National Youth Development Agency Bill: public hearings

National Youth Development Agency appointments

18 November 2008
Chairperson: Mr L Johnson (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee continued with its second day of the public hearings on the National Youth Development Agency Bill. Many institutions raised concerns whether this should be tagged as a Section 75 or 76 Bill. 

The National Youth Commission said that the Youth Development Agency (the Agency) must reintegrate those young people who were falling through the cracks by generating second-chance interventions for them. It was concerned about the location of the Agency in the Presidency and proposed a number of changes to the Bill, so that it would not take away key powers on policy formulation, advocacy and coordination from the youth.

The ANC Youth League called for a more integrated approach, and proposed changes around the powers of the Agency, the removal of the CEO, the functions of the Board, and opening of a bank account. It stressed that the Agency must be able to respond directly and in a unitary way on participation of young people and must be accessible.

The Free State Youth Commission noted that the Preamble did not reflect the true strategic mandate and believed that the Bill, in seeking to achieve what was essentially a merger of the two existing organisations, was not restructuring the youth development machinery. It failed to speak of the Integrated Youth Development Plan. The provincial management board must be reviewed and the local level structure was seen as problematic.

The Young Communist League said that there must be a seamless and coordinated approach and the Agency should be structured as a Chapter 9 institution, with the right of recourse on any youth issue as well as the right to subpoena any entity in relation to youth matters. It appreciated the intent, but thought that the current Bill was merely replicating the current status.

The Inkatha Youth Brigade supported the decision to repeal the National Youth Commission Act and to disband the Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF) as they had had serious shortcomings. It welcomed an integrated strategy. However, concerns were raised over classification of the bill and participation; composition, appointment and conditions of service of the board; functions of the President; functions of the Agency; and control and management of the affairs of the Agency. It was suggested that this Bill must be referred to the House of Traditional Leaders to get the concerns of the youth in traditional and rural communities. It suggested that a youth-led and well-resourced Youth Ministry should be set up.

The Freedom Front Plus Youth felt that it was currently being excluded from youth development. This was because functions were not inclusive and not attractive to Afrikaans youth, because the directors and management were not representative and because of politically based appointments. It suggested that there was a need to align all agendas and make any youth organisations accountable.

The Congress of Youth said that the current situation was not bringing about stability and that there was a need to have a system where inequality did not exist. Particular attention must be paid to the socio-economic rights included in the Bill of Rights, and there must be delivery in a way that would unite the young people.

The South African Blind Youth Organisation commented that Parliament had been very slow in providing a Braille copy of the Bill. There was a need for greater inclusivity of disabled youth, which could be achieved by amending a few key definitions in the Bill. Blind and partially sighted youths were perhaps the most neglected group. There was a need to define certain terms in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to avoid differing interpretations.

The  South African Youth Council argued that public hearings should have been held in the nine provinces, and commented that the legislation appeared to have been rushed. It believed this should have been tagged as a Section 76 Bill. There was some doubt whether the new Agency would differ much from current institutions, and whether full attention had been paid to the shortcomings of those institutions. It was suggested that the Agency must be vertically integrated into the mainstream, have programmes of high impact, have suitable powers to achieve its objectives, and have the influence to enforce its mandate over other institutions. It must be able to conduct quality research in order to gear resources and policies to the priority groups. Greater attention must be paid to monitoring. Proposals were made in regard to youth representation on the Board

The South African Youth Chamber of Commerce would like to see the Bill as creating a suitable environment for youths who were in business. There had not been sufficient public consultation and more attention should have been paid to the pitfalls and successes of the previous institutions. The phrase “youth participation in economic activities” should be included in Clause 4, and there should be specific reference to “youth economic empowerment”. The CEO should be appointed by the Board and there should be provision for youth participation on that Board.  He urged that the blockages in the provincial boards must be corrected, and there should be delivery at local levels.

The Western Cape Youth Commission said that the Bill needed to provide more detail about the implementation of projects, as also the Integrated Youth Development Strategy. Local coordinators needed to be given increased financial resources and the different roles of the private sector, civil society and public sector needed to be clarified. This Bill should be tagged as a Section 76 Bill. The Agency should be directly accountable to Parliament and the Agency should have the power to subpoena relevant departments to account for progress on programmes and programme impact.

Mr S Tshingilane, presenting in his personal capacity, urged that the qualifications of the CEO needed to be quite specific, that there should be a three-year renewable contract, based on performance reviews, and that the Chief Operations Manager position must be certified by the President, Board and CEO. He made various suggestions around the composition and functioning of the Board, and urged that there be compulsory training. He emphasised the need to create more Youth Advisory Centres in underdeveloped and rural areas.

Members asked questions of clarity to several presenters, asking them to explain some apparent inconsistencies. It was made clear that the tagging of the Bill could not be altered.

Meeting report

National Youth Development Agency Bill (the Bill): Continuation of Public hearings
National Youth Commission (NYC) submission
Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, Chief Executive Officer, National Youth Commission (NYC) , welcomed the opportunity to participate in the public hearings to define a discourse in relation to youth development in this country. The proposed Youth Development Agency (the Agency) would play a crucial role in the most pressing issue of reintegrating young people who were falling through the cracks and generating second chance interventions for them.

