Media 'not interested' in youth issues
Pretoria - National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) chairperson Andile Lungisa on Monday lamented the media's "lack of interest" in covering youth issues, saying it was "more attracted by the burning of tables".
"I'm not Miss South Africa so I can't attract media, we must burn tables for the media to be interested," Lungisa said in Pretoria at the launch of the youth month programme.
This was after a question was raised about the lack of NYDA visibility and awareness, particularly in townships.
Lungisa said the media was partly to blame as it did not cover many of NYDA's projects, particularly e.tv.
He further urged the media to be more committed to youth development.
Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, admitted the Agency was not making an impact on the youth as indicated by feedback received.
He said there were plans to expand the organisation's reach.
"We will work on new strategies so that people can know about its existence and services. People do not know, we've noted that and we will work on it."
It was also revealed at the briefing that the current budget allocated to the agency for the current financial was R380m.
Chabane explained that the National Treasury used the fund allocation for the youth commission and Umsobomvu as a basis to determine the budget for the NYDA.
"We don't have money at all times to do what we want to do...if the money is not sufficient, projects could be postponed or suspended until resources are available."
35 years since Soweto uprising
Inclusive of the June youth programmes under the theme "Youth Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime" , is the June 16 celebrations at Orlando stadium commemorating the 35th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising.
President Jacob Zuma would be the main speaker there. Chabane said this year's youth month programme took place within the context of government's declaration of 2011 as the year of job creation and was consistent with the struggles of unemployment and poverty faced by the youth in South Africa and those abroad.
"It is consistent with the government's commitment of meaningful economic transformation and inclusive growth towards the total eradication of poverty and towards the development of the South African community," he said.
June 16 also marks the second anniversary of the establishment of the NYDA.
Moving forward, Lungisa said NYDA intended expanding the satellite offices from 114 to 280.
Chabane said the agency had facilitated youth access to business funding to the value of R64.4m and this business funding had been issued to youth-owned enterprises supporting 31 000 young entrepreneurs with business loan finance.
As part of its contribution to job creation the NYDA had for the past two years sustained closed to 60 000 jobs through various initiatives, Chabane said.
The Youth Agency came under spotlight with its hosting of the international youth festival in December. It had been allocated R75m and incurred expenses of over R100m. The festival report detailing expenses has since not been made public.
Chabane said it first had to go through Cabinet.
Lungisa said all the expenses incurred at the festival had been paid.
"The youth festival is history, we are focusing on other things now."