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Pretoria - The appointment of Tshwane ANC Youth League chairman Sbusiso Ngubeni as the chairman of the municipality’s Youth Development Unit (YDU) has been slammed as biased and undemocratic.
Ngubeni was appointed on a five-year contract in November last year, after the Tshwane youth league publicly demanded he be appointed to the post.
His appointment has been slammed by the DA, which said it was made to silence the league’s opposition to the ANC senior leadership in Tshwane.
At a press conference last year, the league demanded, among others, its chairperson should also be chairperson of the YDU.
It dismissed suggestions that the league might be seen as trying to wrest control of the YDU to fill it with its own members and to use it to benefit its allies in the region.
The unit was set up to address problems affecting young people in Tshwane, and to play an advisory role to the municipality in terms of addressing youth-related matters.
However, the unit was unlikely to be isolated from regional politics, particularly on issues related to the people appointed to run it.
Ngubeni said on Monday there was nothing wrong with his appointment, and that the youth league was pleased that two of its demands last year had been met by the ANC regional leadership.
The league had also demanded the sacking of three “wrongly deployed and misplaced” mayoral committee members whom they were not in favour of.
These were Nkele Malapane (agriculture and environmental management), Sibongile Moselelane (health and social development), and Faith Kgaditse (sports, recreation, arts and culture).
The three were subsequently fired last year, but not replaced by officials recommended by the league.
“This notion that we are being rewarded for something or that we will use the YDU for our own benefit is untrue,” Ngubeni said.
The YDU is there to advocate for the struggles of young people in Tshwane and that is exactly what we are going to be doing.
“We have been appointed because we are capable of delivering on the mandate, nothing else. It was not only the YDU that we made demands on, but also the reshuffle.”
Ngubeni said other structures, including the Young Communist League and SA Students Congress, were also represented on the board of the YDU.
The YDU had yet to be allocated a budget as it had to present its business plan and programmes along with the required budget.
But DA chief whip in Tshwane, Marietha Aucamp, said on Monday the party was concerned about Ngubeni’s appointment.
“Over and above the fact that the mayor in Tshwane again did not make a clear distinction between party and state, it is clear that Mr Ngubeni’s appointment is a way to silence the youth league in voicing its clear dismay at decisions taken by the senior party,” said Aucamp.
The DA had lost confidence in the YDU because of the “biased” appointments to its board and its failure to build relations with other youth organisations, she said.
“This board should be democratically represented by all youth of our city, not only that of ANC card-carrying members,” she said.
Aucamp called on executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa to review Ngubeni’s appointment and that frequent reports on the unit’s work be submitted to the Tshwane Metro Council for oversight.