Recommendation of NYDA Board Members

National Youth Development Agency

07 February 2017
Chairperson: Mr M Mapulane (ANC) and Co-Chairperson: Ms G Manopole (NCOP, ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to deliberate and recommend names to serve on the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). The Committee nominated seven Members to serve in the Board with four males and three females from across the country.

During deliberations, Members commented that the geographical spread of the candidates was fairly covered and the Committee did very well in that regard. The Committee also performed well in terms of gender. The Committee should make it clear that academic qualification was critically important as it is imperative to encourage young people to study to the highest level. It would be bad for the Committee to recommend a Board that had five males and two females as that would be construed as a regression for women’s struggle in the country. They also recommended amendments to the NYDA Act that would be focused on clarifying criteria for appointment, especially related to age, experience and qualifications of the candidates to be recommended to the Board. 

The Committee reported was adopted with the objection of the DA on the process of selecting candidates as it lacked diversity in terms of geographic spread. The DA was also opposed to the disqualification of Mr Siyaduma Biniza on the basis that he lacked community involvement or history of activism. In their view, Mr Biniza was highly qualified and probably the only candidate with Masters Degree and this alone showed that this is a candidate who valued high level of education.

The following candidates were recommended by the Committee:

The Chairperson listed the individuals as the following:

  • Mr Ndumiso Mokako (Mpumalanga)
  • Mr Sifiso Mtsweni (Western Cape)
  • Mr Kenneth Morolong (North West)
  • Ms Zandile Majozi (Gauteng)
  • Mr Yershen Pillay (KZN/Gauteng)
  • Ms Bavelile Hlongwa (KZN)
  • Ms Kgomotso Maimela (Limpopo) 

Meeting report

Adoption of Minutes
The Committee adopted the minutes of 24 and 25 of January with minor amendments.

Mr Mapulane indicated that he had received a legal opinion regarding the process that would need to be followed by the Committee in the appointment of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Board. The legal opinion was straight forward and mainly focused on the interpretation of section 10 of NYDA, which focused on the qualification of candidates to serve on the Board. The disqualification of a candidate to serve on the Board must be on the basis of four areas. The Committee had received a report from State Security Agency (SSA) on the vetting of the candidates and there was one candidate who had a criminal record and four candidates who had adverse credit records. There was consensus from the Committee that those candidates needed to confirm or dispute those outcomes. There were some candidates who confirmed those outcomes while others said they were not aware of those outcomes and promised to conduct a follow-up.

Mr Mapulane mentioned that the Committee should now deliberate on the Committee report by looking at all matters that needed to be corrected or amended. 


Committee Report on the Appointment of Board Members to the NYDA
Mr M Khawula (IFP, KwaZulu-Natal) asked about the total composition of the Members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in the Committee.

Mr Mapulane responded that Mr V Mtileni (EFF, Limpopo) was previously the Member of the Committee but he had subsequently lost his membership of the EFF and the party had not found a replacement for this Member. There are supposed to be nine Members instead of the current eight Members in the NCOP.

Ms T Mpambo-Sibhukwana (DA) asked for the correction of her initials in the report as this was a consistent problem that seemed to appear in minutes and various reports.

Mr Mapulane apologised and said that the matter would be corrected as soon as possible.

Mr Y Cassim (DA) indicated that the report should note the objections of the DA on the process that was undertaken in the selection of the candidates especially the fact that there was no diversity in terms of geographic spread.   

Ms R Lesoma (ANC) suggested that the objection of the DA should be captured in a short paragraph at the end of the conclusion and appreciation and not necessarily in the recommendations. 

Mr Mapulane gave assurance that the objections of the DA on the process that had been undertaken would be noted including other objections that were raised in the previous meeting. The suggestion from Members is that the objection of the DA could be accommodated in the report but this should be done in a way that also highlights the view of the majority in the Committee.

Ms Lesoma proposed that the report should capture the spirit of the Committee with regards to the letter of the EFF about the process of the appointment of the NYDA Board.

Ms N Mokoto (ANC) said it seemed frivolous for the report to capture all the proposals that were made by Members on how the candidates should be shortlisted. The report should perhaps just capture or note the final agreement that was reached by the Committee instead of noting all the proposals that were made. It would be important for the Committee to avoid the situation where the report mainly captured the minority views at the expense of those of the majority.   

Mr Mapulane clarified that indeed the report should not capture all the proposals that had been made but the consensus was that the minority views should also be reflected in the report. 

Mr M Hlengwa (IFP) stated that there should be a difference in the manner in which the minutes and the Committee report are drafted so as to avoid the duplication. The minutes are mainly supposed to be brief while the report could be elaborative on the proposals and the recommendations that had been forwarded.

