If you are a civil servant and want to get rich, join the
National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
A City Press investigation has revealed that the agency's
staff will earn an average salary of R517 000 each this financial year,
prompting one of its directors to admit that it was nothing more than an ANC
Youth League-dominated "gravy train".
The investigation has shown that NYDA staff earn on average
significantly more than most of the employees of 14 other similar public
entities we surveyed.
The agency also leaves other government departments in the
shade in terms of average costs per job.
The NYDA, shrouded in controversy after it spent R100m on a
youth festival in December last year and over the close links of its staff with
the youth league, will receive R1.2bn over the next three years from the
Treasury national budget documents show that each of the
agency's 339 staff members earned R430 000 on average last year.
The Treasury allocated R187.5m for salaries for 363 staff
members for the current financial year: an average salary of R517 000 per
NYDA chief executive Steven Ngubeni, whose yearly income of
R1.8m is the same as that of a Cabinet minister, charged that City Press'
information which was published by the Treasury and signed off by the
Presidency, was "fraught with errors and misconception".
Ngubeni said that in the previous financial year, the agency
had 433 people - 94 more posts than were approved in the Treasury documents -
and had paid them an average of R322 269 yearly.
But NYDA director Francois Slabber conceded to City Press
that managers in the agency earn "far too much".
Asked whether the agency was a gravy train, he said:
"It had all the potential not to be one, but it is one now."
Slabber, an independent board member, gets a yearly stipend
of R378 000 for spending about five days a month on agency business, although
he says it is "sometimes more".
Slabber said since 2009 the agency had lost several of its
"brightest stars" who are currently being replaced with "ANC
Youth League members who are not such bright stars".
The chief operations officer of the agency, Magdalene
Moonsamy (33), earns R1.2m. She is also a youth league spokesperson.
The agency's chairperson, Andile Lungisa, earns R790 000 a
year. He is also an executive member of the youth league and its former deputy
Until recently Ngubeni was the deputy secretary-general of
City Press attempted to determine the discrepancies between
the Treasury figures provided by the Presidency and Ngubeni's figures.
The Presidency referred enquiries to the agency. Ngubeni
said the Treasury did not determine their budget for them.
A Treasury spokesperson said that the accounting officers of
public entities did have discretion on the use of appropriated funds, but the
agency would have to account for why there was a change in what they had signed
This was in terms of what had been planned for personnel and
what the audited outcome was.
NYDA employees earn on average more than most civil servants
in national departments, but Ngubeni said a fairer comparison would be with
similar public entities.
We obtained the figures for 14 entities from published
For the current financial year, only Competition Commission
employees have a higher average salary than the agency's staff - R574 000
yearly compared to the agency's R517 000.
The NYDA's average salary was larger than that of agencies
like the National Credit Regulator, Nedlac, the CSIR, Productivity SA and the
National Gambling Board, among others .
- City Press