NYDA: This time with integrity

We hope the portfolio committee finds the best NYDA candidates among those 680 the second time around.

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04/09/2020 11:53:57

NYDA: This time with integrity

On 15 December 2019, Parliament advertised in various local, regional and national newspapers, and on the parliamentary website, inviting applications for persons to serve on the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) board. A total of 680 applications were received – undoubtedly including highly skilled and credible young South African individuals who want to make a difference.

The Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, after going through the motions, reported on 5 August that candidates’ CVs were published on the parliamentary website on 27 January 2020 for civil society comments and transparency purposes.

The report goes on to list its selection criteria, including traits like "high integrity, independence and good governance experience".

This report proved to be a ruse, since the South African Youth Chamber (SAYC) exposed a letter that was sent from the ANC’s National Youth Task Team (ANC NYTT) convener, Tandi Mahambehlala, to the ANC deputy secretary general on 11 May, which listed their preferred candidates for the NYDA board.

The Portfolio Committee proceeded to recommend these exact candidates for the NYDA board in the above-mentioned report, suggesting that the ANC NYTT’s preferred candidates were favoured in a shortlisting process void of openness, transparency, integrity, independence and good governance.

We are pleased to note that the Speaker, and the National Assembly as a whole, has resolved to send the report back to the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, effectively rejecting it. This comes after several youth organisations challenged the process, and OUTA sent a letter to the Presiding Officers of Parliament this week to the same effect.

Over and above reversal of the process, OUTA has called for disciplinary proceedings against Portfolio Committee Members in Parliament since, if established, political patronage and bias in the selection of candidates contradicts the provisions of the NYDA Act and is therefore unlawful.

Such contemptable, fake democratic processes are precisely what we cannot afford in South Africa right now, especially when it comes to the abuse of scarce public resources that are supposed to empower minority groups and stimulate inclusive economic activity.

OUTA's earlier statement criticising this process is here.


Picture: Flickr/GovernmentZA

OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.