The Committee held an all-day workshop with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), in which the NYDA gave presentations on due diligence, merger and mandate; organisational profile and footprint; products and services, with special reference to skills development, counselling, the national youth service (on skills, development, counselling, donations and sponsorships; the 2012/13 budget allocation; the
legislative framework and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) process; organisational performance; and the
NYDA funding submission – summary and strategic rationale.
Some 4.7 million young people, the NYDA’s core priority, found themselves without sufficient skills and education to access and retain meaningful employment, despite their desire to participate actively in the economy. The NYDA said it was well placed to scale up its activities to take on the challenge by driving internal efficiencies and assuming an active role in both direct and partner-funded programmes. However, the current funding level had proved insufficient to make a substantial impact. By increasing the grant from R376 million for the current financial year to R1.088 billion in 2013/14, the NYDA would be in a position substantially to increase the depth and reach of its programmes as well as grow and manage a self-sustaining lending facility. The impact would be that the 4.7 million under-skilled, under-employed youth could be reached with targeted awareness initiatives while 17% of the group would be able to access skills and finance opportunities – the biggest step yet to alleviating the social concerns facing South African youth. NYDA said its mandate was too broad. The mandate had to be revised or alternatively better funded.
ANC Members said that South Africa really needed an institution that could link the whole dynamics of the country together and ensure that every young person had a better life. Members of Parliament saw so many young people in their constituencies who were unemployed but nonetheless wanted to make a contribution to society. There was so much heartbreak for the youth. The Members asked how the NYDA collaborated with other entities and involved itself in community work programmes, and sought a better understanding in order to report with confidence on the NYDA. They commended the NYDA for very good work with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in training youth. Members asked the extent of the NYDA's co-operation with municipalities and where it had experienced the biggest problems, what the NYDA's major challenges for this year were, and how the lack of a board affected the NYDA's activities. How did NYDA partner with the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and with the other stakeholders? Members noted some resistance from municipalities. Most of the youth lacked access to computers yet NYDA made the same mistakes as other advanced agencies by referring all enquirers to its website. The Chairperson expressed serious concern at the unhelpful attitude experienced by his young constituents when they visited NYDA offices. He emphasised that the NYDA must be strictly factual in its reporting.
A DA Member was worried that, despite the formation of the NYDA, programmes for youth were still not adequately centralised. Rural availability had been at the forefront of this Committee's mind. It wanted to see better representation of the NYDA in rural areas. The NYDA had become a jack of all trades and master of none. Should the NYDA not begin to concentrate on specific areas - for example, education and skills development? How many directors were there on the board? How many served on the provincial boards?
A COPE Member was very worried about youth unemployment, which was a ticking bomb. What should be done to deal with that particular challenge? He asked about unfilled posts. With reference to the NYDA Act, he asked NYDA's view on its funding model. Also he asked about its previous wish list, implementation and access.
An IFP Member, noting NYDA's observation that in KwaZulu-Natal the biggest obstacle was the municipalities, offered to speak to those municipalities of which her party had control to ensure that they facilitated the NYDA. The Chairperson commended this offer. A second IFP Member congratulated the NYDA for its three years of unqualified audits, but this did not mean that all was well. There were many areas of emphasis of matter - red flags that the Auditor-General was raising, despite the unqualified opinion. What comfort could NYDA give the Committee that these mistakes would not be repeated? It was laudable if private sector funding could be leveraged; however, money was available in the fiscus, but residing in many departments. What was needed was a multi-stakeholder engagement, including the Minister. Money could be top-sliced from all departments to focus on youth development, but it required a deeper engagement rather than just looking at these figures. One needed to apply one's minds as to who those stakeholders would be in order to present a convincing case to the Ministers' Committee on the Budget.
The Committee's Content Adviser asked if the key performance areas (KPAs) were equivalent to the NYDA's programmes as per its budget vote. Secondly he asked about the operational structure and the linkage between the national head office, the provincial head offices, and the branches. What was the scenario when a young person came to a NYDA office to ask for a particular service? What were the transaction mechanisms that took place emanating from the branch office to the provincial office and linking up to the national head office?
The Chairperson advised that the better time to target for new programmes was not now, but during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) preparation period. It was vital to ensure appointment of the new board by the end of this financial year.
