Statement by Andile Lungisa, Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency at the media briefing to announce the National Youth Convention 2011
1 Aug 2011
From commitment to result oriented actions – towards the finalisation of an Integrated Youth Development Strategy for South Africa
The advent of democracy has brought about remarkable transformation to the South African youth development sector. Thus we say the sector has come of age. Government as champions of this change has prioritised the establishment of institutions and the development of strategies aimed at eliminating historically engineered inequalities. With regards to youth development in particular, the government-led undertakings sought to empower all youth and afford them skills and opportunities to actively and constructively participate in the country’s political, social and economic activities.
Despite government’s commitment, 17 years into political freedom, young people continue to constitute not only the majority of the population, but they are also the most affected by unemployment and underdevelopment.
This June, the National Youth Development Agency marked its second year of existence and we have made progress in improving the lives of young people, including approving R66,7 million worth of loans to young entrepreneurs and sourcing business opportunities worth over R144 million through the Business Opportunities Support Service (a target exceeded by over 250% in the 2010/11 financial year). About 5,277 business consultancy services vouchers were issued to youth for business development services including for company registrations, tendering and marketing support.
Furthermore the organisation has also provided career guidance to over 444, 000 young people (a target exceeded by over 11% in the 2010/11 financial year) and trained 152, 377 young people including 84,644 trained through the National Youth Service programme (a target exceeded by 33% in the 2010/11 financial year). In addition over 61,000 jobs (a target exceeded by about 18,2% in the 2010/11 financial year) have been sustained through various NYDA programmes including the entrepreneurship and skills development programmes.
A lot more remains to be done. As a result we are saying it has become urgent for all sectors of society to move from commitment and piece-meal projects to significant result-oriented projects that will change the current status of young people.
The most pressing challenges are:
- Although governments have policies that aim to empower young people, in most cases these policies do not have costed action plans and they lack monitoring and accountability measures.
- Furthermore, while there have been a number of interventions initiated in the public sector, specifically government, to support skills development in the country, including learner ships, they have not been adequately monitored and evaluated to measure their impact. In many instances we do not have empirical evidence on the rate at which these young people are absorbed into jobs.
- On the other hand, very little information is in the public domain concerning the private sector’s role in supporting youth-development efforts, partly because there is no mechanism to monitor and evaluate their youth development programmes. The sector also does not disaggregate their expenditure or beneficiaries in terms of age.
It is for this reason that the NYDA will be hosting the National Youth Convention to discuss the draft Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS) in Kimberley this week. The NYDA Act number 54 of 2008 mandates the NYDA to develop an IYDS in order to integrate youth development issues in the mainstream of both private and public sector work and provides a coordinated approach for implementation of the programmes for sustainable livelihoods of young people.
The development of this far-reaching strategy is well underway. The IYDS is guided by six thematic areas, which are derived from the National Youth Policy 2009 to 2014 that was approved by cabinet in 2008. The thematic areas are policy issues that have been identified through extensive research and judged to be central for the strategy to deal with the plight of South African youth.
- Economic Participation
- Education and Skills Development
- Youth Work
- Health and Wellbeing
- Social Cohesion and National Youth Service
The process of developing the IYDS commenced with reviewing the 2006 draft version. Recent and relevant pieces of legislation such as the NYDA and African Youth Charter were thoroughly scrutinised in order to develop an evidence-based strategy. At local level, research work considered the country’s Labour Force Survey, the recent South African Institute of Race Relations study on unemployment and others.
Earlier this year the NYDA undertook consultations with various role players across the country with the aim of getting inputs into the strategy before it can be submitted to Parliament later in the year. Inputs were solicited from government representatives such as the Interdepartmental Committee on Youth Affairs, youth formations, youth in business, National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). This was done to ensure that the IYDS is coherent with views from different stakeholders including youth.
As a final step in the consultation process, a National Youth Convention which will bring together all youth formations to discuss the IYDS, will take at the Mayibuye Activities Centre in Galeshewe, Kimberley from 5 to 7 August 2011. The convention is critical in that it will allow the NYDA to take young people on board as we undertake our work, such that whatever intervention geared toward the development of young people does not leave the same young person by the sideways, but rather encompasses his or her input in the strategies moving forward.
About 1 000 young people are expected to attend, representing South African youth from all walks of life. Furthermore a number of government Ministers are expected to attend this youth gathering. It is important to note that this is not the first consultation, but a culmination of various consultations that have taken place earlier in the year in various provinces where young people received space to participate.
1. Monitoring of implementation of IYDS
Once finalised, the IYDS will contain a clear Monitoring and Evaluation Tool against which all sectors should be monitored and account on how their programmes and polices impact on the lives of young people. The IYDS proposes that institutional arrangements be made to report to both The Presidency and Parliament quarterly.
An agreement with NEDLAC proposes representation by the NYDA and that the platform should allow for proper monitoring of private sector programmes. The Presidency in this regard must reform legislation and NYDA should be afforded a full time representation in all government clusters and related platforms in local government in order to influence policy and monitor implementation of IYDS.
