‘Abandoned’ by NYDA

2018-03-13 13:26
The irate youth of Dambuza say they were 'left hanging' by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) after they were enrolled onto a R6 million youth development programme. Londeka Mkhize with her classmates outside the Dambuza community hall holding up one of the T-shirts they were given by the NYDA

The irate youth of Dambuza say they were 'left hanging' by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) after they were enrolled onto a R6 million youth development programme. Londeka Mkhize with her classmates outside the Dambuza community hall holding up one of the T-shirts they were given by the NYDA

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Fifty youngsters in Dambuza, Edendale, claim they have been left high and dry by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) after they were enrolled in a R6 million programme.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is an agency funded and functioning under the Presidency that helps with youth learnerships for the unemployed.

Londeka Mkhize, one of the students enrolled in the programme, told The Witness that in 2016, then-minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe handed over R6 million to the NYDA for the Dambuza learnership programmes, but in December 2017 they were told there were no funds for them to complete their plumbing and boilermaker learnerships.

“The programme was launched in September 2016, we only started attending classes at the local community hall in June 2017 and only attended for five months.

Nosipho Hlohlela said they have been receiving stipends of R2 200 a month but that too stopped in December, which made them think they had really been abandoned by the NYDA. “We want to know the way forward. We want to know what will happen,” she said.

Another student, Nontobeko Dyoda, said they were “running out of patience”.

“This is so frustrating. They send us messages that make no sense. They also changed our programmes from learnerships to short skill programmes, which is not what was launched in 2016,” she said.

The students said some of the participants in the programme chose to cut their losses and move on.

“Some looked for piecemeal jobs and those who can afford to study are studying. We were hopeful when this programme was launched thinking we would benefit, but it has wasted almost three years of our lives,” said Dyoda.

Lerato Gambu, NYDA’s spokesperson, said they were aware of the situation and measures had been put in place to ensure that the project would be completed on time.

He said the initial delays were as a result of unexpected delays in procuring a training provider. “The agency is strict in its appointment of service providers and as a result we had to go back to the market more than two times to secure a qualified, competent and accredited service provider. The current delays are mainly caused by the misunderstanding between the TVET College and the training provider, which we are addressing,” he said.

Gambu said the programme was not a learnership but purely a National Youth Service (NYS) category 1 project, which seeks to skill unemployed youth with accredited skills and an opportunity to serve their communities, as well as enhance their employability.

He also refuted the allegations that the project was out of funds. “We are still within the approved budget for the project, but we are also strict in adhering to the Public Finance Management Act as it relates to payment of services provided. We only pay when services are satisfactorily delivered,” he said.

Gambu said the training provider has been given very clear instructions to complete the technical training as per the revised project schedule. He promised that the NYS executive director and project manager will visit the site this week “to allay the fears of the participants and assure them that the project will be completed”.

“The 50 young people are a critical resource for the municipality, the province and the country and it is our intention that they stay engaged to complete the training,” he said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  nyda

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