Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
The following is an excerpt from a statement made by Anthony Benadie to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature today.
Today the DA Youth marched peacefully on the headquarters of COSATU in Johannesburg, to hand over a memorandum demanding that the trade federation support the Youth Wage Subsidy, a policy that could create an estimated 423 000 jobs for young, unemployed South Africans.
However, in response Cosatu supporters, after being instigated by their leadership for the past few days, resorted to violence to disrupt the march, and in scenes reminiscent of the June 1976 youth uprisings, started pelting DA Youth members and the police with stones and bricks.
The DA absolutely condemns Cosatu’s disregard for the right to assemble and the right to stage peaceful demonstrations, as enshrined in our Constitution.
Cosatu has shown its true colours, and has shown that it has become the key stumbling blocking to job creation. The Youth Wage Subsidy is an ANC policy – in fact, finance minister Pravin Gordhan has already budgeted for the subsidy, indicating a sizeable support for it from the national ANC leadership.
The DA therefore challenges the ANC’s structures to condemn Cosatu’s actions, its opposition to job creation and to support the Youth Wage Subsidy. By doing so, thousands of our unemployed youth be taken from the streets, out of the taverns, away from crime, and into sustainable jobs and skills development programmes.
We are in government to create a better life for all South Africans, and we should do everything in our power to make ensure that it happens “in our lifetime”. Cosatu needs to come clean and make it clear why they oppose the subsidy, and once and for all prove whether they do indeed care about job creation and a prosperous South Africa.