JOHANNESBURG - The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has embarked on staff retrenchments and restructuring processes due to be completed at the end of the month.
”The NYDA has entered into a restructuring process which will see it reduce staff in accordance with section 189 of the Labour Relations Act,” Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela said on Monday.
”This will aim to reduce the salary bill from the 2016/2017 financial year onward,” Manamela said, explaining why the restructuring process was taking place.
Manamela, who is responsible for youth development, briefed reporters on the organisation’s first ever clean audit opinion from the Auditor General (AG). The AG conferred an award to the organisation on Friday for its performance.
The restructuring was meant to ensure that more money was spent on youth development instead of staff, he said.
He added that the agency has managed to reduce its executive management team from nine to five. Senior managers were reduced from 31 to 7 and managers from 68 to 33.
The salary bill at the NYDA amounted to R176-million, which was almost 39 percent of the total income value of the organisation.
”In an environment of austerity and budget cuts which result in lower than inflation adjustments to income, this figure has become a major concern for the organisation,” he said.
”The NYDA still faces a number of challenges in meeting the expectations of youth, and addressing all the challenges that young people face on a daily basis. This requires continued innovation in developing products and services responsive to the challenges of the youth”.
The agency’s annual budget of R403 million budget was, however inadequate. Manamela said the agency would approach government for more funding.
NYDA Chief Executive Officer Khathu Ramukumba said negotiations between the unions, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and the Public Servants Association (PSA) had been concluded.
”We have reached an agreement with the unions on how the process should move forward. The people who would be leaving are not dead wood…they are skilled, and we think their expertise can be used anywhere in the country,” said Ramukumba.
The Department of Public Service would be presented with a list of retrenched staff members who could be hired in government, he said.
Some staff members have opted for voluntary severance packages offered by the agency.
The end of this year would see the NYDA board’s three-year tenure coming to an end.