The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) told the Committee that the sight of young graduates standing on highways with billboards seeking employment was unacceptable, and that was why they advocated the elimination of work experience for entry level vacancies for graduates.
Presenting their annual report, the NYDA said they had campaigned for the scrapping of loans and their replacement with fully funded bursaries, because there was a direct link between the job market and education. They had also lobbied to clear historic debt that blocked students from proceeding to the following year of school, as well as graduates who could not graduate due to outstanding university fees. Students still faced infrastructural challenges within universities and TVET colleges. The NYDA continued to engage with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on these issues.
It was also concerned about the state of basic education, with reports of children falling into pit toilets and dying, and some schools not having material to assist children to complete their education. It had launched a “Back to School” campaign in January of every year for the last three years, where they visit schools in rural areas and assist in cleaning and painting, and also provide extra learning material such as study guides and calculators. They had extended this programme to focus on matriculants under a new flagship programme which was called “Matriculate Free.”
The NYDA had achieved a fifth consecutive clean audit, and recorded zero irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure. It had raised an additional R60 million from donor-funded partners; achieved 100% of all key performance indicators (KPIs); run an intensive voter registration campaign under the National Youth Service Programme; hosted the BRICS Youth Summit and the third South African Youth Awards; and developed an Integrated Youth Development Strategy and Status of Youth Report. All its targets for economic participation had been met or exceeded.
Members questioned whether the NYDA’s achievements had been due to setting its targets too low. They asked about a conflict of interest issue involving procurement; the delay in filling vacancies on the board; whether it was gaining support from other government departments to involve youth in their plans; if it had any initiatives to deal with gender-based violence (GBV) and rape on or off-campus; how many people with disabilities theyemployed within the NYDA; and what their plans were to expand their offices to ensure their programmes reached more young South Africans.
The Chairperson gave a brief introduction and indicated that this meeting was a continuation of the meeting that was held the previous week. The meeting was postponed due to board members of National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) being absent.
The Minister and Deputy Minister could not attend because they had to attend the investment summit held by the President, and all members of the executive had been requested to attend that meeting.
Mr L Mphiti (DA) said the Minister had been invited to attend this meeting because there were several issues that needed to be addressed to her in relation to NYDA. It was disappointing that she had been unable to attend any of the Committee meetings.
The Committee briefly discussed this matter, and expressed their understanding that the Minister did have executive duties that she needed to attend to. However, the Minister also needed to make attending the Committee meetings a priority. It was agreed that this was an issue that would be discussed at a future meeting.
NYDA Annual Report
Mr Sifiso Mtsweni, Executive Chairperson: NYDA, gave an overview of the work that the NYDA had been doing. He said he and the chief executive officer (CEO) usually attend Committee meetings as part of the cost containment measures associated with travel expenses.
This year had seen a number of memorable milestones for the NYDA. It was celebrating its tenth year since its inception, and had since grown tremendously. They drew their inspiration from fallen heroes such as Solomon Mahlangu and Peter Mokhaba, who had inspired many generations of youth activism.
This year marked 40 years since the brutal hanging of Mahlangu, who sacrificed his own life to free his people from the shackles of apartheid. He had declared to his mother, Martha Mahlangu “Tell my people that I love them, they must continue to fight. My blood would nourish the tree that would continue the fight. Aluta continua.” It was with this in mind that the NYDA had bestowed the honour of naming the scholarship programme as the Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund. This scholarship had in this year produced over 500 graduates in various fields which were in the scarce skills areas. There was no better way to honour Solomon Mahlangu than to better the lives of the African child through education.
This year a dinner had been hosted for all the graduates so that the country could see the impact of the work they did for the African child. The graduates were employed and continued to be good ambassadors for the programme.
This new group of board members had set clear goals and objectives for themselves. Since assuming this responsibility of presiding over the youth affairs of the country, they had vowed to create a credible and active youth development agency that would be responsive to the plight of the youth of the country.
