The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), briefed the Committee virtually on the Integrated Youth Development Strategic (IYDS) and the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.
The presentation dealt with the methodology that was followed in developing the IYDS and the consultation process followed before the final draft was drawn.
The Committee was taken through the five pillars of the IYDS which are Economic Transformation, Education and Skills Development, Health, Social Cohesion and Effective Youth Development Machinery. The focus on each pillar was on its key data, how the challenges affect the lives of the youth, interventions to be implemented and the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) targets to be achieved over the next few years as well as Provincial contributions.
The Department highlighted the background and methodology of the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the National Youth Policy 2030 which was recently approved by Cabinet.
Members welcomed the presentations and complimented the work done by both the Department and NYDA. They raised concerns about the exclusion of special needs schools in the report, the exclusion of the youth in rural areas, complaints raised by the youth regarding corruption in the Department, the costs of implementing the interventions and the decrement in voter registration amongst the youth.
The Chairperson welcomed the Members, and the officials present from the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) which included Adv Mikateko Maluleke, Director-General, Dr Bernice Hlagala, Chief Director: Youth Development, and Mr Waseem Carrim, Chief Executive Director: National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
The Committee Secretary, Ms N Nobatana, apologised for the absence of Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Deputy Minister Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize as well as Ms N Sharif (DA).
The Chairperson asked DG Maluleke to start with the presentation.
Adv Maluleke said that she will not waste time on making opening remarks because the information will be provided by both the Department and the NYDA. She explained that there will be two presentations made before the Committee. The first one being the Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS) and the second one being the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework. She called on Mr Carrim to give the first presentation.
Integrated Youth Development Strategy
Mr Carrim thanked the Committee for providing the NYDA with the opportunity to consult with it as one of the key stakeholders in the development of this Strategy. He began by stating that the presentation would look at what the landscape in terms of South Africa’s Youth Policy and Strategy looks like. He also said that he would do a quick scan of South Africa’s demographic profiling for young people, the methodology that was followed to develop the IYDS, its five pillars and the consultation process. He made the Committee aware that Dr Hlagala will focus on the Monitoring and Evaluation.
Policy in South Africa is guided by the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 and the NYDA is committed to the goals set out in the NDP. These goals include: developing a nutrition intervention for pregnant women and young children, providing young people with universal access to two years of early childhood development, improving the schooling system to increase the number of students achieving above 50 percent in literacy and mathematics, strengthening youth service programs and introducing new, community-based programs to offer young people life-skills training, strengthening and expanding the number of FET colleges to increase the participation rate to 25% and increasing its graduating rate to 75%. Providing full funding assistance to students from poor families, developing community safety centres to prevent crime, creating a tax incentive to employers to reduce the initial cost of hiring young labour market entrants and lastly, expanding learnerships and the role of state-owned enterprises in training artisans and technical professionals.
He highlighted the existing policy mechanisms which are the Youth Employment Tax Incentive, which is administered by the South African Revenue Service (SARS), and it supports an estimation of about a million jobs in the economy and it has also been extended by National Treasury until 2028. The Skills Development Levy, which is paid over by many companies and Government organisations, is administered by the National Skills Fund and SETA’s, whose mandate has also been extended for another 10 years. The Youth Employment Service, which is linked to the BBBEE scorecard of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTI), and Youth Service or Public Employment. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has really scaled since the pronouncement of free education for families with household incomes below R350 000.
Demographic Profile of South Africa’s Youth
The total population in South Africa is 57.7 million. 20.5 million are young people between the ages of 15- 34 years. South Africa has the highest youth unemployment rate in contrast to other developing countries.
Youth Opinion on the direction of the country
He said the youth was of the opinion that government has improved its quality of life, education standards are better as there is free education, and that government is focusing on issues and trying to make a change. However, others also noted that corruption and unemployment are high and also raised concerns about poor service delivery and believed that they have been failed by the Government. In light of the pandemic, the youth also expressed that one of the most significant barriers to equality, even before the lockdown, is access to data. South Africa has some of the highest data costs on the continent. This barrier then prevents the youth from being able to learn, seek job opportunities and engage with others.
