NYDA Q1 2022/23 Performance; Progress report on Presidential Youth Employment Interventions; with Minister

Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

04 November 2022
Chairperson: Ms C Ndaba (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


In a virtual meeting, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) briefed the Portfolio Committee on their performance for the first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year. The Presidential Youth Initiative (PYI) also provided a progress report on the Presidential youth employment interventions.

Before the NYDA made its presentation, the Chairperson of the Committee had strong words for the entity's new board. She had concerns that there was disunity among its members, a backlog with grants intended for young people, they had failed to meet their fund-raising targets, and they were not responsive to requests for assistance. She also took exception to the absence of the chairperson of the audit and risk committee, and said the continued apologies for absence were not acceptable.

The NYDA reported that they were confident that their youth employment intervention programme was working. However, their targets on the job placement of young people had not been met due to challenges such as matching their skills with the available jobs. There had been no fruitless or irregular expenditure, and no financial misconduct cases were reported.

The PYI reported that they had exceeded their targets to place young people in the "opportunities for learning and earning" programme. They had developed a mechanism for working with employers to facilitate matching young people and employment opportunities. However, funding for the current funding period had not been approved due to issues they needed to sort out with National Treasury.

Members asked questions about the NYDA’s financial and performance report management, the backlog of grant payments, and their human resources report. They questioned the assistance it provided to people looking for jobs. The organisation also needed to ensure their spending improved in the next quarter.

Members wanted to see the PYI use their new placement innovation more. They questioned why the entity wanted to get a contractor to assist with the placement of young people. Why would it want to appoint contractors when the NYDA was there? Why not tap into the NYDA’s database? Appointing a contractor meant that the money that was meant to support young people would benefit one company. 

The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) applauded the Presidency for taking the youth employment initiative a step further. It also thanked other government departments, such as the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and the Department of Basic Education, for getting involved in the fight against youth unemployment.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed the delegations from the Presidential Youth Initiative (PYI) and the National Youth Development Agency(NYDA).

Chairperson's advice to NYDA board

The Chairperson shared her observations about the NYDA, stating that from the last meeting it had with the Committee, it appeared that there was not a good working relationship among the board members. This was a concern for the Committee. There was no way the Committee would allow the board members to not have a good working relationship. The board members may come from different political parties, but this does not mean that this should affect the NYDA. The board members were expected to behave as professionally as possible, because they shared the same purpose of changing the lives of young people. One could not afford to have a board that was not unified, because this was not going to assist the NYDA or benefit the young people of South Africa. The Committee did not want to find a situation where Commissioners were fighting with each other as though they did not have a shared purpose. The new board could not lower the standard of the NYDA and throw it in the dustbin.

The NYDA bar had been very high when the Committee came into service. However, multiple anonymous letters have come through since the board came into service. It was too much now. The Committee wanted to monitor the work of the NYDA, but they were receiving letters left, right and centre. Even the first quarter reports showed that the NYDA board was not doing very well. There had been a backlog on vouchers and grants that needed to be awarded to young people. What should happen to the people who qualified when they applied for the grant but could not qualify to receive it now due to the backlog? The NYDA was making young people suffer. Young people must not be found frustrated and crying because no one was listening to them.

It was difficult to intervene in situations where young people needed to be paid their grants but were not paid for reasons that only the devil knew. The non-payment made it appear that the board consisted of young people who did not care for other people. There was no way that the board could just sit there and want to fight with each other when young people still needed to be receiving awards. They had been telling young people about a nonsensical criterion for the awards. They were supposed to draft a policy allowing young people to qualify. They must not be bureaucratic to the extent that the NYDA could not assist young people, but must help them to qualify. They must not throw their applications in the bin -- rather provide young people with feedback on why they did not qualify.

The NYDA was the only institution that could ensure that the lives of young entrepreneurs were changed for the better. How did the NYDA coordinate with the Presidential youth desk/committee and the Department of Women? The board had underperformed on youth placement. This was only quarter one. The board had managed to raise only R5 million out of a R150 million target for donations. These issues were very serious to the Committee. The Committee was prepared to give the NYDA its full support. The Chairperson’s line was open 24/7 to assist the NYDA board members -- unlike some board members who did not answer when the Committee contacted them. The Committee was a team, and did not let their political affiliations affect their working relationship.

