What does the National Youth Development Agency do?

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On November 10, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a new board of directors for the National Agency for Youth Development (NYDA). Asanda Luwaca was also named as the agency’s first female president. The Daily Vox team takes a look at what the agency is supposed to do.

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What is the NYDA?

NYDA is an agency for youth development. It was established by law with the NYDA Law (54 of 2008). Its main objective is to meet the challenges facing young people. The agency’s mandate covers youth development issues at the national, local and provincial levels.

South Africa young people represent 42% of the country’s population. “Young people” in South Africa are defined as people between the ages of 14 and 35. Young people face many challenges such as unemployment and poverty. In 2020, 2.5 million people between 15 and 34 years old were unemployed in South Africa.

The agency is supposed to intervene to solve this type of challenge by bringing together private and public actors. The NYDA then implements sustainable solutions that improve the lives of South African youth. The agency’s programs operate at the micro (individual), community (meso), provincial and national (macro level) level. In this way, individuals and communities are targeted directly at the micro and meso levels. The macro level involves the participation of young people in the policies that shape the socio-economic landscape of South Africa.

What is the NYDA doing?

The the agency has three main functions. The first is to lobby and advocate for youth development in all sectors. They then implement and coordinate the programs. Subsequently, they monitor and evaluate its progress and mobilize the participation of young people. Some of the agencies key programs cover youth education and business development.

Some of their programs

The second chance program allows young people to rewrite the Matric to obtain their National Senior Certificate. The Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund helps young people in rural areas pursue higher education. The NYDA also offers business mentoring programs for young entrepreneurs.

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What the NYDA has accomplished so far

Through the NYDA Grants Program more than 1,100 youth-owned businesses in townships and rural areas received grants. It is reported that over 5,000 jobs have been created and maintained as a result of the program. The NYDA has also expanded its reach into rural areas with 15 new service delivery channels. Nearly 21,000 grantees received business development support from NYDA. By the end of 2020, nearly 75,000 young people had been trained across the country to enter the labor market. This goal was achieved through NYDA’s partnership with local municipalities and the establishment of new offices within them.

The agency has also created a relief fund for youth-owned businesses to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It lasted three months and saved several companies from folding.

Recently the NYDA has been named as the best ground-level organization in ssupport the presidential intervention for youth employment (PYEI). The PYEI is a direct response to the South African youth unemployment crisis. She is looking for innovative and coordinated solutions. It will cover five key elements over a period of five years. This will include supporting the economies of townships and rural areas and providing a work experience.

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The path to follow

Along with Lucawa, Avela Mjajubana, Karabo Mohale, Lebo Mulaisi, Thulisa Ndlela, Pearl Pillay and Alexandria Procter were also appointed to the new board of directors. Ramaphosa echoed calls for NYDA to be a vital partner of PYEI.

The the term of the board of directors will last three years from the date of announcement. The NYDA has been without a board of directors since the end of the board’s last term in 2020. The the board will be responsible for the conduct skills development, employment and work experience programs. They will also be manage the operational policy of the NYDA.

“The new board of directors brings together a group of people with diverse expertise and experience in youth development”, said Ramaphosa.

Feature image via NYDA website

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