(Subcommittee) NYDA Board Interviews Day 1

Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

27 July 2020
Chairperson: Ms C Ndaba (ANC) Co-Chairperson: Ms M Gillion (ANC, Western Cape)
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Meeting Summary

Video: JM: SC: Health & Social Services & the PC:Women, Youth & Persons with Disabilities, 27/07/2020      Part 2

Candidate 1 Cyril Mkhize 
Candidate 2 Samkele Maliwa 
Candidate 3 Lukhona Mnguni 
Candidate 4 Naledi Maponopono 
Candidate 5 Tshepo Mathe 
Candidate 6 Micarlo Malan 
Candidate 7 Kebaabetswe Nkate 
Candidate 8 Gerald Molaoli Sekake 
Candidate 9 Dalsy Manganyi 
Candidate 10 Antonia Akhona Soqaka 

A Joint Sub-Committee of the Portfolio Committee and Select Committee on Health and Social Services met for Day 1 of interviews to fill seven vacancies on the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Board following the expiry of the term of the previous Board in May. Ten of the 30 shortlisted candidates for appointment to the NYDA board were interviewed. The Sub-Committee interviewed all scheduled candidates except Ms Sinenhlanhla Shezi who could not be reached.
 

Meeting report

[The responses to the interview questions can be found on the audio]

Ms C Ndaba (ANC), Portfolio Committee Chairperson, explained the interview procedure as well as the social distancing protocols to be observed to the Sub-Committee members.

Candidate 1: Mr Cyril Bonginkosi Mkhize
The Chairperson explained the interview procedure and introduced all committee members. She asked the candidate to introduce himself and tell them about himself and why he thought he would be a suitable candidate to be appointed to the NYDA Board.

Ms B Maluleke (ANC) said she thought the candidate has a lot of experience. Many people have the perception that NYDA is not for all youth in our country. What can you do, if given a chance to be a board member, to change this negative perception of the Agency.

Ms M Khawula (EFF) asked a question that was not in English.

Mr L Mphithi (DA) asked what the candidate thought the shortcomings of the NYDA was in the past couple of years and what exactly he would change if appointed to the Board.

Ms A Maleka (ANC, Mpumalanga) asked how the Public Finance Management Act would apply to the NYDA and what role the board of directors would play in terms of the PFMA in the NYDA.

Mr Mphithi asked if it was Mr Mkhize's view that NYDA has been biased in the past and in what way biased.

Ms F Masiko (ANC) asked a question that was not in English [68:47]. She asked how young people have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and how government can intervene to assist young people.

The Chairperson asked if the candidate had any questions, explained the selection process going forward and thanked him for availing himself for the interview.

Candidate 2: Mr Samkele Happy Maliwa
The Chairperson explained the interview procedure and introduced all committee members. She asked the candidate to introduce himself and tell them about himself and why he thought he would be a suitable candidate to be appointed to the NYDA Board.

Ms M Gillion (ANC, Western Cape) asked when taking into account the vision of the NYDA, how would the candidate contribute to enhancing this vision if appointed to the board.

Ms T Mgweba (ANC) noted that the President had said in his State of the Nation Address that selected schools across the country would equip learners with the required skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She asked how an institution like the NYDA could support young people, the unemployed, young academics, professionals and those that aspire to be entrepreneurs to digitilise.

Mr M Bara (DA, Gauteng) asked a question that was not in English [1:22:24].

Ms Masiko said she thought the candidate would agree with her that it is always important that no young person is left behind. To do this with public spending, every cent counts and should be accounted for. How would he ensure good governance in the NYDA is taken care of, should he be appointed to the Board.

The Chairperson asked a follow-up question saying that the candidate touched on morals and integrity and asked how he would enforce morals, ethics and integrity in the NYDA Board. The NYDA Board is a governance structure and will be working with administration. How would the candidate enforce good ethics in the administration.

Mr E Nchabeleng (ANC, Limpopo) said he was happy with candidate's answer and that he made reference to the PFMA even before the question was asked which is quite encouraging. When looking at the PFMA, one should look at it in conjunction with National Treasury regulations and the Corporate Governance code which is also an important document. Youth unemployment is the biggest challenge facing young people. If appointed to the NYDA board, what mechanisms from a policy and implementation perspective would the candidate employ outside of the NYDA. He asked how the candidate saw himself dealing with job creation for young people. Why are young people not working and what can we do to make the systems work and achieve the desired outcomes.

