Video: PC Women, 2 December
In this virtual meeting, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) presented their 2019/20 Annual Reports to the Committee. The NYDA achieved a sixth clean audit from the Auditor General of South Africa.
The NYDA achieved 22 out of 23 Key Performance Indicators translating into a 96% performance achievement. The entity spent 100% of its financial allocation. For the majority of the financial year under consideration the Board of Directors could not quorate. The NYDA remained in a strong financial position given the impact of Covid-19. The focus looking forward would be on youth unemployment.
The CGE reported that it achieved 93.5% of annual targets. The worst performance was in strategic objective four where it only achieved six out of 10 targets. In relation to performance information, there were findings by the AG that the information presented was useful. There were, however, weaknesses identified by the AG that required some improvement. There was weakness within the CGE’s internal controls. There were also supply chain management and contract management issues. Recommendations were made to help the CGE to remedy those particular problems.
The Committee noted that there were significant reporting discrepancies between the Annual Performance Plan and the Annual Report of the CGE. The issue of case management was also discussed. There were certain challenges experienced by the Commission in closing files and cases. Why had the number of cases the Commission opened and closed decreased?
The Committee then asked questions to the NYDA. What measures were in place to monitor the businesses that benefited from the grants programme? What measures did the NYDA have to ensure that support was given to businesses who receive grants? The Committee also noted that often there was a lack of information coming from the NYDA. Did the NYDA have plans to target young women and people with disabilities specifically?
The Committee strongly disagreed with the CGE’s decision to decrease the amount of cases it was taking on. The Committee wanted the CGE to reconsider its decision to only focus on larger cases that had wide public interest. Individual cases, including those of the poor, needed to be given attention by the CGE.
The Chairperson welcomed the members of the Committee and the different agencies to the meeting. This early morning meeting was intended for the NYDA and CGE to present their annual reports to the Committee. The Committee would then reconvene and deliberate on the reports at 13h00. The Chairperson invited the CEO of the NYDA to present the annual report. She sent her condolences to him and his family as he had lost a family member recently.
Briefing by the National Youth Development Agency
Mr Waseem Carrim, Chief Executive Officer, and Mr Thami Mkhwanazi, Chief Financial Officer, presented the entity’s 2019/20 to the Portfolio Committee. The presentation covered the situational analysis of the NYDA, the annual performance information, the annual financial statements, the audit report overview and then an economic recovery plan which would encourage youth employment and skills development.
This part of the presentation was given by Mr Carrim. The NYDA achieved a sixth clean audit from the Auditor General of South Africa. The NYDA achieved 22 out of 23 Key Performance Indicators translating into a 96% performance achievement. The NYDA spent 100% of its financial allocation. For the majority of the financial year under consideration the Board of Directors could not quorate. The NYDA remained in a strong financial position given the impact of Covid-19. The focus looking forward would be on youth unemployment.
Mr Mkhwanazi briefed the Committee on all the finance related information in the annual report. The NYDA prepared the Annual Financial Statements (AFS) for the year ended 31 March 2020 and submitted for audit on 31 July 2020. The AFS were audited by the Auditor General South Africa, who subsequently issued an audit on the 27th of October 2020. The Agency has maintained its sixth consecutive clean audit report. The NYDA reported surplus for the year of R8.5 million in 2019/20 and has a cash balance of R65 million against payables of R48 million. The Agency continue to operate as a going concern. This meant that it was able to fund it operations and projects for the next foreseeable future. There was no unauthorized expenditure for the year.
Audit Report Overview
The audit outcome for the entity was classified as clean with no material findings. 13 audit findings were reported by the Auditor General. Five of the 13 findings related to misstatements in financial statements which were not material and were adjusted. One finding related to performance related misstatements which were also adjusted. Seven findings related to internal control deficiencies. The financial health of the entity was assessed as good by the AGSA.
The Chairperson invited the CGE to present their annual report. She also sent her condolences to the Deputy Chairperson of the CGE who had lost a family member.
Briefing by the Commission for Gender Equity
Ms Tamara Mathebula, Chairperson, and Ms Jamela Robertson, Chief Executive Officer, presented the Commission for Gender Equality 2019/20 Annual Report to the Committee. The presentation covered areas such as the strategic objectives, international and regional liaison, stakeholders, APP implementation and the highlights of 2019/2020. Then Mr Moshabi Putu, Chief Financial Officer, presented on the Annual Financial Statements and Audit Outcomes.
