National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) 2020/21 Annual Report

Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

16 November 2021
Chairperson: Ms C Ndaba (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

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Annual Reports 2020/21

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) had a clean audit outcome for the seventh consecutive year. NYDA achieved 96% of its targets. There was a non-material finding on the ICT system. The Enterprise Resource Planning system was deployed live in July 2021 which was a quarter behind schedule. The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the implementation of certain targets due to massive budget cuts from National Treasury with its budget reduced from R545 to R401 million. However, NYDA was able to amend its annual performance plan following the allocation of additional funding later from National Treasury. NYDA collaborates with the public and private sectors as well as civil society to address the youth employment crisis facing the nation. It has effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure compliance with the National Youth Employment Policy, Preferential Procurement Policy and other policies that target the empowerment of women, youths and persons with disabilities. It prioritises an integrated approach to empower youth beneficiaries.

The Committee expressed satisfaction with the new NYDA Board at the NYDA with both Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson both female. It is important that NYDA and other role-players make data more accessible to youths to harness the full potential of the digital economy. NYDA should ensure that there is return on investment. The clean audit should translate to actual impacts on the ground. NYDA should train regional managers and officials to ensure a successful transition from the manual to the digital system.

Meeting report

The Chairperson lamented the scourge of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) in the country. MPs need to take this challenge seriously and work towards reducing and eliminating incidents of GBVF in the country, at large, and in their various constituencies in particular. All stakeholders must work with local communities to address the matter.

She commended the resolve of the Portfolio Committee to ensure the constitution of the new NYDA Board. It is also heart-warming that the Board’s Chairperson and Deputy are females.

She welcomed the delegation of the Department of Women, Youths and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to the meeting. She requested the CEO, Mr Waseem Carrim, lead the discussion since the newly appointed NYDA Board will only become functional on 1 December 2021.

She received apologies from three MPs. She lamented the absenteeism at meetings for unjustifiable reasons. For instance, it is unacceptable that an MP takes a car for servicing, with advance knowledge of a scheduled Portfolio Committee meeting. The Committee will compile a report on absenteeism and forward it to the political parties. MPs should work in order to justify their earnings. MPs should also make their presence felt and make contributions in every meeting.

Ms F Masiko (ANC) agreed that while the Committee’s duty does not involve interrogating MP absence, MPs should avoid absenteeism based on flimsy excuses.

DWYPD Audit and Risks Committee report on NYDA
Ms Ayanda Mafuleka, DWYPD Audit and Risks Committee chairperson, commended the resolve of the Portfolio Committee to ensure effective service delivery to the intended beneficiaries.

The Audit and Risks Committee was appointed in November 2020 on an interim basis in the absence of a NYDA Board. The Committee has held three meetings since its appointment. The NYDA obtained, for the seventh consecutive year, an unqualified audit opinion with insignificant findings. These were two non-material findings: one in Human Resource Management and the other for ICT. There is a downward trend in the number of findings, with the exception of ICT. The number of findings dropped from 30 to nine in 2020/21. The CFO corrected all accounting matters raised by the AG and this resulted in a clean audit opinion. The AG had no findings on compliance matters as there were no wasteful and fruitless expenditure.

NYDA achieved 96% of its Annual Performance targets. Only one target was not achieved and there were no major misstatements. This achievement was attributable to the efforts on the part of the management. She also commended the NYDA Internal Audit for its assurance responsibility. The Internal Audit Committee meets quarterly to give assurance on the performance information reported by NYDA. The Internal Audit furnishes the Audit and Risk Committee with quarterly reports on identified risks and management plans to address those risks. This helps to mitigate risks that might hamper NYDA from achieving all its targets.

The Audit and Risk Committee plays oversight on legal matters within NYDA as they have both financial and reputational risks. NYDA has an efficient system to deal with litigation and whistleblowing. It keeps a register of whistleblowing activities but the register needs improvement to reflect the success and financial implications of the cases.