Mr B Mkongi (ANC) suggested that there should be consistency in the way in which the Committee report is drafted and it must also be made clear that this is not a Joint Committee but an Ad Hoc Joint Committee.

The Chairperson agreed that indeed this is an Ad Hoc Committee or temporary Committee and whatever arose after the Committee had presented its report to the National Assembly would be considered by other structures in Parliament. 

The Chairperson said that the Committee should now move to the deliberation on the names to be considered for the NYDA Board. Members should be short on the names to be recommended to the Board and focus more on the motivations or reasons for recommending certain candidates. Members would firstly be asked for the first round to nominate candidates whoqualified for the second round and the hope is that those candidates to be nominated for the second round would be less than ten. If the candidates that had been nominated are seven then the Committee would not need to go into the second round. There should be as sufficient consensus as possible on the candidates to be nominated into the second round without having to resort to voting.  

Deliberation on the candidates to be recommended to the NYDA Board
Mr M Mohapi (ANC, Free State) proposed Mr Ndumiso Mokako be considered for the second round and this is based on the fact that he had a deep understanding of the NYDA. This candidate is also familiar with the programmes of the NYDA and how those programmes could be used to assist young people. Mr Mokako had also demonstrated how the NYDA could be reengineered to consider attending to rural youth which had been marginalised. The candidate had also participated in student politics like South African Student Congress (SASCO) and understood good governance.

There was no opposition to the name of the candidate and therefore he would move into the second round. 

Mr Mkongi nominated Mr Sifiso Mtsweni as this is one of the candidates who performed very well in the interview in terms of responding to all the questions that had been asked. Mr Mtsweni clearly had a deep understanding of the youth development discourse in the country and in his view; this was a prerequisite to lead any youth structure in South Africa. Mr Mtsweni was also involved in the process of the merger between Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission, meaning he had been part and parcel of these institutions including the establishment of the NYDA. The candidate was part of drafting the NYDA Act and National Youth Policy and even the strategy of the NYDA. The Committee should recommend people with institutional memory.

There was no opposition to the name of the candidate and therefore he would move into the second round. 

Mr Khawula firstly said that he was extremely happy to hear that the previous Members speaking about the importance of rewarding performance as the interview was primarily done to assess performance of the candidate. The candidate to be nominated for the second round is Mr Andile Biyela as he had a clear understanding of youth development and articulated policies that could be used to promote and nurture youth development in the country. The candidate was also extremely prepared for the interview and could cite different Acts that are aimed at youth development. Mr Biyela was also young and one of the priorities of the country is to promote personal development.

The Chairperson noted that Mr Biyela would also go into the second round.

Ms G Tseke (ANC) nominated Mr Yershen Pillay to the second round as the candidate had been in the Board since 2009 as a deputy chairperson of the Board before being elected as the chairperson of the Board. The candidate was able to introduce different programmes in his tenure that are aimed at youth development through entrepreneurship and business development. The candidate also performed well in the interview and understood the role of NYDA in youth development.

The Chairperson noted that Mr Pillay would be taken to the second round. 

Ms D Manana (ANC) nominated Ms Bavelile Hlongwa and this was purely based on her performance in the interview and the understanding of the issues affecting young people and the policies of the NYDA.  It was also impressive to note that the candidate had offered her service as a volunteer as the transformation officer.

There was no objection to the candidate and therefore she was taken to the second round. 

Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana recommended Mr Siyaduma Biniza as he was a highly educated individual with adequate experience in the youth development programmes. The candidate was highly experienced as he was also working for National Treasury. Mr Binizi also performance very well in the interview and it was clear from his CV that he is highly disciplined and committed to youth development. The experience of the candidate in financial management could be greatly beneficial to the NYDA.

Mr Biniza was taken to the second round.

Ms Masoma suggested Ms Zandile Majozi and this was also to take into consideration of the issue of gender balance of the Board as clearly stipulated in the Act. The candidate was very experienced and performed well during the interview and the fact that she was also in the previous Board was another additional benefit. The candidate was also part of the team that helped NYDA to achieve a clean audit for two years.

Ms Majozi was taken to the next round.

Mr S Mncwabe (NFP) proposed Ms Zandile Myeni as she was a passionate teacher who was able to conduct extra classes for learners at her own time or initiative in the township and this was something that was very rare from the public representatives. The candidate also performed very well in the interview.

The candidate was taken to the next round.

Ms Z Ncitha (ANC) nominated Mr Kenneth Morolong and this was based on his interview performance and his understanding of youth development issues. It was also impressive to see that this candidate was involved in activism and in the fight against issues affecting young people. The candidate was also experienced in the NYDA and this was something that would contribute positively in the work of the Board.  

