NYDA Amendment Bill: motion of desirability; public input report; with Deputy Minister

Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

14 November 2023
Chairperson: Ms C Ndaba (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


In a virtual meeting, the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities went through the final Committee proposed amendments to National Youth Development Agency Amendment Bill.

The Committee sought clarity on the amendment made to clause 4 amending section 5(1)(a)(vi) of the National Youth Development Agency Act which now stated management of interventions needed to assist youth to find employment. The Committee highlighted that the interpretation of the Act should remain consistent regardless of who was in office. They asked the NYDA CEO to explain this intervention to assist youth find employment.

In clause 11 amending section 10 on Disqualification, removal or resignation of Board member, the Committee discussed the appointment process for board vacancies and reference was made to the National Assembly shortlist of Board member recommendations. The Committee suggested that provision should be explicit that the replacement board member would be serving only the remaining period of the three-year NYDA Board term.

The majority of the Committee voted in favour of a motion of desirability for the Bill. The Democratic Alliance voted against it as it said clause 4(1)(d) made the appointment of Board members dependent on skin colour which was counter to non-racialism. Despite the unequalness which prevailed in the country, it should be government’s job to create an equal environment for individual youth irrespective of colour to compete in. This view was countered by the majority of Members and DWYPD officials that black African youth were in the majority (79%) in South Africa which meant they should be getting more opportunities. In addition, black African youth had to endure the legacy of poverty and unemployment.

The Committee's clause-by-clause voting would take place on 21 November 2023 as a formal A-List and the B-Bill had not been prepared for adoption.

Committee Members asked about the NYDA role in collaborating with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in combating crime. The poor police presence and infrastructure in rural areas such as witnessed during the recent Marikana and Marianhill murders of youth in KZN province were criticised. Despite pleas to increase police visibility and for the Police Ministry to intervene, nothing had happened yet.

The Committee resolved to write a letter to the Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities and the Minister of Police urging them to investigate the matter and intervene. The Committee would ask the Ministers to come and account to a joint meeting of relevant Portfolio Committees.

Meeting report

The Chairperson acknowledged the presence of Deputy Minister Sisisi Tolashe who she noted would depart early at 10h30.

The Chairperson welcomed Ms T Makata (ANC) as a new Committee member. She replaced Ms Marekwa (ANC) who would become a permanent member on the Police Portfolio Committee whilst remaining an alternate member on this Committee.

NYDA Amendment Bill: drafting changes
Mr Emmanuel Kganakga, DWYPD Director of Youth Legislation and Policy, took the Committee though the final drafting changes made to the Amendment Bill as discussed at the 10 November meeting (see document).

Clause 5 amending section 5 of NYDA Act: Functions of the Agency
The Chairperson sought clarity in clause 5 on the provision amending section 5(1)(a)(vi):
"Management of interventions needed to assist youth to find employment"

Mr Waseem Carrim, NYDA CEO, explained that that clause would refer to both the supply and demand sides of interventions to assist young people in finding employment. What NYDA does on the demand side is to identify the characteristics and skills employers are looking for and provide those employers with the location, qualifications, skills of young people in that area. On the supply side, NYDA supports young people in terms of their work-readiness or job readiness by equipping them with the technical skills to enable them to become more employable in the labour market.

The Chairperson wondered if that is the understanding within NYDA or just Mr Carrim’s personal interpretation. Would his successor interpret that clause like that as well?

Clause 11 amending section 10: Disqualification, removal and resignation of Board members
The Chairperson sought clarity from the NYDA on the annual financial disclosure of Board members which had been requested on 10 November.

Ms Masiko (ANC) confirmed that the clause had been correctly amended as per the discussion on 10 November.

Ms T Makata (ANC) asked in the worst case scenario should the list of shortlisted candidates be exhausted, what would be the mechanism/process to fill Board vacancies.

Ms N Sharif (DA) said that this was a good question. The Portfolio Committee determined the number of people who would be interviewed for the Board in its advert. It interviews about 25 people, from which seven are chosen. How would it look if that list is exhausted?

The Chairperson replied that the Committee always lists more candidates than required. It then presents that list to the House for the President to select. For example in the latest case, seven names were provided from the 17 shortlisted candidates.

The President appoints replacements to serve out the remaining period of the three-year term for Board members that have resigned or passed on; those members do not serve a full three-year term but rather serve out the remaining term. She indicated to the drafters that the "remaining term" of a Board replacement must be captured correctly.

Ms N Sonti (EFF) asked about the relationship between the NYDA and the South African Police Service (SAPS) and its role in combating crime. She referred to the experience she had recently witnessed in Marikana. Marikana has no police station, no clinic in the near vicinity but it is an area with problematic social issues such as crime. She was absent from the 10 November meeting as she had gone to the funeral of a young man who had been brutally killed by bullets. On Saturday, five young people in that community had died. Young women were in hospital battling for their life right now. She had begged the Minister of Police to give a little bit of attention to that area on many occasions, but nothing had come of it. Hence wanted to know what NYDA does for such communities.

The Chairperson noted Ms Sonti’s question on NYDA involvement in curbing GBV. She suggested the Committee conclude the voting on the Bill and then the Committee would return to Ms Sonti’s question.

The Committee agreed.

Ms Asanda Luwaca, NYDA Board Chairperson, replied to the Chairperson on financial disclosure by Board members saying that following the 10 November meeting, the Board is undertaking the process of developing its code of conduct. That code will include the obligatory annual financial disclosure for Board members as well as consequence management for non-compliance.

The Committee appreciated that commitment.

Ms Sueanne Isaac, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, commented on the process for filling board vacancies from the original shortlisted candidates. She recommended that section 10(6) be replaced by “recommended by the House” in order to illuminate the Committee’s role in the recommendation.