The ICT policies have been reviewed and approved. The only concern was the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) live deployment which took place in the second quarter, was long overdue. The challenge with ICT has become an anomaly in the public sector. The cost implications are usually high and most projects hardly reach completion. The management resolved challenges with legacy systems which consequently fast-tracked the live deployment of the ERP system in July 2021.

The Audit and Risks Committee and the Internal Audit meet quarterly to address identified risks and mitigation. The last quarterly meeting focused on the NYDA system in relation to cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks are becoming a concern, in light of the occurrences at Transnet and Department of Justice. The Internal Audit is expected to review the ERP system and provide assurance to the Audit and Risk Committee.

The NYDA must review its targets because the current targets are very low. It is understandable due to budgetary constraints it faced earlier. However, it received additional funding to execute its mandate. NYDA must work hard to assist youths who form the bulk of the unemployed in the country. Therefore, the targets must be set high.

It is important that NYDA review its costing model. The amounts paid for project management and implementing agents are usually high at 15%, which deprives other targets of much needed funds. NYDA must reconsider its vision and the mission statement to include the economy component since it has the mandate to uplift youths and to ensure their participation in the economy. This should be the focus of the incoming Board. The NYDA must ensure the clean audit received translates to real positive impacts on the millions of youths facing unemployment. NYDA must also ensure compliance with POPIA. The Audit and Risks Committee and Internal Audit work to develop a checklist this compliance. Regular assessment is required on the ICT systems and it is important to develop strategies to mitigate the risks. The Audit and Risks Committee is satisfied with the way NYDA conducts its business as it functions in a highly controlled environment with adequate use of management systems.

Discussion
The Chairperson sought clarity on the nature of the litigation. She also wanted to know if there was no duplication of mandates between the Department and NYDA.

Ms Mafuleka replied that there is litigation on three matters. The first matter involves an employee who is claiming compensation to the tune of R100 000. The second is a dispute between a service provider and SITA. The service provider is claiming compensation from SITA for non-payment. SITA accepted paying the amounts but the service provider is claiming further compensation for interest charged on the debt incurred. There is no financial exposure on the part of NYDA but its reputational risk is at stake because it is a partner in the project. The third deals with complaints received from the intended beneficiaries of NYDA projects. Some beneficiaries claimed they did not receive any delivery from service providers, although NYDA already paid these service providers. NYDA should address the root cause of that problem. The Audit and Risks Committee also recommended that Internal Audit provide data on the amounts spent on legal matters.

Mr T Masondo (ANC) expressed concern about the regression in compliance from 93% to 86% and also in financial management. What is the reason for the regression and what are the remedial plans? The improvement in performance information reporting from 64% to 79% is commendable.

The Chairperson commended the good work of NYDA and the Department. NYDA must address the recurring audit findings and strive to achieve unqualified audit outcome in 2021/22.

National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)  2020/21 Annual Report
Mr Waseem Carrim, CEO of NYDA, spoke to the major challenges in the implementation of its medium term strategic framework goals. Despite the budgetary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NYDA made significant progress on integrated youth development. NYDA experienced significant loss of resources. National Treasury reduced the budget by R140 million and many donors could not fulfil their commitments to NYDA. Thus NYDA had to adjust some of its targets. NYDA made some recoveries, which were later impacted by the surge in COVID-19 infections in 2021. The organisation has made significant improvement in its adaption to the digital environment. It is making good progress in vaccine rollout and it is back to 100% capacity in offering services to youths in different parts of the country.

Mr Carrim spoke to the Micro-Enterprise Relief Fund for youths. It also support government’s overall programmes, which included supporting young people to claim unemployment insurance if they became unemployed or temporarily unemployed during the pandemic. It provided support for the rollout of Social Relief of Distress Grants as well as starting the implementation of Phase One of the Presidential employment mandate, which involves the opening of the National Pathway Management Network. Other interventions include the Basic Education employment initiative, the '1000 youth-owned enterprises' campaign, and the piloting of the revitalised National Youth Service Programme. NYDA received a clean audit outcome for the seventh consecutive year. NYDA was able to deploy its ICT system live, although a quarter behind schedule. This affords youths the opportunity to access training, services and products remotely; thus reducing the need to travel physically. They can also upload their CV wherever they are and search for job opportunities online.

