Cosatu's theory that the youth wage subsidy will result in exploitation is false, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.
"There is plenty of research that has been commissioned to test the validity of the youth wage subsidy all over the world," she told supporters at a march in favour of the subsidy system.
"It shows that young people will get absorbed in the workplace and there is no substitution and no exploitation."
She said the youth wage subsidy had been successfully implemented in Singapore and in the United Kingdom.
"Any youth wage subsidy policy has to be implemented within the framework of labour legislation," Mazibuko said.
"So Cosatu's argument that this will result in exploitation and substitution, we believe, is just a premise on which to prevent the ANC from implementing policy."
She accused the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) of playing politics with the lives of young people, who needed the wage subsidy because the education system had failed them.
The youth subsidy was a chance for young people to gain skills on the job.
Hundreds of Democratic Alliance supporters marched peacefully in Pietermaritzburg for the youth wage subsidy.
Mazibuko called on premier Zweli Mkhize to introduce the youth wage subsidy in KwaZulu-Natal.
"I am here to offer a challenge to Mkhize, I want him to ask Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for his share to implement the youth wage subsidy.
"The youth wage subsidy can address unemployment," she said.
Mkhize did not arrive to receive the DA's memorandum but sent provincial planning committee head Cyril Xaba to receive it on his behalf.
In a statement issued later, Mkhize said he had called on all political parties in the legislature to engage constructively on issues of youth development.
"We have expressed our hope that this matter which is currently before the national development and labour council will be resolved speedily and recommendations made to national and provincial cabinet.
"We can safely say that KwaZulu-Natal is readying itself for the implementation of this initiative."
The African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal said the DA's demands were all about political point scoring.
"The march was not necessary, because the provincial government has made it clear that it is readying itself for the implementation of the wage subsidy," provincial party secretary Sihle Zikalala said in a statement.
The DA missed an opportunity to take part in a discussion on youth development in the provincial legislature last week, he said.
"Instead the DA has opted to embark on public grandstanding exercise aimed at misleading the public."