They anchored this value in integrity, honesty, excellence and professionalism that was embedded in respect and humanity, while also ensuring accessibility. They understood the challenges that face the youth of this country and their justified expectation of the NYDA to be an institution that could bring hope and solutions to those challenges.
They had come into office in an era of unemployment, poverty and increased inequality that had engulfed the country as a whole.
The NYDA Act that was passed by Parliament mainstreamed youth development into society. Young graduates standing on highways with billboards seeking employment was unacceptable, and that was why they advocated for the elimination of work experience for entry level vacancies for graduates. The President had echoed the same sentiments. They had campaigned for the scrapping of loans and their replacement with fully funded bursaries because there was a direct link between the job market and education. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), with intense lobbying, had announced subsidised schooling for post-matric and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) students. They had also lobbied with the South African Union of Students to clear historic debt that blocked students from proceeding to the following year of school, as well as graduates who could not graduate due to outstanding university fees. Students still faced infrastructural challenges within universities and TVET colleges. They continued to engage with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on these issues.
The NYDA was also concerned about the state of basic education, with reports of children falling into pit toilets and dying, and some schools not having material to assist children to complete their education. It had launched a “Back to School” campaign in January of every year for the last three years, where they visit schools in rural areas and assist in cleaning and painting, and also provide extra learning material such as study guides and calculators. They had extended this programme to focus on matriculants under a new flagship programme which was called “Matriculate Free.” This programme focused on provinces such as the Eastern Cape, Limpopo with various stakeholders such as NSFAS, to assist matriculants who were struggling.
The board was stabilising the organisation, which had come from a difficult situation from the merger of the Umsobumvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission. There had been several restructurings in the NYDA, which required the filling of vacancies and proper job allocations in the vacancies. All senior positions had been filled with qualified people. The chief financial officer (CFO) was an experienced chartered accountant (CA), and women were in 60% of management posts. Four of the seven executives posts were occupied by women. Women comprised 70% of the entire staff organogram.
The executive had made a decision to be more active in terms of community engagement. In the past two years, more than 70 areas had been visited to educate people about the NYDA and to encourage young people. A total of 10 000 young people had been reached through outreach programmes in the last financial year. Collectively, the NYDA had been able to reach over one million young people through their various programmes. They had sponsored progressive programmes such as “One Day Leader,” where they assisted in identifying future leaders of the country. Outreach vehicles had been purchased, which go out to various rural areas to engage with the youth.
Two years ago, before the new board took over, the NYDA had 15 centres, but now they had 40. By the end of the financial year, there would be a footprint in all districts of the country giving youth -- especially those in the rural areas -- a chance to receive the services of the NYDA. The programmes were directed towards youth in rural areas as one of its rural programme goals.
The NYDA had been contentious entity. It had been allocated less than R5 million, which was not enough to address its responsibilities. There were 19 million economically active youths in the country, and the budget was equal to R20 per person per annum. However, despite having limited resources, there had been proper accountability and proper management standards to ensure the budget was not misused or mismanaged. Management had been compelled to ensure accountability, and see that every rand was properly used. The Agency had maintained a clean audit for five years, and had now also achieved no wasteful and unauthorised expenditure. This was the culture to be maintained. Where discrepancies were picked up, they would act decisively. They wanted to leave a legacy where the youth could have confidence in the institution.
“Young Trailblazers” was a programme to recognise outstanding young South Africans, adopted by the President, where young people were guests of the President during June 16 celebrations. One of the guests was the youngest female Boeing pilot, together with fighter jet pilots, scientists and other brilliant youths being honoured by the President. The “South African Youth Awards” also recognises excellence among the youth of the country.
When young people did not come out to register with the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC’s) first round of registration, the NYDA had actively gone to encourage young people to register to vote. Those efforts had resulted in half a million registrations by the youth, especially those between 19 and 23 years old. The NYDA continued to partner with the IEC to ensure that young people are involved in the affairs of the country.
