The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport was enjoying mixed successes. Its funding had been increased and some bodies which were not within their jurisdiction were now voluntarily subjecting themselves to their regime. Some other federations were not co-operating to the same degree.
Members expressed their concern over the use of so-called recreational drugs in the light of certain recent cases. They felt that the protocols should be amended to make more provision for the testing for such substances. They were also concerned about the use of drugs at school level, and urged the Institute to make approaches to the Department of Basic Education.
A delegation from the Gauteng Cricket Board was present to brief the Committee on their development programmes. However, the Committee wished to discuss the events of the recent past involving the Board and Cricket South Africa. The Committee requested that a delegation representing the outgoing Board should meet with the Committee at a later date so that a proper perspective could be obtained.
The president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) stated that sport was not in a healthy state in the country. Resources to compete at the highest level were lacking. This resulted in under-preparation of athletes and stopgap measures such as the last minute purchase of team uniforms for Team South Africa at the Beijing Olympics.
Members were not satisfied with the maintenance of corporate governance in SASCOC. There were still outstanding explanations for some of the events which had occurred in Beijing. The body was planning further ahead for the 2012 Olympics and were even starting to devise a programme to prepare young athletes who would be ready for the 2016 Olympics.
Members also expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of transformation. Many of the federations represented in the Confederation did not appear to be transformed. A major problem was the lack of school sport. A revival at this level would lead to success at senior level.
Members also questioned the presence of members of the Confederation in the structures of the National Lottery Board. These structures were in the process of being overhauled. Despite the misgivings of Members that those codes which had representatives on the Distribution Agency, statistics were presented which indicated a fair distribution of funding amongst all codes.
The Chairperson said that four Portfolio Committees would visit countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) prior to the World Cup. He urged Members who would take part in these visits to make themselves available for the duration of the programme.
The Chairperson said that 2 February was an historic date in South African history. The events of that day were underplayed. He embarked on a brief political discourse on the current situation in the country.
Mr Komphela welcomed the delegation from the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS). They would present their Annual Report. Government funded the activities of SAIDS and they were therefore compelled to report to Parliament in terms of the Public Funds Management Act (PFMA). The report should have been presented at an earlier date. This Committee would decide on the budget allocation. Members had already discussed the Money Bill the previous week.
South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) Annual Report 2008/09: briefing
Mr Khalid Galant (Chief Executive Officer (CEO: SAIDS), accompanied by his Chief Financial Officer, Mr Abubakar Saban, said SAIDS was currently experiencing disputes with two organisations. One was the shooting body which refused to place itself under the jurisdiction of SAIDS. Funding to this body had been stopped and their right to award national colours had been withdrawn. A process of mediation was under way.
Mr Galant said that the second problematical body was Boxing South Africa. Some internal issues had forced SAIDS to seek a legal opinion. A boxer had been tested positive but BSA had still not held a tribunal. This had to be done within two months of any positive test. SAIDS would now hold a tribunal on behalf of BSA and would pass on the bill to them.
The CEO said that there was some good news. Some organisations were voluntarily placing themselves at the disposal of SAIDS. One of these was the South African Professional Golf Association (SAPGA). This was a private organisation which had no legal obligations to test their members. The SAPGA had requested that SAIDS conduct testing during the Sunshine Tour and would incorporate the anti-doping rules into their programme. In the United States of America their PGA had conducted their first positive test during 2009.
Mr Galant said that two members of the SAIDS Board had resigned. One had done so as he had been appointed as a Member of Parliament while the other had resigned due to business commitments. He expected the Board to continue through its five year cycle without replacements.
The CEO said that in terms of corporate governance, SAIDS had shared its audit committee function with the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA). He had recently met with the Director-General (DG) of SRSA, who had recommended that SAIDS form its own internal audit committee.