2. Anchor projects of the IYDS
As mandated by the NYDA act number 54 of 2008, NYDA as an institution is expected to initiate programmes aimed at contributing towards poverty alleviation, urban and rural development, the combating of crime, substance abuse and social decay amongst youth. The anchor projects of the IYDS are strategically selected projects, which will be championed and implemented either fully or in partnership by the NYDA. They will be implemented in the next five years and they include projects in:
- Youth Build SA
- Motor vehicle manufacturing
- Mineral beneficiation
- Social economy
- Green economy
- Non- Military NYS and
- Furniture making project.
2.1 Agro-processing Projects
The goal of this programme is to ensure that youth own, participate and control key value chains in South African agricultural industry through owning large scale and medium sized agro-processing businesses and related marketing channels.
The short-term objective is to establish agro-processing plants and skill young people to operate plants in four provinces (Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape).
The project aims to create in the next five years: 4,000 jobs, train 4,000 young people, and create 40 small businesses to supply raw materials and four large-scale agro-processing businesses. The provisional estimated cost of the project is R180 million.
2.2 Youth Build South African
The Youth Build SA is a comprehensive programme that integrates academic achievement, work experience, social action, leadership development, and personal transformation in a single project. It has been piloted in Ivory Park, Midrand in Johannesburg and will be rolled out to other parts of the country.
Its components include:
- Education and Skills Development
- Leadership and service
- Counselling and Support Services and
- Exit Opportunities.
The five year planned project will see 1,000 young people trained in various Youth Build SA related skills, 10 small businesses created and, 10 Scholarships awarded youth. The estimated cost of the project is R31 million.
2.3 ICT related projects
This project is premised on focusing the South African Government to develop uniform, cutting edge Open Source Systems that will cover a wide range of service delivery aspects particularly in Education, Health and Municipalities. It will also have a component of smart energy management. The project aims to Increase the number of youth-owned businesses in ICT industry. It targets to create 5,000 jobs, train 5,000 young people, and create 40 small businesses and five large-scale ICT businesses. The project duration will be five years at an estimated cost of R220 million.
2.4 Motor vehicle manufacturing
South Africa manufactures and assemble motor vehicles within its borders for international companies and does not own any vehicle manufacturing business. The opportunities therefore abound in this sector should cover component manufacturing across the board including paints; leather; fabric; various engineered parts etc. and also to provide labour and auto dealer ownership and fleet management services.
This project will establish new cutting edge auto component manufacturing businesses that are owned and controlled by South African youth. Targeted project results include creation of 5,000 jobs, training of 5,000 young people in related skills, creation of 40 youth owned small businesses; establishment of three significant component manufacturing businesses. The project is scheduled for five years at an estimated cost of R220 million.
2.5 Mineral Beneficiation Project
Minerals that can be beneficiated locally include platinum; iron ore; titanium, zirconium, vanadium, magnesium, silicon, gold and others. Partnerships with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Economic Development (DED), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) will be brokered in order to benefit the youth.
The project has a target of creating 5,000 direct jobs, 15,000 indirect jobs, training of 6,000 young people in mineral beneficiation and related skills, creation of 20 small businesses and establishment of five large-scale mineral beneficiation businesses. This project is also scheduled for five years at an estimated cost of R600 million.
2.6 Social economy
Social enterprises, using either corporate or not-for-profit business structures, have the potential to become major employers while meeting socio-economic needs of communities. Organisations like the Creative Design Company, started by the Job Creation Trust, work specifically on maximising job opportunities for the previously unemployed and disadvantaged.
This is done by working in a part of the clothing industry’s value chain that was previously off-shored to the East and thus bringing the economic activity and relevant employment potential back into the country. The project has target results of creating 800 direct and 1500 indirect jobs, training 2,000 young people in industry related skills, trained, creating 20 social enterprises; and establishing five large scale social businesses. The project is also scheduled for the five year period like others.
2.7 Green economy
The Green Economy Project will explore and exploit opportunities for the benefit of youth in Waste Management (Establishment of recycling companies and cooperatives), Renewal Energy and Energy Efficiency (Solar Water Heating, waste to energy, Energy Audits), Agricultural Development (Agro-processing, Hydroponics, Aquaculture), Food Security and related Professional Training (environmental journalism, policy, climate change).
2.8 Non Military National Youth Service
This project will be largely short term in nature but may include other mandates e.g. building and maintenance of dams and power generation infrastructure, creation and maintenance of parks and recreational facilities in wetlands and estuaries - this may also be linked to disaster prevention and disaster reaction.
The objective of this project is to create a multi-disciplinary Youth Cooperatives that can be deployed to tackle and manage any government project whose principal objective is to create a platform for Socio-Economic development. It targets a creation of 30,000 jobs and training of 30,000 youth. It will be implemented in the next five years at an estimated cost of R460 million.
2.9 Furniture Making Project
The production focus areas for this anchor project will be, saligna furniture for export (based on locally grown hardwoods), chipboard furniture primarily for the domestic market, pine furniture production for both the domestic and export markets; and Upholstered furniture (also using fabric, foam and leather). The targets include creation of 500 direct World Food Programme jobs, 500 upstream jobs. Project duration will be three years at an estimated cost of R208, 000.00.
Issued by: National Youth Development Agency
1 Aug 2011
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