In its responses the NYDA emphasised that NYDA always waited for the Auditor-General's report before releasing figures. Because the NYDA had to spread itself thinly, it acknowledged that its interventions to help young people in education, skills, and entrepreneurship development were only a drop in the ocean'. The loans that the NYDA was giving were within the NYDA's mandate, but the problem was that only a few were able to benefit from them. Those who were disappointed were those who spoke the loudest. NYDA should be given at least some credit for the work that it was doing. Late last year the NYDA had begun retraining its branch and head office staff on the Batho Pele (people first) Principles and customer service. NYDA had many partnerships, including those with the Department of Trade and Industry and with SETAs. NYDA conducted outreach for career guidance including cinema shows and visits to schools. NYDA was confident as to the information that it was providing.
The NYDA thanked the Committee for taking the NYDA into its confidence. Today's presentation was not a formal request but rather to show Members what the NYDA thought. NYDA felt much more empowered as a result of the meeting and that Members and the NYDA had found some common ground.
NYDA Workshop with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Appropriations Programme
Mr Steven Ngubeni, NYDA CEO, introduced the delegation and outlined the programme.
NYDA Due Diligence, Merger and Mandate Presentation
Ms Magdalene Moonsamy, NYDA Chief Operations Officer, explained background to the merger, its context, and the Government’s rationale. (Slides 1-2). Challenges such as duplication of efforts by the former National Youth Commission (NYC) and Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF), administrative tensions, and marginal performance led to the promulgation of the National Youth Development Agency Act (No. 54 of 2008) (the NYDA Act) in pursuit of a consolidated youth establishment. In 2009 the UYF and NYC merged and the NYDA was formed (slide 3).
Ms Moonsamy gave details of the due diligence process. The Presidency had established a task team for this purpose which found that the UYF's operational and governance processes were in place and could be used as a basis for the NYDA's operational processes. The task team had found that the NYC, while it did not primarily focus on project related activities, it nevertheless had, as part of its mandate, the object of encouraging other entities to commit funds to benefit the youth. The task team had therefore recommended the merger (Slide 4).
Ms Moonsamy explained the NYDA mandate (slides 5-7), before indicating key performance areas (KPAs) 2013/14 (table, slide 8).
Strategic objectives for the following programmes were illustrated: economic participation; education and skills development; policy, research and development; partnerships and stakeholder management; communications and advisory services; National Youth Service and social cohesion; sports, recreation, and the arts; and health and well-being (slides 9-17).
Mr Ngubeni emphasised that there were consultations with the NYDA when the National Development Plan was being drawn up. More especially these consultations focused on the Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS) discussed at the National Youth Convention at Kimberley in 2011.
NYDA Organisational Profile and Footprint Presentation
Mr Daniel van Vuuren, NYDA Executive Manager: Service Delivery Channel, explained the NYDA's organisational design (slide 1), its governance structure (slide 2), its implementation and administration structure (slide 3), staff head count pre- and post the merger (table, slide 4), staff head count at the head office (table, slide 5), staff head count at the 14 full service branches (table, slide 6), access and contact points (slide 7), and the NYDA's footprint (map, slide 8).
He emphasised that the NYDA service delivery approach primarily consisted of delivering information, products and services directly to young people through its access and contact points. These included 14 full service branches, 168 local youth offices (hosted by municipalities, further education and training (FET) colleges, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), four mobile outreach vehicles, the National Youth Connect Call Centre (0800-52-52-52), and the very important NYDA portal http://www.nyda.gov.za .
He referred Members to the NYDS corporate profile, copies of which were in the special bags given them.
Mr L Ramatlakane (COPE) was very worried about youth unemployment, especially the age range [of 15-34 years constituting about 38% of the population, and young people aged 14 and 19 who were the most affected by unemployment] mentioned in the presentation (NYDA Due Diligence, Merger and Mandate Presentation, slides 5 and 6) It was a ticking bomb. What should be done to deal with that particular challenge? He noted the collaboration with the Department of Basic Education. It was not a problem that the NYDA could resolve alone; it required a partnership. He referred to the National Planning Commission’s National Development Plan.
Ms L van der Merwe (IFP) observed that there was criticism that the NYDA was not visible on the ground, despite the impressive map of its footprint (NYDA Organisational Profile presentation, slide 5). Many of its offices were not operational. For example, she had recently listened to a show on the Ukhozi FM radio station in which young people had complained that they did not know of the NYDA, and that the office in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal was not operating, and there were many other offices that were inaccessible. She asked how the NYDA planned to address these complaints. She noted that Ms Moonsamy had said that the NYDA was specifically focusing on young women and people with disabilities. In provinces like Limpopo and even in other rural areas, young children were denied access to education because there were no facilities in schools. What programmes of action did the NYDA have for the current year to ensure that young people with disabilities were able to access development and education?
