Rul­ing party’s fat kit­tens

New ANC youth bosses cream off big bucks

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - XOLANI MBANJWA

IT’S PAY­DAY for well-con­nected mem­bers of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and their Young Com­mu­nist League al­lies as they col­lect fat­cat salaries from the new­ly­for med, tax­payer-funded Na­tional Youth De­vel­op­ment Agency.

The agen­cies’ three top of­fi­cials share more than R1.5 mil­lion in an­nual salaries.

Op­po­si­tion youth wings have slammed the ap­point­ment of ANCYL deputy sec­re­tarygen­eral Steven Ngubeni as the agency’s CEO.

Ngubeni is the sec­ond youth league leader to get a top spot in the agency – the league’s deputy pres­i­dent, Andile Lungisa, is chair­man of the agency’s board.

Young Com­mu­nist League trea­surer Yer­shen Pil­lay is the deputy chair­woman.

Collins Cha­bane, Per­for­mance and Eval­u­a­tion Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency, re­vealed in re­ply to a par­lia­men­tary ques­tion that Lungisa earns R673 842 a year while Pil­lay gets a salary of R572 658.

And while Ngubeni de­clined to talk about his salary, an­other se­nior of­fi­cial, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity said Ngubeni would earn around R500 000 a year.

The Cope Youth Move­ment and DA Youth said the agency was set for fail­ure be­cause the youth league would “politi­cise” youth mat­ters.

The op­po­si­tion youth wings ac­cused the youth and com­mu­nist leagues of us­ing the agency as a source of “jobs-for­pals”.

DA youth leader Khume Ra­mulifho said the agency – born out of a merger be­tween the Um­sobomvu Youth Fund and the Na­tional Youth Com­mis­sion – would fail be­cause of the league’s “cadre-de­ploy­ment”.

He warned the agency – which is de­mand­ing a R1 bil­lion bud­get from Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han – would be­come a “waste of money”.

“The agency is not go­ing to suc­ceed be­cause the ANCYL has failed to sep­a­rate pow­ers. The agency will no longer be an in­de­pen­dent body of gov­ern­ment – it will be­come an ex­ten­sion of the youth league.”

Cope youth na­tional sec­re­tary Malusi Booi ex­pressed “ut­ter dis­plea­sure” over Ngubeni’s ap­point­ment.

“His ap­point­ment does not au­gur well for in­clu­sive youth de­vel­op­ment, con­sid­er­ing that the agency’s chair­per­son is the ANCYL’s deputy pres­i­dent.”

Booi was con­cerned that Ngubeni’s ap­point­ment meant that young peo­ple across party and racial lines would not have equal ac­cess to the agency’s ser­vices.

Pholisa Make­leni, a youth league na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber, is also on the agency’s board.

Oth­ers in­clude IFP Youth Bri­gade NEC mem­ber Maria Tsha­bal­ala, Free­dom Front Plus youth leader in the North­ern Cape Fran­cois Slab­bert, Mcebo Khu­malo of Dis­abled Youth of South Africa and In­no­cen­tia Mo­tau, who rep­re­sents youth in busi­ness.

Ngubeni, 32, ac­cused the op­po­si­tion of play­ing “cheap pol­i­tics”. He said he had been “unan­i­mously” ap­pointed by the full board.

“Without be­ing pompous, I was the best can­di­date. They have judged me without looking to see whether I have the ca­pac­ity to de­liver. If they were against my ap­pli­ca­tion for the job they should have ap­plied and con­tested the post with me,” said Ngubeni.

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