What had the NYDA board done in the 100 days since it had taken office? The Portfolio Committee did not care about the number of meetings the board had attended. It wanted to see impact and how young people benefited from the NYDA’s projects. Why could the NYDA not place young people in jobs? How did they negotiate with different municipalities to place young people? How did you translate the youth policy that Parliament passed?

The Chairperson felt that it was important that she made these remarks so the board could understand where the Committee was coming from and their expectations of the NYDA board. Why did the NYDA want to employ consultants and not young graduates capable of doing the job? The NYDA had a high staff turnover; why was this so? The NYDA should please attend to any Member of Parliament who requires assistance. She had been informed that a Committee Member had requested their assistance, and the board did not assist the Member. The NYDA should fulfil their intentions to innovate. This must not be a dream deferred.

She hoped that these remarks would lead to change in the board’s performance and growth in the second quarter. The Committee was "going to be on your neck." It wanted to see the grants being paid. The NYDA was going to report to it every quarter. It wanted to see a new strategy from the NYDA on how they were going to ensure that young people were going to receive their grants and vouchers. If the officials that the Committee had placed to exercise those responsibilities were useless, then the NYDA should remove them. One did not want to hear that there were backlogs. It was time for progress.

The Chairperson said she did not accept the apology for absence from the new chairperson of the NYDA’s audit and risk committee, as there was no explanation in the email for the chairperson’s absence. She said that Mr Thulisa Ndlela, NYDA board member, would not make the presentation on the chairperson’s behalf -- the chairperson had to make the presentation themselves. The audit report would not be presented until the chairperson of the audit and risk committee presented it.

She moved on to the next item on the agenda.

NYDA's first quarter performance report

Ms Asanda Luwaca, Executive Chairperson, NYDA, provided the Committee with a political overview of the NYDA.

She responded to the Chairperson's observations, and committed to the Committee and the young people of the country that the NYDA board would work tirelessly to realise the NYDA’s mandate. A lot was required from the board, and they all shared that responsibility with the understanding that they dared not fail country's young people.

The board of directors prioritised community involvement and collaboration to ensure positive youth development. Key activities and achievements of the board included:

  • Supporting the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to reach as many young people as possible for the 2022 academic year intake.
  • Launching the revitalised youth service. At the end of Q2, 38 000 young people participated in service activities, and the NYDA expected to meet the State of the Nation Address (SONA) commitment of 50 000 by Q3.
  • Lobbying for the continuation and funding of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention and the Presidential Employment Stimulus.

Cabinet had adopted and approved the NYDA’s integrated youth development Strategy.

Mr Waseem Carrim, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NYDA, presented the second quarter report, the human resources statistics, the communication strategy, the NYDA thought leadership, and the plan for NYDA hubs. He said the NYDA board had conducted a great deal of oversight. It aimed to visit at least every district and assess the effectiveness of operations and services provided to young people. The NYDA had plans to make their centres fresher hubs that would attract young people.

The Chairperson asked what offices the NYDA was benchmarking their office designs against. The NYDA centre in the North West had attractive, more desirable offices.

Mr Carrim replied that the NYDA would present a template to the Committee on what the hubs would look like.

The NYDA had established a customer service framework that provided the service standards for every application in the organisation. It would hold itself accountable using this framework.

The Chairperson asked how the NYDA assisted young people to access funds in the National Empowerment Fund for information communication technology (ICT) and small businesses. Young entrepreneurs had been raising this issue with her. The board must focus on this.

Mr Carrim said that the referral system between themselves, other government institutions and the private sector, was working, and what could be improved in Africa would be up at the next meeting.

Mr Culita Mhlongo, Chief Financial Officer, NYDA, provided a financial overview of the NYDA’s financial matters, and said total spending for quarter one stood at R109 million. This equated to 58% of the year-to-date budget, and 15% compared to the annual budget. The overall expenditure should improve by quarter two and three, when tranche requests from the Jobs Fund are processed. There had been no fruitless or irregular expenditure, and no financial misconduct cases reported.


Ms T Masondo (ANC) asked why the documents reflecting the work of the board were submitted separately. How did the board deliberate on quarterly reports before submissions to the Committee? What processes were followed for the board to endorse formal documents for consideration? Was the quarter one report approved by the board prior to submission to the Committee for consideration? What were the specific key accomplishments and challenges since the board had come into office? What were the specific key contributions for quarter one of 2022/23? What were the key issues identified during the six board committee meetings during the first quarter? How many specialists had been appointed in the office of the chairperson and deputy chairperson, and at what cost?