Strategic objective one was to advance an enabling legislative environment for gender equality. The annual targets for strategic objective one was 24 and the CGE achieved 25.
Strategic objective two was to promote and protect gender equality through public awareness, education, investigation and litigation. The annual targets for strategic objective two was eight and the CGE achieved eight.
Strategic objective three was to monitor and evaluate issues that undermine the attainment of gender equality. The annual targets for strategic objective three was four and the CGE achieved four.
Strategic Objective 4 was to build and sustain an efficient organisation, to effectively promote and protect gender equality. The annual targets for strategic objective four was ten and the CGE achieved six.
The total annual achievement was 93.5%.
The work of the Commission has seen some immediate national impact, where various organisations have taken interest in the research and investigations of the CGE, taking this forward in their respective focus of work, including the CGE work on:
• Systemic gender violations in shelters, where the investigation into the state of shelters was conducted and reported for public consumption as well as institutional recommendations.
• Maternal Health, where the report on forced sterilisation of women was launched in February 2020 igniting national interest, with the role of the CGE manifesting in national events taking place in the current financial year.
• The High-Level Panel Discussion on intimate partner violence, which involved multi sector stakeholders, where causes of intimate partner violence were explored.
• Election Report 2019 Assessment of Women’s Participation and Representation in Political Parties.
• The CGE also tabled the CEDAW Report in this reporting period.
Annual Financial Statements
The current operating activities generated a net flow of R12.3 million. As of 31 March 2020, the CGE held R21.8 million in the bank. That cash was available to pay for liabilities as they fall due.
For the current period, R8.5 million underspending was recorded, of which R8.2 m was on COE. There were vacancies mainly from the Commissioners’ programme. The spending level at R76.6 million, during 2020, was also less than the levels incurred in 2019.
The financial statements were unqualified. In the opinion of the Auditor General what was presented was accurate and in compliance with the reporting framework standards of the Generally Recognised Accounting Practice (GRAP). In relation to performance information, there were findings by the AG that the information presented was useful. There were, however, weaknesses identified by the AG that required some improvement. There was weakness within the CGE’s internal controls. There were also supply chain management and contract management issues. Recommendations were made to help the CGE to remedy those particular problems. There was also weakness within the Human Resources Management and leave administration. There were weaknesses in how performance information was reported. The CGE welcomed the recommendations made by the AG. The CGE hoped that the newly compiled action plans would help the institution move from an unqualified audit opinion to a desired clean audit. Key among the interventions would be on supply chain management. All irregularly incurred expenditure had been listed. All those weaknesses would be subject to corrective action and consequence management.
Ms F Masiko (ANC) commended the CGE on the good performance of programmes one, two and three. Nearly all the targets and objectives had been met. There has also been no overspending. She expressed concern on strategic objective four. It was an area of concern that the Committee needed to focus on. There were significant reporting discrepancies between the Annual Performance Plan and the Annual Report. It was of great concern because before the reports were brought to the Committee they were dealt with by the Commissioners. How was it then that the Committee was brought reports that had so many discrepancies between the Annual Performance Plan and the Annual Report? There were objectives that appeared on the Annual Performance Plan but those targets and objectives were not even mentioned in the Annual Report. She provided an example of the strategic objective four. Under appropriate policies to strengthen institutional competency there was a plan that identified specific systems, process and policies to be addressed by each department during the year. That was not even mentioned in the Annual Report. There was also a part of the Annual Performance Plan that mentioned compliance with legislation and policies which was not mentioned in the Annual Report. She picked up many discrepancies specifically under strategic objective four. The Committee needed clarity on this matter. She then discussed case management. The CGE facilitates an opportunity for members of the public to report cases related to gender inequality and abuse. There were certain challenges experienced by the Commission in closing files and cases. There was a carryover of more than 500 files or cases. That was happening in the 2019/2020 financial year and carried into the 2020/2021 financial year. The majority of the cases reported related to discriminatory practices followed by gender-based violence cases. This was an area that the CGE needed to improve on because those were cases that related to the issues of women. If there was such a large carry over from one financial year to the next then that was an area that needed to be paid attention to. It needed to be improved. She then discussed the development and implementation of monitoring and evaluation tools. The Committee should urge the CGE to address this matter and reach its finalisation. This was a matter of urgency. The Committee needed to get an indication as to whether the unmet targets have been absorbed into the 2020/20201 financial year? Have those targets been budgeted for?