The NYDA had called for more youth representation in decision-making, including Parliament. It was a signatory to various youth bodies across the world and participated as a member of the Pan African Youth Union -- a body that coordinates the work of youth councils and youth bodies in the continent. The Union was previously chaired by a former board member. The NYDA continued to offer their skills to the Reform Commission set up by the African Union (AU) to modernise and create a vibrant institution. They play a role in efforts to try and unite the continent. They are also at the forefront of the fight against gender-based violence (GBV), and also participate in the Commonwealth Youth Commission, the World Federation of Democratic Youth and Students, the Y20 Group of Nations, the UN Youth Convention, as well as the BRICS Youth Forum, which the NYDA’s chairperson had previously chaired.
Mr Waseem Carrim, CEO: NYDA, presented the annual report, covering the situational analysis, performance for the year, communications, financial performance and human resources.
He reiterated that the NYDA had achieved a fifth consecutive clean audit, and recorded zero irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure. It had raised an additional R60 million from donor-funded partners; achieved 100% of all key performance indicators (KPIs); run an intensive voter registration campaign under the National Youth Service Programme; hosted the BRICS Youth Summit and the third South African Youth Awards; and developed an Integrated Youth Development Strategy and Status of Youth Report.
All the targets for economic participation had been met or exceeded. These included youth-owned enterprises supported through grant programmes, beneficiaries supported with business development support services, jobs created and sustained through supporting entrepreneurs and enterprises, and jobs facilitated through placement in job opportunities.
The targets for research and policy had been met. These were related to the number of stakeholder satisfaction surveys conducted and published for internal consumption, designing the corporate planning strategy and structure, and aligning it to the integrated youth development strategy.
Other targets achieved included the young people who were trained to enter the job market, the implementation of the Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship programme – which targeted young people from rural areas – and the participation of youth in the National Youth Service (NYS).
Mr Thami Mkhwanazi, CFO, NYDA, provided details of the Agency’s financial performance. There was a 12% increase in revenue, from R49 million to R514 million, mainly due to an increase in donor funding and a once-off R31million grant from the Jobs Fund. Operating expenses had increased by 8%. Grants disbursed had increased by 7% due to the additional grant funding from the Jobs Fund. The NYDA had generated a surplus of R20.7 million, and had capital commitments of R19.7 million. The Agency remained a going concern, as assessed by its healthy financial and liquidity position.
Ms Annette Griessel, Deputy Director General (DDG): Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disability (DWYPD), commended the NYDA for the work that it had done in relation to targets and its clean audit.
Ms B Maluleke (ANC) was concerned about the achievement of their targets, because it seemed that they had been set low, and then they had over-achieved. Did the overachieving have any implications for the budget?
Mr Mphiti asked for explanations on the R60 million donor funding that had been received, but R30 million seemed to have been used; a reported conflict of interest on two procurement issues; and the Department’s relationship with the NYDA, and how that had been working. Was there synergy with the Department’s goals and the NYDA? Regarding the board members, what was the Agency’s understanding of what the Minister had communicated in relation to section 49 (3)? He also called for more detail on the targets.
Ms N Sharif (DA) referred to GBV on campuses, and said the safety of students -- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) and gender non-conforming persons, whether on or off campus -- was not secure. Did the NYDA have any programmes that specifically dealt with this -- an interface with the students’ representative council (SRC), the Senate or university administration -- to fight GBV on campuses. If not, was there a plan to help with this challenge? Were there any programmes that dealt with mental health on campuses, as there was still a stigma around mental health in the communities? Students face a lot of challenges financially, personally and academically -- what role was the NYDA playing to assist such students? She suggested the entity should look for psychologists and psychiatrists who could be sent out into areas where young people did not have access.
Ms T Mgweba (ANC) said a question had already been asked regarding the R60 million, but she wanted clarity on the matter of breaking down the rest of the R29 million that had not been presented. How much had been allocated to the National Skills Fund? What was the difference between the National Youth Fund and the NYDA grant programme? What were the monitoring measures that were in place to assess the sustainability of the once-off loans?