Mr S Ngcobo (DA) said that the NYDA had stated that the targets on the job placement of young people had not been met due to challenges, and due to young people applying for jobs that were not in demand in the economy. What were the jobs that young people were applying for? The NYSDA had stated that they were exploring other partnerships. What partnerships were being explored by the organisation? There were challenges that the NYDA were grappling with in the community works programme -- what were the challenges? What was the outcome of the stakeholder consultations that the NYDA had with stakeholders, including the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and community workers?

Ms F Masiko (ANC) welcomed the report from the NYDA and the political input from the Chairperson of the NYDA. She went back to the Committee Chairperson’s opening remarks about the functionality of the board itself. The Committee saw a collective of young people with leadership attributes that could take the NYDA to greater heights when conducting interviews. Though the Committee did not want to compare this NYDA board to the previous board, it still had expectations of the new board to lead the organisation in a way that improved it and took it to greater heights. The Committee did understand that this was a new board and had to familiarise itself with the functions and operations of the NYDA, but it also needed to ascertain what its key accomplishments and challenges were. The Committee expected to receive a report from the board that reflected the work of each individual board member as part of a collective. The fact that the Committee was receiving varied accounts of the work that the board was doing as individual members told the Committee that there was a unity and collaboration problem in the board. How had the board considered the quarter one report before submitting it to the Committee? Did the NYDA have a session where they sat together as a board and considered the report? The Committee welcomed the work the board was doing as individuals and a collective. The work was evidence that the board was on the ground.

However, what were the linkages between the work they were doing and the actual targets and indicators of the NYDA? Were the synergies of the work that they were doing aligned with the NYDA and its targets? How had things gotten to the point where the NYDA’s work was being reported on separate documents? The report that the Committee had received from the audit and risk committee indicated that insufficient oversight had been applied to the financial and performance reports. This was evidenced by the number of adjustments that needed to be made as per the Auditor-General’s management letter. The audit and risk committee’s report also recommended that management be urged to ensure a quality review of financial information and to prepare regular, accurate and complete financial and performance reports supported by reliable information.

The Committee needed to see that there was a level of response by what had been picked up by the audit and risk committee. It needed to see that the organisation would be able to ensure that their spending improved in the next quarter. Why was sufficient oversight not applied over the presentation of the financial and performance reports? The Committee did not want to get to the fourth quarter and realise that the financial spending had not improved or picked up.

The reason for the target of the number of youth and youth enterprises financially supported not being met was that there had been delays in payments, as some of the submissions had not met the expected requirements. What were the requirements that were not being met? How could this be averted in future? Young people were anticipating their grants so that they could continue with their entrepreneurship projects, but they often did not receive them due to technical issues. What changes were being proposed to the draft policies on the bill that was introduced to increase efficiency in the internal processes? What were the 91 vacant posts that were being recruited for? What was the update on the recruitment process?

NYDA's response

Mr Carrim said that the NYDA chairperson would have outlined the initial commitment since the board’s appointment and what they had achieved during that period. The chairperson would have spoken about the NYDA’s commitment to the integrated youth development strategy, the partnership with the NSFAS, and deepening the board’s relations with COGTA. The NYDA was at a point where they had at least achieved their initial commitments, and were confident that their youth employment intervention programme was working. This was reflected in the quarterly survey. They did have slight concerns that the funding for their programmes ended in 2024. For now, the NYDA’s goal over the next couple of months was to secure its programme, at least over the medium term and long term, crowding in the right private sector investment so it could scale up its initiatives. The initiatives were working. The NYDA needed to absorb more young people and fix the structural issues of the economy so that young people were able to better transition to more sustainable opportunities outside of government.

He said the community works programme (CWP) was a good programme that employed 250 000 people at a public employment level. The majority were women. The CWP had seen institutional challenges such as "ghost workers" on programmes, the programme being a very manual-based type of system, and interference from local government. When (COGTA) brought the NYDA on board; it was a lot about fixing the institutional issues associated with the CWP. The less time spent on things like administration resulted in more time to focus on the quality of the programme and the quality of what young people were doing. Very exciting ideas were being put in place. The NYDA and COGTA’s relationship was deepening.