Mr Galant said that the delivery of the Annual Report had been delayed due to parliamentary processes. He was pleased to report that they had received an unqualified report from the Auditor-General. They had achieved a significant cost saving by limiting the number of printed copies of the Annual Report which would be distributed. The hard copy cost R90 each to produce. A number of copies had been burned onto compact discs at a cost of just R18 each.
The CEO said that SAIDS had traditionally been granted an increase of between 5 and 10%, This was not enough to conduct their operations. SAIDS had been given an audience with SRSA, and he thanked the Committee for their intervention in this. The result of this was an extra allocation of R1 million in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) with a promise of an increase in funding of between 100 and 110% over the remainder of the MTEF.
Mr Galant said that SAIDS recognised the problem of doping in schools. There was a problem with legal jurisdiction in the schools. They were trying to have doping included in the curriculum for Life Orientation studies. An area where progress was being made was with the biological passport. This involved an athlete being subjected to a number of blood tests so that anti-doping authorities could compile a profile. Much associated research was needed. SAIDS was collaborating with its international peers. Progress with the Central Drug Authority (CDA) was slow. A planned meeting had been cancelled due to the non-availability of President Zuma.
The CEO said that the number of doping tests conducted had fallen by 22% due to financial constraints. Some 2 255 tests had been conducted which were a combination of blood and urine testing. Of these, 1 452 had been in-competition tests and the remaining 803 out of competition. The most tested code was Rugby, in which 423 tests had been conducted. The other priority codes for testing were Athletics, Soccer, Cycling and Swimming. These priorities were determined based on the level of competition and the doping profile risks for the codes in question.
Mr Galant said that there had been 28 violations reported. An increase in the use of recreational drugs had been detected. He had hoped to see a reduction but the fact was that the use of cocaine and tik had increased in South African society. One athlete had refused to be tested and had been suspended for two years. The athlete had appealed all the way to the Court of Arbitration in Switzerland, but this forum had confirmed the decision taken by SAIDS.
The CEO outlined some of the key performance indicators identified by SAIDS for the coming year. The first of these was the National Test Distribution Plan. A registered testing pool of elite athletes had been created. The pool had comprised 63 athletes the previous year but would be increased to 126. SAIDS was looking at eventually maintaining a pool of 250 athletes. Athletes would input their whereabouts into the Advanced Data Management System. SAIDS and other international federations would have immediate access to information regarding these athletes. Another measure to be instituted was the Athlete Biological Passport. Tests would be conducted over a period of time to see if the athlete was manipulating the system. This could result in soft positive tests.
Mr Galant continued that a second key performance indicator was anti-doping education. The CDA would provide funding. Industrial theatre would be used as a medium for education. High school learners showed a substantial knowledge of the technical aspects of doping. SAIDS would soon be embarking on a 45 day road show. This would be co-ordinated with the South African Rugby Champions tour.
The CEO of SAIDS said that slower progress was being made with the CDA in respect of investigations than he would like to see. This was the third key performance indicator. They would like to make a presentation to the Committee as political support would be needed. SAIDS's counterparts in Australia were world leaders in the field of investigations. He urged the Members to arrange a visit to the Australian anti-doping authority should they find themselves in that country.
Mr Galant said that the fourth key performance indicator was administration. The unqualified Auditor-General’s audit report was a highlight.
Mr C Frolick (ANC) asked for more specific information on the testing procedure, and at what level these tests were conducted. In the case of the rugby player Pedrie Wannenburg nothing had happened to him. This was sending the wrong message. He asked what deterrents were in place and who could impose such deterrents. On the question of funding, the Committee had always supported increased funding for SAIDS. He asked about interventions by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). There had been reports that SAIDS was reluctant to conduct tests at the Iron Man competition.
The Chairperson emphasised the point that Mr Wannenburg was a self-confessed drug user. He was not sure if Mr Wannenburg was still using recreational drugs but he was going around as if nothing was wrong. This was setting a bad example for the children of the country.