Mr Mphithi thanked the candidate for the great insights he offered and he enjoyed listening to the candidate's contributions. He referred to an earlier response about a clean audit and that the candidate said he was happy with the work the previous NYDA boards have done. He wanted to know why the candidate was happy with this. A clean audit is only one indicator of the success of a board or institution and South Africans have on many occasions felt left behind by the NYDA, particularly in rural areas. There is a gap that exists between the NYDA and young people in this country. He asked for the candidate's analysis of what have been the clear shortcomings of the NYDA, particularly as it refers to young people in South Africa.

The Chairperson asked if the candidate had any questions, explained the selection process going forward and thanked him for availing himself for the interview.

Candidate 3: Mr Lukhona Afika Mnguni
[Due to technical issues there was no sound at various points and at times the sound quality was poor, thus some parts of the candidate’s answers could not be captured].

The Chairperson explained the interview procedure and introduced all committee members. She asked the candidate to introduce himself and tell them about himself and why he thought he would be a suitable candidate to be appointed to the NYDA Board.

Ms Maluleke asked the candidate if given a chance to serve on the NYDA board, what he would do to ensure that it is visible in deep rural areas.

Ms Khawula’s question was not in English [23:12].

Mr Mphithi asked the candidate to provide three practical solutions for assisting entrepreneurs in the informal sector should he be appointed to the NYDA Board.

Ms Ndaba asked a follow-up question [inaudible due to poor sound quality].

Mr Mphithi asked a follow-up question on assistance for young entrepreneurs. He asked how the candidate would work together with local government to ensure young entrepreneurs get assistance and support that is not only about disbursements of funds but sustainability of the young person’s business.

Ms Gillion asked the candidate what the key attributes of an NYDA board member should be and if he was previously involved in any youth project. If so, he should highlight the successes and challenges of it.

Ms Masiko said that South Africa was now on day 122 of the lockdown. She asked the candidate how he thought the youth could be better protected from the adverse effects of COVID-19, particularly those in remote areas. How can NYDA programmes be used for this?

Mr Nchabeleng asked the candidate if he thought the NYDA Act should be reviewed since it has been in existence for a very long time [inaudible due to poor sound quality].

The Chairperson asked if the candidate had any questions, explained the selection process going forward and thanked him for availing himself for the interview.

Candidate 4: Ms Naledi Maponopono
The Chairperson explained the interview procedure and introduced all committee members. She asked the candidate to introduce herself and tell them about herself and why she thought she would be a suitable candidate to be appointed to the NYDA Board.

The candidate was asked how she would monitor the implementation of grants.

Mr Bara asked what the candidate's understanding was of the key challenges faced by South Africa in youth development and what she would do to change this.

Ms Maluleke asked the candidate for her understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the NYDA Board and its mandate.

A committee member noted that President Ramaphosa referred to the scourge of gender based violence and femicide as a second pandemic. She asked how the candidate thought the NYDA could work together with different sectors of society to help fight this.

Mr Mphithi said there has been much talk amongst young people about the NYDA and the historical politicisation in the appointment of board members. There has been talk about the amendment of Section 10(1) of the NYDA Act to include a section that addressing politicisation by preventing people who hold senior positions in political parties from being appointed to the NYDA Board. He asked for the candidate's view on the matter and what should be done.

Ms Mgweba asked how she would enable the youth access to active support information and work readiness to increase their employability and access opportunities that would reduce the high levels of unemployment affecting the youth across the country.

The Chairperson said the NYDA Act was not specific about what qualifications board members should have. There is a general understanding that for a person to serve on the board, the person should hold a higher education qualification. In the case where the Act is silent, she asked what the candidate's take on this was.

The Co-Chairperson asked if the candidate had any questions, explained the selection process going forward and thanked her for availing herself for the interview.

Candidate 5: Mr Cornelius Tshepo Mathe
The Chairperson explained the interview procedure and introduced all committee members. She asked the candidate to introduce himself and tell them about himself and why he thought he would be a suitable candidate to be appointed to the NYDA Board.

Mr Nchabeleng said youth unemployment is the most important challenge facing young people in South Africa. He asked what mechanisms the candidate would employ from a policy implementation perspective outside the NYDA to reduce youth unemployment. Why does the candidate think the current policies may not be working and what can be done to change this?

Mr Mphithi asked how the candidate would champion the challenges of gender-based violence and those facing the LQBTQIA+ community if appointed to the NYDA Board.

The Chairperson asked a follow-up question and referred to the candidate’s response on social cohesion. She said during the past months an element of racism has started again. She asked how the candidate would assist the NYDA to promote social cohesion if appointed as a board member.

Ms Mgweba asked the candidate to brief them on what the NYDA Act states is its mandate and functions in terms of youth development.