The NYC raised concerns around the tagging of the Bill, suggesting that perhaps it should be a Section 76 Bill because youth development was a cross cutting issue that also involved provincial and local government, as delivery should ideally take place there. The corporate form of the Agency was questioned. The mandate seemed to focus on policy formation and advocacy, implementation, coordination of implementation and of inputs of young people into the Youth Policy and monitoring and evaluation. She questioned the form of the new entity and questioned whether it would enjoy autonomy if located within the Presidency. Monitoring and evaluation and oversight should ideally be conferred on a different entity such as a committee of Parliament. Finally, it was noted that the Bill defined youth, but did not define youth development, which should be included in the National Youth Policy.

The NYC made suggestions that 3(a) to (d) of the objects should be removed, as it would be too difficult to enforce coordination and as the Agency should be focusing on implementation of programmes. Further suggestions were made (see attached document) in relation to the other objects. Advocacy and lobbying should be included as functions of the Agency. The objects should instead focus on six strategic objectives. In relation to the functions of the President it was noted that the President in consultation with the NYDA was responsible for development and gazetting of the National Youth Policy and the Integrated Youth Development Strategy, but it was suggested that this should rather be the responsibility of the Agency. The Agency had not enforceability mechanisms for departments to implement strategy. A Parliamentary Portfolio Committee should oversee and monitor the work of the Agency, as it had not played that role as the youth would have liked up to now. Coordination should be done not by the Agency but by the Presidency, and this should be broken down into coordination and integration of young people, and coordination of civil society input.

In regard to functions, the Agency should concentrate on research, design and implement programmes, focus on economic participation, dissemination of information, undertake civil engagement to foster social cohesion and deal with funding and capacity building.

Further amendments were proposed to Clauses 6, and 7, and it was suggested that Clauses 8 and 9 be removed. The Bill spoke, in Clause 20, to provincial boards although it had not dealt with dissolution of the provincial Youth Commission legislation, and NYC believed that this could be done only after consultations with provinces. One option would be not to incorporate provincial Youth Commissions (PYCs) until those consultations and the second option would be to follow a Section 76 process. It was noted that the functions local coordinators mentioned in Clause 21 should be synchronised with proposed objects of the Agency. It was not clear how the coordination and advisory role of the Agency would be different to that of the local youth units in some municipalities. It was important to involve local government structures because youth development was about service delivery.

In conclusion, Ms Makhasi said that the establishment of the Agency would take away some of the powers of the youth sector in regard to policy formulation, advocacy and coordination, but it was important that those functions not disappear. International and regional charters advocated for youth policies and any youth development matters to be youth led and youth driven, and it was important to ensure that young people would still participate and lead the processes.

ANC Youth League (ANCYL) submission
Mr Andile Lungisa, Deputy President, ANCYL) stressed that the ANC Youth League would like to see a more integrated approach, guided by the reality that South Africa was a unitary State.

The ANCYL supported the location of the Agency as a public entity within the Presidency, provided a separate vote was created allowing direct appropriation by Parliament. He suggested that the Agency must be a national public entity as defined in Section 1 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). The Preamble to the Bill must succinctly capture the historic political context of youth development. Instead of having one Chairperson, the ANCYL proposed there must be more than three at the level of board directors. Board nominations must be done through youth structures, rather than the public. There should be enforceability of issues of youth development so that government departments would take youth development very seriously. The Agency should be at local level, and staffed by young people. The Agency must be accountable through the Office of the President and through the Standing Committee in Parliament.
Nedlac should also be consulted. The CEO should be appointed by the Board of Directors, in consultation with the office of the President, and the whole organisation should consist of those between 18 and 35. Transitional provisions must ensure that institutional memory was retained and that lessons learned so far were not lost. He agreed that this should be a Section 76 Bill. 

The ANCYL then proposed certain amendments, as set out in the attached document, to the objects under 3(f). A new clause should be inserted to say that the Agency would not be precluded from directly implementing any programme or intervention aimed at advancing its objects in terms of this Act. It was proposed that Clause 6 be deleted, as it appeared to duplicate Clause 16. The Agency must report through the Portfolio Committee, and this should be reflected in the Bill. Clause 9 should be amended in regard to the number of directors, and include non-executive directors, clause 14 should be amended to reflect the appointment of the CEO by the Board, as such a person must account administratively to the Board, and the cross references to the PFMA must be corrected. Clause 19 was deemed not to add value and should be deleted. Clause 20(5) might prove unworkable where there were many municipalities and representation based on district was suggested as a better alternative. A new Clause 22(3) was proposed so that the Agency could impose penalties – which may not always be monetary – to maximise compliance with its directives and other legal obligations on designated entities.

The ANCYL noted that the Agency should have powers to compel the designated entities to advance youth development. Furthermore it suggested that provision should be made for removal of the CEO by the Board, if necessary. The functions of the Board may need to be spelt out. Provision may also be needed for the Agency to open a banking account with a registered financial institution in its own name.