Ms T Masondo (ANC) said that the CGE could be commended for the good performance across programme one, two and three. It has met nearly all its targets. It had also not overspent. She then discussed strategic objective four. It was an area of concern. The performance in these objectives were the poorest and it receives the greatest proportion of the budget. Was there value for money? There was underperformance in programme four.
Ms N Sharif (DA) asked how the CGE compiled its reports? Was the CGE invited to the joint meeting last week between this Committee and the Committee of Health where forced sterilisations was discussed? The reason she wanted to know the process behind putting these reports together was because often if research was not done with enough evidence and specific methods it was very easy to critique these reports. Noting that the CGE received its mandate from the Constitution, how much weight did the CGE see their reports getting? Was it enough? She then discussed the targets. When the Committee looked at the researcher’s report it looked like there might not have been an accurate reflection of the targets reached in the CGE report. She then discussed case management specifically focusing on the high number of complaints pending in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. Why was there a difference between the Annual Report and the narrative on the same page? She wanted clarity on that matter. She then moved on to discuss the NYDA. She was impressed with the work it was doing with beneficiaries. However, she did have a concern that young women-owned businesses may not be receiving enough support that they need. Often this was because the lack of information coming from the NYDA. Did the NYDA have a plan to target young women and people with disabilities specifically? She said to the CGE that sick leave was important. People were often treated as economic stimulators and not human beings. People should be treated as human beings and not just workers.
Mr S Ngcobo (DA) had questions for the NYDA. He discussed the National Skills Fund. What happened to the NYDA National Skills Fund project plan that was developed and implemented in the 2018/2019 financial year? He then discussed the NYDA grants programme. What measures were in place to monitor the businesses that benefit from the grants programme in terms of sustainability in the long term? What measures do the NYDA have to ensure that support is given to businesses who receive grants? He then moved on to the CGE and discussed compliance. How was the CGE monitoring compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Maputo Protocol and the sustainable development goals? He discussed the work the CGE was doing with women in correctional facilities. What has been done to address the findings in its research reports?
Ms Robertson responded to Ms Masiko’s question on the discrepancies between the information in the Annual Performance Plan and the Annual Report. She noted and accepted the feedback given by the Committee. She requested that the Committee allow her to look at these documents and consult with her team so that she could explain how these discrepancies occurred. She admitted that she had not picked up any discrepancies. It was something that the CGE wanted to work on and improve.
The Chairperson said that another area of concern was that the number of cases the CGE opened was decreasing. She wanted someone to clarify the issue of cases in the CGE.
Adv Nthabiseng Mogale, Commissioner, CGE, said the CGE has identified that it had been taking in incorrect cases. The CGE did not provide advice for mainline cases. The CGE referred cases as much as it could. The CGE was supposed to take on cases that had a ‘big footprint’. For example, that CGE took on cases that related to women who were traditional leaders. The CGE would get involved in cases where the impact would be greater rather than individual cases like if a woman wanted to get a divorce. However, where women were receiving challenges in terms of accessing services that was where the mandate of the CGE comes in. The CGE has tried as much as possible to decrease the amount of cases it takes on because it was not a law clinic. It was a second level that people from the public could come to when the system fails them. That was what the CGE mandate stated. The CGE also faced a challenge. The new Legal Practice Council has taken away the license of the CGE to act as a legal clinic. The CGE was in the process, with the South African Law Reform Commission, to reverse that decision. The CGE did need those services.
The Chairperson asked Adv Mogale where the Legal Practice Council received the powers to take away the CGE’s license?
Adv Mogale said that the new Legal Practice Act stated that only accredited law clinics that fall under the Act and then provided a list of law clinics from universities, legal resource centres and the Human Right’s Commission. When the CGE lawyers went to court they were told that they did not have the proper accreditation and therefore could not practice. The Legal Practice Council showed the CGE the Act and said that they were not allowed to practice. The CGE was not included under the new Act. The CGE had met with Minister Lamola and Deputy Minister Jeffrey. The CGE was not in consultation with the South African Law Reform Commission to include it under the Act. The courts were saying that until the Act expressly mentions the CGE it was not allowed to practice. That has had a significant impact on the work of the CGE. The CGE would appreciate a further audience with this Committee so that there was relevant intervention. The CGE was hitting a brick wall. A small amendment needed to be made to the Act so that the CGE was included alongside the South African Human Right’s Commission. This would allow the CGE to continue with the work it was supposed to be doing.
The Chairperson asked when the CGE was going to tell the Committee about this issue.
Adv Mogale responded that this issue was going to be raised and included in the Quarterly Report.
