Probe NYDA’s R1m berets: DA Youth
The DA Youth wants Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
“We will be asking her to investigate the spending of funds at this event by (the) NYDA as well as the presidency and the Eastern Cape provincial government,” Democratic Alliance Youth leader Makashule Gana said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This complaint marks yet another in a long string of cases currently under investigation by the Public Protector in respect of the NYDA.”
Madonsela's spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi was not immediately available for comment.
Performance, Monitoring, and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane said in a response to a parliamentary question on Monday that the NYDA spent nearly R1 million of its budget for June 16 celebrations on berets.
He said a total of R2.8m was given to the NYDA for the youth day celebrations, held in Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape.
The presidency said it had spent, through the NYDA, an amount of R820 000 to show “opportunities available for young people”.
“The NYDA further covered costs for T-shirts for R490 000, berets to the value of R969 000, artists for R262 000, R294 000 for stadium branding, and lanyards for R17000,” said Chabane.
In addition to the funds provided by the presidency, Eastern Cape premier Noxolo Kievit approved over R2m from provincial coffers.
Gana said the government could have found a better use for the money.
“This spending constitutes a gross waste of funds intended for youth development. The...(amount) given by the presidency to the NYDA for this event could have created 77 new jobs for young people - if administered through a youth wage subsidy,” he said.
“Surely this could be a better use of state funds than berets and T-shirts.”
He said vital youth development money was being spent on what had become an “ANC Youth League slush fund”.
Freedom Front Plus Youth leader Wouter Wessels said: “It is totally unacceptable and a waste of taxpayers' money that the government and the NYDA had used so much money for festivities, whilst they do not have enough funds to empower the unemployed youth,” he said.
In 2010, the agency hosted a World Youth Festival, which cost taxpayers over R100m.
The NYDA was criticised when festival-goers complained of long queues, going hungry, and disorganisation. Some attendees reportedly played kissing games outside instead of attending scheduled sessions. - Sapa