Mr M Swart (DA) was worried that despite the formation of the NYDA programmes, for youth were still not adequately centralised. Was this a worry for the NYDA? Rural availability had been at the forefront of this Committee's mind. It wanted to see better representation of the NYDA in rural areas. He had examined the key performance areas (KPAs) as mentioned by Ms Moonsamy. He was worried that the NYDA had become a jack of all trades and master of none. Should the NYDA not begin to concentrate on specific areas? - for example, education, which was in a bad situation in South Africa, and skills development. As Mr Ramatlakane had said, one was sitting on a time bomb. He pleaded with the NYDA to concentrate on education and skills development more than anything else.
Ms R Mashigo (ANC) found this presentation a real eye-opener. South Africa really needed an institution that could link the whole dynamics of the country together, especially in view of the statistics on youth unemployment. What one needed to say was how to ensure that each and every young person had a better life. Members of Parliament saw so many young people in their constituencies who were unemployed but nonetheless wanted to make a contribution to society. She wanted to know how the NYDA collaborated with all institutions, not just departments of state. With NYDA's good mandate, one hoped that all these institutions would be able to collaborate with NYDA. How was NYDA's collaboration with those institutions which had economic power and those which had social infrastructure, like the Departments of Basic Education and Health? She wanted a better understanding so that she could report with confidence on the NYDA to her constituency, as there was so much heartbreak for the youth.
Mr J Gelderblom (ANC) asked the extent of the NYDA's co-operation with municipalities and where it had experienced the biggest problems, what the NYDA's major challenges for this year were, and how the lack of a board affected the NYDA's activities.
Ms A Mfulo (ANC) asked for an analysis in terms of race. She also asked for an analysis of the NYDA's impact in terms of provinces. If the NYDA was failing, what needed to be done? She did not know where the NYDA offices in her province were. In order to help the young people, even those over the age of 35 needed the NYDA to be visible.
The Chairperson, as an exception to the rule, allowed Mr Tshepo Masoeu, the Committee's Content Adviser, to ask questions.
Mr Masoeu asked if the key performance areas (KPAs) outlined by Ms Moonsamy were equivalent to the NYDA's programmes as per its budget vote.
Secondly Mr Masoeu asked about the operational structure and the linkage between the national head office, the provincial head offices, and the branches. Maybe Ms Moonsamy or one of her colleagues could outline the scenario when a young person came to a NYDA office to ask for a particular service. What were the transaction mechanisms that took place emanating from the branch office to the provincial office and linking up to the national head office?
Mr Ngubeni emphasised that these were high level presentations. However, the source documents provided in the Members' special packs provided elaboration. For example, there was the summary of the status of the youth report, which gave a breakdown by race, and province, and the extent of the problems that NYDA was facing in assisting with development in the country. The NYDA had here focused on the NYDA's national footprint, its profile and mandate. At a later stage NYDA would highlight performance issues, and whether NYDA paid enough attention to young people with disabilities.
Youth unemployment was indeed a serious worry. South Africans agreed on what the problem was but differed as to solutions, and that was where the problems arose. In South Africa everyone was very good in terms of policies and plans, as was exemplified by the National Development Plan (NDP). The problem came with the actual implementation.
NYDA was moving from the premise that it was the panacea to all youth problems, but rather it saw itself as a catalyst that sparked the interventions by all the stakeholders in the private sector, government, or civil society. He agreed with Members that the most important pressure point was education and skills development. However, over and above that, it had to do with the actual provision of the opportunities. As Members had correctly observed, a young person might complete matric yet remain without a job for the next five or ten years. The question was did the market present enough opportunities? Were the industries sufficiently biased towards the young job seekers? This was where the NYDA came in. It was inviting all and sundry to come on board and assist it with specific interventions. The NYDA had spoken about the establishment of youth directorates in all government departments. It was also asking such departments to have programmes specifically biased towards young people. For example, it was the Department of Health which must have a deliberate plan to allocate a specific departmental budget allocation for interventions for young people to train them as doctors and nurses, and offering them internships. This was what the NYDA wanted to see in an integrated and holistic approach to development. However, such an intervention should also extend to the private sector. The NYDA was still trying to define how it should participate in the Jobs Fund, and how the NYDA's programmes could be advanced through the Fund. This was still a quagmire that remained to be resolved at the level of Government. NYDA had a national footprint. There were 14 full-service branches. These were the most effective of the NYDA's offices.