The Chairperson asked why would the CGE want to wait until the Quarterly Report when this was an urgent matter.
Adv Mogale acknowledged that that was an error on the part of the CGE and agreed with the Chairperson.
Ms Mathebula said that the meetings with the Minister and Deputy Minister of Justice and Chief Justice Mogoeng had all taken place recently. Most of the work fell under the current financial year. The CGE realised that it needed to advocate and lobby for it to be registered as a legal clinic. All that work occurred this year. The CGE was doing everything it could to be registered as a law clinic. That information did not fall under the previous financial year.
Ms Masiko note the Commissioner said that the Act identified those institutions that were able to run law clinics. When the Bill was amended how was the CGE not part of amending process? How did the CGE miss this piece of legislation? How did the CGE only find out about this at the end of the legislative process? The CGE should have been given an opportunity to present on why it was relevant for them to appear on the list of organisations who could run law clinics.
The Chairperson asked what was the legal unit of the CGE doing in relation to this matter? She wanted to know what the legal unit was doing? The legal unit was working a full day so what were they doing when the new Parliamentary Bills were published?
Adv Mogale said that the concerns were valid and that the CGE had its eyes ‘off the ball’ in that instance. This happened as a result of the CGE being included in the previous Law Society Act. The CGE took it for granted that the amendment would not affect it. In the previous Act, the CGE was given a law clinic license. This Bill had been in the pipeline since 2014 and it should have been picked up as early as 2014 when the process started. Unfortunately, it was not picked up until one of the CGE’s attorneys was returned from court. The concerns raised by the Committee was valid and the CGE was trying to attend to it. It should have been picked up as early as 2014.
The Chairperson asked if the CGE had capacity in its legal division?
Adv Mogale responded in the negative. The CGE had several junior staff in the legal unit. Unfortunately, the CGE was not able to attract the kind of calibre of person that it needed because of the salaries that are paid. It would help if the CGE had someone monitoring everything that was coming out of Parliament. This would ensure that the CGE could respond to every piece of legislation that would have an impact on its work and its mandate. The CGE had to collapse the parliamentary monitoring position that was based in Cape Town because of the R10 million that Treasury had asked the CGE to return. That was a fundamental position where somebody was sitting in the Cape Town office monitoring everything that came out of Parliament. This was an issue from 2014 so it indicated that that person had removed their eye off the ball.
The Chairperson asked whose priority was that position? Was it administration personnel that collapsed that position? Why were other positions not collapsed? The CGE was an organisation that depended mostly on the legal team because it dealt with many cases. That monitoring position in Parliament was a critical position. That person was able to monitor everything that was happening and that included Bills coming into Parliament. How was the CGE now coordinating all those activities?
Adv Mogale responded that the monitoring of Parliament was happening on an ad hoc basis. The legal officer from the Free State was working in both provinces. The legal officer worked three days a week in one province and two days a week in the other. That was bound to result in certain issues falling under the cracks. She agreed that that position had to be prioritised. The current arrangement was not good enough because both offices are suffering as a result.
The Chairperson said that in the presentation a figure of R10 million was spoken about. She asked for that information to be repeated.
Adv Mogale responded that when Covid started all Departments, including the Chapter Nine institutions, were requested by Treasury to pledge what was available back to Treasury. This was so that Government could respond effectively and efficiently to Covid.
The Chairperson thought that Ms Mathebula had said National Treasury had given back that R10 million.
Ms Mathebula said that the CFO was referring to the money that was surrendered. The R10.3 million was gone from the annual allocation.
The Chairperson said that there was money that was surrendered. The Chairperson wanted to clarify that out of the R10.3 million that was taken by National Treasury there was money that was surrendered?
Mr Putu clarified that the CGE had given away R10.3 million as an adjustment to the 2019/2020 financial year. For the year under review there was a surplus reported. The CGE had applied for a right to retain the surplus of R10 million. Treasury allowed the CGE to retain R6.8 million. The CGE therefore had an additional R6.8 million that it could use to roll out the APP. What has occurred was that when the CGE was requested to forgo part of its baseline budget, when Covid started, the position for Parliamentary Liaison Director was vacant. While the CGE was reprioritising a decision was taken to delay the appointment of that position until funding could be secured. The CGE did this to stay afloat because the baseline was insufficient. The CGE was able to secure additional money and could now fund the position because it was still in the formal establishment.
