Ramaphosa appoints new NYDA board, first since May 2020

Ramaphosa designated the ANC Youth League's Asanda Luwaca as the board chair, making her the first woman to hold the position

10 November 2021 - 17:27
President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a new National Youth Development Agency board. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a new National Youth Development Agency board. File photo.
Image: GCIS

After months of delays, President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a new National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) board.

He also designated the ANC Youth League's Asanda Luwaca as the chair, making her the first woman to hold the position.

Ramaphosa said this was in line with his commitment to advance women leadership at all levels.

The presidency quoted Ramaphosa as having said: “The new board of the National Youth Development Agency carries a great responsibility in the country’s drive to empower young people through skills development, employment, work experience and other opportunities.

“I see the NYDA as a vital partner in the implementation of the Presidential Youth Empowerment Intervention and ensuring that young people are prioritised as part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus.”

He said the new board brings together individuals with diverse expertise and experience in youth development.

“I have every confidence that they will ensure sound governance of the agency, and will dedicate themselves to the critical task of building a better future for the youth of SA.”

In September, parliament approved 17 names of candidates who had gone through its selection process and sent them to Ramaphosa for appointment.

The president appointed seven board members from the 17 names. The new board members are Luwaca, Karabo Mohale (deputy chairperson), Avela Mjajubana, Lebo Mulaisi, Thulisa Ndlela, Pearl Pillay and Alexandria Procter.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the minister in the presidency responsible for women, youth and people with disabilities, said she was certain that the new board understood it needed to hit the ground running.

“The NYDA is a critical part of the South African youth development machinery dealing with issues facing the youth. We look forward to tapping into their individual and collective skills, passions and intellect to contribute to making our country better.”

Nkoana-Mashabane said members of the board must reflect the demographics and geographical spread of SA.

The term for a NYDA board is three years. The agency has been without a board since the term of the last board ended in May 2020. The process to appoint a new board has been imbued in controversy as observers, candidates and opposition MPs complained of political interference by the ANC.

Parliament had to redo the selection process after a number of complaints were sent to then National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise, raising similar concerns about the process that was followed in shortlisting candidates after interviews.

The second process resulted in the unprecedented recommendation of 17 names to Ramaphosa for a seven-member board at the end of August for the National Assembly and on September 2 by the National Council of Provinces.

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