NYDA needs to get its house in order to tackle imminent youth unemployment crisis

Please find an attached soundbite by Luyolo Mphithi MP

The DA has written to Waseem Carrim, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), to express our dissatisfaction with the agency’s failure to address youth unemployment in South Africa.

The latest StatsSA Quarterly Labour Force Survey paints a bleak image as it revealed yet another increase in unemployment levels in South Africa – with some reports indicating that our 44.4% unemployment rate is now the highest in the world.

This record high unemployment disproportionately affects the youth. Unfortunately, state-funded agencies such as the NYDA, which is responsible for providing support to young people, has turned into a roadblock for youth employment.

The DA recently concluded a national tour of NYDA offices and found many areas of concern with the agency:

  • Difficulty to access NYDA funding: Young people are unable to apply for NYDA funding online. This is a major setback for young people because the NYDA does not have offices in every corner of the country.
  • Tools of the trade: Critical tools such as computers and printers at NYDA offices are not functional.
  • NYDA OfficesIn some cases offices were closed during the day with no explanation.
  • NYDA website not user-friendly: Though it provides some information, the website does not give the necessary steps to be followed should someone want to sign up for training sessions, or submit an application for job placements or apply for funding.
  • Failure to adequately implement the YES programme: The NYDA failed to successfully implement the YES programme and create the job opportunities that were promised by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
  • Failure to meet Youth Entrepreneurship partnership outcomes: The agency has partnered up with various government departments to assist young entrepreneurs. However, the outcomes of the partnerships remain unclear.

The NYDA can be a major contributor to job opportunities and the upskilling of young South Africans. However, it must prioritize the following areas:

  • A focus on skills development of young people in key growth sectors such as agriculture, the green and waste economies.
  • Increased access to data and internet for young people.
  • Provide targeted support for young micro-entrepreneurs in the informal economy.
  • Employment Tax Incentive to stimulate demand for youth labour.

Some of the challenges that NYDA faces are self-inflicted and need to be addressed urgently to get our young people back in the jobs market.