Ms T Masondo (ANC) asked how many people with disabilities were employed within the NYDA. Had it been able to achieve the 2% employment equity target for persons with disabilities? If not, why not? Had there been any feedback from National Treasury about writing off fruitless and wasteful expenditure?
Mr S Ngcobo (DA) said hid first question related to the National Planning Commission’s “Youth Labour Market Transition Report,” which emphasised youth enterprise development and assessing the formal economy and supporting the social economy. Had the NYDA considered any of the recommendations contained in that report? Regarding the cost containment measures, specifically those relating to the travelling and accommodation of board members, what was the travel policy of the NYDA, specifically regarding flights -- were members flying on economy or business class?
Ms N Sonti (EFF) wanted to address the landlessness of women. The NYDA should be advocating for women to receive 50% of the land. Regarding the customs of ukuthwala, ukungena and ukuhlola, the Portfolio Committee had not indicated a plan to stop such practices and further unemployment amongst young people. There was no clear progress on the Beijing Platform for Action 2014-2019.
Ms C Phiri (ANC) said the assertion that the majority of senior management were women was in contradiction to the overall presentation on slide 43, and asked for this to be clarified. The report indicated that there was still an outstanding investigation into the 2011 Youth Festival, and the previous administration had requested a progress report on the investigation. What was stopping them from providing that report?
The report indicated that the NYDA had targeted 14 000 young people per province, but statistics indicate that there are more than 17 million young people. How did they proportion the number of young people to the impact achieved? Why were they setting low targets and then exceeding them? There were townships that did not have access to NYDA offices. What was the plan to expand the offices? Were the lives of young South Africans being touched? What happened to applicants who were not successful in their applications, or was there a programme to assist young people to rectify the situation and put them on par with the rest. What was the progress with the people who had been funded?
The report indicated debt had been written off -- was there something wrong with the credit risk policy? What was the plan to overcome that?
The Chairperson referred to the presentation’s reference to economic participation and the grant recipient per sector, noting that young people were flocking with applications in the services sector. Was there any form of partnership or programme that the NYDA had to stimulate applications on other sectors that were not targeted by young people, such as the construction sector, arts and culture? Were there any partnerships with the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) to ensure that young people were assisted where they were allocated? Where the presentation mentioned life skills and job preparedness, was it a life skills programme for job preparedness alone, or was it a holistic life skill programme to assist young people?
Regarding enhancing the participation of young people in the NYS programme which deals with facilitating the development plans of government departments, it was important to discuss with departments their targets which involved youth, if there were any. Which departments were targeted that had no numbers -- was there participation and cooperation so that when their annual planning was done, the targets were reflected? Regarding the outreach vehicles and mobile offices, where were six mobile vehicles located? Did they offer the full services that the regular offices would offer?
Mr Mtsweni said that when they came in, they had wanted to build a credible, capable and activist institution. They expected a high-performance culture in the organisation, where every cent was accounted for. There had been challenges in terms of governance.
They had not set low targets. In their first financial year as the board, the targets had been doubled. The biggest challenge the NYDA faced was the budget. When they came into office there were only 15 centres that were located mostly in metropolitan areas and there had been an outcry on accessibility. There had been an attempt to work with local governments to increase the accessibility of the NYDA. Some municipalities were cooperative, and some were not and where they not, the NYDA put more focus into those areas. Currently, there were 40 centres.
With regards to the mobile vehicles, they were fully equipped with WIFI, and a person would be able to receive all the services they need. The budget had been stretched in terms of the targets. For instance, in programme 1 they had had a target, and then additional funds had been received from the Jobs Fund, and the target was over achieved because there were additional funds.
The Minister of Finance had mentioned stimulus packages, and the NYDA had been identified as a beneficiary. The more funds available, the more young people that would be able to be reached. The demand was high, but the funds were small.