The candidate was taken to the next round.

Ms Mokoto proposed Ms Kgomotso Maimela as she performed well in the interview and she was also very confident although she lacked experience in terms of serving in the structure of the NYDA. The candidate also worked for Love Life as a groundbreaker specifically focusing on issues of HIV/AIDS and how it was affecting young people.   

The candidate was taken to the second round.

Mr E Marias (DA) nominated Mr Siyabonga Magadla as this candidate was experienced and was able to adequately answer all the questions that were asked during the interview.

The candidate was also taken to the second round.

Mr Mapulane noted that the Committee currently nominated eleven candidates into the second round. The Committee still needed to eliminate four names out of the eleven candidates. The Committee should not get into details of motivation and demotivation for some of the candidates.

Mr Mohapi said that the Committee needed to take into consideration gender balance of the Board and therefore it would be important to categorise the eleven candidates based on gender and geographical location.     

Mr Mapulane asked if Members preferred the Committee to deliberately focus on gender balance of the Board. It is clear that there should be amendments to the NYDA Act that would be focused on clarifying criteria for appointment, especially related to age, experience and qualifications of the candidates to be recommended to the Board.  

Mr Mohapi added that the Committee should indeed take into consideration gender balance but this should be done in parallel with taking into consideration institutional memory and performance during the interview. He proposed that the composition of the Board should be four males and three females.

Members agreed with the proposal.

The Chairperson reminded Members that the Act also prescribed the importance of looking into the matter of geographical location when appointing the Board. The reality is that not all the provinces would be represented but the principle of geographical spread of the Board would be taken into consideration. 

Mr Mohapi maintained that Mr Mokako should be included in the Board for numerous reasons including the fact that he has a B Com Degree specialising in financial accounting, auditing and financial management. The candidate is also conversant with the management of municipal finance and this was an important advantage that could greatly improve relationship between the municipalities and NYDA. 

Mr Mapulane also admitted that Mr Mokako performed very well in the interview and he was generally impressive in how he responded to follow-up questions. The candidate was able to clearly articulate a deep understanding of the decolonisation in the #FeesMustFall movement.

Members supported the name of Mr Mokako being considered for the Board.

Mr Mapulane stated that Ms Myeni did not perform very well in the interview compared to other candidates and therefore she should be eliminated. The candidate did not sell herself to the Committee during the introduction and also exhibited lack of understanding of the real mandate of the National Development Plan (NDP). She did not understand the integrated youth development strategy as contained in the NYDA and failed to get a grasp of the National Youth Strategy a

Ms Tseke mentioned that indeed Ms Myeni was not impressive during the interview and this was clear in how she responded to a number of pertinent questions. The Committee should perhaps let Ms Myeni continue with her passion as a teacher instead of being recommended to serve in the Board considering that there are many teachers who are retiring.  

Ms Mokoto also indicated that perhaps Ms Myeni appeared to be someone who was taking a chance because this process was open to everyone who was interested to serve in the Board. The candidate was unprepared and often rumbled in responding to question that were posed by Members including follow-up questions.

Members agreed that Ms Myeni should be eliminated. 

The Chairperson said that there was a lot of excellent performance from the side of males and this was making things difficult for Members to ensure that the Board gender balance.

Mr J Mthembu (ANC) welcomed everyone in the meeting and urged the Committee to ensure that the process of appointing the Board of NYDA was completed as soon as possible. The NYDA had been without a Board for quite some time now and all fingers are pointing at Parliament for the delay in the appointment of the Board.

Mr Mkongi also supported the nomination of Ms Hlongwa especially for the fact that she was able to break all the barriers as a woman and became an engineer. This candidate was also playing soccer which is something that is not fashionable for young women in the country and this showed her fight as a woman to be treated equally as men. It was not easy to break the mind of patriarchy in the country and we need these people to serve in the Board of NYDA. It was unclear if the NYDA had the concept of sport economy and NYDA needed people who would be able to integrate sport programmes for the NYDA.  
 
Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana maintained that the Committee should recommend Mr Biniza as he was an experienced candidate and also highly qualified. The Board needed to have a mixture of individuals who specialised in different areas.

Mr Mapulane agreed that Mr Biniza was highly educated as he identified himself as a political economist and he also worked for the National Treasury for the period of two years. The introduction of the candidate was good but the concern was about how he performed during the interview particularly in answering to some of the questions that had been asked by Members. The candidate did not adequately answer the question on good governance and it was where it became apparent that there were weaknesses in his response. Mr Biniza seemed to focus more on financial management but lacked deep understanding of the basic principles of good governance.

