National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) welcomes audit into 17th World Youth Festival organisation
16 Dec 2010
The National Youth Development Agency would welcome any audit into the organisation and management of the 17th World Youth Festival currently underway at the Tshwane Events Centre in Pretoria.
The Chairman of NYDA Andile Lungisa says the organisation has noted the calls from different quarters for an audit to be conducted into how the funds allocated to the youth festival were spent.
“I want to remind the public that the NYDA is established in terms of the law and it is a public entity, as such it gets audited like any other public organisation anyway. As it is the NYDA had a clean audit for the 2009/10 financial year,” he says.
The 17th World Festival of Youth and Students is the largest international youth festival hosted by the NYDA and the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY). The festival started on Monday, 13 December and will end next Tuesday.
Lungisa says there are more than 15,000 delegates participating with representatives coming from more than 130 countries.
“We are disappointed with the media who find it easy to ignore the issues that are being discussed in the seminars. I find that there is more coverage about things that happen outside the seminar venues even though sufficient progress is being made and resolutions are being taken on critical issues at the various seminars and conferences,” he said.
Lungisa expressed concern that the public was being robbed of the opportunity to engage on the issues that are outlined in the programme. He added that some of the cultural exchange activities which form part of the festival are reported as if they do not form part of the programme.
“Some venues are even full and robust discussions are taking place yet there is no reporting on the issues. What we also need to take into consideration that we have morning and afternoon sessions and delegates can either attend morning or afternoon sessions,” he says.
“We are doing our best to cater for all our delegates. However, in an event of this magnitude you will find some people who will not like the food being provided but efforts are being made to address the concerns. We have also increased our serving points,” says Lungisa.
On event management
“Some media reports have stated that an events company which does not exist within Company Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) database has been appointed to organise the festival and I have been quoted as saying that the stated company is owned by the “National Provincial Council” of the ANC Youth League. Cursory engagement with this statement not only exposes the callousness as well as carelessness prevalent in our reporting, attributing this statement to myself is a downright lie,” says Lungisa.
The NYDA issued a tender for an events management company and after the evaluation of proposals received global interface was shortlisted. Since a National Preparatory Committee (NPC) had been established to facilitate the hosting of the festival and due to budgetary constraints then, the NYDA resolved not to contract the company.
“The programme is continuously being revised and we have speakers that are coming. Some of the speakers mentioned in the programme will still come through. I want to emphasise that no sessions have been cancelled because there are no speakers and none of the speakers cancelled their attendance. The festival is going ahead as planned and focus should be on the content,” says Lungisa.
He further said, “I challenge the media to attend and report on the session titled “The manipulation of media and information.” The President of WFDY, Tiago Vieira and I held a press conference wherein we urged the media to start focusing on the issues raised at the festival. I hope we will begin to see that now.”
A cultural programme will also take place daily in the evenings, starting at 6pm until 10pm, and will include local and international performing artists, an international poetry and song contest, a young filmmaker’s meeting, the “scoring for friendship, solidarity and social transformation” soccer tournament and the “running for friendship, solidarity and social transformation” fun-run.
The conference held under the theme, Let’s defeat imperialism, for a world of peace, solidarity and social transformation is aimed at uniting the youth of the world for peace, solidarity and social transformation to create a world free of human rights abuses and creation of sustainable environments.
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Issued by: National Youth Development Agency
16 Dec 2010
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