Regarding the relationship between the NYDA and the Department, according to the Act the NYDA was always part of the Presidency. The Act envisaged the NYDA reporting directly to the President. Initially they had been located in the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, with a minister who specifically had the responsibility to address youth affairs. After the 2019 election, the youth portfolio had been joined to the Department of Women. They had met with the Minister on several occasions to address various issues around their work as the NYDA.
The process of filling board vacancies had been addressed with the Minister, and she had embarked on a particular process. The Act provides that where there are vacancies on the board, Parliament had the power to fill them, so the board was in a predicament because the power does not lie with it. He asked the Department to look into this matter and provide advice where they could. The delay would cause governance challenges. The Minister had indicated that she had written a letter to the Minister of Finance and the Speaker of Parliament.
With regard to the Youth Fund and the Skills Fund, because of resource constraints, the NYDA funding programme could fund young people only to a certain extent, which was R250 000. The objective of this fund was to invite provincial governments and certain departments to invest in it and then identify young people who had life skill programs that would be assisted by it. For example, in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), a youth fund had been established that was linked to the fund. In the Eastern Cape, the Isiqalo Fund had also been established and was directly linked to the NYDA. The Northern Cape was in the process of following suit. With the Skills Fund, there had been collaboration with the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) and other institutions to develop skills for young people in the NWT group so they could be employable or entrepreneurs. That was the idea behind the 2 funds. The NYDA was not investing money but fundraising for the fund.
On gender balance, in the executive four out seven females had been employed intentionally to display female leadership. For the overall structure of the NYDA, the target had been females, specifically young females. They targeted young people under 35 years old to also be an example, and the CEO himself was 31 years old.
Regarding the loans, the NYDA made a decision to discontinue loans five years ago and introduce grants for young people. Research showed that if young people failed within the first three years, the main reason for failure was the liability that came with funding a business-based loan. These loans had come from the Umsobomvu Youth Fund, and the NYDA had had to inherit those loans. Various mechanisms had been put into place to collect the outstanding money, such as debt collectors and having people blacklisted. The NYDA had effectively made the decision to write off some of these loans. There was no loan that the NYDA had given out.
When the Agency were in Limpopo, they had dealt with issues of youth development and had identified a high school that did not even have textbooks, and had supplied it with learning materials. The chairperson’s office had a programme called #NYDAgoesrural. There was a mobile app that had been established for young people to access the NYDA anywhere. By the end of their term, the NYDA would have a footprint in all the districts of the country.
The 2010 Youth Festival Report matter was still with the Public Protector’s (PP’s) office, and they had not released a report. A preliminary report had been released, and the Portfolio Committee should follow up with the office of the PP.
At their last meeting, the board had a list of all people who were funded by the NYDA, to show patterns of how and who they funded. That information could be submitted again to the Committee.
The grant funding had been only R100 000, but had now been increased to R250 000, with a special provision that was aimed at young people in the agriculture sector. Agriculture could create jobs. There was a specific fund to encourage young people to enter the agriculture sector.
Arts and culture was also a sector that had been identified, because young people had a direct interest. Due to the fourth industrial revolution, they were now targeting young people in the technology space and funding those innovations.
Lastly, the work of the NYDA was aligned to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), including implementing the travel and cost cutting measures of government.
Mr Carrim explained that targets were set between October and January for the upcoming financial year, and new partnerships for the next financial year had already been negotiated. Partnerships were continuous throughout the year, and that was a reason that targets may also be exceeded. They had stretched themselves, as job targets had been doubled from 5 000 to 10 000. They could not set a higher target with no additional resources.
Regarding the conflict of interest of the employees, the process is that each employee needs to make an annual declaration of any interest they have in other employment or in any business activity. When the procurement process starts, the supplier is required to also make a declaration whether they have any relationship with an NYDA employee or family member. When the Auditor-General (AG) audited the NYDA, they had been able to track that there was an award of a procurement transaction that was related to a NYDA staff member, through the Home Affairs and Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) database. The CEO had received the report and handed it to the internal audit department for further investigation, and it was confirmed that the employee and the supplier had made a false declaration. The employee had been suspended and faced disciplinary charges. The Committee would be updated on the matter. Management would seek a maximum sanction against the employee and recover the funds involved.