Mr Carrim commended the support of the Portfolio Committee in securing additional funding for NYDA, which is over R1 billion for 2021/22. NYDA also has improved commitments from both private and public sectors to further upscale its products. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the national economy cannot be underestimated. The nation’s GDP is at a nine-year low. The youth unemployment crisis in the country was evident even before the pandemic. The pandemic worsened the situation and unemployment in the country now stands at 63%. This has reversed the gains made in the last 25 years in the fight against poverty and inequality. This presents a risk that pushes many young people further into poverty and being permanently locked out of the economy. The pandemic has taken about two million jobs in South Africa. All role-players need to develop measures to ensure economic recovery as well as inclusive and a more resilient future. It is important to keep the formal sector afloat as it is critical for productivity and growth. However, the formal sector, alone, can never solve the unemployment crisis in the country. The informal sector must be supported and revitalised through innovative measures like access to platforms and market linkages. The pandemic highlighted the importance of informal businesses in all sectors of the economy.

Of the 1,8 million small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs), less than one-third is led by youths and slightly more than one-third is led by women. Most young men have occupations as taxi drivers and auto-mechanics, while young women work as beauticians or street food vendors. Young people need support in order to drive a more inclusive economic recovery. The inequality gap will further widen if these people are not supported.

Inaccessibility to data constitutes a major challenge for youths. Data is very expensive in South Africa and research shows that youths spend on an average R360 per month on data. Unemployed young people do not have money for big bundles. They have to buy small bundles even though it is more costly. They use the data for job search, academics and online applications. 63% of the youths are unemployed and support themselves with the child support grant. The youth can become more productive with affordable or subsidised data. The online behaviour of youth changed favourably from logging in after the midnight, when data is cheaper, to even more during the day when the NYDA site became data-free. The young people can lead the country out of the current crisis if they receive the necessary support. The Department of Basic Education needs to play its role in youth empowerment in reducing school dropouts. Research shows that only 500 000 out of every 1 million learners that register in Grade 1 made it to Grade 12. All role-players, including teachers, learners, parents, school governing bodies must play an active role to reduce learner dropout rate to zero. A thriving economy is also vital to employment and entrepreneurship. In a shrinking economy, access to the labour market is blocked by incumbents.

Security of energy supply, allocation of spectrum, working infrastructure and effective local government are important to grow the economy and create a more sustainable future for young people. In the State of the Nation Address 2020, the President committed on a broad employment intervention that transcends economic growth to include job creation and opportunities for young people. Various role-players, including the government, private sector, the public sector and the civil society, are involved in the creation of employment opportunities for young people. The employment intervention forms part of the employment stimulus, which has an additional funding from the National Treasury to implement high impact programmes for employment, particularly for young people. There is an existing process to fix industrial policy in the country to make it easier to do business and to narrow the skills gap in the country. The social worker programme really supported young women, the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) is instituting some reforms to fix certain challenges in the programmes it offers.

A total of 551 000 jobs were created out of the 609 000 jobs targeted by Phase 1 of the Presidential Employment Stimulus. 84% of the support went to young people. More importantly, 58% went to females. The budget for Phase 1 was R12,6 billion. The programme focuses on creation of new jobs as well as retention of jobs in the economy. Programmes implemented in Phase 1 included school assistants and job retention in the Department of Basic Education (Programme now extended). As of November 1, 2021, young people have started work across 26 000 public schools in the country. About 75 000 beneficiaries in the agricultural sector were assisted in small scale and subsistence farming. The Early Childhood Development and Social Workers Programme really supported young women with about 125 000 young women placed across 125 000 ECD facilities. The Department of Sports, Art and Culture supported about 20 000 in the creative sector. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, through the Global Business Services, supported 8 000 jobs for young people. The Department of Science and Innovation, in collaboration with other role-players, supported about 2 000 professionals. It is important to note that young people mostly transition into more sustainable jobs after being given the right assistance by government. Other entities involved in youth empowerment include the Departments of Environmental Affairs, Fisheries and Forestry; Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Transport, Higher Education, and Health.