Mr Galant replied that the test distribution plan was devised on a scientific basis. The level of testing was based on resources. SAIDS was targeting provincial, national and international level events. This applied to all codes unless there was a specific request for a test at lower levels. For example, there had been requests for testing down to club level in both rugby and cycling. In the case of Mr Wannenburg four tests had been conducted in competition. There was no trace of cocaine during any of these tests, but this substance would clear the body within four to twenty hours.
The CEO continued that new laws would make provision for SAIDS to prosecute offenders based on admitted use of substances. The Blue Bulls Rugby Union (BBRU) knew of Mr Wannenburg's problem through “dip-stick” testing, but this type of evidence would not stand up in court. They were aware of the problem but wanted Mr Wannenburg to go into a rehabilitation process. The protocol involved would have to be discussed. In the case of Rugby, in-season testing was done on match days and included testing for stimulants such as cocaine. This could not be done on out of competition testing which would be conducted on other days of the week. SAIDS had to develop a water-tight case before they could divert from the procedure. SAIDS had decided not to pursue the matter at present. The possible penalties ranged from a warning to a six month suspension. Mr Wannenburg had already suffered public humiliation.
Mr Galant said that the case of the English player was different. The English anti-doping authority had conducted a positive test on the player concerned and had been punished accordingly. He was concerned about the integrity of SAIDS. The body was independent of all sports federations and statutory bodies. Players who returned positive tests for recreational drugs faced a sentence ranging from a warning to a six month suspension for a first offence. A repeat offence could lead to a suspension ranging from two years to life.
Mr Galant said that the player from Platinum Stars had been tested positive under the federation’s own systems and had not gone through a rehabilitation programme. The issue surrounding the Iron Man competition had been resolved. SAIDS could go anywhere to conduct tests, but there were procedural problems when positive tests were returned. The Iron Man organisation had now signed up to the SAIDS protocols. Excellent co-operation was being achieved. The body was being proactive.
Mr D Lee (DA) congratulated SAIDS on their unqualified audit report. This was very positive. He presumed that testing of rugby players was conducted at senior level. However, there was a massive problem at school level. It was a very physical game and there was much pride at stake. He realised that it would cost a lot to conduct a testing campaign. He asked if SAIDS had made any approaches to the Department of Education (DoE).
Mr Galant said that SAIDS had approached the DoE. They were currently working on the format to be followed regarding school rugby. There had been liaison between SRSA and the DoE in the past. SAIDS would be going to the DoE with concrete suggestions.
Mr Lee said that SAIDS should ask for financial assistance as the tests were expensive.
Mr Galant noted the suggestion.
Mr Lee felt that no-one should be above the law. While the boxer had refused to be tested, the golfers were being tested voluntarily. Federations should be compelled to accept dope testing as a condition of membership of SASCOC. Mr Galant had mentioned a case of show jumpers. He asked if the testing was conducted on both the rider and the animal.
Mr Galant said that all entities recognised by the Minister and SASCOC must comply with anti-doping policy. He felt that the problems with BSA were more attributable to internal arrangements. Some countries were now testing animals associated with sport. SAIDS did not currently have access to the analytical capacity to test animals but were looking at the opportunity. There would be a lucrative market especially regarding race horses.
Mr Lee asked if the board members who had resigned had been replaced, and if not when this might happen.
The Chairperson said that if there was a problem with the Act, then the Committee must be told so that action could be taken. Some entities were in a state of paralysis. There was no provision for a Board to be dissolved even if resignations led to a state where there was no longer a quorum. This situation had been an issue with the troubles besetting the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
Mr Galant said that they would have to revisit the issue about the quorum of the Board. Members were appointed by the Minister, who was informed of any resignations. In the case of Dr Chabula-Nxiwen,i he had recommended that the post not be filled due to financial constraints.
Mr G MacKenzie (COPE) asked how many positive tests had been returned from children. There was some confusion between the roles of SRSA and the DoE. Some of the activities relating to doping were potentially criminal. Tests should enjoy a priority.
