NYDA Chairperson, Mtsweni, Tipped To Lead ANC Youth League – Reports

ANCYL NEC member, Sifiso Mtsweni 'tipped' to lead the youth league. PICTURE: Refilwe Lekgothoane

JOHANNESBURG: It is believed that Mtsweni confirmed that he had been approached to contest the position of president.

The chair of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Sifiso Mtsweni, has emerged as one of the frontrunners for the presidency of the ANC Youth League after another contender, Reggie Nkabinde, was dumped by his supporters, according to Sunday Times

It is believed that supporters of ANCYL Treasurer-General and music business mogul, Nkabinde in three provinces (Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Cape) have indicated that lobby groups from both factions had been in talks that “go beyond factionalism to find the best suitable candidate that can best take the ANCYL forward”.

Initially, Mtsweni ran as the deputy president under Nkabinde but the national conference did not sit as planned. Tso as affectionately known in the youth league politics will go head-to-head with KwaZulu-Natal youth league secretary, Thanduxolo Sabelo, for the top league position.

According to the Western Cape Chairperson of the youth league,  Muhammad Khalid Sayed, “Mtsweni was now its candidate for the presidency. The province had initially backed Mtsweni to stand as deputy president under Nkabinde.”

“As the provincial chairperson of the Western Cape, I have always been of the view that Tso should have stood as a president,” explained Sayed.

His views had been disregarded by the structures in the Western Cape at the time, but now that things had changed, he felt the ground was fertile for his views to “emerge”.

Sayed said he had heard from a number of youth formations, even ones outside the ANC, that Mtsweni was the ideal candidate for the top job, especially because of his work at the NYDA. The NYDA under Mtsweni has last year celebrated its fourth successive clean audit opinion. 

In a statement issued by the Agency last year, “The report by the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) affirms the Board’s commitment to maintaining clean governance and a high-performance culture. It also provides a clear indication of strides by the agency to fulfil its mandate.”

“The audit outcome clearly shows efforts by the Agency to direct resources into programmes aimed at fighting poverty, reducing high youth unemployment rate and inequality,” said the statement. 

Mtsweni, who is known as a catalyst for youth development confirmed that he had been approached to contest the position of president. He said those who had approached him were from both the Nkabinde and Sabelo factions.

“What is quite interesting is that comrades from both groupings, not just those who were supporting Reggie, approached me,” Mtsweni said.

“It is people who felt and argued that we can bring the necessary unity to the organisation, take the ANCYL forward. That is a discussion that sparked interest outside the two,” he said. 

An insider said Mtsweni’s campaign cut across the two factions that supported President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s ANC presidential campaigns in 2017.

“I am of the view that if we take Tso as president and Thanduxolo as secretary, we can have an uncontested conference,” said the insider