National Treasury has provided R11 billion for the implementation of Phase 2 of the programme earmarked to support young people. DWYPD has revitalised the National Youth Service programme with R400 million to cater for about 35 000 young people. NYDA also allocated R30 million to Youth Enterprises. NYDA supports 1000 entrepreneurs with grant funding a year. The Presidency has given NYDA the mandate to double its beneficiaries to 2 000. There is also support for the National Pathway Management Network to connect 50 000 marginalised households digitally with low-cost access to the internet.

NYDA seeks to raise funds outside its budget. NYDA raised R88 million, which exceeded its target of R60 million, from external sources in the current financial year. NYDA sees SITA as a critical partner. Successful partnerships were forged with SITA and technological companies which are vital from a digital and technological perspective. SITA provides assistance in skills acquisition. NYDA achieved its ICT strategic plan as well as achieving targets around integrated communication and marketing. It has also produced a strategic risks register.

NYDA has assisted young people over the years to clear historical debts. For example, NYDA assisted Nelisiwe Sikhosana through the Thusano Fund to pay part of her funds towards the completion of a BA degree in Psychology and Marketing. She currently participates in a 18-month graduate programme with Master Card South Africa.

In Programme 2, Programme Design, Development and Delivery, NYDA exceeded its initial target of 1 500 beneficiary by 54.4%. The increase in the number of approved beneficiaries resulted from the large number of fundable applications received for relief. 1 873 young people benefited from consultancy support instead of 2 500. The underperformance resulted from the impact of the pandemic. NYDA had a dispute with a service provider who allegedly overcharged for its services. The live deployment of the ERP system really helped NYDA in its ICT needs.

NYDA assisted 8 653 people with jobs through its Support for Entrepreneurs and Enterprises programme. This is a 73% increase when compared to the target of 5 000 jobs. About 5 000 jobs were created through facilitated placements. A total of 2 790 young people were capacitated to enter the job market compared to an initial target of 1 250 young people. Similarly, a total of 3 371 young people were capacitated to participate in the economy compared to an initial target of 1 250.

Young people between the ages of 21 and 25 are more keen to pursue job opportunities. In Programme 2, 52% male, 46% female and 2% persons with disabilities benefited from the jobs created. The majority of the businesses supported is in the services sector (33%). Other sectors that benefited include tourism (17%), manufacturing (17%), consultancy (17%) and marketing (16%). Another testimony of NYDA’s intervention is the story of Tshegofatso Nkwana-Mapenkane Daughters Trading (PTY) Ltd created in 2017 by five young black women who were passionate about events management. They received grant funding of R50 000 from NYDA Groblersdal District Centre. The business specialises in equipment hire services, planning and coordination of weddings, birthday celebrations, amongst others.

Abongile Tsotsi from Protea Glen area of Soweto was a beneficiary of the job placement initiative. He intends to complete a Masters Degree and assist his family. NYDA facilitated his placement in the KZN Transport Department in a monitoring and evaluation position.

The National Youth Service Programme intended to implement the NYS communication and marketing strategy.  NYDA registered 38 new youth service programmes against the target of 20. 37 new partnerships were developed to deliver on NYS programmes. NYDA designed the Presidential Youth Service and the Higher Education Youth Service. The design of the Presidential Youth Service led to the funding of R400 million from National Treasury. The Collins Chabane School of Artisans (CCSA) is a continuing legacy project of the National Youth Service Programme in memory of the late Minister. The programme contributes to reduction of unemployment, skills development and income transfer. The programme cuts across national, provincial and local government levels and 60 people are undertaking their qualifications in plumbing, water and wastewater treatment supported by TVET colleges. The artisan offer services to their communities.

