Last Friday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Youth organisation members protested outside parliament for the removal of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). The NYDA is a South African youth development agency that aims to co-ordinate promote development amongst the youth. The agency offers bursaries, scholarship and financial support in the form of micro-financing grants for youth entrepreneurship and also aims to facilitate youth participation in the economy by promoting access to quality education and skills.
DA Youth Federal Chairman Yusuf Cassim stated that the NYDA has been involved in several cases of corruption since its inception in 2009. He believes that the organization has failed to assist South African youth, therefore wasting taxpayers’ money meant to develop the youth.
The NYDA is meant to play a vital role in ensuring that youth development is a priority on the country and government’s agenda, so that they will be able to adequately address challenges facing the youth.But it is evident that since its inception, the NYDA has been involved in a series of corruption controversies. In 2013, the NYDA was all over the news after former CEO Steven Ngubeni was dismissed for allegations of bribery and financial misconduct.DA Youth organisation members believe that the only solution to remedying the situation and save the taxpayer’s money is to disband the agency.
This isn’t the first time the DA has stood up to fight against the NYDA, after the dismissal of Steven Ngubeni in 2013, the DA wanted the entire NYDA board to answer for corruption, but last Friday took a step further to make the government aware of their rights as youth and remind the NYDA of their duty to serve citizens.
According to the DA, the resources that are misused by the NYDA must be spent on bursary opportunities, a youth wage subsidy and other development plans that would benefit the youth directly. With the high level of youth unemployment, there is still a lot to be done to free the youth from economic bondage.
My instincts, however, tell me that there is more to this fight than what it initially seems. According to website SA Breaking News, the DA youth federal chairman Cassim also stated that the NYDA is often used to deploy ANC youth members (and friends), because everyone at the NYDA is an ANC youth league member.Therefore this might also be a political battle between DA and ANC, just one pebble on the rocky terrain on which they oppose each other’s policies and political decisions.
Nonetheless, the government must prioritize youth development and try by all means to minimize corruption in and around their organizations. They must offer funding and support to institutions that can help improve the youth and increase security to ensure that corruption does not take place.There should be thorough investigation in regards to the mismanagement of finances in the NYDA.
The government must attempt to identify problems and get to the root cause of corruption, by urging transparency in their work, their policy development and organizations.
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