DA: Youth agency's salaries need to be fixed

The Democratic Alliance (DA) youth has asked Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane to urgently intervene in the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

This follows a reply to a parliamentary question that reveals that leading to 2015 the agency will spend over 100% of its budget on staff salaries.

According to the written reply by Chabane, the NYDA had 453 employees in 2011/2012. These included two executive board members, five non-executive board members, 17 provincial advisory board executive members, 41 part-time provincial advisory board members, three board independent specialists, 10 temporary (relieving) staff, 336 permanent staff, and 39 fixed term contract staff (three to five years).

The total employment cost was R174 501 596—or 42%—of the NYDA’s total budget for that year.

Chabane said funded or paid positions for the 2012/2013 financial year totalled 500.

The organisational structure approved by the NYDA board on June 14 2010, for full implementation by 2015, totalled 2 152 staff members.

Millions in overspend
Commenting on the reply, DA youth leader Makashule Gana said this meant the NYDA now employed 500 people at an average cost of R29 000 per staff member per month.

In terms of the medium-term expenditure estimate set by national treasury, in 2015 the NYDA was due to receive R419-million to fund its operations.

“But working on the R29 000 per staff member average, the staffing costs alone approved by the NYDA board for 2015 amount to R749-million—a R330-million overspend on the total budget.”

Even working on a conservative average staff allocation of R18 000 per employee per month to cater for clerical staff, the salary bill came in at R465-million.

“We have known for a long time that the ANC Youth League-aligned national NYDA board is running an employment agency for pals. It is only now that we can see just how focused on staffing, to the exclusion of real youth development, the NYDA board is—to the point that its plans are simply nonsensical.”

No organisation could operate when its strategic plans and budget were so incompatible.
This was the reason the DA youth was requesting urgent intervention by Chabane, Gana said.—Sapa

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