The CEO meets with the Director General (DG) of the Department. It was also important to note that the official transfer would kick in from 1 April 2020. There was a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that had been developed and was being negotiated with the Department, and it would be shared with the Committee. Programmes such as the funding of young women who were producing sanitary towels, was something the NYDA had already embarked on with the Department.
The process of setting targets was viewed from a macro and micro level. The targets had to comply with the National Treasury framework for preparing performance information, with the DPSA, and with the AG’s criteria to be specific, measurable and achievable, and all those factors were taken into account when setting the targets. The Committee was welcome to give input when the annual performance plan (APP) was presented for 2020/21, to tell them where targets were lacking.
In terms of GBV and mental health on campuses, the NYDA works with an organization called “HA.” They accept the suggestion on psychologists, and at the next presentation there would be more detail on the work they do with HA to familiarise the Committee on what was already happening and strengthening the work being done.
The Services SETA had made a commitment to the skills fund of R30 million over three financial years, and the Chemical Industries SETA had also made a commitment. There was a target for 2020/21 of 10 additional skills development partners contributing to the skills development fund.
They were behind the employment equity target for employing young people with disabilities, and said and they took full responsibility. It was not acceptable that only two people with disabilities had been employed. He made a commitment that over the next two financial years, steps would be taken to remedy that and meet their target.
Young people from each province had been represented at the BRICS Youth Forum. This had been held not only in Gauteng but in different provinces, to boost the local economies.
The plan for accessibility involved a target to be present in every district municipality by March 2020. It may not be feasible to reach all the local municipalities. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had a programme this year to launch 100 SMART centres -- fully equipped WIFI centres. The suggestion to DTI was to rather upgrade the facilities that the NYDA had already established in the areas that they wanted to place those SMART centres, instead of duplicating the facilities, or to partner with a municipality where there was no NYDA office.
Regarding unsuccessful applications, the main reason a potential entrepreneur who had applied may not be successful was insufficient budget to provide funding. The plan was to have a fund in each province to meet the number of applications they received. The different sectors must also take initiatives, such as agriculture for emerging young farmers, the Department of Tourism needs to have a fund for young emerging entrepreneurs in tourism, and the Department of Arts and Culture already had a fund called the Mzansi Golden Economy. The private sector also needed to come on board.
In terms of loan debt and the credit risk policy, the PFMA states that where there is a debt outstanding every conceivable step must be taken to recover the money. When they took over the loan book, they took a three-step approach. First, they had met with every single person who had a loan with the NYDA and entered into settlement arrangements. They tried to recover a lot of the money, and they had recovered almost R50 million in the last five years. Where people refused to pay, legal action was instituted and where possible, business assets were attached. The only criterion was not to take a person’s primary residence. Where a business was not functioning, and there was no money to take from these businesses, an independent assessment would be made evaluate whether there were prospects of recovering the debt. Only then was a recommendation made to the board to write off the debt.
Regarding sector-based partnerships, there was an agreement with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) for a programme to grant young people access to construction-related certificates, and another programme relating to compliance, because it was a huge barrier for young people entering certain industries. For instance, a young person who was able to manufacture detergents and cleaning materials would not have access to big companies such as Pick n Pay or Spar because one needed a compliance certificate from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), to certify that the goods were produced in a certain manner could be sold in a certain manner. The NYDA had introduced a voucher system that assisted with compliance with SABS, and this was co-funded by the NYDA and SABS.
Life skills was a comprehensive programme which addressed social, emotional and work aspects. At the next presentation, a young person’s pathway to the labour market would be covered. Young people did not stay in the same entry level jobs. Were employers ready for young people? Did they create conducive work environments that responded to young peoples needs? Were employers mentoring young people? How should peer to peer mentorship be conducted to ensure that young people were supported in that transition?
