ANCYL 'hijacks' R1bn youth agency
Gloria Edwards, Beeld
Johannesburg – The presidency is investigating the “hijacking” of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) by the ANC Youth League.
Most of the core positions in the NYDA, which had received about R1bn from the state, are currently held by Youth League members who receive enormous salaries.
Earlier it seemed the NYDA had broken its own rules with the appointment of various youth league members to the provincial advisory boards in the seven provinces.
Opposition youth leaders asked Collins Chabane, minister in the presidency tasked with monitoring and evaluation to whom the NYDA is accountable, to disband the advisory boards and order that the process to be restarted from scratch.
Based on NYDA’s report on the recruitment of 63 advisory board members, it seems the process was manipulated to accept late applications and candidates nominated by NYDA board members themselves.
Andile Lungisa, chairperson of the agency and deputy leader of the ANC youth league, reportedly placed his own candidates on the shortlist after the closing date and overturned decisions made by the selection panel.
In doing so, apparently, the NYDA board illegally appointed chairpersons and deputy chairpersons for six advisory boards, including those of KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, the North-West, the Free State and Gauteng.
Limpopo and the Northern Cape appointed their advisory boards before the NYDA board decided, early in September, to do the appointments for the other six provinces simultaneously, thus pushing back the closing date for nominations.
In the Western Cape, four of the seven advisory board members are youth league activists.
According to the report, which was seen by Beeld, the board decided on September 14 that “applications and recommendations given directly to board members (after the closing date) should be seen as part of the applications, not as late applications”.
According to the report, “self-nominated candidates” who had been recommended by NYDA board members were appointed, while other candidates were rejected because they had not been nominated by a political party, non-governmental organisation or youth development agency.
In the process, candidates from various opposition parties were apparently removed from shortlists and replaced with ANC Youth League members.
The board also appointed three candidates who either have criminal records or refused to undergo fingerprint analyses.
Chabane asked the agency for a report on the appointment process, Harold Maloka, ministerial spokesperson, said on Sunday.
AfriForum Youth leader Ernst Roets, who recently took the NYDA to task for allegedly only providing financing for black youths, said it is “shocking how the ANC has hijacked the agency”.
Lungisa said the nomination process was “open to all young people and youth organisations”.
According to him, any organisation or young person can approach the NYDA with concerns, but information can only be obtained by invoking the Promotion of Access to Information Act.