Come on NYDA, let’s not lower the bar
The ANC in Parliament has finally discovered that requiring a post-matric qualification for a position on the board of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is actually quite discriminatory. It took it a while as, only a few months ago, the party advertised the same position and insisted candidates had the qualification.
The committee has advertised three times for the new NYDA board since November last year, calling on young people with a minimum of a three-year post-matric qualification to apply.
What has since changed? What accounts for this sudden awakening of the conscience of MPs?
The truth is that the ANC is lowering the bar to accommodate the deputy president of the ANC Youth League, Desmond Moela, who has been earmarked for the position of board chairperson, but he only has a matric qualification.
The ANC has used the NYDA, like many other state institutions, to deploy its cadres. It has long ceased to pretend that it wants the best managers for these institutions.
While many South Africans still differ regarding the cadre deployment policy, they have made peace with it. For as long as the NYDA has existed, it has been populated by people with ANC ties.
But these MPs are taking this to the extreme. To actually tamper with an accepted requirement to satisfy one youth structure is disrespectful to South Africans.
And what message does a decision like this send to the young people of the #FeesMustFall movement, who are fighting bitter battles so that they acquire the qualifications needed to serve in these structures?
With a budget of R400 million a year and the responsibility to shape future entrepreneurs, the NYDA should not be a dumping ground for hopeless party hacks.