*Writer: Khathutshelo Ramukumba
Opening doors of opportunity for youth
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
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,
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
Public Sector Manager • December 2016 / January 2017