On job placements, he replied that he did not believe that there were no jobs that young people did not apply for. The Youth Service paid a R2 000 stipend per month. 1.5 million young people had applied for the teacher’s assistant posts. It was a myth that young people did not want to work in this country. The saddest thing was seeing graduates working in jobs not suited to their qualifications. Structural economics needed to be fixed. There was an exciting tourism-related programme that the NYDA was working on as a private-public initiative. Insurance and tourism were the two sectors that would be targeted for the remainder of the financial year.

The Chairperson asked how the new energy agreement that had been signed with Eskom was going to benefit the NYDA. The Committee wanted to see young people benefiting from this.

Mr Carrim agreed with the Chairperson. The NYDA was working with the World Bank and Eskom to establish, with the transition to renewable energy, how one would protect the primary jobs of the people employed by the coal-powered plants, and the secondary jobs as well. The youth was front and centre of their minds, and they would ensure active participation in all their programmes.

The Auditor-General had picked up some concerns in the NYDA’s financial statements, and he was personally dissatisfied with that. There had been a transition, with a new CFO. That adjustment happened around the time of compiling the financial statements. He had had a family responsibility around that time, and he therefore could not give the financial statements the attention they deserved. They were lucky that they did not lose their clean audit. They were looking at their financials again and making sure that the errors picked up by the Auditor-General did not recur.

On the Human Resources posts, he replied that the posts were all between management to lower levels. There were 13 business development advisor vacancies open. They could submit a list of all critical vacancies and their current status. They were confident that the vacancy rate would be under five percent in the third quarter.

He recognised that delays in the grant application process were an issue, as they affected young people ready to start their businesses. Technical support has been put together in the branches and centres to stop this from occurring. He acknowledged that the fault lay with the NYDA, not the young people. Therefore, institutional mechanisms had been put in place to say if a NYDA employee submitted a file to head office and the file was not compliant. More than ten percent of the files from a district were not compliant; that person would get a first written warning that week. If they did it again, they would get a final written warning; if it happened for the third time, they would face a disciplinary process. This was being done at the district and provincial levels so there was accountability.

Ms Luwaca responded to the Committee’s concerns and remarks about the Member’s request for assistance in her constituency, and confirmed that the board had received such a request. The parliamentary liaison officer would have attempted to reach out to the Member from July this year. The NYDA had proposed dates based on the Member’s availability and they were waiting for feedback in that regard. The board had already begun the internal planning process to embark on a programme that would fit the needs of that particular constituency. She could attest that the Committee Member had provided context, as it related to some of the socio-economic challenges confronting the youth in that identified area. This included issues around poverty, unemployment, limited access to the internet, lack of recreational spaces, and young people being involved in criminal activities. However, the board was unfortunately not able to secure a date with the Member despite numerous attempts. The board had noted the Committee's comments, and would ensure that they could follow up in that regard so that the programme could be implemented.

She currently had one specialist, who was the parliamentary liaison officer. Her specialist was currently pursuing her Masters degree in military studies at the University of Stellenbosch. She had an Honours degree in Developmental Studies from the University of the Western Cape and another Honours degree in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand. She also had a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Referring to the separate submission of documents to the Committee, the reporting and the lack of unison, she replied that following the board’s previous submission and their presentation to the Committee, the board had collectively agreed to do better and be more thorough in reviewing their presentations prior to submission to the Committee. The board had sat and resolved to consolidate all of their reports so that there was uniformity, and the process would have been done with the assistance of the secretariat. They had been notified after this that the deputy chairperson had submitted her report outside of what had been collectively resolved by the board, and outside of the consolidated presentation. They had corrected that and resubmitted to the Committee, so it could now see the consolidated reports that had been presented before it. The board wished to apologise for the confusion caused by the many submissions, and would ensure that they rectified this.

Mr Ndlela thanked the Committee for the opportunity to respond, and noted the Chairperson’s need to have the NYDA’s audit and risk committee chairperson avail herself. He could not properly answer, as he was interrupted by connectivity issues.

Mr Avela Mjajubana, Board Member, NYDA, said he had no responses, as he had been covered.

Ms Alexandria Procter, Board Member, NYDA, said she would provide feedback once the board provides its feedback on its submission.

