Give NYDA budget to youth wages: DA

By Drum Digital
30 January 2013

The DA Youth has renewed its call for the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to be disbanded and the money used for other initiatives.

On Tuesday, the NYDA asked Parliament's appropriations standing committee to almost triple its funding for next year to R1.08 billion, up from the R376 million it was granted this financial year, Democratic Alliance Youth leader Makashule Gana said on Wednesday.

"In the face of continued under-performance by the NYDA, the DA Youth welcomes the rejection of the request by the committee and once again asserts that the agency should instead be disbanded and its budget put towards initiatives that can bring about real change to young people, such as a youth wage subsidy," he said.

If the NYDA's R376m budget was allocated to implementing a youth wage subsidy, over 10,162 job opportunities could be created.

"Surely this is of more value to South Africa's youth than an under-performing agency made up of ANC Youth League cronies more interested in their salaries than the welfare of young people?" Gana asked.

"How the agency has the nerve to pull out the begging bowl at every turn to ask for more funding in light of their dismal performance is beyond belief."

He said the NYDA had been without a national board since May 2012.

In a parliamentary reply in March 2012, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane had indicated that the NYDA's jobs online database -- one of the agency's flagship projects aimed at helping young people find jobs -- had since then connected young people with opportunities in only 10 companies or government departments.

Chabane had admitted that in many of these instances the companies or departments had not even used young people from the database because of the poor quality of candidates, Gana said.

He said the agency had spent only 40 percent of its budget this year on direct projects benefiting young people, and 42 percent (R174m) on salaries for the agency's 387 staff members, many of whom were "ANCYL-aligned cronies".

"It is most encouraging that Parliament is starting to recognise the gross under-performance of the NYDA.

"The DA youth hopes that they will soon come to realise that the NYDA does not have young people's best interests at heart and that state funds can be far better spent," Gana said.

-by Sapa

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