The Chairperson told the CGE that it needed to work on its legal unit. There were a number of people who wrote letters to the Committee when they were treated unfairly by the courts or their employees. The Portfolio Committee could say upfront that it has seen a weakness in the CGE’s legal team. The manner in which some of the cases were not dealt with appropriately. The first priority once this meeting was over was for the CGE to deal with its legal team. Assessments needed to be done to see whether the staff that were employed were fit for purpose or not. If the staff were not suited for the work, then why were they kept on? This meant that somebody was not doing his or her job. The country could not risk having a CGE with a weak legal team. The decision to collapse the parliamentary post needed to be reconsidered. The Chairperson said that the CGE could respond to other questions.
Ms Robertson asked for a deadline for the CGE to respond in writing to all the questions on the discrepancies that had been raised. There was a question asked on strategic objective four about value for money. She wanted to assess the situation so that she could respond in a way that provided facts. She then discussed underachievement in certain areas. These targets were carried over into the current financial year. She then commented on Ms Sharif’s question on the compilation of the reports. This was a matter that the AG had noticed. These were areas of weakness in the CGE. She thanked the members for highlighting these areas of priority so that the CGE could improve going forward. The CGE did not want to see the same mistakes being repeated. She said the delegation from the CGE would be able to answer the question related to the monitoring of compliance with international instruments. She did not want to answer on a topic that she did not have much experience in.
The Chairperson asked what was the progress on the monitoring and evaluation tool? The CGE had previously said that it was working with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. What was the progress?
Ms Robertson said that in quarter two the CGE will approach the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and calls have been made. The process was still ongoing.
Ms Mathebula said that the CGE had looked at the specialised areas and the relevant commissioners who would be able to do this work. However, the CGE agreed that it needed a specialist monitoring and evaluation person to look at this matter. The commissioners were quite key in developing the draft monitoring and evaluation framework. The CGE’s skills on monitoring and evaluation were limited. The CGE wanted to give the monitoring and evaluation tool to an independent specialist who would be able to develop it further. The CGE agreed with the new CEO that that work would not be taken to an external service provider. The CGE would partner with members from the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation to form a committee to assist in monitoring both the international as well as regional agreements. This work needed to be done speedily. The CGE hoped that at the end of the fourth quarter next year in March that it would have polished its monitoring and evaluation framework. The CGE would be monitoring according to a plan that has been created with the help of specialists.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would give the CGE three months to finalise its plan. When the CGE appeared before the Committee next year it needed to present the plan.
Ms Mathebula said that while the CGE agreed with the Committee she hoped it would take into account that December was a short month.
The Chairperson reiterated that the Committee would be giving the CGE three months to finalise the plan. She accepted that the rest of the questions that were asked were to be responded to in writing. She wanted the CGE to respond accurately. The Committee would be holding the CGE accountable. The CGE needed to go back and look at the documents to see what information had been omitted and what had been misreported in the different reports.
Ms Masiko said that she still wanted clarity around case management. She was not given a reason for the decreasing number of cases over the past three financial years. There was a note that the CGE would only be dealing with cases that were on a much larger scale. She was concerned. What would happen to those cases that the CGE had taken over the past few years? How would the CGE ensure that the referral system that it had would not lose those individual cases? There were individual cases where women did not get assistance when legal assistance was required. Those women knew that coming to the CGE meant that they would get some form of justice. Why was there a decrease in the number of files opened and closed? If the CGE was focusing on larger cases, what happened to those individual cases that women were bringing to the CGE?
The Chairperson said that Ms Masiko was correct. When the CGE said that it would focus on major cases it meant that a poor person would never receive assistance. The CGE needed to remember that the majority of the people in South Africa were poor. The CGEs assistance was very important to the people of South Africa. She was not in agreement with the CGE selecting cases and only focusing on major cases. The Committee had been telling people that the CGE was an institution championing issues of gender-based violence and gender discrimination in terms of providing legal assistance. The CGE could not say that it would not be providing support to individual cases. When the leadership within the CGE made decisions it needed to be considerate. The Committee did not agree with this decision by the CGE. The CGE needed to reconsider its decision.
