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Cape Town - The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) may be in “financial disarray”, but it increased the salary of its suspended chief executive by a whopping 20 percent last year.
According to the agency’s annual report submitted to Parliament on Thursday, Steven Ngubeni’s salary shot up from R2.032 million in the 2011/12 financial year to R2.435m in 2012/13. And the NYDA did not end there.
It went on to pay its former chairman Andile Lungisa R58 000 over a 12-month period for unspecified “managerial services” rendered after his term ended in April last year.
The former ANC Youth League deputy president also received “allowances” amounting to R8 000 in the same period, courtesy of taxpayers.
While the agency received an unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General, it managed to rack up R195m worth of irregular expenditure over the past two years.
The report notes, however, that a “significant improvement” in the reduction of irregular expenditure, which dropped from R133m in the 2011/12 financial year to R62m this year.
The funds were supposed to be used to advance youth economic development and help alleviate unemployment through guidance and financial support to various initiatives.
According to Statistics SA figures for the third quarter of 2012, 71 percent of the unemployed are aged between 25 and 34, while the unemployment rate among the youth is 36 percent. About 3.3 million people aged 15-34 are neither employed nor studying.
The NYDA is widely perceived to be a cash cow for youth leaders of the ANC and its tripartite alliance partners.
In its report on the NYDA’s financial statements, the office of the Auditor-General slammed the agency for failing to stem irregular expenditure.
“The accounting authority did not take effective steps to prevent irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as required by section of 51(b) of the Public Finance Management Act.
“Effective and appropriate disciplinary steps were taken against officials who incurred and permitted irregular expenditures,” said the Auditor-General.
Earlier this month, Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane revealed that NYDA staff members were paid performance bonuses totalling more than R7.5m for the 2012/13 financial year.
The beneficiaries were employees eligible for performance bonuses in accordance with the applicable human resource policies of the NYDA. Top management were paid out close to R5m, while general staff shared R2.6m.
DA Presidency spokesman Joe McGluwa said the annual report revealed that the NYDA was an organisation “in complete disarray”.