Parties want NYDA intervention

2010-10-17 21:06

Johannesburg - Parties on Sunday called for the president to intervene in the selection of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) board - said to be dominated by ANC Youth League members.

"This sends the wrong message about how independent bodies should be staffed and creates the impression that the NYDA is nothing more than a patronage machine for Youth League aspirants," DA spokesperson Mbali Ntuli said in a statement.

The Democratic Alliance Youth supported the Young Communist League's call for President Jacob Zuma to intervene and depoliticise the NYDA.

Ntuli said the provincial advisory boards, which advised the NYDA board on programmes of action in their respective provinces, should represent a cross-section of youth organisations from civil society and political parties.

"But with the provincial advisory boards stacked with ANCYL members, they are unlikely to fulfil their mandate in a fair and independent way."

She said South African youth carried the burden of a poor education and faced the prospects of long-term unemployment, and needed serious government commitment.

"... the agency's credibility has been compromised by cadre deployment, delayed provincial advisory board appointments and pathetic performance."

AfriForum Youth had requested a meeting with the NYDA leadership to discuss its role and effectiveness, and to question whether it was executing its mandate to develop South African youth from all walks of life.


"With the announcement of the NYDA's provincial advisory boards on October 13, it is clear that good initiatives like the NYDA has been hijacked by the ANCYL.

"Out of the 63 advisory members announced, only two were white, whilst other minorities are not even represented at all," AfriForum Youth spokesperson, Ernst Roets, said in a statement.

He said the agency should act as a catalyst for opening opportunities to the youth as a whole and not as a "government-funded support programme" for the ANCYL.

"It is important for the state to realise that whilst they had been elected by the majority, they still need to include all citizens in the development of the country.

The vast majority of the 63 board members appointed were reportedly active in the ANCYL.

The Sunday Times reported that among those appointed were members known to be associated with league president Julius Malema.

These members included Eastern Cape league chairperson Ayanda Matiti, and treasurer Nombeko Mazwi, Free State chair Frans Moswane, Gauteng deputy chair Simon Molefe, and Mpumalanga treasurer Lerato Theko.

Legal action

The Young Communist League questioned the selection for the agency and threatened to take legal action.

It called for Zuma to intervene, the newspaper reported.

The agency was launched in 2009 when the National Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund were merged after the youth league argued the two bodies were ineffective.

Agency president Andile Lungisa, who is also the ANCYL deputy president, reportedly said the process of appointing the board had been properly followed.

The agency had an annual budget of R370m and was accountable to minister of monitoring and evaluation, Collins Chabane.

Chabane's spokesperson, Harold Maloka, told the Sunday Times that the ministry was aware of complaints. However, the appointments were dealt with by the agency.

The ministry can only deal with the allegations after they have had spoken to the agency.

"At this stage it does not need the minister," Maloka said.