Ms Lebogang Mulaisi, Board Member, NYDA, spoke on the need for better reports in future. She stated that the board had gone beyond the bounds of what had been requested by the Committee in their presentation in terms of the period for reporting. She had taken this into consideration and her report showed that she was one of the board members that had gone beyond the reporting period. This was also informed by what the CEO had covered in today’s session, and tied back to the work that the board had done. She took into consideration the work that must be done in terms of better coordinating efforts.

Ms Pearl Pillay, Board Member, NYDA, said she was covered, and would come in once the NYDA’s presentations were done at the end.

Ms Karabo Mohale, Executive Deputy Chairperson, NYDA, sincerely apologised to the Committee for the confusion caused by her submitting a separate report. She had formally raised the matter with the board and hoped that the board could present a comprehensive report about what could have potentially transpired.

Ms Masiko said that her understanding was that one report was missing from the NYDA. This was the report that the CEO was about to present before the Committee got into the reports from the NYDA.

The Chairperson replied that she did not want to take time from the presidential delegation’s report, and wanted them to present first, before the NYDA presented again. The report of the CEO would be the last one.

Presentation by Presidential Youth Initiative

Mr Rudi Dicks, Head: Project Management Office (PMO), Private Office of the Presidential Youth Initiative, outlined the work of the PMO and introduced his delegation. He expressed his appreciation to the Minister, who had been important in supporting the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI). This had cascaded to the NYDA and the board playing an active role in endorsing the PYEI. The PYI was very excited and honoured to have been called to present an update on the intervention.

Ms Lerato Shai said three interventions were being coordinated from the PMO to ensure inclusive growth and employment creation. These were:

  • Implementing the Presidential employment stimulus.
  • Operation Vulindlela – a partnership between the PYEI, the Presidency, and National Treasury.
  • The Presidential Youth Employment Initiative.

The PYEI had taken a strong partnership approach to deliver its mandate.

The Chairperson cautioned that the interface between the PYEI and representative youth organisations such as the South African Youth Council, could potentially cause a problem for the PYI. The SA Youth Council was not the only organisation that represented young people; other youth organisations did this too. Prioritising one organisation would lead to an outcry from young people. This must be corrected. The Committee had not supported this to begin with. It did not want people to support their friends. All young people must benefit from the initiative.

Ms Shai replied that The SA Youth Council had been used as an example. It would be removed. The PYEI would present in a way that did not make it seem like one institution was receiving preferential treatment.

Ms Carmel Marock presented on the National Pathway Management Network. She said there was a range of networks in place across government and civil society that enabled young people to transition from where they were to other forms of opportunities. Many structures had been put in place to allow for effective participation. The National Pathway Management Network aimed to place 165 000 young people in opportunities for learning and earning. It has been able to place 585 000 young people in SA Youth and 60 000 young people in Employment Services South Africa.

The Chairperson asked Ms Marock exactly which period she was reporting on, because she was not sure which year’s targets she was presenting on.

Ms Marock replied that it was for this year.

Ms Shai said that the budget and targets reported on were for 2021/22 – 2022/23. The ‘actuals’ were to date.

Ms Sebolelo Sybil Chabane, Coordinator: Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan Skills Strategy, Department of Higher Education and Training, presented on demand-led skills development.

The Chairperson asked Ms Chabane whether her presentation was going to include people with disabilities.

Ms Chabane replied that she did not have the statistics broken down to that extent, but she could certainly go away and prepare a supplementary report that would include information on people with disabilities.

The purpose of this initiative was to see how to establish a mechanism that could work with employers to facilitate the matching of young people with employment opportunities. This innovative mechanism differed from how one traditionally funded skills development through the Department. The key difference was that the PYI traditionally funded skills development without necessarily linking funding to the placement of the learners. There was no strict expectation that placements must occur once learning was completed as part of the conditions for funding. This mechanism they were implementing prioritised placement as the outcome to be funded, with skills development being an enabler of that.

Challenges in implementing this programme included the entity running the first round of requests for proposals in the first part of the year, which concluded without an answer, simply because the entity had tested a model they were unfamiliar with. The model had now been restructured. The programme had not been able to get off the ground operationally. Steps were being taken to ensure that funding would be implemented before the end of the financial year. At least 7 400 technical and vocational education and training (TVET) graduates had been placed in work-integrated learning and other workplace-based learning opportunities by 31 August 2022.