Mr Galant said that it was difficult to define children in the testing environment. The cyclist who had tested positive was aged 17 years 6 months. He was not at school and was tested while competing in an international event. Regarding Under 19 players, SAIDS could only conduct tests at events which were organised by national federations such as the Craven Week. This applied equally to other codes.
Mr J van der Linde (DA) noted that five codes had been listed in the presentation. He asked what the situation was with the remainder of the codes.
Mr Galant replied that detail of tests conducted in all 54 codes were included in the Annual Report. Tests were conducted across the board in other codes depending on the level of jurisdiction. There was a legal grey area surrounding private schools. SAIDS received many requests to conduct pre-season tests. Principals wanted SAIDS to report on the tests which showed their players were clean. Where positive tests were returned, the schools wanted to keep this quiet and resolve the issue through internal measures. SAIDS found this unacceptable. Educational authorities had more resources. The level of technical knowledge which children had was disturbing.
Mr L Suka (ANC) said that the Annual Report should concentrate on the entirety of the entity's performance for the year. It was a public document. He asked in which areas the positive tests had happened. He asked if there were particular problem provinces. He thought that the question of anabolic steroids had been dealt with, but it seemed there were recurring problems. He asked of the countries of origin were known and if SAIDS was working with law agencies.
Mr Galant replied that sport was practice mainly in urban areas. Some codes such as athletics and soccer were found countrywide. There were higher incidences of doping in Durban and Gauteng. This was because of the proximity of drug manufacturing laboratories in those areas. Athletes did not always display large doses of common sense. This was the nature of cheating. Some athletes ingested anabolic steroids unknowingly as certain of the diet supplements were co-mingled with steroids. With such products it was not obligatory for manufacturers to list the ingredients. Younger and younger athletes were turning to banned substances to enhance their performances.
Mr Suka noted that the SAIDS Annual Report was a good report but felt that more could have been done. The Annual Report seemed to be a summary of some other document.
Mr Frolick noted that the figure of 2 255 tests was marked with an asterisk in the presentation. He asked what this meant. SRSA had a higher number of tests in their Annual Report. He asked what the costs of the tests were.
Mr Galant replied that the figure quoted included tests which had been requested and paid for by other bodies such as overseas federations who wanted their athletes tested while training in South Africa. The figures supplied by SRSA would be a budget figure and fewer tests had been conducted than had been planned. The cost of the tests, including all expenses from the payments to the chaperones to transport to testing facilities, were R2 900 for in-competition and R1 800 for out of competition tests. The in-competition tests were more comprehensive, hence the higher price.
Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) was satisfied that the composition of the Board reflected the demographics of the country. However, there were no Africans on the audit committee. He could not understand this.
Mr Lee asked how Mr Wannenburg had got away with his drug habit. He had a problem with the fact that out of competition testing could not be done for recreational drugs. He suggested that South Africa take the lead in amending the rules accordingly.
The Chairperson said that if changes to South Africa legislation were required then SAIDS must approach the Committee. Things would continue to fall through the cracks unless amendments were made.
Mr MacKenzie said that the thrust of the Committee was to address the needs of school sport. Private schools should be penalised if they followed different rules to the public schools.
The Chairperson said that the law must apply equally to private schools and entities. They could not place themselves above the law. The relevant legislation must be amended if necessary.
Mr Galant said that SAIDS had identified inadequate areas in the legislation. The composition of the Board was not addressed. The jurisdiction of SAIDS was weak in some areas.
The Chairperson referred to Section 54 of the Constitution. The Board of any state entity was accountable to Parliament. SRSA acted incorrectly. This was a dilemma.
Mr Galant undertook to table a report by the middle of 2010.
Mr Lee asked how South Africa could go about amending the rules pertaining to anti-doping.
Mr Galant said there was a question of internal jurisdiction. SAIDS had asked for a legal opinion in the case of Mr Wannenburg. The response was that if a positive test was returned then he should be targeted for a high frequency of in-competition tests. After two positive tests, SAIDS could then go to his federation.