There was a layer which was non-existent, except on paper. This layer was the provincial offices. When the NYDA Act was promulgated, it called for the repeal of the Provincial Youth Commission Acts. With that call so went the budgets for youth development in the provinces. The monies previously allocated were not reallocated to the NYDA. It was a makeshift arrangement to have the provincial advisory boards to fill that vacuum, but now their terms of office had expired in November 2012.
The last NDYA layer was the local youth units. He explained the partnerships with local authorities, and that there were complaints that in some areas these arrangements were not functional. In KwaZulu-Natal in particular there was a general attitude on the part of the municipalities that it was the role of a national agency to give money to the municipalities and not for the national agency to expect to receive money. Some municipalities had signed agreements with the NYDA, but implementation of the agreements was a problem. So NYDA used such offices primarily as referral offices [for referring enquirers to the nearest full-service branch, such as the one in Durban. Municipalities were expected to second staff to these offices, while the NYDA provided information material. The NYDA did not have enough money to be present in all offices, and when it was present in all parts of the country it sometimes did not have enough resources to provide a real service to the young people.
This was why NYDA was calling for more resources to be allocated so that it would be able to establish a full presence. It cost about R3.7 million a year to run a full service branch (2009 estimate). This was why NYDA was considering other ways, such as mobile offices (specially equipped trucks) to reach out to the young people. NYDA was fully aware of the need for accessibility in the rural and remote areas. Indeed, the NYDA was in danger of becoming a jack of all trades and spreading itself too thinly, but effectively it was required to do so by the implications of the Act, which mandated it to cover its prescribed key performance areas. As a result it was not making the maximum impact. 'Either we revise this piece of legislation, free us from these particular responsibilities, and tell us to focus on a few, or we increase the allocations and then we are able to make the necessary impact.' In other words, he asked for a reduction in the mandate or an increase in the allocations.
The NYDA had a reach of an average of one million young people per year currently. However, there were 22 million young people in the South African population. Among them were 4.7 million young people who were unemployed. Two weeks ago the NYDA had launched a library in the Westville Prison, to provide resources for the young people incarcerated there. The key performance areas were the NYDA's key focus areas according to its mandate. Programmes and projects, such as the green economic programme, were, however, subordinate issues under these key focus areas.
The Chairperson was worried about time. It might be necessary to prioritise the contents of the presentations. Mr Ngubeni insisted that his colleagues be very brief.
NYDA Corporate Profile – Programmes, Products and Services Offerings Presentation
Economic Development Programmes
Ms Tamari Tlangelani Mavasa, NYDA Executive Manager: Economic Development, explained the criteria for funding (tables, slides 2-4; and slide 5).
National Youth Service (NYS) and Skills Development
Ms Nthuseng Mphahlele, NYDA Executive Manager: Skills Development and National Youth Service, highlighted the products and services (slide 7), the process cycle (chart, slide 8), NYS implementation (slide 9), education and training: jobs database (slide 10), education and training: career guidance (slide 11); education and training: NYDA 2nd chance matric rewrite (slide 12); education and training: technical skills (slide 13); education and training: bursary and scholarships programme (slide 14); and the Centre for Youth Development Practice (CYDP) (slide 15).
Donations and scholarships
Ms Linda Dlova, NYDA Executive Manager: Communications, explained donations and scholarships (slide 16). She gave examples and referred Members to the Kliptown Youth Programme in Soweto www.kliptownyouthprogram.co.za and Hillbrow Entrepreneurship Programme www.hei.co.za websites.
NYDA 2012/13 Budget Allocation Presentation
Mr Khathutshelo Ramukumba, NYDA CFO, gave details of the budget allocation over the five financial years 2009/14. [Note: three zeros should be added to each figure]; 2012/13 budget summary; 2012/13 budget -revenue breakdown (pie chart); 2012/13 budget – expenditure breakdown (pie chart); and 2012/13 budget -salary details (pie chart).
The Chairperson thought that the presentations would have answered some of the questions, especially those of Ms Mfulo.
Mr Ngubeni replied that the NYDA's community development programme was the NYDA's own programme in which it sent its rural development workers to establish, in co-operation with communities, community projects in which young people could participate. The NYDA was not using consultants for that programme. Instead, the NYDA had its own development practitioners.
Mr Ngubeni replied that the NYDA took sponsorships to those persons who applied to the NYDA for them. Such applicants provided a project proposal and request for funds. Thereupon the NYDA engaged with them. A sponsorship committee considered their proposals. He pointed out that the NYDA did not invite applications: it awaited them. This had been NYDA's tradition. He gave examples, including the Kliptown Youth Programme in Soweto and Hillbrow Entrepreneurship Programme.