The plan was to facilitate plans with every national and provincial government department, and with metropolitian municipalities, to work with young people.
The NYDA continuously engages with the National Planning Commission, and they had identified gaps in the National Development Plan (NDP) as it relates to young people. Realistically the NYDA, as a single organisation, could not change the statistics around youth unemployment, but they could take steps to reduce the effect.
The NYDA had participated in the 25-year review of government services. There had been discussion about what had worked and what had not worked. They participated in the medium-term strategic framework (MTSF) process, which sets out the government’s plans and targets for the next five years. It had based its strategy on economic development, decent jobs and pathways to decent jobs, and the National Youth Service programme. All those things found expression in the MTSF and the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by the President. The President had committed that over the next five years, over two million young people would find jobs through the NDP, and 250 000 young people would be enrolled in paid national youth service programmes.
Ms Joy Maimela, NYDA Board Member, said that the board tried to incorporate initiatives around GBV and rape within all its outreach programmes. Each August they had a programme that aimed at addressing GBV and empowering young women, and they partnered with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that work with GBV and rape issues. They also had LGBTI conversations to ensure that they had an informed basis for advocacy. The life skill training incorporated a module on mental toughness, which deals with issues of mental illness.
With regard to the loan book, the board had done its due diligence when it received recommendations from the executive, and had received a second opinion based on a cost benefit analysis that indicated that it was more costly to pursue the debt. In terms of partnerships, entities were now more confident to partner with NYDA, because their governance was intact.
Mr Mkhwanazi addressed the condonation for fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and said they were making submissions to Treasury about the previous years. There were certain requirements that needed to be followed. The R62 million versus the R31 million involved donor funding of R31 million, and another R31 million through the Treasury’s Jobs Fund. The R31 million from Treasury was also classified as a donation, even though it was reported through the grant. The allocation for the year had been R4.46 million, plus R31 million from the Jobs Fund which was reported under the transfers revenue.
Ms T Marawu (ATM) asked what criteria were used to decide which areas to visit? What was the participation of departments with their policies to avoid a duplication in activities? What was the interaction in terms of intergovernmental relations?
The NYDA was asked to highlight the activities they would be involved with during the 16 days of activism, since it was being launched on 21 November.
Ms Phiri also wanted to find out about double dipping from grants -- was there a system to ensure applicants did not benefit twice?
Mr Mtsweni said the NYDA was available to assist in all the Members’ constituencies. The rural areas that were visited were those where the NYDA had no presence. Each board member had been allocated a province to work on. They had been lobbying for all departments to have youth programmes in their department. Depending on the area, they would speak to the mayor and local councillors. There was a relationship with the chiefs, and they had been invited to the National House of Traditional Leaders.
The NYDA had secured spaces for 20 agricultural farmers to have an opportunity to supply meat and food to Brazil. The Department had a programme where they wanted to recruit young people as tour guides. For the 16 days of activism, they were planning programmes. In the NYDA system, beneficiaries could not double dip, because the system would pick it up. They also referred youths to whom they could not provide the full amount, to other departments for support, but they did not consider it as double dipping.
Ms Mgweba emphasised that the NYDA needed additional resources so that all the programmes could be seen through.
Ms Griessel added that more investment in women and youth would stimulate growth. Women, youth and persons with disabilities were at the centre of the entire public policy cycle, which was focused on transformative representation and an inclusive economy. The Department would also be doing an analysis of all the strategic plans of national departments to analyse the extent to which they had prioritised women, youth and persons with disabilities in their plans and budgets.
There were various departments that were making interventions around youth, besides working with the NYDA and the private sector. She urged the Committee to write to Parliament regarding the issue of the board, in order to fast track it. They were working with Department of Higher Education to ensure that every campus had a comprehensive strategy on GBV and mental health.
The meeting was adjourned.
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