South Africa is facing the reality of extremely high youth unemployment rates. The
problem poses a threat to the country’s economic development and future labour
force projections. In response, the South African government has promulgated the
Employment Tax Incentive Act, 2013 (Act 26 of 2013), a targeted employer-side
supply wage subsidy which requires a significant degree of public-private sector cooperation.
The purpose of this study is to determine perceptions of local businesses
regarding youth unemployment and the aforementioned act to determine its feasibility
as an appropriate tool to address this problem. A qualitative research approach was
used to collect data. A total of 13 in-depth interviews were conducted with business
representatives in the Vaal Triangle region, Gauteng. Results of the study indicate that
92 percent of the interviewed business representatives support the act. However, its
effectiveness in contributing to the employment of the youth is impeded by supply
side issues of the said crisis that make businesses reluctant to hire young people.
Strict labour policies and laws also induce difficulties restricting its implementation.