals for unskilled jobs.
“Members felt that the labour laws need to be strengthened when it comes to the employment of foreign nationals. We do feel that we left it open…where foreign nationals occupy no-scare-skill spaces.
“The majority of South Africans are unemployed and displaced and, therefore, they need for us to enforce the laws so we would be able to bring in foreigners for the critical skills,” she said.