Once again it was emphasised that there was a need to build social cohesion. Therefore the Agency must be able to respond directly about participation issues, should be unitary and truly accessible all over the country. 

Free State Youth Commission (FSYC) submission
Mr Lucas Mahoa, Chairperson, Free State Youth Commission, gave the background on which the comprehensive input was based. He said that the preamble of the Bill did not reflect the true strategic mandate for the establishment of the Agency and he believed that reference should be made to the ANC Polokwane resolution. The Bill was effectively disempowering the current configuration and did not built on what the NYC and Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF) had already achieved. It was seeking to achieve a merger of these institutions and did not restructure the Youth Development machinery. It did not dismantle Umsobomvu and incorporate it as a business unit within the new Agency, but rather ring fenced within the new entity. The Bill spoke only about the Youth Policy and Integrated Youth Development Strategy but not of the Integrated Youth Development Plan. He suggested that the Management Board at Provinces should be reviewed since it was not responsive to the unique circumstances in provinces. The proposed structure at local level was also seen as problematic because it bloated the existing structure of Youth Development Officers, who needed additional financial resources, representation on decision making bodies, powers, policies and guidelines rather than more staff. It was further noted that there was a need to distinguish between the private sector, Civil Society and the Public Sector.

Mr Tsholofelo Lejaka, CEO, Free State Youth Commission, then described the detail of the submission on the Bill itself. The FSYC argued that aspects of the Bill did affect provinces in a direct way and it should be a Section 76 Bill. Amendments were proposed (see attached document) to the Preamble, the definitions, including that of National Youth Fund, and the continued references to Umsobomvu in the Bill, which it thought should be removed. In respect of the principles, it was suggested that references be incorporated to gender inclusiveness, youth-driven, holistic and social cohesion, all of which were important. It was suggested that the President should be obliged to publish the NYDA policy, which would be reviewed every five years. He or she should also publish the Integrated Youth Development Strategy and the Integrated Youth Development Plan.  Two new objects were proposed for the Agency, namely to develop an integrated Youth Development Strategy for South Africa and to facilitate economic participation and empowerment for the youth. It suggested that two new objects be inserted into the Bill, as derived from the Free State Youth Commission Act, namely to develop an integrated provincial youth development plan that utilised available resources and expertise for the development of the youth, and to maintain close liaison with institutions, bodies or authorities similar to the Commission in order to foster common policies and practices and to promote cooperation.

In respect of the functions of the Agency, it was proposed that the powers of the Agency be included, as well as the functions. This should include the power to subpoena departments to account for their youth development programmes and impact, not to ring fence the former Umsobomvu functions, and to conduct more development around the Integrated Youth Development Strategy. There should not be corporate structure issues included under functions. In respect of the section on the Integrated Youth Development Strategy it was proposed that all the directives be deleted, and instead more detail should be given on what the Strategy sought to achieve. In respect of the Board, it was suggested that the appointments be for five and not three years, and certain suggestions were made that directors who were in the State’s employ should not be entitled to recover only out-of-pocket expenses, but all directors should receive an honorarium.   Conditions of staff of the CEO and other staff should be left to the Board, and not decided by the President.

The FSYL stressed that in respect of provincial boards the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson should be full time, and that there be one director to represent each district. It would not be necessary for local Coordinators to serve on the Management Board, considering the set of functions allocated to that Board. The FSYL suggested that the existence of the Agency at Local level should not be legislated, but should instead be informed by local dynamics such as population size and service delivery machinery capacity. The Agency, however, should be legislated for at District level, which would coordinate youth development work provide services and ensure the implementation of the District Integrated Youth Development Plan

Mr M Swathe (DA) asked for clarification on the NYC’s suggestion that the Agency should be housed in the Presidency, seen against their call for autonomy. The ANC Youth League  had also indicated that they were happy for the National Youth Development Agency to be housed in the Presidency, but had called for a separate budget vote. He asked each of the institutions to indicate how they would reconcile these differing ideas.

Mr Swathe said that the Free State Youth League had indicated that it was not happy with the preamble and wanted it to be aligned to the Polokwane Conference. He was surprised, because this was supposed to be a National Development Agency for all people, and he sought clarity whether this was an ANC call or one on behalf of everyone. He also wanted clarity on what “the Youth” would entail. 

The Chairperson announced that he would allow a maximum of two questions per person.

The Chairperson of the Free State Legislature Portfolio Committee on Finance referred to the approach of the Free State Youth Commission. He said that there were already Youth Developmental Officers who were not sitting in council meetings and who were not resourced, and he asked why another body should be created. He cited the United Schools Sports Association of South Africa, whose main problem was lack of resources to assist black athletes in registering for tournaments, buying kit and booking accommodation. Instead of resourcing this Association, which was being run by volunteers,  the National Coordinating Committee, NACOC, staffed by Deputy Director General officials, had been created. He feared that the current developments were akin to that situation. He did not believe that there was a role in districts, as opposed to their view. He also believed that the Youth Commission had not failed in the provinces. 

