A concerned Komani Residents Association secretary, Axolile Masiza, questions the operation of the new National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) offices in Komani without the public knowledge of its official launch.
Masiza alleged that the agency had recently offered funding to six local youth businesses who broke the news on Vukani Community Radio last week, while the rest of the youth in the community were uninformed.
He also wondered why there was no transparency and why employment offers were not advertised for the general public to apply for the positions needing to be filled.
However, Chris Hani District Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mqamelo said the public announcement to open the offices had been made by CHDM executive mayor Wongama Gela during the State of the District Address in June.
She said there was no lack of transparency as CHDM held a district youth engagement session in June in the presence of the media, where the launch of the office had been discussed and youth structures were informed.
“This process started more than three years ago with the NYDA and CHDM memorandum of understanding on opening a local youth service office under the East London-based regional office. NYDA has been operating in our district through the East London regional office since its establishment. As the NYDA is an autonomous entity their work continues as we prepare to officially open the Komani District Service Centre.”
She added that an official date for the launch of the office was expected imminently and would be made through mass media and youth structures across the district.
Mqamelo said the launch would be preceded by NYDA and the regional South African Youth Council (SAYC) local municipality’s visits to encourage young people to apply for NYDA products and services which will be handed over during the launch.
“The CHDM is in partnership with NYDA and SAYC towards the launch of the office. When the date has been set the CHDM, in partnership with its stakeholders, will publicly announce it with the preceding roadshows to all local municipalities.”
The roadshow will be conducted by NYDA and SAYC to encourage youth to apply for the products and services offered by NYDA, she said.
“The office is still being set up as renovations have just been completed. The East London regional office is operating in our district and young people are free to make applications and get support as has been happening throughout the years.”
As far as the posts were concerned, she said the office currently had one co-ordinator who was seconded from the NYDA staff as they did not have sufficient budget to employ permanent staff.”
“The offices are owned by ECDC and leased to Chris Hani Cooperative Development Centre and the CHDM will pay rent to CHCDC like other tenants in that building.”
At the time of going to print the NYDA had not responded to questions sent to the agency.