Nthuseng Mphahlele, Executive Director of Product Design, Development and Delivery NYDA says the agnecy sits within the Presidency and reports to Minister Jeff Radebe. It gets public funding to the tune of just under R500 million a year.
So just what do they do with this money?
We are trying to say to education and everybody else that when it comes to matters effecting young people, look at a young person as an individual and address the holistic development of the young person. They dont just need academia. They need social, spiritual and physical programmes. |So our programmes need to be all encompassing— Nthuseng Mphahlele, Executive Director NYDA
Bruce Whitfield tried to find out just what exactly the R500 million a year was spent on. Children from poor communities have little access to things like sports and chess clubs and he suggested these might be worthwhile projects for the agency.
Callers phone in and said the agency was all talk and no action. One caller said he had applied for money for equipment but had never heard a word back. In fact the agency does award grants of anything between R1000 and R100 000 says Mphalele. But there have been teething problems. And now international financial services JP Morgan are helping the NYDA to become a leaner machine.
Is the agencies mandate too broad?
The National Youth Development Agency Act is broad, but it is going through a review process. And hopefully by the beginning of the new financial year we could have a much leaner Act giving focued direction to the NYDA and with that mandate we will be able to address our clients properly.— Nthuseng Mphahlele, Executive Director NYDA
The NYDA does work with NGOs in community projects it seems. Mphahlele insists the agency salary budget is not heavy. She says they spend 30 c to the rand on administrative costs, and 70c on operations. She says they are working on bringing it down further and hopefully NYDA has a future where most of the R500 million annual budget finds its way to constructive projects in communities to help South African youth flourish.
This article first appeared on 702 : Young South Africans must flourish