The Democratic Alliance (DA) Youth on Friday withdrew from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
“I am today resigning as the DA youth’s representative on the NYDA, and the DA youth is therefore withdrawing from this organisation, which we are convinced has become little more than a R400 million ANC [African National Congress] patronage scheme,” DA youth national director Aimee Franklin said.
In the past few days, the DA had exposed how an additional R29 million in the appropriations adjustment had been designated to the NYDA, to host the ANC Youth League’s (ANCYL) nine-day “World Festival of Youth and Students” conference, which would provide a platform for some of the “most radical youth groups on the planet”, she said.
Among them were the Zanu-PF youth league from Zimbabwe, and the youth league of the Workers Party of North Korea, who hosted this same event in Pyongyang not too long ago, and would be recipients of a “solidarity” pledge at this year’s event.
“In terms of statute, the NYDA is a body that is ostensibly intended to promote youth development in South Africa.
“This is a laudable aim, and the DA Youth was therefore willing to give the NYDA the opportunity to work. However, evidence now abounds that the NYDA’s independence and standing as a public body has been terminally compromised,” Franklin said.
This latest scandal illustrated the problem all too clearly, but in recent months the institution’s mandate had veered hopelessly off course.
The NYDA had comprehensively failed to fulfil its specified objectives.
Agency’s executive earns more than Cabinet ministers
As was recently revealed in its annual report, it had met just 23 of its 68 targets over the past financial year — a 24% success rate.
“In those circumstances, we have no desire to be part of an institution that is frittering away state funds, and utterly failing to meet its mandate.”
“Secondly, as our Youth chairperson Mbali Ntuli recently put it, the NYDA is simply a place where ANCYL members can get rich.”
The ANCYL-dominated executive of the institution earned a total of R11 million a year.
The deputy secretary general of the ANCYL Steven Ngubeni, drew a R1,8 million salary — more than Cabinet ministers.
Further, as DA youth leader Makashule Gana, pointed out last week, South African Youth Council (SAYC) president Thulani Tshefuta, had essentially admitted in public that nominations for seven of the NYDA provincial advisory boards were reopened simply to give an opportunity for ANCYL deployees, agreed upon by the ANCYL national general council at the end of August, an opportunity to apply for those positions.
“The DA youth will have nothing to do with an institution that simply exists to dispense patronage,” she said.
Thirdly, upon its creation in 2009, the NYDA set about dismantling one of the few tangible benefits of its predecessor, the Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF), by more than halving the targets for voucher distribution — causing many accredited service providers to go out of business, and further diminishing the entity’s ability to foster youth entrepreneurship. — Sapa