Young people had convinced the NYDA that the Youth Development Summit, Cape Town, November 2012, was a project worthy of investment. Therefore the NYDA had supported the Summit, in which the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were discussed.
Mr Ngubeni advised the Chairperson that the purpose of the NYDA's presentations was to prove to Members of Parliament the value of the work that the NYDA was doing and to showcase some of its projects as a litmus test. However, it had not dealt with the performance of the NYDA from its inception to the present. There were details on the previous year, in particular, in the Members' special packages. Members had been provided with the Annual Performance Report.
The checks and balances as far as the NYDA as a business entity was concerned were not done by the NYDA on its own. Over the past three years that NYDA had learned not to speak about numbers that it had achieved but which had not been verified. It always waited for the Auditor-General to release his report 'before we even speak'. Therefore NYDA reported to Parliament 'factual figures', and did not attempt to paint a picture. Of course, it was the Members' prerogative to take matters further.
However, the NYDA. because of the factors that had been discussed already – in particular, spreading itself to thinly, acknowledged that its interventions to help young people were not enough. Young people needed education and skills development, but NYDA, despite its best efforts, was making only a drop in the ocean. 'We talk about enterprise development – that is exactly what young people need, but the problem is that we are only training a drop'. The loans that the NYDA was giving were correct and within the NYDA's mandate, but the problem was that only a few benefited from them. Those who were disappointed were those who spoke the loudest. NYDA should be given at least some credit for the work that it was doing.
He replied to the Chairperson's criticism of NYDA's 'delegation' that in most instances it was not delegation but referral to the person who specialised in that business. However, he acknowledged the Chairperson's criticism of the attitude of some of the staff members of the NYDA. So late last year the NYDA had begun to retrain its branch and head office staff on the Batho Pele Principles and customer service.
The NYDA had many partnerships but had not given Members details. Among its partnerships, it had had a partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), in which, In Gauteng; the dti provided the grant, while the NYDA helped the young people form co-operatives with a view to franchise businesses and assisted them in enterprise development.
The Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) was one of the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) with which the NYDA had partnerships.
NYDA also had partnerships with quite a number of development agencies.
The very reason for NYDA's unit for corporate partnerships was that the NYDA believed that this project of youth development in South Africa could not be attempted without sound partnerships. This unit helped in the pursuit of partnerships with the private sector and with governmental departments. NYDA was doing well in this regard and changing mindsets, for example, in a partnership recently with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) in its Jobs Fund and sharing ideas with the DBSA on how the Fund could assist the youth of South Africa.
Currently the NYDA had volunteers who were working for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon). The NYDA trained these volunteers. He sought to assure Members that the information that NYDA reported was factual and that figures were given only after scrutiny by the Auditor-General.
All the NYDA's branches, especially the full-service branches, dealt with career guidance. NYDA conducted outreach including cinema shows and visits to schools. NYDA was confident as to the information that it was providing.
The NYDA recruited volunteers mainly from a database of job seekers, about which Ms Nthuseng Mphahlele had spoken. He referred Members to the Annual Performance Report.
The NYDA's artisans programme was mainly conducted in partnership with the SETAs. Its construction training was an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) approach and was therefore labour-intensive. However, NYDA had never had a construction trainer or facilitator and would therefore obtain a service provider to render those services. An example was a new project in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, in which young people would be building houses for the municipality.
The NYDA had sourced in service providers, who had an accreditation from the respective SETAs, to train the young people. As an outcome these young people would be on the job, and would receive a qualification after the training - with a view to further training and qualifications, as It did not take three months to become an artisan, but more than four years.
Detailed evidence-based information on the NYDA's performance on job seekers and bursaries was included in the documents in the Members' special pack.
The NYDA took monitoring and evaluation very seriously. Indeed, it had a special M&E unit, within the policy and research unit, which examined the projects and programmes of the NYDA. This was why, year in and year out, the Auditor-General never had issues with NYDA's performance information. There was also an M&E function in the office of the CEO which operated at a strategic level.
The NYDA was busy with a ten-year review that it was conducting in collaboration with the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation.
The special projects in the offices of the Deputy Chair and the CEO did not constitute a discretionary fund. Those projects, as reported earlier on, would have been approved in the Annual Performance Plan (APP) and were subject to the normal processes, but were merely lead by those offices.