Ms Khawula asked a question that was not in English [31:23].

The Chairperson said the candidate understands the mandate of the NYDA and the functions. When young people apply to NYDA, particularly small businesses, the NYDA budget is inadequate and the grants offered by NYDA are not that much. The NYDA does lobbying and takes the applications of young people to financial service institutions for development. The Chairperson said she had been receiving letters from young people who say they have been declined by those institutions because of the manner in which the requirements are crafted and it does not allow for innovation and creativity and is tailor made for big business. If appointed as a NYDA board member, how would you ensure that young people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit from those financial institutions?

The Co-Chairperson asked if the candidate had any questions, explained the selection process going forward and thanked him for availing himself for the interview.

Candidate 6: Mr Micarlo Malan
The Chairperson explained the interview procedure and introduced all committee members. She asked the candidate to introduce himself and tell them about himself and why he thought he would be a suitable candidate to be appointed to the NYDA Board.

Ms Masiko asked if the candidate thought the NYDA performs its mandate. If yes, how so? If not, what are the shortcomings.

Ms Mgweba said the NYDA has approved a number of applications in the past to fund young entrepreneurs, young men and women and persons with disabilities. If appointed to the NYDA Board, she asked what the candidate thought could be done to have bankable proposals and sustainable businesses when approved. She asked the candidate to provide examples of those businesses in terms of his suggestions to ensure that the businesses are successful.

Ms Khawula asked a question that was not in English [27:00].

The Chairperson said that after the shortlisting of candidates for interview, there was an idea expressed in the media that the candidates did not have experience and qualifications. She asked the candidate if this criticism was constructive or destructive.

Mr Mphithi thanked the candidate for his comments and said they were insightful. There has been a discourse amongst young people who are saying that for the past couple of years, the NYDA has not been effective or successful enough in meeting young people’s challenges on the ground. He asked what the candidate's opinion was about this particular comment.

Mr Bara asked how the candidate would abide by and consistently be guided by the NYDA without prejudice.

The Co-Chairperson asked if the candidate had any questions, explained the selection process going forward and thanked him for availing himself for the interview.

Candidate 7: Ms Kebaagetswe Giveness Nkate
The Chairperson explained the interview procedure and introduced all committee members. She asked the candidate to introduce herself and tell them about herself and why she thought she would be a suitable candidate to be appointed to the NYDA Board.

Mr Mphithi asked if the candidate had worked for the North West provincial government in 2014, initially as a receptionist and in 2015 she was appointed as Assistant Director of Integrated Planning. He asked her to explain the process she went through from 2014 to 2015 from being a receptionist to an Assistant Director.

Ms Masiko referred to the candidate's work experience in monitoring and evaluation and asked how she thought the NYDA could improve monitoring and evaluation of funded youth projects to ensure maximum return on investment.

The Chairperson referred to government process and that all departments and entities report to Parliament. What did Ms Nkate mean when she said they should be treated differently and how should this be done?

Ms Khawula asked a question that was not in English [20:41]

Ms Mgweba said the indicators of poverty, unemployment and inequality show that women still bear the brunt of exclusion, especially in rural areas. She asked how the candidate could assist government to mobilise resources to ensure that young people become direct beneficiaries using the NYDA mandate to achieve youth development and female emancipation working with all levels of government.

The Chairperson asked what she thought about women participation. She referred to the President announcements during his State of the Nation Address and asked if she thought it was time that women participated in the economy, for instance at SAA and Eskom. Sometimes we as women reduce ourselves to cooperatives that will die tomorrow and do not even benefit women holistically in terms of real cash. Why are we as women always looking at small things without thinking that we are entitled to participate in mining and businesses where there is real money?

A committee member said that in every working environment there is conflict. If appointed to the Board, how would the candidate resolve conflict in the Agency.

The Co-Chairperson asked if the candidate had any questions, explained the selection process going forward and thanked her for availing herself for the interview.

Candidate 8: Mr Gerald Molaoli Sekake
The Chairperson explained the interview procedure and introduced all committee members. She asked the candidate to introduce himself and tell them about himself and why he thought he would be a suitable candidate to be appointed to the NYDA Board.

The Chairperson asked the candidate about the legislative gaps in the NYDA Act and how these can be remedied.

Mr Mphithi noted that Mr Sekake stated that he felt the Act provided only for entrepreneurs and not other sectors of society such as literature and the arts. He referred to Sections 3, 8 and 18(a) of the NYDA Act. These sections do not prescribe how NYDA should spend its money. He asked for clarity on what the candidate was saying and if the NYDA Act should focus on all sectors.

