Pretoria — The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has been allocated a budget of R430 million and the funds will be focused primarily on youth entrepreneurship and the National Youth Service Programme.
This was announced by Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Buti Manamela, during the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) Budget Vote for the 2017/18 financial year.
The Deputy Minister on Wednesday said the multimillion rand allocation will meet the demand by young people for more access to NYDA services.
"The NYDA will open four new branches over the next two years in Ekurhuleni, Richards Bay, OR Tambo region in the Eastern Cape and Newcastle in KwaZulu- Natal, which shall extend its services to more young people.
"The NYDA has positively responded to the call of young people and all branches shall be equipped with free Wi-Fi services to provide young people with access to technology. The soon-to-be launched NYDA app will become another platform for youth to connect to their agency," said Deputy Minister Manamela.
In the past financial year, the NYDA provided approximately 700 young entrepreneurs with grant funding to assist them with starting and growing their own businesses. Moreover, 60 000 young aspiring and established entrepreneurs have been provided with Business Development Services.
The NYDA will invest about R72 million in economic participation programmes in the 2017/18 financial year.
"This will result in over 800 new entrepreneurs being funded through developmental finance, with the creation of more than 3 000 jobs in numerous sectors," Deputy Minister Manamela said.
Education and skills development
The NYDA has provided over 400 young people with full scholarships through the Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund in the previous financial year. About 950 000 young people have been provided with group and individual career guidance.
A further 500 young people have been provided with technical skills training that will enable them to become artisans. About 70 000 young people have participated in the jobs programme aimed at providing them with life skills and job preparedness training.
"A further R80 million will be invested towards education, jobs and skills development in 2017/18. This will see 5 000 young people being placed in available job opportunities, 500 students will receive scholarships through the Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund and 60 000 young people will be provided with skills development training," said Deputy Minister Manamela.
The NYDA will spend about R46 million in 2017/18 to support the National Youth Service (NYS) Programme.
A reconfigured National Youth Service Unit will develop norms and standards for NYS programmes, build the capacity of NYS implementers, create a Central Information Management System, register NYS projects and implement a national communications and marketing plan.
"We are playing and we will continue to play a strong coordinating role in directing youth development, ensuring that youth priorities are adequately met, monitoring services and developing evidence based policies and programmes that advance the youth development agenda.
"Citizens, including young people, must play their part too in helping to monitor government services. Together we must safeguard community assets and build responsive and caring services for all our citizens," said the Deputy Minister.