The Chairperson asked Ms Chabane which budget from the DHET was being spoken about. How did this budget link with the NYDA?

Ms Chabane replied that the DHET, in partnership with the PYEI and the National Skills Fund (NSF), had submitted an application to National Treasury for funding to test the pay-for-performance model. The link with the NYDA was broader, to show that the programme was targeting young people. However, the budget did not come from the NYDA, but was rather being managed by the DHET, with the NSF being the primary implementing partner. From the budgeted R400 million, they had received R200 million from National Treasury, and the National Skills Fund had provided matching funds.

The Chairperson stated that the presentation looked like the entity also had a backlog.

Ms Chabane replied that she would not call this a backlog. The model itself was quite new to the entity. It had been trying to adapt its systems to be able to implement the model. It should be possible to move with speed once the model takes off. She explained that this was a departure from traditional funding, where only training was funded. The contractors participating in this pilot would be paid only when a person was placed. The contractor got additional payment the longer a placed person stayed in employment.

Mr Kenneth Bosoma, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, presented on the Local Ecosystem Enablement Fund. He said funding for the current funding period was not approved because National Treasury had clarity-seeking questions. There was confusion between what the DTIC wanted to create and what their sister department was creating. They had to revise the proposal to arrive at the Local Ecosystem Enablement Fund. A steering committee had been established which consisted of the DTIC’s sister department and implementing agencies. The DTIC had also sought endorsement from its principals. The Department was currently in the process of addressing all the comments raised by National Treasury. Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Presidency were being finalised. The entity was also waiting on feedback from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) board on additional funding of R1 billion.

Ms Shai returned to present on the cross-cutting PYEI strategic priorities the entity was focusing on as it headed to the end of the financial year, which included continuing to engage National Treasury to secure funding for the PYEI for 2024/25 onwards, and enhancing partnerships and institutional arrangements for the PYEI.

The Chairperson asked Ms Chabane about the placement of young people. The report stated that the entity wanted to get a contractor to assist with the placement of young people. Why would the entity want to appoint contractors when the NYDA was there? Why not tap into the NYDA’s database? Appointing a contractor meant that the money meant to support young people would benefit one company. Which contractors do they want to appoint? The NYDA had a database of service providers.

Ms Chabane replied that the PYEI did not expect to exclude the NYDA. The NYDA would be an important resource in the recruitment process. She said the model being implemented did not function in the way that skills development was traditionally funded. The key issue here was that this model transferred the risk to the implementing contractors, as they had to have the confidence and security of their network of employers to be able to say that they knew that the employment opportunities existed, because they would be paid only on their ability to place young people. Appointing the contractors was going to be a tendering process and be managed as a transparent contracting process. The different considerations that had to be considered were the capabilities of the companies to manage their internal cash flows so that they could afford to get the payments made, as described earlier. Some companies may need cash flow support from other funding sources to absorb that risk. The envisaged role of the NYDA would be for them to avail their database of young people during the recruitment process.

The Chairperson replied that she did not want young people to miss those opportunities. She wanted the big service providers to at least sub-contract and empower the smaller service providers. Young people would never be empowered if they did not do it that way.

Ms Chabane replied that the entity would need to challenge the service provider providing this work, to ensure that it was part of their model.

The Chairperson replied that the Committee advocated for young people, and it was important for the PYEI’s initiatives to benefit the intended beneficiaries at the end of the day.


The Chairperson opened the discussion by addressing the NYDA, and said that when a person came to the Portfolio Committee, they knew that the time written down was just a formality. A meeting could not end at the stipulated ending time while there were unresolved issues in the meeting. The NYDA board members had committed to serving the South African youth when they took office in the NYDA. They were called once a quarter to the Committee. This matter of members sending apologies about picking a child up, or attending to other commitments, was unacceptable to the Committee. It was wrong to be aware of a Committee meeting long beforehand, and then to submit apologies when it was time for the meeting. It was like the entity was concerned about their own lives, and not the lives of young people. NYDA members had sent apologies during the previous meeting, and were sending them again for this meeting. That could be done during NYDA board meetings, but not parliamentary meetings. Otherwise, the Committee would tell the President that he had appointed the wrong people to the board, and that new people who were serious about serving the youth must be appointed. All the apologies sent by the NYDA board were not accepted. The NYDA board members must be in attendance until the meeting ends.