Programme 4 of NYDA deals with research and policy. NYDA conducted three quarterly customer service surveys. One interesting research centred on how young people use the R350 grant and the expected outcome of the grant. There is a major lobby for the extension and permanency of the grant. NYDA has an integrated approach to youth development. It takes a broader role to coordinate government’s approach beyond its mandate. It publishes at least one report annually about the achievements of government and private sector and NYDA in its commitment to integrated youth development.

Annual Financial Report
Mr Thamsanqa Mkhwanazi, NYDA CFO, said the country started the 2020/21 Financial Year under a hard lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. NYDA operated remotely under the lockdown but normal operations resumed in June 2020. National Treasury reduced NYDA’s budget from R545 million to R401 million and thus the entity reviewed its annual performance plan (APP). The budget deficit was mainly augmented from administrative expenses, travel and outreach-related activities. In 2021, NYDA spend R12 million of its Fund to assist young entrepreneurs affected by the pandemic. He also spoke about assets and liabilities as well as the audit report.

AGSA made a finding on the ICT system related to inadequate implementation of user access management control. NYDA has replaced the ICT system with the integrated ERP system which went live in July 2021. NYDA does not expect the finding to reoccur as it already took appropriate steps to address this.

Discussion
The Chairperson commended the determination of NYDA to monitor service delivery by service providers. Service providers must ensure the intended beneficiaries get the services promised to them. She applauded NYDA for the clean audit for the seventh consecutive year. She hoped that NYDA will improve its performance with the appointment of the new Board; the standards must not drop, going forward. The performance of NYDA must also translate to practical impacts on the ground to achieve an acceptable return on investment.

Mr S Ngcobo (DA) sought clarity about the number of youths and persons with disabilities that benefited from the non-financial business development intervention in 2020/21. Has NYDA internally met its employment equity target for persons with disabilities?

Mr Masondo (ANC) commended the resolve of NYDA to empower women, youth and persons with disabilities in various regions of the country. What is the progress in the implementation of the ERP system to date? Have the regional managers mastered the system? If yes, what are the outcomes? Is NYDA offering non-financial business development intervention to enterprise beneficiaries in the Sanitary Dignity programme?

Mr E Ntlangwini (EFF) asked if NYDA has mechanisms to monitor the beneficiaries of the various grants. What is NYDA doing to ensure fairness in the disbursement of the grants? What is the rationale behind the loans given to NYDA staff? Is there a policy that governs the administration of the loans? Do staff pay interest on the loans received? NYDA should review the administration of the loans, giving the financial situation of NYDA. The limited resources should be channelled mainly to the beneficiaries.

Ms A Hlongo (ANC) commended the work of the Department and NYDA. She welcomed the appointment of a Board as a step in the right direction. This should further ease the work of the CFO and the CEO. She noted that NYDA contributions are mostly evident in urban areas. Most youths in the deep rural areas and informal settlements do not have clarity on how NYDA operates. She urged NYDA to extend its reach to all youths in the country.

Mr L Mphithi (DA) joined other MPs to commend the good works of NYDA. The Agency did well and deserves compliments. NYDA has demonstrated competence in its financial records and governance. He thanked the CEO for responding to his letter about certain concerns.

The next frontier requires NYDA to deal with the perception problems that it continues to have with the youth of the country. He reiterated that the clean audit opinion achieved by NYDA should connect with the reality on ground and the aspirations of the struggling youths in the country. The new Board and all officials should adopt an integrated approach to meet their targets effectively. The unemployment crisis is not limited to South Africa, it is global.

He raised concerns about non-functional tools and equipment in some NYDA offices. Is there an audit report on the functioning of these tools? It is commendable that NYDA plans to have the tools functioning by 31 March 31 2022. Is there an indication on the number of youths affected by the non-functional tools at the moment? NYDA should deal with the matter as fast as possible.

Market linkages are vital for new entrepreneurs. They need to be connected to the right markets in South Africa. What practical steps in market linkage readiness resulted from the Steering Committee that has been put in place by NYDA and the Departments of Trade and Industry and of Small Business Development? It is important to link entrepreneurs with big businesses. He was concerned that entrepreneurs who live in townships and deep rural areas will find it difficult to link with markets. He sought clarity on the partnership NYDA has with Unilever and Clicks.