Methodology followed to develop the IYDS
Mr Carrim explained that the NYDA is required to develop an Integrated Youth Development Plan and Strategy and guidelines for the implementation of an Integrated National Youth Development Policy and make recommendations to the President by the NYDA Act.
In terms of the methodology, he said that the NYDA does the following:
-determines what the youth development landscape in South Africa looks like,
-reviews key documents,
-engages with key departments and entities that are both directly and indirectly involved in youth development,
-publishes a first draft for public comment, consults with businesses, civil society, organised labour, youth formations and the three levels of the Government.
Lastly, a final draft is published and submitted to Cabinet for approval.
The five pillars
Mr Carrim then took the Committee through the five pillars of the IYDS which are:
- Quality education, skills and second chances
- Economic transformation, entrepreneurship and job creation
- Physical and mental health promotion including mitigating against pandemics
- Social cohesion and nation building
- Effective and responsive youth development machinery
The focus on each pillar was on key data, how the challenges affect the lives of the youth, interventions to be implemented and targets to be achieved over the next few years.
The high level of unemployment experienced by the youth is said to be the cause of corruption and nepotism. This is often linked with the vicious cycle of chronic poverty. Another issue is that internship programmes do not offer the youth the required skills and knowledge relevant to their speciality area which then makes it difficult for them to be permanently employed.
South Africa spends approximately 18 percent of its annual budget on basic education however, the learning environment is still not conducive. This is mostly due to substance abuse and violence at schools. Although NSFAS continues to play an important role in enhancing access to higher education, the concerning data is that only 46% of students funded by NSFAS graduate.
The South African youth are at risk for unprotected sex, unhealthy eating habits and violence. This sexual behaviour simultaneously results in social and educational problems, such as failure to complete high school, unemployment, crime, morbidity and sometimes mortality. These risk behaviours also influence suicide. Other health-related issues are about the availability of medicine for HIV/AIDS, contraceptives for female youth and the shortage of health care personnel. The youth also expressed a concern that illegal immigrants take up jobs that they should be employed in and resources that are meant for them such as RDP houses and health care resources.
Youth voter turnout has decreased by 11% between 2014 and 2019.
Interventions to be implemented and targets
The NYDA aims to create jobs and promote youth entrepreneurship through public sector employment programmes.
It aims to introduce a better accountability system for principals, improve access to digitised textbooks at all school levels, produce enough teachers and a fully functional system in place by 2024.
It aims to improve the quality of primary healthcare services through the expansion of the Ideal Clinic Programme, enabling the legal framework created for the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill and for the NHI Fund to purchase services by 2022/23.
It also wants to enact the Hate Speech and Hate Crimes Bill and promote the Constitution and its values to every public school so that they recite it in assemblies by 2024.
It wants to promote social cohesion through increased interaction across space and class, improve participation in elections, maintain an accurate National common voters’ role to ensure the credibility of elections and successfully deliver general elections in 2021.
Mainstream programmes and frameworks on empowerment and development of women, youth and persons with disabilities should be monitored and obligations to the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) must be complied with.
He noted that the majority of the budget is still spent on basic education and health. R272.3 billion is spent on basic education and R248.8 billion is spent on health. Less is being spent on job creation and labour affairs and this has to change. A lot is expected from the Department of Arts and Culture whilst it has a budget of R11 billion.
Several stakeholders were consulted as well as the youth during the process of developing the IYDS.
He concluded by stating that the NYDA is committed to fulfilling its obligations and realising its targets therefore each year it presents progress reports on the IYDS and convenes a forum to hold the relevant stakeholders accountable to what they have committed to.
Ms F Masiko (ANC) explained that the Chairperson had been disconnected due to load shedding and requested she be the Chairperson until she is able to reconnect. She then thanked Mr Carrim for the presentation and called for questions and comments.
Ms A Hlongo (ANC) welcomed the presentation and asked what the NYDA is doing about the complaints raised by the youth regarding corruption and what its plan is for young people living with disabilities with no form of education.
The Chairperson asked what the implications of the targets provided in the current APP 2021 financial year were, considering that the IYDS is still in its draft stages.
