NYDA unveils its ambitious plan

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Johannesburg - The newly established National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has set itself an ambitious target of recruiting one million young people to participate in its national youth service programme.

According to the agency's Chairperson, Andile Lungisa, several strategies have already been put in place to ensure the target is met.

Lungisa said on Wednesday the programme would allow undergraduate and unemployed youth with accredited skills an opportunity to get involved in various activities to uplift communities.

In the end, he said, the NYDA would help these people with the necessary resources and assist them in finding jobs.

He said the agency was currently working with the Public Administration, Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA) to fill about 6000 vacancies within the public service.

"We have already made an agreement in that regard but some engagements are continuing," said Lungisa.

The NYDA is also responsible for the recruitment and placement of the 15 000 volunteers required for next year's 2010 FIFA World Cup.

It will develop a database of young people and each particular skill will be recorded to make the selection easy.

"We are saying the national youth service is going to be compulsory for all youth...under the programme young people will be encouraged to work with their communities," Lungisa said, adding that the campaign will target all 183 municipalities in the country.

The NYDA was formed in June following a merger of the National Youth Commission and Umsobomvu Youth Fund. Lungisa said the merger had been carried out fully in at least seven provinces while two provinces were in the process of repealing the National Youth Commission Act.

Part of the agency's mandate is to coordinate the development of youth in the country.

NYDA interim chief executive officer Malusi Kekana said the national youth service programme would further ensure that every young person who is getting assistance from the state, either through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme or learnerships, participates in some form of community service.

He made an example of a group of students from the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) who are spending their weekends teaching maths and science at township schools.

"We are not saying only the NYDA will recruit people, there are many young people in South Africa so we will be working with other organizations," Mr Kekana said.

"So we are saying if you don't get approached by us, don't wait for the NYDA, go out and serve," he added.