Mr B Mkongi (ANC) noted that all the organisations spoke about the question of tagging, but he believed that the process was failing. The Youth League had suggested consultation between Presidency and Premiers, but gave no proposals on a time frame. The NYC had not come with any specific proposal on tagging. All the organisations had spoken about the enforceability of the Bill, but there was still a problem with enforceability of the NYC Act, and no specific detailed proposals on how to make the Agency enforce its functions.

A Member commented that the majority of presenters were men and she wondered if they took gender issues seriously.

Ms Makhasi responded that she and two female colleagues represented the NYC.

In respect of the autonomy, the NYC was stressing that the policy advocacy responsibility should not be lost, and it seemed that the Agency would mostly be focusing on implementation, not on policy. There were some proposals as to how matters should be dealt with, using some existing structures in government to ensure integration and mainstreaming of youth development. In respect of the tagging question, she said that youth was a cross cutting issue and she believed that there should be concurrent functions. Time frames should be left up to the political processes, but she agreed it was important that Umsobomvu and NYC develop a road map of how to get to the provinces at local level. She believed that enforceability was important.

Mr Lungisa of ANCYL responded, in respect of the question on gender, that the majority of the leadership of the ANCYL were women. The reason for suggesting that the Agency must be located in the Office of the president was that this was the highest office, but there must be a youth vote, and there should not be a situation where a meeting in one province would have to be approved by the National office. The Agency should have the autonomy to implement its own programmes and be a fully-fledged office. He explained that he was not suggesting that Umsobomvu and NYC had failed, but that there was a need to move to an institution with a broader mandate that would ensure implementation. In respect of the time frames, he suggested two months, as all youth leagues must understand that they were joining and would be absorbed into the new institution.

Mr Clifford Motsepe (ANCYL) added that the Youth League would have appreciated an Agency that was similar to a Chapter 9 Institution, because the issue of enforceability featured predominantly in their discussions. He believed that the President could make regulations including the power to impose penalties by the Agency. He did not think that the Agency could not be located in the highest office and yet also receive an appropriation directly from Parliament. He noted that the Agency should be able to be critical of all departments, including the Office of the President. He noted that the Polokwane Conference should be mentioned as the ANC was the ruling party and therefore the one that would have to craft policies.

The Chairperson reminded the ANCYL that some of these matters were not relevant to the hearing. He noted that they should not pretend that they did not know what would happen in the next month or two. Those in the employ of the UYF and NYC had work to do, and must do it diligently. There were precedents in parliament for separate votes, but the Finance Ministry would have to interact with the Ad Hoc Committee on this issue.

Mr Lejaka responded to the questions directed to the FSYC. He noted that the mention of Polokwane had been responded to, but he noted that at the Policy Conference in June 2006 all young people, no matter which organisation they represented, were brought together by their youth. It was unfortunate if the DA youth had not engaged with their own body, as all youth were represented. He said that “youth” meant every young person from the ages of 14 to 35. He responded on the issue that there were existing structures in place by saying that the structure should be separated from the functions; it was the functions that were vital. The challenges lay at local level and he would not like to see an Agency at that level. He stressed that at district level the Agency would not be too far removed from the service recipients. There were currently District Coordinators to coordinate youth development. He noted that the FSYC had 50% representation of young women.

The comment was made that although there had been mention of the mainstreaming of the National Youth Policy, which implied there was a particular role that government needed to play, there was no specific mention of government as a State entity, nor how it would institutionalise youth development in the department.

Ms T Tobias-Pokolo (ANC) also commented on the preponderance of male presenters. She said that institutional arrangements and mechanisms had received the most attention, whereas the NYC document was related to the transitional arrangements, and those were not clearly set out. The oversight mechanisms, in the form of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), would apply, but the oversight would not feature in the Bill. There should not be creation of another Committee to look at appropriation; the JMC already dealt with Vote 1. She noted that this legislation, having already been tagged, could not be tagged again. She responded to the calls for a Chapter 9 institution by saying that because there was a business enterprise feature, this was not possible. This Agency was one of a kind, and would have to be put in its special context. She noted that the JMC would still need to identify and discuss the transitional arrangements. She noted also that the Provincial legislation was not being repealed now, and the President and Premiers must discuss how to deal with the provincial institutions.

Ms Malgas, Member of a Provincial Legislature, agreed that it might be desirable to have a Section 76 tagging so that public hearings could be held in the provinces. She asked that this be considered again.

The Chairperson said that there were a number of issues that would require deliberation, and the submissions of the organisations and institutions were appreciated. The drafters would assist in further deliberations. Although he heard Ms Malgas’s submissions, he noted that the Bill had already been tagged

Young Communist League (YCL) submission
Ms Phumelele Kunene, Policy and Research Officer, YCL, presented the submission of the Young Communist League.  The League believed that there was a need for a seamless and coordinated approach to youth development, both horizontally and vertically. The YCL believed that there was a need to structure the form of the NYDA in a manner that made it a Chapter 9 Institution, whilst ensuring that the institution was vested with powers to coordinate, monitor, evaluate and review the implementation of the Integrated Youth Development policy. It should also have the right of recourse on youth issues as well as the right to subpoena any entity on matters related to youth development.