Ms Marekwa reiterated the Chairperson’s input on need for consistency in the interpretation of the Act so that the change of individuals at NYDA would not affect implementation of the policy.

Dr Hlagala indicated to the Committee that the NYDA provincial offices are retained.

The Committee confirmed that the proposed changes made to the Amendment Bill.

Committee Report on Motion of Desirability on NYDA Amendment Bill
The Committee Content Advisor, Ms Abrahams, went through the Committee Report.

The Chairperson was uncertain as to how Ms Marekwa should be captured in the report as she had been a permanent member during the legislative process. She asked for Ms Isaac’s legal input.

Ms Isaac indicated that she would get back to the Committee on that.

The Committee Secretariat clarified that Ms Marekwa’s name could not be noted. Ms Makata’s name must be included as Ms Makata is the permanent Committee member now.

The Chairperson disagreed. Alternate members such as Ms Sonti and Ms Marekwa must be included in the report as it is part of their legacy as they had contributed to the process.

Ms Isaac pointed out that in terms of National Assembly Rule 156, alternate members could only vote when the permanent member is absent.

The majority of the Committee adopted the report and voted in support of the motion of desirability for the Bill. The Democratic Alliance did not voted for the Bill.

Ms Sharif said that she did not vote in favour of the Bill.

Ms Opperman explained that although the amendments were correctly captured and the process was procedurally correct, she could not vote in favour of the Bill on the basis of clause 4(1)(d). The clause suggests that board appointment is made based on skin colour and that approach would not move the country forward to non-racialism. Hence she could not vote to support the Bill.

Dr Hlagala clarified that s4(1)(d) indicated that the promotion of young people would not only be for promotion of youths who were disabled but also included black youths.

The Chairperson recalled that the exclusion of other races had been mentioned during the Committee’s interview process which led to the Committee having to re-do the process in order tobe more inclusive and to include other races, youths with disabilities, sexual orientation, etc. She was uncertain if that clause would still be relevant given the Committee’s experience. She was of the view that youth was an inclusive term irrespective of skin colour. She recalled a time when there had been a perception that the NYDA was for the ANC and then the government responded to that by stating that the NYDA was belonged to the youth of the country.

Ms Mikateko Maluleke, DWYPD Director-General of, asked the Committee to bear in mind two things. First, the Employment Equity Act was under the government’s review to strengthen its implementation; second, the statistics of young persons in South Africa showed thatblack African youth accounted for 79% of all youths in the country. Thosestatistics had not been taken into consideration. Furthermore, she felt that she needed to emphasise the unique situation of African youth who were experiencing multiple social ills such as poverty, unemployment, etc.

Ms Sharif fully appreciated the DG’s comment but highlighted that unequalness is a reality in the country. She was of the view that the government should be creating and promoting a more equal environment that young people all have a fair chance to compete in.

Public Participation Report on the NYDA Amendment Bill
The Committee unanimously adopted the report.

NYDA Amendment Bill: clause by clause voting (postponed)
Ms Isaac advised the Committee that it could not move onto clause-to-clause voting because DWYPD had not yet formalised the working document. In terms of the procedure, the Committee needed to formalise the A-List which should be a formal document. Only when the A-List is available could the Committee deliberate clause-by-clause on the B-Bill. At this stage the Committee cannot adopt the Bill as what DWYPD had presented was only a working document.

The Chairperson noted Ms Isaac’s explanation and stated that the Committee would do that on 21 November next week.

Youth murder incidents
The Chairperson directed the Committee’s attention back to Ms Sonti’s input about the Marikana murder. She did not think that the NYDA would be the most appropriate organisation and instead asked Ms Maluleke to advise.

Director General Ms Maluleke suggested that the Committee formally write a letter to the Minister of DWYPD, the Minister of Police as well as other Ministers responsible to intervene.

Ms Khawula spoke in an indigenous language (3:13:20—3:15:56).

The Chairperson indicated to the Director General that the Committee would write to the Minister about the incidents which had taken place in Marikana and Marianhill as Ms Sonti and Ms Khawula had stated. The letter would request the intervention of all relevant Ministers and asked them to account to the Committee afterwards.

Ms C Phiri (ANC) suggested a different approach. The Committee should have a joint committee meeting with the Portfolio Committees of Police and Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation since the latter was championing the District Development Model. In that tri-lateral discussion, the executive heads must also appear. She herself served on the latter Committee and could monitor the process. She agreed with Ms Khawula that this is a multi-faceted issue that requires the involvement of multiple governmental departments.

Ms Sharif totally supported Ms Phiri’s suggestion and highlighted that those two processes should be done concurrently. She thanked the NYDA for its attendance at the workshop she had hosted in Soweto for young people.

The Chairperson noted that South Africa is approaching the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children. Members had highlighted crimes, especially those in which youth victims were involved. It is something that needs immediate intervention.

The Chairperson said that the Committee should formally write to the Ministers of DWYPD and Police and engage the executive by formally registering that complaint with them before calling together other portfolio committees. She reiterated the cross-cutting nature of those issues. She noted the high murder rate in KZN province. It was now in Marianhill specifically. She recalled the Committee had visited Mtwalume in KZN after some girls had been murdered there. That experience had showed her the extent needed to address such issues. Due to the urgency of the matter, the Committee would request the Minister to make interventions and report back to the Committee on these interventions. There will be a joint portfolio committee meeting on the concerns Members had raised.

The Committee minutes of 31 October 2023, 3 and 7 November 2023 were adopted.

The Committee would vote on the A-List and clause-by-clause in the 21 November meeting.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.



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