Youth Wage subsidy urgently needed to save agri-jobs in Mpumalanga

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The DA has called for a Youth Wage Subsidy in the agricultural sector in Mpumalanga to prevent thousands of job losses as a result of wage increases and rising production costs. The DA formally requested Premier David Mabuza today to ask Treasury for an Agricultural Youth Wage Subsidy without delay.

The wage increase for farmworkers is welcome but government must now act to save farmworkers’ jobs as the costs of farming increase.

We cannot discount the fact that commercial agricultural enterprises in our province will be affected not only by the wage increase, but also by sky-rocketing electricity and production costs. The DA is highly concerned about recent reports of 2000 farm workers being retrenched in northern provinces. The long term job loss forecast could be as much 200 000 country-wide, it has been reported.

This is likely to have devastating consequences for youth jobs and the poorest of the poor.

During a meeting with premier Mabuza on July 3 last year, the premier emphasised the importance of a vibrant and productive agricultural sector. He also agreed on the importance of the youth wage subsidy and how it could contribute to skills transfer and the capacitation of our youth for the workplace. The Premier must now make the promised provincial submission to NEDLAC, asking for a speedy implementation of the subsidy for the agricultural sector.

People need a caring government, one which is truly in touch with people’s needs, and the effect economic decisions has on them and their daily lives.

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