The YCL submitted that there had been shortfalls in the current youth development institutions, particularly the NYC and UYF. There was a need to head for a unitary body with a defined vision and institutional structure at all spheres of government, whilst recognising the special circumstances of different localities. The YCL submitted that this Bill did not affect the current institutional mechanisms dealing with youth development at provincial and municipal levels, which implied that the proposed Provincial and Local Coordinators would be established parallel to already existing youth development structures in provinces. This would result in lack of coordination and fragmentation, duplication of mandates and tasks, and this in turn meant that the motivations for a unitary, integrated, seamless and coordinated approach to youth development would not be fulfilled.

The YCL further submitted that there was not clarity on how local coordinators would interface with local government. This again might lead to duplication. It suggested that the local coordinators should be abandoned and the local level structures fully resourced, so that it would not become inaccessible, which had been the major failing of the Umsobomvu Youth Fund.

The YCL said that unwarranted powers were vested in the Executive. Firstly, the Bill was envisaging an institutional mechanism for a strategy that did not yet exist. The Integrated Youth Development Strategy must be adopted first through a participatory process. The appointment of the CEO should be done by the President at the recommendation of the National Assembly. The Agency must be accountable to the National Assembly, not the President, via an annual Status of the Youth report. There was a need for the Bill to outline a participatory democratic process for appointment of the Boards, integrating the procedure by which Governing Boards for the Chapter 9 Institutions were appointed. The NYDA should be a Chapter 9 institution, which would require an amendment to the Constitution. Some of the existing clauses of the Bill were similar to those for other Chapter 9 institutions. Young people accounted for 36% of the population, yet included 70% of the unemployed, crisis poverty levels, high HIV and Aids infection rates, lack of  access to education, high levels of criminality, drug and alcohol abuse, all of which manifested differently according to class, spatiality, gender and race. This made it imperative to have  concerted and coordinated efforts to deal with youth development.

If this Bill was not to be presented as one under Section 74 of the Constitution, then it should be tagged as a Section 76 Bill, wince the overarching  vision was to restructure the youth development machinery in the country, and to realise the merger of the NYF and UYF following the 2007 ANC National Conference resolutions. The unitary, coordinated and integrated approach would not be achieved by a Section 75 Bill. 

Inkatha Youth Brigade (IYB)and South African Democratic Student Movement (Sadesmo) submission
Mr Nkantla Hadebe briefed the Committee on the submission by the IFP Youth Brigade and the South African Democratic Student Movement. The Inkatha Youth Brigade fully supported the decision to repeal the NYC Act and to disband the UYF as they failed to carry out their mandate, and had serious shortcomings that left numerous young people marginalised and excluded from programmes. An integrated strategy was the most appropriate approach . However, it had some concerns around the Bill. Firstly, although the Bill was tagged as a Section 75 Bill, it felt that the Committee should conduct public hearings at provincial level to accommodate and encourage youth participation. Secondly, this Bill should have been referred to the National House of Traditional Leaders to get input on the concerns of young people in traditional and rural communities.

The Board should not be civil servants, but members of youth formations, and youth organisations and structures should be asked to make recommendations instead of having the bureaucratic selection process as set out in the Bill. The functions assigned in the Bill to the President should instead be performed by a fully-fledged Youth Minister, solely dedicated to all youth affairs, who would report directly to Parliament. The Integrated Youth Development Policy must be published in the Government Gazette. The Agency should have all  powers relating to youth development, including the implementation of the integrated youth development strategy, and Clause 6(1)(a) should be amended to include “implement”. A major weakness of the NYC had been its lack of capacity to implement.  Clause 9(4) should be amended to include the phrase ‘political persuasion’, in line with the view that board members should be appointed from members of various youth formations to reflect representivity of the youth sector. Provincial boards should also be constituted by members of youth formations to reflect youth needs of each province.

Freedom Front Plus Youth (FF+Y) submission
Mr James Kemp, Spokesperson,  presented on behalf of the Freedom Plus Youth. He noted that empowerment of young people started with quality education, but good education without opportunity was pointless. The government must develop and continually improve the chances of all young South Africans to become politically and economically empowered. South Africa was a diverse community in which differences should be respected and utilised to increase the country’s competitiveness in all aspects. The Afrikaaner youth were currently feeling excluded and marginalised by the government, due to various policies and approaches, and were in particular denied access to programmes that were designed to given representation and provide economic opportunities. The previous forums tended to be hijacked by one youth organisation to further their political agenda. If minority organisations were not represented then the legitimacy became doubtful. The NYC was unapproachable to ordinary young people. The UYF had been an exclusively aimed at assisting only one segment of the community – the previously disadvantaged –which excluded white South Africans, particularly Afrikaaners, which was contradictory, since most of the youth of today were born after 1994.
He thought that the Agency had the potential to be inclusive, but noted that the inadequacies of the past must be addressed. The functions hosted should be inclusive and attractive to all, the directors and management must be representative, politically based appointments should not be allowed and the agendas should be realigned to include all youth communities. The organisation should be accountable. It would like to see a guarantee that Afrikaaner entrepreneurs would also benefit from future projects, and could be included in the managerial structures.