What is the timeframe for the success rate of the entrepreneurs supported by NYDA? The 72% success rate, achieved by NYDA at the end of the first year, might not be a true reflection of actual success as research has shown that 80% of small businesses in the country do not survive up to the fifth year. Does NYDA have a mechanism to measure the success rate in the third, fourth and fifth year? It is important to take the integrated approach to youth development seriously so does NYDA have collaborations with other government departments ? Can NYDA give the Portfolio Committee an indication of those departments? Are there mechanisms to monitor those departments on their plans to upskill youths and grow their potential in various aspects of the economy? Do those departments have budgets to address youth-related interventions? It is important to have the right budgetary allocation to drive the integrated mechanism.

It is important to address the challenges youths face with data. NYDA should devise means to make data more accessible to youths to harness their potential for the digital economy, which can unlock massive opportunities for job creation. The approach to unleashing the digital economy must not be superficial but pragmatic. All stakeholders, including the public sector, private sector and civil society must work together to ensure an inclusive market that could get young people working again. The concept of an employment tax incentive should be encouraged as it has the potential to boost the employment of youths. The biggest priority for NYDA, going forward, is to win back the trust of young people in the country. Young people must be empowered with skills and know-how to create a youth contingent that contributes to the economy.

The Chairperson asked if NYDA has a mechanism to monitor the business deals between entrepreneurs and government entities at national, provincial and local levels for the services and products provided by the entrepreneurs. Some entrepreneurs complained of non-payment by government entities. Some alleged that government officials demand money from them before an invoice would be generated. Entrepreneurs should receive payments due to them within the standard 30-day cycle in order to remain afloat. It is important that DWYPD furnish the Portfolio Committee with information about what they are doing to monitor other departments about these concerns raised by MPs. It is important that DWYPD, in collaboration with other role-players, renew the commitment to decrease unemployment rate in the country.

Ms F Masiko (ANC) commended the President for the appointment of the NYDA Board. It is encouraging that both the Executive Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson are female. She also commended the CEO for steering the organisation in the right direction in the absence of a Board. She applauded NYDA for meeting 96% of its performance targets. NYDA must not lower its standards but aim for greater heights under the leadership of the new Board.

She sought clarity on the budget allocation and expenditure on intangible assets. A total of R37 million was allocated to intangible assets. R12 million was spent on in-house software development, while R21 million was spent on software under-development. What is the difference between the two? Why did NYDA commit so much resources to the development of the ERP system and how long did it take to complete? She asked about the R80 000 incurred from write-offs and the R1 million spent on legal fees. She noted that 47 staff left the Agency during 2020/21 due to the expiration of their contracts. What are the designations of these officials? What is the agency doing to ensure full staff capacity? What is NYDA doing to resolve its ICT challenges?

The agency must ensure its interventions eventually help the intended beneficiaries to achieve return on investment. There are various complaints from participants that they were unable to proceed to sustainable jobs after undergoing EPWP training, for example.

Mr N Sharif (DA) thanked the Agency for its achievement. It must ensure it gets value for its investments. Necessary support should be given to beneficiaries, especially students to ensure they make a success of the various interventions they receive. Does it give non-financial support to students who benefit from its interventions? Does it have measures to link youths with the various spheres of government? One of the greatest challenges for young entrepreneurs is working space. NYDA can satisfy this need by setting up conducive collaborative work spaces in various parts of the country with all the necessary facilities that ensure the productivity of youths. NYDA must work with relevant stakeholders, while avoiding duplication of roles at the same time. There should be effective networking between young people in various industries and the entire youth population. Young people often link more effectively and this can lead to a positive synergy that unlocks massive job creation potential. It is important to work with youth as the country moves into the future, more digital-centred world. This should be the priority of the incoming Board.

Mr C Phiri (ANC) asked if NYDA has a database of the beneficiaries who were successfully assisted by the various interventions. It must strive to inject new and unemployed graduates into young businesses. This could lead to more sustainable businesses that the Portfolio Committee can be proud of even after the Sixth Parliament. The Portfolio Committee and other role-players must remain optimistic while working to turn the current situation around.

