Young people – led by women – are doing an excellent job of looking after millions of rand in public money and donor aid entrusted to them for the benefit of South Africa’s youth.
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) on Thursday said it was “pleased to announce an eighth consecutive clean audit report from the Auditor General of South Africa for the 2021/ 2022 financial year”.
The NYDA said it accounted for every rand entrusted to the agency and met all its 24 performance targets set by its Executive Authority and approved by Parliament.
“This translates to a 100% performance achievement,” the agency said.
The NYDA said there was “zero irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the 2021/2022 financial year”.
Upon their appointment in December 2021, the female-led NYDA Board committed to the continuation of the good governance trajectory at the Agency as well as a commitment to significantly scale up youth development efforts.
Key highlights of the performance achievement includes R600 million in additional donor funding raised from the public and private sectors.
Other highlights in youth entrepreneurship are listed below:
• More than 23 000 young people supported through non-financial business development interventions.
• Over 2 000 youth-owned enterprises in the township and rural economy were provided with grant funding to start up their businesses through the NYDA Grant Program.
• Growing the NYDA grant program from a value of R56 million to R94 million and thus doubling the number of enterprises supported.
• These youth-owned enterprises have collectively gone on to create and sustain more than 7500 jobs.
Revitalised National Youth Service
One of the core deliverables of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention which is a signature program of the sixth administration was the revitalisation of the National Youth Service program implemented as a collaboration of the Presidency, NYDA and the Jobs Fund.
On Youth Day 2022 President Ramaphosa announced the launch of the revitalised National Youth Service in South Africa.
“We are proud to say that of the 50 000 targets of young people recruited for the National Youth Service announced in the State of the Nation, 40 000 are already in service, working with thirteen high-quality, innovative implementation partners,” said the NYDA.
The partners include:
1. Hand in Hand Southern Africa Surveys and Digital mapping, community works and greening programs Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga
2. Afrika Tikkun Foundation Sports and recreation Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo, Northwest, Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal
3. Small Projects Foundation Health, Education, Social Support services Eastern Cape
4. The Community Chest of the Western Cape Learner Support Programmes Western Cape
5. Enke Social Support Services, Community works, solidarity, and care Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Gauteng, Northern Cape
6. Seriti Institute Early Childhood development Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Northwest, Western Cape
7. HPSA (Heifer Project South Africa) Food security (animal care, animal vaccination) KwaZulu Natal
8. Sports For Social Change Network Sports and Recreation All provinces 9. Cricket South Africa Sports and Recreation All provinces
10. Lima Rural Development Learner support programs KwaZulu Natal and Mpumalanga
11. The Mvula Trust Community works, Revitalisation, and greening programs Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and Limpopo
12. South African Youth Clubs Arts and Culture, Sports and recreation, food security, learner support All provinces
13. Early learning resource Unit Early childhood development Western Cape
Each of these implementing partners are required to recruit a minimum of 3 000 young people that will be engaged in community service activities in sectors such as Surveys and Digital Mapping, Sports and Recreation, Arts, Culture, Entertainment, Food security child nutrition, Learner Support Programmes, Social Support Services, Solidarity and Care, Community Works, Revitalisation, and Early Childhood Development/Early Learning.
The NYDA said the young people recruited through the program will have an opportunity to serve their communities for 16 hours per week, earning the national minimum wage.
Young people can pursue other prospects post the program while learning new skills.
“Through the National Youth Service (NYS) programme, young people will be engaged in Community Service activities in the first year of implementation,” said the NYDA.
“The primary aim of the NYS programme is to mobilise young people to become active citizens of the country’s democracy, while earning an income and increasing their employability.
“‘The purpose of the community service activities as envisaged for the NYS programme is also to enhance service delivery efforts and improve the lives of marginalised communities.”
Working together with the Department of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs under the banner of youth service, the NYDA said it was also collaboratively implementing the Community Works Program (CWP) in Mpumalanga, which supports close to 7 000 youth employment opportunities in the Province.
“‘We are developing innovative ways to transition young people from public employment programs into starting and scaling their own enterprises and skilling youth for actual labour demand in the local economy,” said the agency.
Integrated Youth Development Strategy
The NYDA said after a thorough consultation process inclusive of young people, business, government, Parliament, civil society, and organised labour, the first Integrated Youth Development Strategy was approved by Cabinet on 15 June 2022.
The Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS) is aligned with the National Development Plan and the National Youth Policy 2030.
The IYDS seeks to put young people at the heart of the country’s youth development agenda.
The NYDA said the strategy creates a framework within which all youth-related work in South Africa can be coordinated and linked, to build relationships, foster information-sharing, avoid duplication, and ultimately maximise impact.
The strategy has five key pillars which include economic transformation, education and skills development, health, social cohesion, and an effective youth development machinery.
“In the main, the IYDS will aim to drive accountability in the system in ensuring that the government meets its commitments to young people,” said the agency.