The Chairperson said that there were many aspects to the governance of federations. Some were in conflict with the Constitution. Rugby had 108 regions and 54 provinces in their structure, and yet the country only had nine provinces. It was proving difficult for the federations to reshape their structures. The time had come for members of national federations to do this. He noted that SAIDS had done a splendid job over the previous three years. They faced a huge task to rid the country of drugs which was why their grant had been increased. He could not come to terms with the definition of a “recreational drug”. In the case of dagga the effects on the user were so serious that he could hardly see this as a recreational activity.
Mr Galant said that the term had been coined by social workers. He would prefer to name the substances in question rather than use the generic term “recreational drugs”.
The Chairperson said that administration and compliance were pertinent issues. The police had been informed of hubs where cocaine was manufactured. SAIDS could track the laboratories where banned substances were manufactured but could not make any arrests. They should not act like Dr Adams in the Caster Semenya case. They had to be careful of prejudicing athletes.
Mr Galant said that progress was slow but they were hoping that it would be stepped up, even if the forthcoming meeting of the CDA was cancelled. Any intelligence in the possession of SAIDS would be forwarded to the police.
Meeting with Gauteng Cricket Board
The Chairperson said that there was a need to clear the perceptions about the strained relations between the Gauteng Cricket Board (GCB) and Cricket South Africa (CSA). The Committee had therefore requested a meeting with the GCB, but they had wanted to speak to the old Board. The newly-elected members would not know the history of the problem. He had been advised by Mr Nyoka of CSA.
Mr Patrick Moroney (Chairperson, GCB) confirmed that he had only recently been appointed GCB Chairperson.
Mr Dikgacwi said that to deal with the issue, all interested parties had to be present. The new Board could not answer for the actions of the old Board. They would not do justice to the issue.
Mr Suka said that this was the first meeting with the new Board. It was a new year and they should move forward. The Committee had to open the lines of communication. A quorum of the GCB Board would have shown respect to the Committee, rather than the three members present.
Mr Lee said that he had received notification of this meeting, but the meeting with the GCB had not been indicated on the agenda. He agreed with the need to hear all views. They could not ask the new Board about the actions of the old. He loved cricket and did not want to see the sport destroyed. It represented opportunity for many children.
The Chairperson said that negative policies had been followed. The media, in particular eTV, had stirred the controversy. In terms of the Sports Act’s Section 13, each sports body was obliged to submit membership statistics and an annual report. The Committee did not have time to interact with each and every body but would conduct random checks. Reports would be received from the respective mother bodies. The Minister had said to the outgoing GCB that they must move towards a 50/50 representation. The Committee would give the GCB more time to organise their affairs.
Mr Moroney agreed. He was prepared to make a presentation on the GCB's development programme. He appreciated the wisdom and assistance of the Committee. He agreed on the need to keep the game healthy.
The Chairperson said that there was a misunderstanding. The “development” referred to in the notice of the meeting was the developments surrounding the conflict between GCB and CSA. He excused the GCB delegation.
Confirmation of Minutes of Proceedings
The Committee approved the Minutes of Proceedings for a number of meetings. These were dated 28 May 2009, 17 June 2009, 30 June, 7 July 2009, 20 October 2009 and 10 November 2009.The minutes of the hearings on the Safety at Sports and Recreation Events Bill were also approved.
The Chairperson said that nothing more had been done to the Bill apart from corrections to punctuation. It had now been sent for translation.
The Chairperson said that there was a skewed distribution of funding. The clothing provided to Team South Africa at the Beijing Olympics was the result of a flawed acquisition process. It had cost R500 million. The matter would be taken up with SASCOC at the afternoon meeting that day.
Mr Frolick took the chair and apologised for the late arrival of Mr Komphela. He said that a meeting with SASCOC was long overdue.
