DA to oppose turning NYDA into graduation school for ANCYL members
Johannesburg - It is critical for the new National Youth Development Agency (Nyda) board to be free of political influence and patronage, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.
Parliament’s portfolio committee on women, youth, and persons with disabilities would start the process of interviewing candidates for the Nyda board on Monday, DA shadow minister of women, youth, and persons with disabilities Luyolo Mphithi said in a statement.
"The interview process will be critical in installing an independent, competent, and qualified board at the agency which has historically been nothing more than a graduation school for members of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).
"When looking at the Nyda, you see exactly why an ANC government can never empower our young people. It is a bloated bureaucracy run by ANCYL cadres; installed as the arbiters of patronage; and abused by those in power to maintain their luxury lifestyles. Not so long ago, the DA raised the fact that the board chairperson and CEO had personal drivers to chauffeur them around at the taxpayers' expense," Mphithi said.
And while the Nyda had gone some way in cleaning up its act, the agency continued to leave youth behind. This was why it was critical for the new board to be free of political influence and patronage. The agency could no longer only exist for the benefit of ANC card carriers and those who were closely linked to the political elite. All young South Africans should benefit from the funding and programmes offered by the Nyda.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) indicated that even before the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, young people were already three times more likely to be unemployed.
The Nyda’s focus should therefore be on funding entrepreneurs; job creation and business development support; providing bursaries; skills training; and job preparedness."It cannot be that there is less for the youth while more is consumed by the entity itself."
As the board interviews loomed, the DA called on all members of the committee to put the interests of young, unemployed South Africans first, and not their political interests.
"The DA will oppose any further attempts at politicising the Nyda - we did so during the shortlisting process, and we will do so again during the interviews. The Nyda cannot afford to be a graduation school for the ANCYL, South African Students' Congress, and Young Communist League cadres," Mphithi said.
African News Agency (ANA)