'Endless' NYDA selection process postponed for public participation

Cape Town – The “endless” process to appoint a new National Youth Development Agency board has been postponed until March.

A total of 256 MPs voted in favour of the postponement, and 17 against it, in the National Assembly on Tuesday. There was one abstention.

Parliament’s ad hoc committee tasked with finding a new board failed to shortlist candidates before the deadline, which was this week.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu told the House he was not impressed with the postponement of the process.

The ad hoc committee had failed to form a quorum on numerous occasions, he said.

“We reject the motion because on many occasions this Parliament was supposed to finish the process, but it is held up because of squabbles within the ANC. It is endless,” he said.

He questioned the interim measures put in place, after the current board’s term expired, and said the NYDA was currently being run by an illegal entity.

The current board’s three-year term ended on March 31 this year.   

'State of limbo'

DA MP Yusuf Cassim said the process showed the NYDA was “nothing other than an employment agency for the ANC Youth League and its alliance partners”.

Time had been wasted, resources exhausted and young people were becoming yet another political football being passed around, Cassim said.

IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa called on ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu to crack the whip in getting the process finalised.

They all knew the board’s current term had ended, yet there was no replacement. This “state of limbo” was due to patronage, he said.

“Even requirements were now being lowered. Let’s not do this to the people of the country,” Hlengwa said.

The committee’s co-chairperson Phil Mapulane said they wanted the extension to allow for public participation and for the process to be as transparent as possible.

He pleaded for a little more time, so the “process can have integrity”.

The committee had until March 31, 2017 to report back to the National Assembly.

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