The Department of Sports and Recreation presented its 2008/09 Annual Report. The report focused on the mandate, achievements, challenges and financial performance of the Deportment during the year under review. Committee heard a briefing from SRSA on the annual report; SRSA had lots of challenges related to the qualified audit report. The Department reported that the lack of sporting recreational facilities in poor communities was exacerbated by the half hearted co-operation from the municipalities. He suggested the use of the National Lottery funds to help poor municipalities and was thankful of the increase in budget allocation to the Department. The Department, together with other stakeholders had intensified mass mobilisation for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup throughout the continent. The Department had transferred funds to the respective municipalities for the construction of stadiums and that legacy should be well maintained. The CFO mentioned that the monitoring and evaluation of programmes was a major challenge for the Department due to staff shortages. The Department had received a qualified audit opinion. This was viewed in a serious light and plans were being established to rectify the concerns identified by the Auditor-General.
Members were concerned about the Department’s qualified report and non-compliance with the Public Finance Management Act. They also criticised the Department’s wasteful expenditure and decision to appoint a foreigner as coach for Bafana Bafana. The Committee also discussed the mass participation programme, the resignation of staff and the vacancy levels at the Department.
Members concerns included the lack of outreach to all provinces, the inability to fill the vacant posts and the level of resignations. Some Members were concerned about the lack of enforcement in regulations that governed the relationship between boxers and promoters, the bad debt owed to SARS and how it would be settled.
Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA) 2008/09 Annual Report presentation
Mr Vernie Petersen, Director-General, Department of Sports and Recreation, mentioned that he had been in the post from 27 October 2008. He raised concerns about the challenges facing Boxing SA (BSA) and highlighted that the gaps in legislation hampered progress in that regard. The lack of sporting recreational facilities in poor communities was exacerbated by the half hearted co-operation from the municipalities. He suggested the use of the National Lottery funds to help poor municipalities and was thankful of the increase in budget allocation to the Department. The Department, together with other stakeholders had intensified mass mobilisation for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup throughout the continent. The Department had transferred funds to the respective municipalities for the construction of stadiums and that legacy should be well maintained. The vetting and the qualification verification of staff continued at a slow pace. Other challenges were the high staff turnover and low moral. Staff shortages caused pressure which in turn led to shortcuts.
Ms Lulu Sizani, Chief Director: Corporate Services, SRSA, mentioned that the Audit Unit was not fully staffed and that slowed down performance. She mentioned that the White Paper was 40% finished but the Strategic plan was finished. She also touched on other performance indicators. She that the Department hosted a Hospitality Centre in
Mr Makoto Matlala, Chief Financial Officer, SRSA, talked about the supply chain management, pointing out that payments were made to suppliers in 20 days. No incidents of fraud were reported. Old equipment such as computers were distributed to needy communities. All assets that were acquired by the Department were captured on the procurement system. Bi-annual asset verification were undertaken to maintain the register.
Ms Noma Kotelo, Director: Client Support Services, informed the Committee about the service providers. Out of 800 coaches that were targeted for training, only 19 were actually trained. This variance was caused by the fact that the coaches association was not yet functional. The training of the 19 coaches was coordinated by SRSA. SRSA did not reach the target it had set itself for the development of new clubs. This failure could be blamed on provinces, which did not see club development as a priority. SRSA considered the revival of club leagues for netball and rugby in
Mr Bernadus Van Der Spuy, Chief Director, SRSA, discussed performance indicators and briefly outlined the activities and performances of SASCOC, Boxing SA and Athletic South Africa. The CFO mentioned that the monitoring and evaluation of programmes was a major challenge for the Department due to staff shortages. The Department had received a qualified audit opinion. This was viewed in a serious light and plans were being established to rectify the concerns identified by the Auditor-General.
Mr T Mashamaite (ANC;
Mr Petersen acknowledged that some staff members lacked experience and pointed out that the Department was working on a retention policy to address this. He added that younger staff members were often enticed by the higher salaries offered by other government departments. All shortlisted applicants were vetted. The Department was considering outsourcing the (vetting) process so as to save money and time. There was some resistance from certain quarters regarding this decision.
Ms B Mncube (ANC;
Ms Sizani replied that most staff members had been employed for about five years, with many working for the Sports Commission first before working for the Department. All Government Departments had the problem of vacancies and it took time to recruit people.
The Chairperson mentioned that he had spoken to SAFA about the appointment of the coach. The reality was that SAFA were the experts in deciding who the best coach would be. SAFA had told the Department that Mr Pereira was the best men for the job because he had a plan. The Department was wary of the views that the soccer fraternity was “Afro pessimist” and thought that foreign coaches were superior to the local talent. Finally, he noted that the National Sports and Recreation Act was not clear about the hiring of foreign coaches to coach national and local teams.