Mx Busisiwe Deyi, Commissioner, CGE, responded to the concerns on the decision relating to the types of cases that were taken. The reason why the CGE was taking a limited number of cases was because the cases chosen needed to have broader public interest. These cases would either change practices, laws or fill in gaps in the law that impact gender equality and gender equity. This would allow the CGE to drive the resources it had available to these cases. The Commission did not have the ability to attract the kind of legal counsel that would be able to give sufficient thought into some of these cases. The decision was taking with the understanding that there was also the Legal Practice Act which would catch the individual cases that the Committee mentioned. The CGE would not become a competitor with the other legal aid services that were provided in South Africa. She noted the comments made by the members but the Committee should understand that this decision was not taken without understanding the implications. The CGE made the decision having assessed its resources and taking into account its Constitutional mandate. The mandate required that the CGE focused on those cases that have a larger socio-economic impact on legal rules and practices. This would allow for systemic and structural changes to occur on a broader basis. This was the context in which the decision was made.
The Chairperson said it was clear the delegates from the CGE were not politicians. The members of this Committee represented the interests of the people. The Committee did not agree with the decision of the CGE. The leadership within the CGE needed to review their decision. The Committee heard and noted everything that has been said. It was the Committee that said that there should be the CGE and that defended the CGE. There was a review which asked if the CGE should continue working or not. The Kader Asmal Report stated that Government should get rid of the CGE. It was the members of the Parliament who said that the country needed the CGE. The CGE needed to go back and review their decision. The Committee heard and understood the CGE’s frustrations. However, South Africa has a majority of poor people who thought that if they went to the CGE they would get help. South Africans were looking at the CGE as a Chapter Nine institution where they can go and get assisted. That was why it was important for the CGE to assess the legal division and deal with the issues that have been discussed. The Chairperson said that this matter should be closed. The CGE needed to review their decision and find a better way on how to deal with these issues.
Ms Lindiwe Ntuli-Tloubatla, Commissioner, CGE, said that the CGE understood the concerns raised by the Committee. It was true that many people counted on the CGE. The Portfolio Committee had also provided a lot of support to the CGE. She clarified that the CGE did not turn away members of the public. The CGE referred members of the public to the relevant organisations. The CGE also did a lot of work through its legal clinics where they would empower communities on their gender and human rights. In any event where they are faced with challenges they would then know what to do and where to go. She then discussed the CGE and its support against gender-based violence. The CGE did support cases that did not have a big impact like that of an ordinary woman on the street through the provincial legal experts. The CGE did monitor and attend certain cases in court to make sure that the desired justice was received. The CGE did hear and understand what the Chairperson was saying and would take the advice into consideration.
The Chairperson said that the work the CGE did was vital. She then discussed the report on forced sterilisation. They were not sterilised in a group but as individuals. What would happen if the CGE decided to not deal with some of those cases? The matter would be closed.
Ms P Sonti’s (EFF) remarks were not in English. Please refer to audio (01:10:05 - 01:11:25)
Ms Mathebula’s remarks were not in English. Please refer to audio (01:11:35 - 01:13:40)
Mr Mkhwanazi responded to the comment by Ms Sharif that there was not enough support for young women in the NYDA’s programmes. She had also asked what was the plan to deal with women and people with disabilities? The NYDA did have gender-focused programmes. He provided an example. When the NYDA presented their quarter two to the Committee it was reported that on the grants programme 51% of males and 49% of females were assisted. On the jobs programme it was reported that 76% of those who were placed were females compared to 24% who were males. For the relief fund 47% were females and 53% males. This has improved significantly from the previous years because now the NYDA was putting favour on young women and people with disabilities. Unfortunately, with all the programmes and outreach activity that the NYDA did it was still the case that there were more male applications than female applications. The NYDA did try and prioritise the female applications. The target was to reach 50/50 or more females that were funded. He then responded to Mr Ngcobo’s question on the Skills Fund. The NYDA had the concept of the Skills Fund and the youth fund. The concept was presented to the previous board. When the concept was presented there were financial implications. There were, however, limited financial resources in the entity. The board committed to take the concept document of the Skills Fund and try to lobby for funding. Nothing has happened since. The NYDA would re-present these concepts when the new board was appointed so that direction could be given on how the fund should progress. He then responded to the question on the measures that were put in place to monitor business that the NYDA issued grants to. The NYDA did have aftercare programme where after the young person was given the grant an audit was done on the equipment that was procured. The NYDA would then also assess to make sure that the business was operating and running. There was also a mentorship programme that was run. Businesspeople became mentors to the young people who had received grants by the NYDA. There was also the voucher programme where vouchers would be issued to beneficiaries of grants to be able to do the marketing and establish a website. The NYDA would also monitor through the voucher programme to see if their business would survive. The Relief Fund was therefore important for those businesses who had been affected by Covid-19.
The Chairperson thanked the CGE and the NYDA for these responses.
The meeting was adjourned.
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