NYDA sought engagement on its next year's APP so as to benefit from Members' advice.
Section 7 of the NYDA Act imposed a legal requirement on governmental departments to do work on youth development and report on it. Currently there was a total disregard of this law. This was why the former NYDA chairperson had called for an amendment of this legislation to allow arrest of those who were not compliant. It was vital that 'the youth bulge' was properly skilled and educated, as it was the young who would later be in charge of the country.
The NYDA Act was itself a problem – how it was crafted and written. It caused a great deal of confusion. When there was criticism of the NYDA, everyone neglected this piece of legislation. It was high time to apportion blame correctly – to the legislation itself. There was ample justification for engaging on amending the Act to ensure that powers and functions were clarified. Currently provinces were exempt from investing any money in youth development. The Act was very quiet on a number of other issues. Moreover, the Act gave the NYDA a convoluted mandate, but no resources were forthcoming.
The funding model was not working. It was not assisting the NYDA. Therefore the NYDA sought today to present a business case as to how a difference could be achieved through a better funding model. 29M 02s
Mr Ramukumba responded that the national board was composed of seven members. There were two committees that had specialist members – the Audit Committee and the Human Resources and Remuneration Committee. The provincial advisory boards had a total of 63 members, but, of these, only 18 were full-time. These 18 members were chairpersons or acting chairpersons at provincial level. The others were remunerated on the basis of how many meetings they attended.
Mr Ramukumba replied that Mr Swart, who had observed an apparent salary discrepancy, that he had correctly identified a difference of R41 million, but this was not a discrepancy. This could be seen from the NYDA Organisational Profile presentation, slide 4, which indicated that the R132 million related only to the current head count. The full staff complement of 500 accounted for R174 million.
Mr Ramukumba explained how the cost of projects included the cost of staff appointed to give training.
Mr Ramukumba responded that Members had the terms that NYDA was using, specifically with regard to administration and overhead costs, were accounting terms. He explained in detail.
Because the NYDA had not had a board for almost all of the financial year, since the board members' terms of office ended on 30 April, there should be a saving in this regard on salaries. The same applied to the provincial advisory boards, whose terms of office had expired at the end of November.
The present funding model was not sustainable and could not bring about meaningful youth development for South Africa.
Mr Ngubeni said that it was obvious that the lack of a board was unhealthy. The CEO was also an acting accounting authority. This was a conflation of roles. NYDA was eagerly looking ahead to the board's appointment.
The issue of the percentage share of the salary costs versus the total allocation had been overemphasised. It did not have real relevance. He explained that when the merger happened there was a directive in the due diligence process that the NYDA was required to inherit the staff of the NYC and the UYF. Those employees must not be worse off in the NYDA than they were previously. They must either be in the same state or better off in terms of their employment conditions. A large portion of the salaries allocation still went to 'that inherited situation'. He felt that NYDA was being 'hammered' unfairly on this matter.
The Chairperson said that the purpose of the workshop was for the Members to gain a better understanding of the NYDA. With this better understanding, some of the questions would fall by the wayside.
NYDA Legislative Framework and M&E Process Presentation
Mr Siviwe Mkoka, NYDA Executive Manager: Research and Policy, in explaining the NYDA's legislative framework, referred to the Constitution and to the Public Finance Management Act (No. 1 of 1999) (PFMA) (slide 1), and to the National Credit Act (No. 34 of 2005) (slide 2). He explained monitoring and reporting, with reference to NYDA's Annual Performance Plan, monthly reporting by the M&E unit, quarterly reporting by the Executive Authority to the National Treasury, auditing of performance by the internal audit team and auditing of the final annual performance by the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) (slide 3). He referred Members to the Process Flow Cycle for NYDA's M&E system, which was included in their special packs. He explained the process of evaluations (slide 4). He pointed out that it was not possible to evaluate results in all projects and programmes on a monthly basis. When the NYDA deemed it important to ensure objectivity, it called in external assessors, for example, in a recent evaluation of the country's overall national youth service programme, which was a national programme co-ordinated by the NYDA and inherited from the former NYC and UYF. This evaluation was in consultation with the Public Service Commission. Furthermore, there were legislative evaluations required of the NYDA. There was a statutory requirement for a status of youth report every three years. An unpublished copy of the 2012 report was included in the special pack for Members. This report was still in the process of being approved before it could be tabled in Parliament [hence this report was not yet for release to the public.] He explained how NYDA used this information. He pointed out that only after 2037 would one see the youth bulge decreasing.
