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Opinion

*Writer: Khathutshelo Ramukumba

Opening doors of opportunity for youth

T

he National Development Plan, government’s vision for

testimony to this reality.

2030, puts young people at the centre of South Africa’s

In recent years, the NYDA has implemented an organi-

developmental agenda. This means that for every ac-

sational realignment and culture change programme. The

tion and programme that government undertakes, the primary

organisation has, since the merger of the Umsobomvu Youth

beneficiaries should be young people.

Fund and the National Youth Commission, been faced with

Government has introduced all the necessary policies that seek to realise the integration of youth into the mainstream

an array of human resource challenges, which included, among others, a high salary bill.

economy. The introduction of the Youth Employment Accord

The project undertaken to correct these issues was exhaus-

demonstrates commitment by government, civil society, and

tive, sensitive and detailed, but ultimately, took the NYDA

the private sector to work together to realise this objective.

into a new era with its successful completion.

The establishment of the Presidential Youth Working Group, by President Jacob Zuma, is one of the ways in which government

Ploughing into youth development

prioritises and oversees the implementation of all legislation,

The organisational salary bill has been reduced, in real terms,

programmes and policies aimed at youth development, such

from R189 million to R145 million, which translates into a

at the National Youth Policy (2015–2020) and the recently con-

R34 million reduction that can be ploughed back into youth

cluded Youth Employment Plan.

development. Governance continues to be the focal point of the execu-

Addressing youth unemployment

tive of the NYDA. Matters of emphasis have reduced from

There are many issues facing the youth of this country, the

six to one, as noted by the Auditor-General. There have been

most prevalent being youth unemployment. Of the 5.5 million

also massive improvements that have been achieved in the

officially unemployed people in South Africa, 65.9 percent are

areas of financial management, performance information

youth.

reporting and compliance as required by the law.

Extremely high youth unemployment numbers have an im-

The NYDA has managed to reduce irregular expenditure

pact on both the economic and social landscape of a country.

from R133 million in 2011/2012 to R256 000 in 2015/2016.

It means young adults cannot buy homes, get married and

We are confident that all irregular expenditures will be elimi-

begin families. More and more young people find themselves

nated in the next financial year. This simply means that in the

in frustrating situations.

past four years more young people benefitted from better

In response to the many challenges facing young people,

governance.

government recently adopted the National Youth Policy (NYP)

The NYDA has also sustained its clean audit opinion from

2020. The NYP 2020 calls for young people to be given a hand

the Auditor-General of South Africa. In the previous finan-

up and not a hand-out, as young people articulated in consul-

cial year, the NYDA was lauded for its ability to turn things

tations with them. The National Youth Development Agency

around so quickly. It was, therefore, important that such an

(NYDA) is the catalyst for the development of young people

audit opinion was sustained by the agency, as this was an

in our country. The results of the 2015/16 financial year bear

external confirmation that the organisational governance

48

Public Sector Manager • December 2016 / January 2017


PSM December/January Edition 2016/2017