Come on NYDA, let’s not lower the bar

CityPress - - Voices -

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.

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