NYDA Organisational Performance Presentation (omitted from hard copy of presentation document)
Mr Mkoka illustrated the performance of the NYDA over the past three years, and read through the key performance areas (KPAs). The first was the number of young people active in the mentorship programme. He said that the NYDA had selected key indicators of what was expected of it, such as financial support, education and skills. Research reports, which were in his area, however, were not featured here in the key performance areas, but indicators which had huge implications in terms of NYDA's mandate were included. All this information had been scrutinised by the Auditor-General, and NYDA was confident that it was all solidly factual. All indicators were featured in the Annual Report. He emphasised that even though the limited resources had constrained the NYDA, it had still tried to allocate its budget towards those indicators which mattered the most, for example, the loans, training and skills education.
Mr N Singh (IFP) who had joined the meeting for the afternoon session pointed out that the last and, for the NYDA, most important presentation in which the NYDA would ask for more funds, was still to follow. He said that the NYDA should be congratulated for its three years of unqualified audits, but unqualified audits did not mean that all was well. There were many areas of emphasis of matter, relating to non-submission of quarterly reports on the budget, asset management, procurement and contract management procedures not being followed, non- compliance with the National Credit Act (No. 34 of 2005), and the leadership's not exercising adequate oversight responsibility regarding financial reporting and compliance with laws and regulations. These were red flags that the Auditor-General was raising, despite the unqualified opinion. What comfort could NYDA give the Committee that these matters were being attended to and that these mistakes would not be repeated?
The Chairperson advised Mr Singh that the purpose of the workshop was to generalise and to understand better what was supposed to be done. However, Mr Singh's question was very important. The Committee had had a session with the NYDA on its Annual Report on 18 October 2012. The NYDA might respond, but he preferred the responses and discussion to remain general rather than specific.
Ms Mfulo observed that at present there was no way by which the NYDA could hold a person accountable for not providing services to the youth in accordance with the Act, because the Act said nothing. She pointed out that her question had special reference to monitoring and evaluation.
When the NYDA gave funds to the youth, what policies existed to ensure compliance in terms of the PFMA? She did not see evidence of them.
She spoke in the Setswana, and translated into English: 'You must practice what you preach.' She felt 'offended' by some of the CEO's responses. Even when confronted by people whom one did not understand, one should not be blunt, but respond courteously and appropriately. In our culture, to be blunt was to be rude.
It was not clear how the NYDA's programmes gelled with each other. It was important to explain this as one could not be perfect in life but one was striving to be perfect.
Mr Ngubeni replied that English was a very difficult language and the NYDA never intended to be blunt or to hurt anyone. He apologised unconditionally for being blunt.
It was important to note that the matters of emphasis that the NYDA had received in 2009 were not the same as those received in 2010 or the same as those received in 2011. A significant improvement could be observed over the three annual reports. This demonstrated that the NYDA did take seriously the issues raised by the Auditor-General.
He explained that this would be a difficult year for the NYDA as it had spent almost the entire financial year without a board. This on its own presented a quagmire. Therefore issues were to be anticipated. He hoped that the new board would be appointed before the end of the financial year. However, he could promise that the NYDA had fought a very good battle to ensure that NYDA would maintain the progress of the past three years. He pointed out that NYDA had achieved a clean audit opinion on its performance information.
The Act itself was a problem, and all that the NYDA could do at present was compile a 'name and shame' report on those who did not comply. He wanted amendments to the Act.
NYDA's ability to collect repayment of loans was controlled by the National Credit Act. He sought clear prescripts.
Mr Mfulo asked how NYDA accommodated youth advocacy organisations. She saw funding for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) but did not see funding for NGOs. There was too much emphasis on corporates and not enough on activism. She herself was a youth activist.
The Chairperson asked Mr Ngubeni to respond to that question and give closing remarks.
Mr Ngubeni reminded Members that there remained an important presentation of six slides – the NYDA's Funding Submission – Summary Strategic Rationale. Without this, NYDA's trip to Cape Town would have been futile.
He replied that NYDA was still dealing with issues of advocacy. It had not abandoned such organisations. However, it was the same old problem. 'We are spreading ourselves too thinly'. NYDA worked with NGOs that dealt with advocacy. He gave the Kliptown project as an example of an advocacy organisation involving sponsorships. It was not a business. He explained further.
Mr Ramukumba said that this funding presentation would respond to Mr Ramatlakane's earlier question on the funding model and its sustainability. He sought a detailed engagement on this, as it was important fully to explain NYDA's case.