DWYPD response
Mr Emmanuel Kganakga, Director: Youth Legislation and Policy, DWYPD, said that the Department on a quarterly basis requests other government departments to report on the progress of a list of indicators contained in the National Youth Development Policy. In June 2021, DWYPD presented the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the Youth Policy to the Portfolio Committee. The Framework ensures effectiveness on the part of every stakeholder. The Department convenes a forum with various stakeholders, on a quarterly basis, to discuss and plan for common youth development programmes in the country. The attendance from all stakeholders has been encouraging. It is important to ensure adequate reporting and accountability from all implementers of the youth development policy.

The Department works together with NYDA to curb and eliminate the current youth unemployment crisis through the funding of enterprises and capacity building. DWYPD is currently developing a skills development programme for youth which will help transition young people into careers relevant to the fourth industrial revolution through training and placements for learning. The programme is currently being finalised. The various role-players are drafting and finalising memorandums of agreements and memorandums of understanding. The collaboration between both public and private sectors would play a pivotal role to reduce the unemployment crisis. DWYPD will table the programme to Cabinet soon to get the required buy-in from various government components.

The Department submitted a proposal to the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative to secure funding for Phase 2 of the programme. The Department is glad that NYDA received approval and funding for some of its interventions. DWYPD supports NYDA in various aspects and tries to reposition it as an entity of the future, especially for effective service delivery. The Department and the Agency currently work together in the space of legislative review.

The National Youth Policy is an advocacy tool that brings stakeholders such as the public and private sectors and civil society together to place youth development at the centre. The Department and the Agency are developing an Integrated Youth Development Strategy that aims to deepen the implementation of the policy. The strategy is being taken through various clusters and will eventually get to Cabinet for adoption and approval. The Department also is working with NYDA to conduct a study on the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on young people. The study has been finalised and awaits approval before it is published through appropriate departmental channels. The Department receives, assesses and processes quarterly reports from NYDA so it can receive its next quarterly tranche to operate smoothly. The Department assists NYDA with operational, strategic and annual performance plans.

NYDA response
Mr Carrim replied that 360 of the total 8 000 beneficiaries assisted in Programme 2 were young persons with disabilities. NYDA met its target in the employment of persons with disabilities but hopes to exceed the target in the next financial year.

On the implementation of the new ERP system, Mr Carrim said the transition from a manual to a digital system has never been an easy one. NYDA needs to train regional managers and other role-players to harness the prowess of the new system. Measures are in place to ensure usability and reliability of the system to give a favourable user experience. NYDA constitutes a weekly steering committee that considers the various challenges and devises mitigating measures.

In the sanitary dignity space, there are a number of young women starting up their own enterprises.

In response to Mr Sharif’s concern, Mr Carrim replied that the application and selection process for the various programmes are fair and transparent. Every young person, as long they are South African and below the age of 35, can apply to the NYDA for various products and services. Those who feel unfairly treated have a process to channel their grievances. NYDA, from time to time, has fully disclosed the beneficiaries of its programmes.

On monitoring and evaluation, Mr Carrim replied NYDA has produced three reports, which indicated that the various programmes have a positive return on investment. The reports also suggested certain policy changes, which NYDA has implemented. NYDA intends to obtain a fourth report and share the detailed findings with the Portfolio Committee. NYDA plans to discontinue programmes that do not yield maximum benefit to the recipients. NYDA aims to fix challenges in various programmes to achieve sustainable programmes and job creation for young people.

Mr Carrim replied about the impact of NYDA in rural areas, saying that NYDA has expanded from 15 sites to 44 centres in rural areas in the last three years. The Agency currently has a number of technological applications to connect young people remotely. It continues to work to deepen rural access and this is a top priority for the incoming Board. He assured the Committee that NYDA is taking steps to address its perception challenge among young people. Full disclosure of beneficiaries and funded projects is one of the measures taken to address the reputational challenge.

