NYDA must be scrapped, not given more money - Michael Cardo

DA MP says deputy minister Buti Manamela's proposal will open door for further wasteful expenditure

NYDA must be scrapped, not given more money

01 July 2014

Deputy Minister of Performance and Monitoring in the Presidency, Buti Manamela's proposal that the National Youth Development Agency Act should be reviewed in order to introduce provincial advisory boards and give the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) "a bigger slice of the national budget" will open the door for further irregular and wasteful expenditure.

Since its establishment under the current Act, the NYDA has been headed up by a string of political appointees that prioritised lavish parties and personal enrichment as opposed to the actual development of our youth.

The current NYDA CEO, Yershen Pillay, earns approximately R1.8 million per year - an almost presidential salary despite few to no tangible outputs from his agency.

In the 2012/13 financial year, the NYDA spent R28 million on travel and accommodation - living the high life while the rest of South Africa's youth battle to find work and put food on the table. That R28 million was part of a larger R133 million in irregular expenditure.

Furthermore, the Agency's own reports clearly illustrate that it has failed to meet as many as 95.5% of its targets in the past.

Year after year, members of the NYDA have used the agency as a personal piggy bank, and cannot be trusted with more public money. If anything, the NYDA should be scrapped.

I will submit parliamentary questions to determine the motivation for a larger budget and how much is expected to be spent on the proposed provincial advisory boards. I will also seek clarity from the Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, as to when this proposed amendment to the NYDA Act will be gazetted for public comment.

Youth unemployment is at an all-time high and the funds being squandered on the NYDA and its ‘leadership' would be better spent on initiatives designed to improve the lives of South Africa's youth, such as the Youth Wage Subsidy.

The DA will not sit by while public money continues to be wasted on projects that benefit an elite few, instead of creating the jobs that our young people need to lift themselves out of poverty.

Statement issued by Dr Michael Cardo, DA Shadow Deputy Minister in the Presidency, July 1 2014

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