Mr S Ngcobo (DA) expressed concern about basic education and the fact that special needs schools for people with disabilities were not mentioned in the presentation and asked whether there was a way the Department could rectify this.
Ms N Ntlangwini (EFF) said that there was hope that the IYDS could be the solution to the youth’s problem. However, she asked how the NYDA is assisting small businesses with resources, mentorship and funding to market themselves in order to be able to compete with the bigger businesses. She referred to a slide about the improvement of businesses in major cities and asked which are these major cities and how were they identified for their businesses to be improved. This has excluded the youth in small towns and villages. They have lost hope in our Government. Lastly, she asked how it will ensure that the youth registers to vote despite having lost hope.
The Chairperson asked how much it will cost to implement the interventions in the document. In terms of accountability, she asked who will take the lead and how they will monitor and evaluate the relevant Departments.
Ms B Maluleke (ANC) highlighted that the NYDA does not have the power to implement some of the things in the IYDS because it is just an entity, and those things can only be implemented by Departments, and she asked what plans it has to engage with the relevant Departments. She also asked whether it has a plan to ensure that these complaints raised by the youth reach the relevant Departments and a plan to monitor and evaluate the progress of those Departments.
Ms T Mgweba (ANC) said that the Government is preparing for the local elections and asked what the NYDA will do to mobilise first-time voters to register. What will it do assist the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC)? Lastly, she asked if the NYDA managed to involve the whole population of the youth to ensure that all their issues were raised.
Responses by the NYDA
On the question of corruption, Mr Carrim said that the NYDA has placed an official on suspension for bribery and the Agency also has a hotline for fraud and corruption.
On the issue that was raised by Mr Ngcobo, he confirmed that special needs schools were not mentioned and said that he will make sure that it is added.
On the question of whether small towns and villages were also consulted during the development of the IYDS, he said that the NYDA does offer support to them.
On the question about assisting the IEC, he said that the NYDA assisted the IEC during the 2019 National elections. It encouraged young people to vote by running campaigns and it plans on doing the same this year even though there will be a challenge due to the pandemic.
On the question about the cost of the Strategy, he said that the targets are drawn in consultation with the Departments from the MTSF and the Departments have committed as an outcome of a Government planning process. For each pillar of the IYDS, a programmatic budget will be attached for each of the committed outcomes of the Departments. All of these targets have been placed in the document because they are achievable targets.
On the issue that was raised about the NYDA not having the powers to implement some of the things in the IYDS and if it plans to engage with the relevant Departments instead, he said that each pillar is attached to its relevant Department. For example, for the targets of education, the Departments of Basic and Higher Education including the Provincial Department of Education will be engaged with. To hold these Departments accountable, each year the NYDA will take the MTSF targets and draw the Department’s achievements against the targets and where they are not achieved, the Department must provide a reason why. The NYDA will then take these findings and put them into a document that will be published to the public. A meeting will also be held to hold the Departments accountable.
On the issue about the complaints raised by the youth, he said that a huge part of NYDA’s job currently is receiving views of young people and pointing them in the right direction or assisting them in resolving their complaints.
On the question raised by Ms Mgweba, he said that he fully agrees, the NYDA must increase the participation rate of the youth in elections.
The Chairperson called for the Director-General.
Responses by DWYPD
Adv Maluleke said that with regards to the special needs school for persons with disabilities, the DWYPD and the Department of Basic Education will be hosting a summit on access to education for persons with disabilities which will cover most of the questions about education for children with disabilities. The issue of access to wheelchairs will also be looked at and this is a responsibility of the Department of Health, but DWYPD wishes to bring in the Department of Social Development.
On the question of access to resources for young farmers, she said that the Department has signed an MOU with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and there were a few issues and policies that the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development agreed to review, and this included access to acquisition of land, rural enterprise and cooperative support, how farmers access the markets and how will they be supported.
On the issue of voter registration, she said that the Department will be hosting a webinar with the IEC to raise awareness on the new products because it has developed new products that can be used by persons with disabilities to register and vote using their cell phones. The IEC also has a Braille voting system.
On the question regarding monitoring and evaluation, she stated that Dr Hlagala will present on this.
