Mmegi Online :: Freeze the YDF!
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Last Updated
Tuesday 19 March 2019, 17:14 pm.
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Freeze the YDF!

Abuse of public funds is in the most, if not always, only discovered in retrospect. The abuse happens, an audit is carried it out and the fact that it happened is discovered. Very rarely, are public finance managers given an opportunity to witness the abuse actually taking place; a unique vantage point from where one can stop the rot as it happens.
By Mmegi Editor Fri 15 Sep 2017, 11:10 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Freeze the YDF!








The Youth Development Fund, (YDF) established seven years ago, is as noble an initiative as any other in government’s array of measures to support its citizens. The YDF, an empowerment programme aimed at out-of-school, marginalised and unemployed youth, provides successful applicants with up to P100,000 comprising of both a grant and an interest free loan.

As with the road paved with good intentions, the YDF has morphed into a sinkhole of public revenues, with millions of pula disbursed and unaccounted for, while the projects initiated have in many cases collapsed.

By the public admissions of senior officials at the youth ministry, the YDF is an ongoing mess, with very little repayment and recovery of loans disbursed and little oversight of the performance of funded projects.

This week, the Auditor General weighed in with a snapshot of the YDF in five western villages, showing that out of a total of P45.7 million disbursed since the initiative began in 2009, only P1.2 million could be demonstrated to have been recovered.

Assets such as generators, sewing machines and others recovered from collapsed projects are being kept in storerooms, steadily depreciating in value without any plan to monetise the recovery.

The YDF is regrettably yet another example of a noble government intervention going awry due to poor

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management and monitoring. Recent years are littered with examples where well-intentioned government expenditure in public works has wound up undelivered, with contractors in court and the intended beneficiaries suffering.

However, in the case of the YDF, instead of benign bungling, the rot there could also have a more sinister root, as the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has confirmed that it is conducting a corruption audit.

As we reported last year, the DCEC is interrogating the processes and procedures through which a youth development loan is awarded as well as the process of monitoring a project after award of the funding. The Youth Ministry’s internal Anti Corruption Unit is also said to be inundated with complaints and allegations about the YDF ranging from favouritism, to non-compliance to guidelines and others. The YDF needs to be suspended with immediate effect and the findings of the DCEC report and the internal Anti-Corruption Unit used to identify offenders, trace the missing millions and recover taxpayers’ funds. The projects and beneficiaries also need to be identified to either assist with recovery or for the ministry to help with mentorship.

Today’s thought

“The YDF is not accounted for and they should not run a fund they cannot monitor.” 

– Ndaba Gaolathe

(Public Accounts Committee)

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Editorial
Fri 15 Sep 2017, 11:10 am
Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:16 am
Wed 13 Sep 2017, 11:22 am
Tue 12 Sep 2017, 11:36 am
Fri 08 Sep 2017, 11:13 am
Thu 07 Sep 2017, 11:04 am
Wed 06 Sep 2017, 11:19 am
Tue 05 Sep 2017, 11:49 am
Fri 01 Sep 2017, 11:18 am
Thu 31 Aug 2017, 11:19 am
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Fri 18 Aug 2017, 11:40 am
Thu 17 Aug 2017, 09:12 am
Wed 16 Aug 2017, 11:19 am
Tue 15 Aug 2017, 11:31 am
Fri 11 Aug 2017, 11:15 am
Thu 10 Aug 2017, 11:29 am
Wed 09 Aug 2017, 11:52 am
Tue 08 Aug 2017, 11:21 am
Fri 04 Aug 2017, 11:49 am
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