What is NYDA?

Who are we?

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is a South African-based agency established primarily to tackle challenges that the nation’s youth are faced with. The NYDA was established by an Act of parliament, Act no 54 of 2008. 

The agency derives its mandate from legislative frameworks such as the NYDA Act (54 of 2008), the National Youth Policy (2009-2014) and the draft Integrated Youth Development Strategy as adopted by the Youth Convention of 2006.

The institution was established to be a single, unitary structure, established to address youth development issues at National, Provincial and Local government level. The existence of the NYDA should be located within the broad context of South Africa’s development dynamics. Like many developing countries, South Africa has a large population of youth, those between the ages 14-35 represent 42% of the total population. 

Given the youthful nature of the South African population, much of the socio-economic challenges faced by the nation, including poverty, inequality and joblessness, poor health are largely encountered by the youth. The gravity of challenges South Africa is faced with, require multi-pronged efforts that simultaneously promote the development of sustainable livelihoods, reduce poverty, inequality and prioritise the development of policies which create an enabling environment for youth development.

The NYDA plays a leading role in ensuring that all major stakeholders such as the government, private sector and civil society, prioritise youth development and contribute towards identifying and implementing long-lasting solutions that address youth development challenges. Furthermore, the NYDA designs and implements programmes that are aimed at improving the lives of young people, as well as avail opportunities to youth. These programmes could be clustered as follows:

  • Individual (Micro) level: The NYDA provides direct services to youth in the form of information provision, career guidance services, mentorship, skills development and training, entrepreneurial development and support, health awareness programmes and involvement in sport.

  • Community (Meso) level: The NYDA encourages young people to be catalysts for change in their communities through involvement in community development activities, social cohesion initiatives, National Youth Service programmes and social dialogues.

  • Provincial and National (Macro) level: Through its policy development, partnerships and research programmes, the NYDA facilitates the participation of youth in developing key policy inputs, which shape the socio-economic landscape of South Africa.

What do we do?

The NYDA activities could be summarised as follows:

a) Lobby and advocate for integration and mainstreaming of youth development in all spheres of government, private sector and civil society,

b) Initiate, implement, facilitate and coordinate youth development programmes,

c) Monitor and evaluate youth development interventions across-the-board and, mobilise youth for active participation in civil society engagements.

How we do it

A credible, capable and activist development agency that is responsive to the plight of South Africa’s youth

  • To mainstream youth issues into society
  • To facilitate youth development with all sectors of society
  • Integrity and honesty
  • Excellence
  • Respect and humility
  • Professionalism
  • Accessibility

NYDA'S New Focus

The National Youth Development Agency has shifted its primary core business away from Enterprise Finance towards Education and Skills Development. The fundamental change in this area of development is the change from loan provision to grant provision for young entrepreneurs.

The NYDA no longer offers loan finance to young entrepreneurs; the agency provides financial support in the form of micro-finance grants to young entrepreneurs and youth cooperatives.  

The objective of the NYDA Grant Funding is to provide young entrepreneurs with an opportunity to access both the financial and non-financial business development support to establish their survivalist businesses.

The programme focuses on youth entrepreneurs who are just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential but are not yet fully developed. The Grant Funding starts from R1 000 to a maximum of R200 000 for any individual or youth cooperative. For agriculture and technology-related projects, the maximum threshold is R250 000. The NYDA continues with efforts directed at economic participation offering a range of products, programmes and services to young entrepreneurs in need, albeit as a secondary focus.

The new plan of the NYDA therefore focuses on tailor-made interventions for job preparedness and placement, a focus on scholarship provision for youth who excel in schools, the scaling up of the YouthBuild Programme for out-of-school youth, the increase of second chance opportunities for matriculants and the intensification of our highly successful career guidance programme. 

Key Performance Areas

KEY PERFORMANCE AREA 1: Economic Participation

The main goal of the Economic Participation focus is to enhance the contribution of young people in the economy through targeted and integrated programmes. Programmes implemented by the NYDA aim to facilitate and provide employment opportunities for youth in order to improve the inclusion  of young people in the economy, through increased job creation, entrepreneurship and business support, as well as skills development.

Implementation is at the following strategic objectives:

  • To provide socio-economic empowerment interventions and support for young people in South Africa
  • To provide increased universal access to young people

KEY PERFORMANCE AREA 2: Education and Skills Development

The main goal of the Education and Skills Development programme is to promote, facilitate and provide education and skills development opportunities that enhance the socio-economic well-being of young people through facilitating education opportunities, community participation and service activities geared towards fostering patriotism. 

The aim is to improve access to quality education, facilitate and implement skills development programmes, offer scholarships assistance and encourage young people to participate in social cohesion and nation building activities. 

Implementation is at the following strategic objectives:

  • To facilitate and implement skills programmes
  • To facilitate and implement education opportunities in order to improve the quality education attainment for the youth
  • To engage young people in service activities geared towards fostering patriotism, social cohesion and nation building.

KEY PERFORMANCE AREA 3: Research and Policy

The main goal of this key peformance area is to create a body of knowledge and best practice in the youth development sectors and to inform and influence policy development planning and implementation. The fundamental aim of this area is to ensure that knowledge that inform and drive youth development is developed based on facts that are relevant to the developmental needs of the South African youth, as well as giving South Africa a competitive edge.

Implementation is at the following strategic objectives:

  • To create and produce information and knowledge for  better development planning and decision making
  • To lobby key stakeholders to support and implement youth development programmes
  • To mobilise and leverage financial resources from key stakeholders.