“The youth unemployment continues to pose a danger to the security of our nation and stability of our family life. It is a time bomb that shall soon explode on us”, says His Exc. Mgr. Abel Gabuza, Bishop of Kimberley and the chair person of SACBC Justice and Peace Commission, in a statement on the occasion of the feast on 1 May.
Mgr. Gabuza has also called on the government to rethink its policy on youth wage subsidy and its ability to make a significant dent on the current levels of youth unemployment. “The statistics recently released on the state of youth unemployment and poverty in the country indicate that youth wage subsidy scheme has not been effective in eradicating youth unemployment. Despite the subsidy scheme, youth unemployment has risen from 3.14 million in 2009 to its current level of 3.38”, says His Exc. Mgr. Abel Gabuza in the statement sent to Agenzia Fides.
The subsidy program, initiated in 2014 and which was to end by December 2016, was extended for another year. According to Mgr. Gabuza this is not, however, enough to create new jobs, because “by the end of December this year, the programme is supposed to create 423 000 new jobs. Even if it manages to achieve its intended objectives, it would still fall far short of the more than 3.2 million job opportunities for the youth that the country needs”.
“Justice and Peace” also believes that South Africans should be worried about unfettered capitalism because “the realities of youth unemployment in our country are a symptom of a deeper problem of unfettered capitalism which has created a global economic crisis that the capitalists themselves are unable to solve”.
Mgr. Gabuza warns that “in a world where dignity of work is subordinated to the power of profit, we create a throw away society where a deep appreciation of the dignity of work is lost and where its youth and its elders are reduced to cost of production which can be easily discarded when it is not needed”