According to the latest report, three offices and 36 computers are non-functional. Steps are being taken to ensure that these offices and computers are replaced by the end of the current financial year. Appropriate market linkage is critical to the survival of small businesses. NYDA partners with the South African Bureau of Standards to ease and subsidize the accreditation of products and services developed by young entrepreneurs. NYDA also tries to work with other stakeholders to link small businesses with big businesses like Clicks and Unilever, amongst others.

It is important to establish a viable line of credit to ensure healthy cash flow and survival of small businesses. NYDA measures the success of businesses over a 12 month and 24 month cycle. The fourth Monitoring and Evaluation report will give an indication of the success rate of small businesses over a 60 month cycle for the first time in the history of the country.

NYDA works to ensure accountability on the part of those responsible for implementing the National Youth Employment Policy. He commended the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme for achieving 65 000 workplace experiences even though this is a far cry from the intended 1 million target. The Committee should engage more with the YES programme, consider what they do and make recommendations for improvements.

On the difference between "in-house software" and "under-development software", the software developed in-house was a legacy system inherited from the Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission, whereas the under-development software refers to the new ERP system which was deployed live one quarter behind schedule in 2021/22. The ERP system will be categorised as developed in the next annual report.

NYDA has reviewed its targets upward following the allocation of additional funding. The Minister will presented the amended Annual Performance Plan to the Committee as soon as possible. NYDA terminated one of the scholarship programmes it facilitates due to the fee-free higher education policy, which became effective in 2016. NYDA now prioritises already existing cohorts to ensure they graduate. The beneficiaries are attached to counsellors, mentors and guides to ensure their success.

In response to Mr Sharif’s concern about collaborations, Mr Carrim replied that NYDA partners with Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) to ensure youths have a conducive and the right infrastructure to work with and to ensure effective linkage to all spheres of government. This is one of the measures to ensure positive returns on NYDA investments. NYDA tries its best to get beneficiaries to make repayment of loans. Legal fees were incurred because NYDA was forced in certain instances to engage legal means to ensure beneficiaries make repayment. NYDA managed to recover 78% of the funds. The rest of the funds is recovered on a contingency basis.

In response to the concern about staff loans, Mr Mkhwanazi, NYDA CFO, said the funds were salary advances to staff, and it is usually deducted from the next salary. The maximum amount is capped at R5 000. The R80 000 resulted from dysfunctional assets such as laptops that NYDA could not fix. The R1 million legal fees resulted from legal cases about some staff members who claimed compensation after being retrenched at the expiration of their contracts.

Mr Carrim replied that the pandemic resulted in severe budget cuts; therefore, NYDA found it difficult to fill all vacant positions. All senior management and executive positions are filled. NYDA currently has recruited one manager in the Free State and one manager in the Western Cape. NYDA now has a vacancy rate of around 6%, which is lower than the 10% recommended by the Department of Public Service and Administration. NYDA also encouraged government entities to pay young entrepreneurs for their services within a 30-day cycle, especially through the report it publishes. The report reveals data from both National and Provincial Treasuries about payments made to young entrepreneurs. NYDA also monitors the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act that specifies 30% awarded in favour of women and youth-owned enterprises.

The Chairperson asked if government entities implement the 30% preferential procurement plan in favour of women and youth-owned enterprises.

Mr Carrim replied that NYDA researchers are busy with the Monitoring and Evaluation process report and will brief the Committee as soon as the report is ready.

Mr Mbhazima Shiviti, DWYPD Acting CEO, added that the Department has put mechanisms in place to ensure the Preferential Procurement policy is followed by DWYPD and all relevant entities. The monitoring and evaluation indicators for this will be included in the DWYPD Annual Report. The Department urges other government departments, private sector and civil society to contribute their part to ensure a thriving enterprise for women, youths and people with disabilities.

The Chairperson thanked the Department and NYDA for attending the meeting. The Committee expects NYDA to present its adjusted Annual Performance Plan before the end of the year.

The 9 November 2021 minutes were adopted without any amendments.

The meeting was adjourned.

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