Mr Ngubeni appealed for a change of heart and mind, and that, having heard the presentation, would assist the NYDA to lobby for more funds.
NYDA Funding Submission – Summary Strategic Rationale Presentation
Mr Ramukumba said that some 4.7 million young people found themselves without sufficient skills and education to access and retain meaningful employment, despite their desire to participate actively in the economy. This group represented the NYDA's core priority. He noted the social context and structural challenges (chart, slide 2).
The NYDA was well placed to scale up its activities to take on the challenge by driving internal efficiencies and assuming an active role in both direct and partner-funded programmes. He noted the NYDA's capability, but pointed out key challenges (chart, slide 3).
The current funding level had proved insufficient to make a substantial impact. By increasing the grant from R376 million for the current financial year to R1.088 billion in 2013/14, the NYDA would be in a position substantially to increase the depth and reach of its programmes as well as grow and manage a self-sustaining lending facility. Details of the funding request were provided. (Table, slide 4).
The result would be substantially greater impact from NYDA programmes with as many as 4.6 million people participating in awareness programmes, 745 000 receiving skills development and training, and some 221 000 people receiving funding and business support over a five year period. Programme outcomes were indicated. (Table, slide 5).
The impact of this would be that the NYDA's core priority group of 4.7 million under-skilled, under-employed youth could be reached with targeted awareness initiatives while 17% of the group would be able to access skills and finance opportunities – the biggest step yet to alleviating the social concerns facing South African youth. (Pie charts, slide 6).
Mr Ramukumba pointed out that the NYDA's mandate was too broad. It had to be revised or the mandate better funded. The youth bulge would continue until 2037.
Mr Ngubeni added that this presentation had been prepared earlier. This proposal did not include the green economic programme that NYDA had also proposed.
The Chairperson said that this was a very important presentation but he feared that the Committee would not at this time achieve the goals that it might hope to achieve. He suggested that the Committee receive a further presentation and discuss it in detail at a later date, as it was a very serious subject. He would arrange another meeting when the Committee would discuss this subject alone.
Mr Singh said that it was laudable if private sector funding could be leveraged through these projects. NYDA was talking about R100 million, and this was very good. However, this kind of money, to the best of his understanding, was available in the fiscus, but residing in many departments. What was needed was a multi-stakeholder engagement, including the Minister. Money could be top-sliced from all departments to focus on youth development, but it required a deeper engagement rather than just looking at these figures. One needed to apply one's minds as to who those stakeholders would be in order to present a convincing case to the Ministers' Committee on the Budget.
The Chairperson advised that the better time to target for new programmes was not now, but during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) preparation period, when the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act (No. 9 of 2009) provided a good opportunity. It would now be very hard to come up with a totally new proposal. 80% to 90% of the work of the budget had already been done. He noted Members' preference to arrange for an engagement, perhaps a day at the NYDA offices. It might not necessarily be for implementation now, but to get a better understanding.
Mr Ngubeni thanked the Committee for taking the NYDA into its confidence. Today's presentation was not a formal request but rather to show Members what the NYDA thought. 'We are still going to meet in Johannesburg.' He appreciated that the Committee was beginning to give the NYDA advice on when to time its submissions. NYDA felt much more empowered as a result of the meeting and that Members and the NYDA had found some common ground.
The Chairperson said that it was necessary to take the relationship between the NYDA and the Committee more seriously. There was still need to engage on the key performance areas (KPAs). The image of the NYDA was important. Ms Van der Merwe had raised the issue of the image of the NYDA. When he listened to the discussion, he did not strongly observe positivity. No matter how many people the NYDA had helped, there was an assumption that the NYDA was a white elephant. It was really necessary for the NYDA to have a programme and to present it to the Committee so that Members could report on it to the National Assembly and convince youth sceptics. NYDA by itself could not achieve implementation of Section 7 of the NYDA Act but only with the help of the Committee. The Committee must work relentlessly to ensure that there was a board. The names were currently with the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). He would want to have the board appointed by end of this financial year, as the Committee wanted NYDA to have this necessary executive authority. He thanked the Members and NYDA delegates.
The meeting was adjourned.
- NYDA Due Diligence, Merger and Mandate Presentation
- NYDA Organisational Performance Presentation
- NYDA 2012/13 Budget Allocation Presentation
- NYDA Legislative Framework and M&E Process Presentation
- NYDA Corporate Profile – Programmes, Products and Services Offerings Presentation
- NYDA Funding Submission – Summary Strategic Rationale Presentation
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