Mr Marias indicated that Mr Biniza was highly qualified and was probably the only candidate with a Masters Degree and this alone showed that this is a candidate who valued high level of education. The fact that the candidate was able to go through the stringent interview from the National Treasury and still get employed in that credible institution proved once again that this is a candidate who is able to withstand the pressure. The Committee should be looking for a mixture of the candidates to serve in the Board in terms of experience, activism and academic qualification.

Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana said that it was unfair to judge a candidate purely based on the performance in the interview as it was impossible to cover all the matters in a short space of time.

Ms Mokoto agreed that the candidate was highly qualified in terms of financial management but the reality is that the financial management skills should be matched with expertise on good governance. Mr Biniza was speaking more as a bureaucrat and his CV did not reflect any kind of involvement in youth work, except for mentoring and tutoring students at tertiary level. 

Ms Masoma wanted to make it clear that financial performance of NYDA had improved drastically in the past two financial years to the point that the entity received an award.

Mr Mkongi stated that the Mr Biniza was clearly highly qualified and that was something that could not be underestimated. However, the reality is that Mr Biniza also does not have a track record of activism in terms of understanding the grassroots problems of young people in the country.  The candidate was evidently not a community person and hardly attends any rallies.

Mr Cassim expressed concern that the impression that was being created in the Committee was that political affiliation would be rewarded instead of academic qualification. It is impossible to judge an individuals awareness of community issues based on the fact that he/she attends rallies or any form of activism. There should be diversity in the Board in terms of skills, experience and personalities. This notion that in order for one to be active he/she must be politically affiliated must be utterly rejected.

Mr Hlengwa commented that it would be incorrect to overlook academic qualification at the expense of activism.  The country had a shortage of researchers and black academics and such people should be given an opportunity instead of being chased away on the basis that they are “theoretical” or “bureaucrats”. The country is in need of knowledge production and this could not be achieved purely based on activism as people practice activism in various ways and it may not be in the mainstream where people preferred.

Mr Mapulane proposed that perhaps the Committee should “park” the name of Mr Biniza in order to be deliberated further later on. There were seven candidates who had not been objected to and there was a consensus that those candidates should be considered. There were two candidates where there were still question marks on how they performed during the interview. The issue on Mr Biyela is mainly on the practical application of the theory. The concern on Mr Biniza is that the candidate is a “boardroom person” and mainly good as an administrator than anything else. The Committee at the moment had four male candidates and three females. Members should guide the Committee on the way forward.

Mr Mkongi maintained that youth activism was important and should be regarded as one of the criterion for the candidate to be considered to serve in the Board. The experience on youth development intervention in the country was not to be disregarded. The consideration of activism was not to disregard academic qualification. There was a need to also equally reject this notion of thinking that youth structures are necessarily political affiliated. There are organisations like the South African Youth Council that was aimed at youth development. It was young people in different youth structures who defended the revolution when young people were being accused of apathy as young people are participating in various structures in religion, sport and cultural organisations.

Mr Mkongi reminded the Committee not to forget that there is a deliberate resolution to consider gender equality in the appointment of the candidates to serve in the Board. There are four males and three females that were not contested and then two males that were still being contested. The Committee should debate this matter in the context of gender equality and geographical spread.

Mr Cassim requested the Chairperson to once again read out all the seven candidates who had not been contested so far.

  • Mr Mapulane listed the individuals as the following:
  • Mr Ndumiso Mokako (Mpumalanga)
  • Mr Sifiso Mtsweni (Western Cape)
  • Mr Kenneth Morolong (North West)
  • Ms Zandile Majozi (Gauteng)
  • Mr Yershen Pillay (KZN/Gauteng)
  • Ms Bavelile Hlongwa (KZN)
  • Ms Kgomotso Maimela (Limpopo)

The two candidates that were still being contested:

  • Mr Siyaduma Biniza ( Eastern Cape)
  • Mr Andile Biyela (KZN)

Mr Mapulane commented that the geographical spread of the candidates was fairly covered and the Committee did very well in that regard. The Committee also performed well in terms of gender. The Committee should make it clear that academic qualification was critical important as it is imperative to encourage young people to study to the highest level. It would be bad for the Committee to recommend a Board that had five males and two females as that would be construed as a regression for women’s struggle in the country. The Committee was faced with a quagmire of having to decide the final candidates, taking into consideration gender balance. He asked if Members accepted the seven names that were uncontested.

Mr Mapulane agreed that the seven names should be agreed upon in principle to serve in the Board of NYDA.

Mr Marias proposed that the Committee should take note of the objection of the DA on the disqualification of Mr Biniza from serving in the Board.

Mr Mapulane concluded that the Committee report would take into consideration the DA’s objection.

The meeting was adjourned.   

 

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