On November 10, president Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a new board for the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). Asanda Luwaca was also appointed as the agency’s first woman chairperson. The Daily Vox team takes a look at what the agency is supposed to do.
What is the NYDA?
The NYDA is an agency for youth development. It was established by law with the NYDA Act (54 of 2008). Its primary focus is to tackle challenges that youth face. The agency’s mandate covers youth development issues at national, local and provincial levels.
South Africa’s youth make up 42% of the country’s population. The “youth” in South Africa is defined as people between the ages of 14 and 35 years old. The youth face many challenges like unemployment and poverty. In 2020, 2.5 million people between the ages of 15 and 34 were unemployed in South Africa.
The agency is supposed to intervene to solve these types of challenges by bringing together private and public stakeholders. The NYDA then implements sustainable solutions that improve the lives of South African youth. The agency programmes operate on a micro (individual), community (meso) and provincial and national (macro level). This way individuals and communities are targeted directly on the micro and meso levels. The macro level involves youth participation in policy that shape the socio-economic landscape of South Africa.
What does the NYDA do?
The agency has three core functions. The first is to lobby and advocate for youth development across all sectors. They then implement and coordinate the programmes. Thereafter they monitor and evaluate its progress and mobilise youth participation. Some of the agency’s key programmes cover youth education and business development.
Some of their programmes
The second chance programme allows young people to rewrite Matric to obtain their National Senior Certificate. The Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund supports youth in rural areas to pursue higher education. The NYDA also has business mentorship programmes for young entrepreneurs.
What has the NYDA achieved so far
Through the NYDA Grant Program over 1100 youth-owned businesses in townships and rural areas received grant funding. It is reported that over 5000 jobs were created and sustained through the program. The NYDA has also increased their scope in rural areas with 15 new service delivery channels. Almost 21000 beneficiaries have received NYDA business development support. By the end of 2020 almost 75000 young people were trained nationwide to enter the job market. This was achieved by the NYDA partnering with local municipalities and establishing new offices within them.
The agency also established a relief fund for youth-owned businesses to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This spanned three months and saved several businesses from folding.
Recently the NYDA was named as the best ground level organisation to support the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI). The PYEI is a direct response to the South African youth unemployment crisis. It seeks innovative and coordinated solutions. It will cover five key components over a five year period. This will include supporting township and rural economies and providing workplace experience.
The way forward
Along with Lucawa, Avela Mjajubana, Karabo Mohale, Lebo Mulaisi, Thulisa Ndlela, Pearl Pillay and Alexandria Procter were also appointed to the new board. Ramaphosa has echoed calls for the NYDA to be a vital partner in the PYEI.
The board’s tenure will run for three years from the announcement date. The NYDA has been without a board since the last board term ended in 2020. The board will be responsible for driving skills development, employment and work experience programmes. They will also manage the operational policy of the NYDA.
“The new board brings together a group of individuals with diverse expertise and experience in youth development,” said Ramaphosa.