NYDA success in nation's hands - Chabane

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cape Town - The success of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) lies in the collective hands of the nation, says Minister for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, Collins Chabane.

Speaking during the Presidency's Budget Vote on Wednesday, Mr Chabane said an important task of his Ministry was overseeing activities relating to the development and empowerment of young people in the country.

The launch on 16 June this year, on National Youth Day, of the NYDA ushered in "a new dawn in the trajectory of youth development".

The Agency, he said, would among others, fast-track the implementation of programmes that affect young people in areas of entrepreneurship, skills development, education, rural development, health as well as the fight against crime.

Mr Chabane said the NYDA would lobby various stakeholders in civil society, business and government to ensure a generic and common approach to issues of youth development in South Africa.

"The success of the NYDA lies in the collective hands of our nation. Early this year, government adopted the National Youth Policy 2009-2014 which details a number of policy imperatives.

"This policy will be followed up with an Integrated Youth Development Strategy that sets out specific plans that will give effect to our policy propositions," he said.

He said additional funding would need to be appropriated during the adjustment process in order to complete the merger of the collapsed institutions and strengthen the capacity of the NYDA to deliver.

The Ministry would introduce to Parliament amendments to the NYDA Act, with the view to transform it into a Section 76 Act in order to incorporate the Provincial Youth Commissions.

"We are aware that many issues affecting young people are not only limited to the mandate of the NYDA but rather speak to the work that the entirety of government must undertake to address the challenges faced by the youth.

"Therefore, we hope that government departments will reflect in their plans on how they intend to address the issues of youth applicable to them as per their mandate," the minister said.

He said this was already happening for instance where the NYDA was currently in discussions with the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy to implement a Public Service National Youth Service Programme.

The programme, he said, is aimed at providing unemployed graduates with the opportunity to fill existing government vacancies or internships in government to gain experience.

"This gesture will open job opportunities for thousands of unemployed young graduates. We anticipate that government departments will place the development of young people as agents of change at the heart of their public service responsibilities," the minister said.

The NYDA will be accountable to the Presidency and hence it was important that the Presidency strengthens the capacity of the Youth Desk in the Presidency to monitor the performance of this agency thus ensuring continuous service improvement and accountability.

The Youth Desk will also carry out some of the functions which were traditionally performed by the National Youth Commission such as policy development and the co-ordination of youth development activities across government spheres.

Mr Chabane said this would ensure a co-ordinated approach and provision of comprehensive services to the youth of South Africa.

He thanked the staff and leadership of the collapsed National Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund for the foundation they had laid for the NYDA.