Congress of the People Youth (COY) submission
Ms Anele Mda presented the input from the Congress of the People Youth Movement Sector (COY).
She noted the need to organise all people to act in a cohesive and unitary manner.

She noted that the COY was concerned that the provincial boards had no clear role as opposed to the Provincial youth Commissions, so that there was a danger of duplication. The provisions around designated entities were very vague. COY felt that this should have been tagged as a Section 76 Bill. It was not clear whether the National Youth Fund to replace the UYF would be a separate legal entity, nor whether the switch from a Section 21 company (UYF) to a statutory body would affect any activities. The participation of the Minister of Labour was questioned. 

COY proposed that youth development was a critical planning tool, and therefore there should be a concerted effort by government and its social partners to achieve tangible deliverables. There should be more resourced capacity to provinces, on most young people relied for development. The Agency should be empowered to champion, coordinate and implement the youth development agenda, and to enforce youth development prioritisation across all government departments. There should be an intervention measure specifically dedicated to youth micro-economic needs, which should be easier to access. Economic interventions must be visible and stated in the Strategic Planning process. An integrated and holistic approach was needed, where youth development would be central to each departmental plan, and outline  innovative, varied and multi-sector programmes. There should be clear strategies to advance coordination. 
Government should expedite a Local Government Youth Development Framework to respond to youth development from a local level. The Agency should account to Parliament, with the NA appointing the Board, and the Municipal Systems and Structures Act should take be reviewed to take cognisance of youth development. Particular attention had to be given to the socio-economic rights included in the Bill of Rights. The imbalances of the past must be redressed.

The Chairperson asked Ms Mda to clarify her reference to the participation of the Minister of Labour, saying that he had personally been involved in the process to have this Minister participate.

Ms Anele Mda responded that although the COY had not been privy to all processes, they believed that the Minister should not be involved as he or she was the Executive to whom the UYF had been responsible.

The Chairperson explained that it was a Committee driven bill, not Executive-driven or sponsored, but sponsored by Parliament.

Mr Mkongi asked the YCL to clarity their statement that the “peculiarities of different localities in the form of provinces and municipalities” must be taken into account, particularly in the light of their proposal that the Agency should be a unitary structure, which should not be dependent on personalities or peculiarities, but operate from national to local levels. He also asked for clarification around the references to Sections 74 and 76 in the presentation.
Ms Pinile Kunene responded that the submission of the YCL mentioned those two sections because the first option they proposed, which was preferred, was that the Bill be tabled under Section 74, therefore enabling the amendment of the Constitution to include the Agency as a Chapter 9 institution. Another option was that if this was not possible, then the Bill should be processed as a Section 76 Bill.

In respect of the question around the local peculiarities and the unitary structure, she noted that although the legislation might be uniform yet the implementation might be responsive to the particular challenges faced by the different provinces and municipalities.

Ms Tobias-Pokolo questioned the suggestion by the IFP Youth League around amending the Constitution to accommodate the work implementation, saying that she did not think this was possible. She asked whether there was likely to be a budget for a Youth Ministry.

Ms Tobias-Pokolo further questioned the statements of the YCL around the Section 74 tagging, noting that this Bill had been sponsored and there was no need for broader consultation. If the Bill was to be shelved and the Constitution must be amended, she pointed out that this would not be possible before the next Parliament and that a two thirds majority was in any event required. Ms Tobias Pokolo believed that the measures already put in place would assist the youth. She further questioned what suggestions the presenters had for the coordination or relationship between the Local Youth Units and Local Coordinators.

Ms Kunene said that the YCL was eager to see the Agency coming into existence. She argued that the main goal was for the agency to provide efficient delivery of its objectives, which could be better achieved through the YCL’s proposed constitutional amendment. Ms Kunene stressed that strong laws must be put in place now, to avoid the necessity of a review after a couple of years. The new Agency should bear little resemblance to the National Youth Commission (NYC), or the Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF), so that  serious consideration must be devoted to the establishment of the Agency. She noted that in respect of the current local coordinators, the local and municipal youth development mechanisms had not been performing up to standard.

The morning session was adjourned.

After the lunch break, the Chairperson commented that not only members of the National Assembly  (NA) were present at hearings, but also members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), as this Bill would be debated in the NCOP during the following week. He had hoped that there would be a joint committee that would include members from national and provincial spheres of government, but said that the tagging of this Bill as a Section 75 Bill had precluded official cooperation between national and provincial members of parliament.

