Parliament has finally agreed to restart the process of selecting suitable candidates to serve on the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) board — but, first, they want clear guidelines in place.
The National Assembly’s portfolio committee on women, youth and people with disabilities, as well as the National Council of Provinces’ select committee on health and social services, have jointly written to speaker Thandi Modise to ask for clear terms of reference for the process before it gets under way.
The resolution was made on Tuesday during a joint virtual joint meeting, where the committees deliberated on Modise’s advice to restart the process as well as consideration and adoption of preliminary report on filling vacancies in the NYDA.
Reflecting on the snags which saw the delay in the selection of board members, the committee said Modise received numerous complaints questioning the processes the committees followed.
This after the committee selected seven names to fill board positions.
The complaints ranged from lack of diversity, lack of transparency and openness, applicants not meeting the criteria, and the majority of them coming from the same political party.
Individuals and organisations had also argued that section 59 of the constitution was not followed in the selection process of the seven people.
Senior parliamentary adviser Siviwe Njikela said most of the allegations were factual in nature and based on information at their disposal.
“It was our view that based on the information provided to us, there were reasonable explanations for all the allegations that were the basis of the complaint. So, our conclusion basically was that, a number of areas can be explained …”
The agency which was established primarily to tackle challenges faced by the youth has been without a board since May 2020.
The committee members were initially split on whether the process should be restarted. This as some expressed concern at the time it would take to conduct interviews from scratch, while some argued that additional names needed to be added to the existing list of seven.
However, the majority of the committee members eventually voted in favour of restarting the process.
It appears that the committee will only now begin interviews after a response from Modise’s office on the terms which the process needs to take.
The candidates have to be adopted by a sitting of the two houses before they are referred to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the appointing authority.