Deputy Speaker, this is one of the questions which solicit a multiple-choice answer. So, I will give three answers and the hon member will choose which one he prefers. The first answer is no.
The second answer is that the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, is established in terms of legislation passed by this Parliament. This Parliament appoints the board to the NYDA and therefore, if you want to abolish the NYDA, you must repeal the Act. [Interjections.]
The third answer is that according to Census 2011, the young people in our country between the ages of 14 and 35 constitute about 42%, which is about 21,7 million of the estimated 51,8 million South Africans. The average age of the South African population is said to be 25 years, which is the youth.
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey, Quarter 4, 2012, estimated that unemployment for the general population is at 24,9%. Young people between the ages of 14 and 35 are estimated to constitute about 72% of the total unemployed. These realities facing our country strengthen the case for well co-ordinated and mainstreamed youth development across our society.
South Africa has just witnessed the signing of a youth accord led by the Deputy President. This is a commitment from government, organised business, labour, community structures and young people themselves to collectively tackle the unemployment of our people. This is a demonstration of a country united to deal with challenges facing our young people today.
Unemployment is but one of the many challenges facing our young people in modern-day South Africa. The NYDA is responsible for mainstreaming youth development across the board in our country. It has offices in all provinces and provides services to needy young people of our country which range from career guidance to mentorship, entrepreneurship training, microfinance, business support and the national youth service to access information in order for them to take part in their development.
The NYDA has made great strides in providing youth development opportunities despite its limited resources and the youth development backlogs in South Africa. Therefore, despite the challenges the agency has faced, it remains necessary and critical in our society. The NYDA has new leadership, with energy and expertise, appointed through this Parliament, which is committed to putting the interests of the young people first.
Government is of the view that, given the NYDA's three years of existence, it has made great strides and equally has its challenges. Therefore, it still remains a necessary vehicle to assist the youth to realise their goals. And Parliament has appropriated its budget under scrutiny and should continue to hold the agency accountable. I thank you.