Mr W Faber (DA;
Mr Petersen replied that when he took over the Department in October 2008, there was only 5 months left in the financial year. Most of the problems were inherited from the South African Sports Commission.
The Chairperson informed the DG that the Committee had heard that excuse before and no longer accepted it.
A member asked about the situation at BSA and whether incompetent staff would be fired.
Mr Petersen stated that employer employee relations were governed by the Labour Relations Act; one could not simply fire incompetent staff members. Investigations were underway and most of them would be completed before the end of the 2009. Boxing SA had been headhunting for a CFO for sometime hence the qualification. Lots of money was used to settle the former CEO and old debts. A tender was issued to help BSA with a formulation of a turn around strategy.
Mr S Plaatjie (COPE;
Ms Kotelo replied that sport was commercialised because people wanted to run them as businesses.
Mr M De Villiers (DA;
Mr Petersen admitted that continuity and moral were affected when people resigned.
Ms Sizani replied that some staff members were deployed to the Local Organising Committee and the Department did not regard their deployment as resignations. He added that the lack of spatial planning contribute to the overcrowding.
The Chairperson asked for clarity on the Ekhaya Hospitality Centre, what steps were taken to recover the wasted money?
Mr Petersen replied that the Ekhaya debacle was a result of poor planning and it was being investigated, he mentioned that criminal charges were pending.
Mr Mashamaite asked about the financial implications of opening cases and he wanted to know the schools that were allocated money for mass participation.
The DG replied said that he would forward the amounts to the Committee.
Ms D Rantho (ANC;
Mr Matlala admitted that his Department had challenges regarding Monitoring and Evaluation, however they had asked for help from other departments.
Mr Petersen replied that sometimes provinces would not co-operate with SRSA on programmes.
Ms Mncube asked whether there was any database of the people who participated in the Mass Participation Programme.
Mr Matlala replied in the affirmative.
Mr De Villiers asked why funds allocated to improve sports facilities were not utilised.
Mr Petersen replied that his Department could not confirm whether the money was spent for its intended purposes. There were plans to put systems in place that would measure the performance of provinces. Some sports federations were weak on the ground and development suffered. A national sports plan would address such issues.
Mr Loyiso Mtya, Acting CEO, BSA, mentioned that boxing had more regulations than any other sports because of its violent nature. In terms of funding, BSA received a government grant and 10 % from the boxing promoters to run the office. He said that BSA would set up a project that would aim to attract white boxers and audiences. The financial problems existed before the current CEO took office; there was a problem of a high staff turnover from 14 to 9 people. Mr Mtya said that he was proud that BSA hosted the best boxing tournaments up to 107 last year so as to ensure that there was a match every Friday. The Baby Champions project was BSA mass participation project
BSA kept a database of all professional boxers so that they could be contacted wherever they were for tournaments. Theta sport SETA was helping to skill boxers even in life skills in Limpopo and the
The qualified audit opinion was partly caused by the semi autonomous nature of the provinces. Another contributing factor was the fruitless expenditure due to late payments of taxes that had accumulated because of penalties imposed by SARS. The total expenditure was R 2, 9 million, he urged the Committee to support BSA to get more funding.
Ms Mncube asked why BSA had not filled the numerous vacancies in the organisation. In addition, she expressed concern that BSA was focusing on certain provinces while ignoring others. Lastly, she asked BSA to explain what it did with the funds that it received from sponsors.
Mr Mashamaite alleged that BSA paid no attention to
Mr Mtya replied that King Korn had withdrawn its sponsorship and that other sponsors were reluctant to come to the fore. They pointed to the Boxing Act as the main source of their unwillingness- the Act provided that government was the major shareholder in BSA and should provide funding for the sport.
Mr Archie Jacobs, BSA Board Member, replied that most of the boxers from Limpopo moved to
Mr Plaatjie questioned whether the relations between promoters and boxers were regulated to stop the exploitation of the latter.
Mr Mtya confirmed that there were regulations that governed the relationship between boxers and promoters. The development promoters were very active in rural areas even to the point of using funds from their own pockets. When the boxers won titles they moved to big time promoters.
Mr De Villiers enquired about steps taken to pay the money owed to SARS.
Mr Mtya replied that BSA had negotiated with SARS, with the latter agreeing that the outstanding money would be paid over a period of time in instalments.
The Chairperson asked what the costs of unfair dismissal were.
It was reported that Mr Krish Naidoo was accused on three counts and was found guilty on 4. The Board negotiated with him because he was not fired. They settled on paying him R50 000 a month.
Mr Jacobs indicated that two staff members who were dismissed had referred their cases to the CCMA and had won their cases.
Ms Borotho acknowledged that BSA was doing a good and urged them to continue working even harder.
Ms Mncube suggested that BSA should talk to traditional leaders and municipal councillors in order to get the buy in for their programmes.
The Chairperson said that mass participation was the key to the growth of the sport.
The meeting was adjourned
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