Ruling party’s fat kittens
New ANC youth bosses cream off big bucks
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.