The South African Blind Youth Organisation (SABY) submission
Mr Philip Maibi, who presented the submission of the South African Blind Youth Organisation, part of the National Council for the Blind,  commented that Parliament had been very slow in providing a Braille copy of the Bill, although it had apologized for this, and he was eventually forced to have the Bill transcribed into Braille himself. He noted that although the Youth Development Policy Framework did accommodate and recognise youths with disabilities, there was a need to ensure greater inclusivity by amending a few key definitions within the Bill. Mr Maibi added that blind and partially sighted youths were perhaps the most neglected group with regard to youth development, thus he contended that the Bill needed to denote the developmental stages of Priority Target Groups within the policy framework. It was also suggested that “accessible” should, in this Bill, be defined in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (as contained in Articles 9 and 21). He furthermore requested that ‘disability’ also be defined in terms of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as he noted that in the past Members of Parliament and Department officials had held differing interpretations of disability, which had resulted in inequitable exclusions of some disabled groups. He concluded that the Committee should be able to say in retrospect that it was proud of the Bill that it had created.

The South African Youth Council (SAYC) submission
Mr Thulani Chuli, President, South African Youth Council, noted that the bulk of South Africa’s youth had not been heard and their views taken into account because the Committee did not hold public hearings in all nine provinces. He argued that the development of the legislation had been rushed, which raised serious concerns for the South African Youth Council regarding the quality of the Bill. Mr Chuli added that the Bill provided the institutional framework for the NYDA, and thus required careful planning and consideration . He was unsure whether the NYDA would in fact be any different from current existing youth development institutions, and doubted whether the Committee was seriously considering the shortfalls of the NYC. A number of proposals were listed as important key factors in ensuring an efficient agency that secured comprehensive youth development.

The SAYC believed that the NYDA must be vertically integrated into the mainstream and horizontal coherence in order to implement strategically structured programmes with high impact. The Agency should have suitable powers to achieve its objectives, and have the influence to enforce its mandate over other institutions. Sufficient management and information systems were required,  to ensure that quality research was conducted, so that resources and policies were geared towards addressing priority groups.
In order to ensure consistency, the Bill needed to make provision for increased monitoring and outward-looking evaluation mechanisms over the NYDA. Institutions such as the SAYC must be at the forefront of the Agency’s performance evaluation.

In terms of the tagging the SAYC believed that this Bill should have been a Section 76 Bill, as the issues in the Bill pertained also to the provinces.

In respect of Clause 14(1), the SAYC proposed that the Board members and CEO must be appointed full time. In order increase accountability, the provincial board members should elect the CEO

It also proposed that Clause 9(4) should include the representation of leaders within the youth sector, especially those involved in business and industry. The Board should also include members from government, organized labour and the private sector to ensure that all stakeholder interests were represented. Because provincial boards did not have the power to address all objectives, it was proposed that municipal branches must be established as support mechanisms to the agencies.

The South African Youth Chamber of Commerce (SAYCC) submission
Mr Thapelo Maleke, representing the South African Youth Chamber of Commerce, opened his submission by stating that the SAYCC aimed to protect and promote the interests of young people in business, and that it wished to see that the Bill would create a suitable environment for youths who were immersing themselves in business. The SAYCC felt that there had not been sufficient public consultation and that the drafting appeared to have been rushed. If it was correct that it was the inadequate performance of the NYC and UYF that were the rationale for developing the NYDA, then the Committee must pay more attention to the pitfalls and successes of the older institutions, in order to create a stronger youth development framework.

In respect of Clause 4(d) of the Bill, which denoted ‘Principles of Youth Development’ the SAYCC stressed that the phrase “youth participation in economic activities” should be included. It noted that “economic participation” was mentioned in respect of the functions of the Agency, under Clause 6 (b). Previous experience with the NYC and UYF had however shown that this term was misleading. He suggested it should instead read “youth economic empowerment”, because it would be more in line with other institutions and organizations definitions and terminologies. Under Clause 14, which dealt with the appointment of CEOs, he commented that the Board, and not the President, should elect a CEO. He argued that this proposed system of appointment was consistent with the corporate sector approach and would also minimise confusion.

With regard to representation of young people on the Board, Mr Maleke noted that in the experience of the NYC and UYF, there had been problems in ensuring participation from the youth sector. The institutions had therefore had little direction in terms of what was needed on the ground. He urged the Committee to be very careful in outlining provisions for youth participation on the Board.
It was noted that the Provincial Boards also marked a point of difference. The SAYCC argued that in the case of the NYC’s Provincial Boards, there had been serious bureaucratic blockages in delivering to young people. Mr Maleke suggested that Provincial Management Committees be initiated to enable partnerships and cooperation between provinces. He also added that there must be more urgency with regard to delivery at local levels, but expressed doubt at the ability of one local coordinator to provide speedy dispensation. He proposed that the necessary steps must be taken to ensure that local agency branches were established, so that the Agency would have a greater presence in all localities. He concluded that the SAYCC had serious concerns about the current Bill, as it appeared simply to repeat many of the provisions from the previous legislation.

The Western Cape Youth Commission (WCYC) submission
Mr Vincent Domingo, Provincial Chairperson, WCYC, opened his presentation by noting that more detail needed to be provided within the Bill about the provisions that would be made for implementation of projects or programmes. He commented that the Bill omitted in-depth specifications on the ‘Integrated Youth Development Strategy’. He also suggested that Local Coordinators needed increased financial resources, in conjunction with more comprehensive policy guidelines, to ensure efficient wholesale service delivery. Mr Domingo argued that the definitions of the private sector, civil society and public sector needed to be clarified and that their different roles within the NYDA needed to be made more explicit.

