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South Africa: Presidential Youth Working Group to be Set Up
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Friday, June 14, 2013
Focus: Health
Country: South Africa
Created: Jun 14, 2013

NYDA efforts to help youth
He said the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in April concluded a peer counselling programme in partnership with the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) where young people were trained as ambassadors for substance abuse campaigns.
The NYDA had suffered a negative image among young people, he said, and had lost confidence to deliver on its mandate in the eyes of many South Africans.
“However, it is important to note that a lot of good work has been done by the agency and a lot of young people have benefited from its service. This however, does not discount the fact that some other things could have been done differently,” he said.
But he stressed that the agency’s newly-appointed board had stated that one of its main goals is to restore credibility to the agency.
The agency’s board announced that the NYDA had moved away from giving out loans towards education and skills development.
“This new plan will therefore focus on tailor made interventions for job preparedness and placement and a focus on scholarship provision for those who excel in schools,” he said, adding that the agency plans to offer at least 700 000 young people career guidance.
However the agency will still offer finance, this time in form of grants of between R1 000 and R100 000, which will be coupled with mentorship.
Just over 37 000 young entrepreneurs are expected be supported over the next financial year.
Added to this the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) had made available about R3 billion to youth entrepreneurs over the next five years, he said.
Work done by BrandSA
Turning to highlight work done by Brand SA, Bapela said the shift in the balance of political and economic power to Asia and other emerging markets saw the entity focus its activities more closely on Africa and other Brics countries.
A Brand SA survey on investor perceptions (Project Thrive) conducted earlier this year indicated that while the mining and tourism sectors remain the most prominent sectors associated with South Africa, there had been a significant increase in associations with other sectors in the SA economy among international investors.
These sectors include retail, construction, financial, insurance, real estate, electricity, gas and water supply and telecommunications.
Bapela said Brand SA also hosted a men’s dialogue focusing on the role of men in the fight against gender-based violence, through its Play Your Part initiative.
The coming year will see Brand SA focus a lot of effort on the African continent, reaching out to South Africans in the diaspora, including mobilising them to register and participate in voting.
Savings on Presidency Budget
Also speaking during yesterday’s Budget Vote debate, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration Collins Chabane revealed that The Presidency was able to realise savings of R79.9 million on its budget, after instituting various austerity measures.
Chabane said in the past financial year, the Presidency spent 92% of its budget with savings realised from compensation of employees, goods and services and capital expenditure.
In all R462.1 million of the Presidency’s R1.1 billion budget for the current financial year would go to administration, R393.7 million to the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), R160 million for Brand South Africa, R77.7 million for the National Planning Commission and R2.8 million for statutory allocation.
He said since 2009, President Zuma had visited eight communities in the North West, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape focused on projects on social infrastructure, public transport infrastructure, human settlements, education and people living with disability.
“These visits have managed to bring our people, water, electricity and in some cases unblocked much needed services to communities,” he said.
In the 2012/13 financial year the president also convened a meeting with principals of the 50 Further Education and Training (FET) colleges to outline the role of FET colleges in South Africa.
He said his department had begun doing research work for the production of the 20-year review of the country’s progress, which the department hopes to publish by the end of the year.
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