Ms Masiko said a presentation was needed to help the Committee understand the working relationship between the PMO, the NYDA, and the Department -- specifically, the unit that dealt with young people. At some point, they needed a better understanding of who did what, when, and how. The coordination was a bit confusing. One would have expected to hear something about the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), as it had the biggest Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) which recruited and trained young people. The NYDA should account for the PMO and for the accountability structures to Parliament in terms of the set targets and the money that had been spent. The Committee did understand that the entities report to Parliament, but needed to know how they were reporting to the different parliamentary portfolio committees that dealt with budget votes and annual performance plans, with targets and budgets. The Committee also needed to understand their accountability to other portfolio committees, whether the set targets appear in the various departments’ annual plans, and if the different portfolio committees were holding these departments accountable for the work done for young people in the country.

The establishment of the youth machinery by the Department was meant to bring together all the youth from across all sectors and there should, to a certain extent, be a role played by the youth machinery. Why were they not using the youth machinery?

She said one slide noted that a revised proposal for the "pay for performance" pilot had been submitted for consideration by the NSF approval committees, and that there had been significant delay in approval. This meant that no work had taken place for six months into the financial year. This was problematic, and needed an explanation. One would find that a submission was sitting in front of an official who was not signing it off. The Committee needed to know why there were significant delays.

Ms B Marekwa (ANC) emphasised that it was important that all provinces got equal attention and equal assistance when it was needed. She believed that the "learning to earning" initiative came from the office of the President. The President, as the one leading in this issue, always spoke about the empowerment and employment for young people in our country. Many young people would benefit from this initiative. Those with and without matric should be followed up on, and it should be ensured that they do not lose this initiative. It was important to ensure that this great initiative would continue, because sometimes great initiatives had short life spans. So many young people roam the streets of the country, not knowing what to do. Some of them had skills, but the opportunities were not there. The initiative by the President would grant them opportunities. She welcomed the fact that 365 000 youth were reported to have been placed in earning opportunities in 2021/22. It was appreciated that something was being done, but it was important to ensure that this was not only about earning but also about leading to decent and sustainable jobs, so that young people could improve their and their families’ lives. This initiative must be continuously monitored to ensure that as it went to departments and where people were placed, there was monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the young people were not just taken for granted and they got the necessary stipend. One would find that young people were taken advantage of when the initiative was not monitored. Continuous monitoring of this process would help to ensure that young people get sustainable jobs that would improve their livelihoods.

Dr Bernice Hlagala, Chief Director: National Youth Development Programme, DWYPD, thanked the NYDA and the Presidency for their presentations on the PYEI. The Department applauded the Presidency for taking the initiative a step further and ensuring that they worked on exit opportunities for young people. The Department thanks other government departments, like the DTIC and the Department of Basic Education, for being involved in the fight against youth unemployment.

There was a question raised about partnership with the NYDA, and there was sometimes duplication of roles between the Department and the NYDA. The Committee would recall that the Department came to the Portfolio Committee and presented on a role specification for the Department and the NYDA. If the Committee Members wanted, the Department could come back to clarify what the focuses of the two entities were. The Minister of the DWYP had written to the NYDA about possibly collaborating on projects such as the fourth industrial revolution initiative. The Department was waiting for a response from the relevant NYDA person to respond to the Minister about that partnership.

Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, greeted the Committee and reflected on a conversation she had had with the Chairperson of the Committee when the Department was initiated. They said they did not want women to be put in a corner room, but to have women everywhere. The same applies to the youth and people with disabilities -- they must be catered for in every corner. South Africans still continued to work in silos, and they would go nowhere slowly when they work like this. The Department’s mandate was like a mandate without resources. There were many young people today who were educated and had skills. She had been asked why there were wheelchairs that needed to be fixed and no mechanics dedicated to fixing them, but many young people with engineering qualifications and skills were sitting at home. Whose responsibility was this?

The Department appreciates the various reports, some of which were being heard for the first time. She understood the Chairperson’s frustrations about problems being reported, but the solutions to those problems lay elsewhere. There was something amiss that needed to be caught by the tail.

The Chairperson said a date would be set for the NYDA to come and make a presentation as board members to account for the work that they were doing. The media would be present at the next meeting. She thanked the PYI delegation and said they would be called again in the third quarter to check on their progress.

The meeting was adjourned.

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