On the issue that was raised by Ms Maluleke, she said that the responsibility of the NYDA is to ensure youth development. The NYDA reports on all the reports of government because they are responsible for the implementation of the National Youth Policy.
The Chairperson called for more questions regarding the responses that had been given.
Mr Carrim apologised and stated that he had not realised that he did not provide a response to the question on consultations. He said that all the critical government departments that were impacted by the Strategy were consulted with such the provincial governments, civil society, the Presidency and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Ms P Sonti (EFF) asked if the youth in rural areas have access to the NYDA and whether they are fully represented in the IYDS.
The Chairperson person asked Mr Carrim to respond.
Mr Carrim said that the NYDA consulted far and wide as possible and it tries to ensure that voices of the youth in rural areas are heard in every session it has in Provinces. The presentation included specific inputs from young people living in rural areas and their concerns about marginalisation and access to services. Rural strategy is very important for the NYDA. He concluded by saying that the NYDA tries to cover rural areas as much as possible.
The Chairperson said that she did not see any hands raised for further questions, so she assumed that this first item of the agenda had been properly addressed. She thanked the NYDA for the presentation and the report it provided which was well received by the Portfolio Committee. She also thanked the Department for supporting this process.
She then moved to the next item on the agenda and called the Director- General Maluleke.
Adv Maluleke requested Dr Hlagala to do the presentation and said that she will respond to the questions afterwards.
National Youth Policy Monitoring & Evaluation Framework
Dr Hlagala said that the presentation focuses on the progress of the National Youth Policy but most importantly, it also focuses on the Monitoring & Evaluation Framework (M&E) to track the implementation of the Policy.
The purpose of the presentation was to provide an update on the draft on the Monitoring & Evaluation Framework for the National Youth Policy 2030 which was recently approved by the Cabinet.
The Committee was taken through the background and methodology of the Policy. Dr Hlagala read through the policy imperatives and the principles that were taken into account as well as the output indicators.
Ms Ntlangwini raised a point of order expressing concern that the Committee would not have sufficient time to cover the other items on the agenda because Dr Hlagala was reading the slides word-for-word, and she asked her to just focus on the important things only.
The Chairperson agreed.
Dr Hlagala thanked the Chairperson and said that she would only note the important indicators. The important output indicators that she noted were about social cohesion and Nation building which included a short-term indicator dependant on the pandemic and effective youth development machinery. The important indicators for social cohesion and Nation building looked at the percentage of young people participating in voluntary work and the percentage of young people who voted in the most recent national, provincial and municipal elections. She confirmed that the number of young people participating in the NYS project and in cultural and creative industries will also be looked at. She said that indicators for effective youth development machinery had already been dealt with by Mr Carrim.
The consultation process that was followed by the Department and the way forward on the NYP were also highlighted.
[see document attached for the full presentation]
The Chairperson thanked Dr Hlagala and called for questions and comments.
Ms Mgweba welcomed the presentation and said that some of the questions that she asked the NYDA had been presented by the Department.
The Chairperson asked Dr Hlagala to highlight how the Department will achieve its target of producing the two National Youth Policy implementation monitoring reports for the current financial year if the M&E Framework has not yet been finalised, the timeframes for the scope of work, the plan and the methodology as outlined in the presentation.
She was unsure whether or not the Members had further questions.
Ms Ntlangwini expressed that the Members were covered.
Dr Hlagala said that the Department has two monitoring reports for two quarters because it wanted to give itself time to finalise the M&E Framework by the end of July. It will also be tested so that it can be used in the last two quarters to collect data for the NYP. With regards to the timeframes for the scope of work, she said that other things had already been done such as the situation analysis and a few National workshops and that the Department was going to have the validation workshop by the second week of July. The Department will pilot and test this Framework by September to ensure that the Framework will be concluded at the end of September.
The Chairperson thanked Dr Hlagala, the Director-General, and commended the Department on its work and progress. She then dismissed them from the meeting.
The Committee considered and adopted its minutes of 14 and 18 May 2021
The Chairperson thanked the Members for the contributions made.
The meeting was adjourned.
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