The WCYC also suggested that the Bill be tagged as a Section 76 Bill, as the legislation pertained also to provinces. He argued that the preamble to the Bill did not encapsulate the overarching mandate of youth development, and needed to be revised. He said that the President must publish the NYDA plan annually, as well as the Integrated Youth Development Strategy every three years, so that the public may be cognisant of youth development policy. Mr Domingo argued that the Agency needed to be directly accountable to Parliament. A further criticism of the Bill was that it did not accord enough power to the Agency, who should have the power to subpoena relevant departments to appear before the Agency to account for progress on programmes and programme impact.

Mr S Tshingilane (personal capacity) submission
Mr S Tshingilane, presenting in his personal capacity, said that he was an entrepreneur from Gauteng with experience in researching youth entrepreneurship development in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. He suggested that the Bill should state that the CEO should have previous experience in youth development in both rural and urban areas, which would ensure that the CEO had comprehensive knowledge of current challenges that the youth faced. He argued that the CEO’s terms of employment must be based on a three-year renewable contract that was based on performance reviews. With regard to the appointment of the Chief Operations Manager, Mr Tshingilane argued that this position needed to be certified by the President in conjunction with the Board and CEO. He stressed that Board members needed to have intensive knowledge of youth development, and that in the first year of the Agency’s existence, the Board should be required to meet at least once a month to ensure that the Agency was running effectively. He urged the Committee to make provision for compulsory training for all Provincial Boards and Local Coordinators to ensure that Agency officials had the necessary skills to deal with running development programmes. Furthermore, he emphasised the need to create more Youth Advisory Centres in underdeveloped and rural areas, which would provide the local youth with Human Resource Development and Skills Development Training.
The Chairperson expressed disappointment at the fact that many of the representatives scheduled to make submissions at the Public Hearings did not attend the meeting.

The Chairperson explained that the reason that this Bill was tagged as a Section 75 Bill was that  youth development was a national priority. He added that this did not imply that the provinces had no role to play. He stated that in the case of the Children’s Bill, this had initially only been tagged as a Section 75 Bill, but at a later stage certain portions were considered as Section 76 portions.  Once the Bill had been added to under Section 75, Provincial Government would take up the matters. He stressed that the Bill had already been tagged as a Section 75 Bill, and there was no way to alter that decision. He added that the tagging of the Bill did not fall under the Committee’s mandate. The main aim of this Committee’s meetings was to discuss issues arising from the Bill itself.

He thanked the representatives who had given their proposals, noting that the Committee had learnt a lot from their inputs. He opened the floor for Committee members to ask questions about the submissions.

Mr B Mkongi (ANC) asked the WCYC what exactly it meant by proposing direct accountability to Parliament, and whether it was suggesting that a new Portfolio Committee be established for agency oversight, or whether the WCYC intended that the agency should be accountable to an existing Portfolio Committee.

Mr Mkongi also asked the SAYCC for some clarity over his proposal for agency branches, as there was no clear reference as to how the branches would be structured, and whether the youth would need official membership to the branches.

Mr Maleke answered that the SAYCC did not intend for the Agency to be a political organisation where membership was required, but stressed that it should rather be a business transaction, where the branches would be taking information and service delivery to the youth. He argued that the Agency should comprise young people working for other young people. He stressed that the constitution of the Board should not be pro-political, or advance the interests of a particular kind of youth, but rather should reflect an institution where all constituencies needed to be recognised and represented.

Ms T Tobias-Pokolo (ANC) expressed displeasure over the accusations made by many of the presenters that not enough opportunity had been given to the public to voice their views on the Bill. She stated that the Committee had been calling for submissions for three weeks prior to the public hearings. She commented that the WCYC’s call for more detail on the National Youth Development Strategy in the NYD Bill was inappropriate, because the strategy was a policy issue that would be dealt with once the Agency was established. She nonetheless added that there were many proposals with which she agreed. She asked Mr Chuli what he meant when he said that the Agency required ‘suitable power’ over other institutions. She asked him about what kind power he was proposing, and which institutions he meant.

Mr Chuli noted that the Agency’s power over other institutions should be exercised in conjunction with  assistance from  Parliament. He commented that the Agency’s functions were listed in the Bill, but they were not accompanied by any provision of power to fulfil those duties. He argued that the Agency required power in order to achieve its objectives.

Mr Mkongi stated that Mr Chuli’s proposal of amending the Board composition was identical to Nedlac’s approach to electing a Board, and asked whether the SAYC intended the Board to have a social dialogue function.

Mr Chuli responded that SAYC’s proposal for the composition of the Board was not necessarily intended so that it would have a social dialogue function, but rather a platform where stakeholders would be able to convey the wisdom and experience from respective sectors. 

The Chairperson noted that there were many recommendations to amend and add definitions, which would be dealt with the following day when the Committee would be assisted by its legal team.

The meeting was adjourned.

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