National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)


The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is a South African government agency that is responsible for coordinating and implementing youth development programmes and initiatives. The NYDA was established in 1996 in response to the high levels of youth unemployment and poverty in South Africa.

NYDA works with a variety of stakeholders, including government departments, businesses, civil society organizations, and young people themselves, to develop and implement youth development programmes and initiatives.

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The Agency derives its mandate from the legislative frameworks, including the National Youth Development Agency Act, 2008 (Act 54 of 2008) (NYDA Act), the National Development Plan 2030, the National Youth Policy 2030 and the draft Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS). The Agency assumed and improved the operational platform developed by the merger of the National Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund, which rendered the Agency operational with immediate effect. In addition, the staff component of its predecessors was also incorporated into the NYDA. The strategy of the NYDA can be summarized as follows:

  • Economic development through youth entrepreneurship
  • Decent employment through a jobs program
  • Social cohesion and pathway for economic emancipation through National Youth Service
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the integrated youth development strategy 

The main aim is to make youth development part and parcel of what other line departments are delivering, to the point where organizational and individual performance agreements include youth development as a clear area of focus. The role is, therefore, to remove barriers to success and to assist with the development and delivery of critical success factors. Our role can broadly be described as to:

  • Provide planning and decision-making information for projects.
  • Coordinate key engagements.
  • Facilitate critical discussions and to ease projects through conceptualization into the design and ultimately implementation.
  • Establish key partnerships with private sector organizations at national, provincial and local levels.
  • Monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements of the liaison function.

The IYDS should be understood in the context of the policy and legislative frameworks that have been developed in the country and concerning the youth. This has been further informed by the IYDS process of development, one which has been characterized by research, synthesis, engagement, consultation and finally consolidation championed by the Presidency. In moving into implementation, it should be seen as a national strategy that encourages ongoing engagement and participation by all partners: Public, Private and Civil Society. The success of the strategy lies in the collective efforts of key role players, working together to ensure an empowered and enabled youth in South Africa.

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.

NYDA Grant Programme

The NYDA Grant Programme is designed to provide young entrepreneurs with an opportunity to access both financial and non-financial business development support to enable them to establish or grow their businesses.

The programme focuses on youth entrepreneurs who are at intentional, promising and new stages of enterprise development. Young people whose business ideas qualify for the Grant Programme, depending on their individual needs, will also undergo some of the NYDA’s non-financial support services, including:

• Mentorship

• Business Consultancy Services

• Market Linkages

• Business Management Training Programme

• Youth Co-operative Development Programme

• Individuals or Enterprises which require funding less than R1000 or more than R200 000 (for agriculture and technology-related projects the maximum funding value is R250,000.00).

• Partial funding, co-funding or funding towards a deposit for a loan from another lending establishment;

• Where an application is made by current NYDA staff members, Board Committee Members or Members of the Accounting Authority;

• Pyramid Sales Schemes.

• Fall within the gambling, gaming with a chance at making money, pyramid sales scheme, loan shark or sex industries (prostitution), and/or operates illegal activities.

• Businesses or shareholders of businesses that are still owing the NYDA through loan funding.

• Businesses or shareholders of businesses that received NYDA SME loan funding.

• Businesses or shareholders of businesses that had their loans written off by NYDA.

• Businesses that have an annual turnover exceeding R750,000.00 except for cooperatives whose annual  turnover must not exceed R1000,000.00

• Second-hand equipment, except for industrial equipment with a minimum balance lifespan of five years;

• Tobacco as a primary income generator;

• Alcohol as a primary income generator;

• Are investment trusts or venture capital / private equity funds;

• Require finance to substitute an existing financier;

• An individual or business shall not receive a cumulative grant amount above R200 000 from NYDA during their lifetime except for cooperatives (for agriculture and technology-related projects the maximum cumulative value is R250,000.00).

• A member of a business or cooperative enterprise who resigns from the business or cooperative can only apply for grant funding after two years from the date of resignation from the business that has been funded by the NYDA in the past from the grant programme.

• Require funding for prototyping except for cell phone application development.

• Require seed capital for research and development;

• Require funding for patent registration.

• Require funding to purchase exclusive business/distribution rights

• Shareholders/members are natural persons who lack contractual capacity by:

— being of unsound mind;

— Have a record of fraud and/or corruption except for youth in conflict with the law who have been rehabilitated;

— Where the owner/applicant is an un-rehabilitated insolvent;

— Where the owner/applicant is attending high school other than tertiary institutions;

• NYDA shall not provide grant funding for vehicles

• The grant recipient shall not use NYDA funds to do the following:

• To pay a bribe;

• Re-finance any existing loans;

• Any material purpose not contained in the application for grant or defined during due diligence stage and detailed in the approved Terms & Conditions, unless where written approval has been granted by NYDA;

• To settle overdue or outstanding South African Revenue Service liabilities, whether current on non-current.

• NYDA will not provide grant funding to a client that has benefited from another Development Finance Institution to an amount above R500,000.00.

• NYDA will not provide a grant to an applicant who has  been convicted of fraud.

Utilisation of the Grant Funding

The grant can be utilised for the following:

• To purchase movable and immovable assets.

• Bridging finance.

• Shop renovations.

• Working capital paid directly to the grantee.

• Co-funding with legal entities only.Grant types

Grants will be granted to the following:

• Individuals

• Co-operatives

•  Community Development Facilitation Projects

Service Delivery Standards

• The grant applications will be processed at a branch within 30 working days

• Disbursement for approved will be processed at the Head Office within 30 working days

Credit Checks

• The NYDA shall conduct credit checks for all grant applications for funding.

• A grant applicant who is under debt administration shall not be considered for funding.

Branch Grant Approval and Review Committee (BGARC) Decision

• The decision of BGARC are final and binding on the applicant

•  The applicant cannot appeal the decision of the BGARC, however they can re-apply for grant funding

NYDA’s achievements:

  • Consecutive clean audits 2022/2023.
  • 83923 young people capacitated with skills to enter the job market.
  • 34209 youth supported with non-financial Business Development interventions.
  • 15434 young people were placed in job opportunities.
  • 46320 young people secured paid service opportunities.

The NYDA is committed to empowering young people to reach their full potential and to contribute to the development of South Africa.