Mr Mphithi asked for clarity about ambiguities that may exist within the NYDA Act. The Act itself is speaking to the regulations that the NYDA should be governed by rather than what the NYDA should be. When we speak about sectors that need to be focused on – that is the role of the Annual Plan – to include what the candidate referred to in the Act did not make sense.

Ms Maleka asked the candidate to describe his understanding of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention.

As a follow up question, the Chairperson asked the candidate how he would assist the NYDA and the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities in collaborating and combining programmes to produce the desired outcomes.

Ms Khawula asked a question that was not in English [28:11]

The Chairperson asked if the manner in which the candidate presented his previous response could assist in social cohesion.

Ms Khawula asked a follow-up question.

Ms Masiko asked the candidate what challenges young people are faced with during the era of COVID-19.

Mr Mphithi said he saw the candidate served as the spokesperson of the Young Communist League and that he imagines the candidate would have a particular ideological prescription having served in this position. When it comes to youth development, the economy and providing young people with opportunities in South Africa, he asked what views the candidate would bring, should he be appointed to the board.

Mr Mphithi asked a follow-up question and wanted to know if the Candidate would advocate for communist policies on the NYDA Board. He said his question was fair because if he had worked at an anti-abortion agency, he could be asked if he had anti-abortion views.

The Co-Chairperson asked if the candidate had any questions, explained the selection process going forward and thanked him for availing himself for the interview.

Candidate 9: Ms Dalsy Manganyi
The Chairperson explained the interview procedure and introduced all committee members. She asked the candidate to introduce herself and tell them about herself and why she thought she would be a suitable candidate to be appointed to the NYDA Board.

Ms Mgweba said the NYDA provides secretarial functions to the National Youth Service which is a government initiative to engage South African youth in community service activities to strengthen service delivery. She asked how the candidate could best utilise her experience to take the NYDA to the next level, foster social cohesion and tackle the challenges faced by our communities such as peer pressure and youth suicide.

Ms Khawula asked a question that was not in English [15:54]

Mr Nchabeleng asked the candidate how the PFMA could be used to ensure that there is clean governance and accountability for resources in the NYDA and provide practical examples of this. He continued to speak in his vernacular language [23:16]

Ms Masiko asked for the candidate’s views on the “blesser / blessee” phenomenon as this was a big contributor to HIV infection and pregnancy in young people. What programs should be implemented by the NYDA for young women to ensure that they are able to move out of the vicious cycle of a “blesser / blessee” relationship where women are enticed by men with material things to which they ordinarily do not have access.

Mr Mphithi asked how the candidate would make the NYDA policy more alive to young people in South Africa, if appointed to the board.

Mr Bara asked what could be done to change the youth’s negative perception of the NYDA.

Ms Maleka asked how the candidate would ensure good governance in the NYDA, if appointed to the board.

The Chairperson asked the candidate about mainstreaming young people’s concerns in all government departments and entities.

The Chairperson asked if the candidate had any questions, explained the selection process going forward and thanked her for availing herself for the interview.

Candidate 10: Ms Antonia Akhona Soqaka
The Chairperson explained the interview procedure and introduced all committee members. She asked the candidate to introduce herself and tell them about herself and why she thought she would be a suitable candidate to be appointed to the NYDA Board.

Ms Masiko asked the candidate to elaborate on her understanding of the NYDA Act.

Ms Maluleke said that many people had the perception that the NYDA was not for the youth in South Africa. She asked the candidate what could be done to change this negative narrative amongst the youth.

Ms Khawula asked a question that was not in English [12:45].

Mr Bara asked what the candidate thought were the requirements for her to pursue a leading role in the NYDA.

The Co-Chairperson asked the candidate when taking into account the NYDA vision, what she would contribute to enhancing this vision, if appointed to the board.

Mr Nchabeleng asked the candidate what tools she would employ to ensure that the half a billion rand at the NYDA did not simply disappear or was used for reasons other than youth empowerment. What other systems would she use to ensure financial accountability?

Ms Masiko asked the candidate what innovation she would bring to the NYDA board, if appointed and what could be done to change the negative perception of the NYDA amongst young people.

Ms Maleka said the NYDA offers financial support to qualifying young entrepreneurs and asked how the candidate would manage the implementation of and accountability for the grants.

The Chairperson asked a follow-up question on the negative perception the youth have of the NYDA. She asked what the candidate’s perception of the NYDA was, what changes she would bring to the NYDA and what value she would add.

The Chairperson asked if the candidate had any questions, explained the selection process going forward and thanked her for availing herself for the interview.

The meeting was adjourned.

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