South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)
Mr Gideon Sam (President, SASCOC) introduced the delegation.
Mr Frolick said that the Committee had been on the point of receiving the Annual Report from SASCOC last year but could not proceed due to the parliamentary programme. Mr Moss Mashishi was the President of SASCOC at the time but had now been replaced by Mr Sam. SASCOC was an important umbrella body with the responsibility of calling the various federations to account. Athletics South Africa (ASA) had been placed under an interim administration and there was still no finality on the Caster Semenya saga. Government would apply the law where necessary. There had been an expectation that the issue surrounding the resignation of national cricket coach, Mr Mickey Arthur, would be raised, but that was not part of the current programme. That matter would be dealt with in due course.
Mr Sam said that it was a fact that South African sport was ill. The Beijing issue had been an embarrassment to all.
Mr L Suka (ANC) said that it was the first time that some of the Members were meeting with SASCOC. He asked how the organisation was structured.
Mr Sam said that he was the President. Ms Hafela Kajee, a member of the delegation, was the First Vice-President. There was another Vice President in Mr Les Williams, who was not present. There were seven other members on the Board. A Chief Executive Officer was in charge of the management of the organisation. He had been unable to bring the Board with him for this meeting but assured the Members that the two most senior members of the organisation were representing SASCOC.
Mr Frolick said that only a few Members had interacted with SASCOC before. It was a new committee and had had no previous interaction. He understood the problem with costs.
Mr Sam said that 71 federations were members of SASCOC. They elected the Board annually. The management remained constant. It was a difficult exercise to bring the various bodies together. Mr Moshishe had taken the better part of four years to achieve the desired consolidation. They were almost there by the end of 2008. Four years after the formation of SASCOC the first election had been held. Management ran the organisation with a mandate from the Board and the membership. Three Council meetings had been held at different locations.
Mr Suka needed to understand the structure in order to interact with them.
Mr Komphela assumed the chair. He said that towards the end of 2009 many Committee meetings had been cancelled by the National Assembly. The Constitution spelled out in Chapter 4 how the National Assembly would receive information from citizens, and the concept of accountability to Parliament. The previous President of SASCOC had attempted to avoid Parliament. Rule 138 of the National Assembly spoke to this issue. Every body had to submit an Annual Report. Parliament could call on any body to present its Annual Report. SASCOC had a critical role to play. It stemmed from an Act of Parliament. Every body was compelled to submit membership statistics and other information.
The Chairperson said that there were many questions surrounding the kit given to Team South Africa at the Beijing Olympics. The Committee still wanted an explanation. They also wanted to know how SASCOC was positioning itself for the 2012 Olympics. The Committee could call on SASCOC at any time, and if they refused to attend the meeting, they could be charged with contempt of Parliament. Even the Minister was accountable to the Committee. SASCOC had no view on the rule of law. He also referred to the governance principles laid out in the King Report.
Mr Sam said that SASCOC was not there to contest the statutes. He apologised for copies of correspondence between SASCOC and the Committee being sent to the Minister. He admitted that all were embarrassed by what had happened in Beijing. The first four years of SASCOC's existence had been years of consolidation. In May 2008 SASCOC did still not have the resources to send the team to the Olympic Games. An urgent application had been made the National Lotteries Board (NLB) for assistance. He would accept the blame for poor planning.
Mr Sam said that one of the steps being taken by SASCOC was to announce the names of the 2012 squad at a much earlier date. It was wrong that sports bodies had to be begging for financial assistance, but this was still the case. They were still battling to win the support of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as a broadcast partner. Money had been given by the NLB. In terms of the clothing at Beijing 2008, they had begged Mizuno sporting goods. Mr Sam Ramsamy had called on some of his Japanese friends to help at short notice. SASCOC would not allow this situation to be repeated.
Mr D Lee (DA) asked about the problems with the hotel in Beijing. Many explanations had been offered. The delegation had to change hotels at great cost due to a visit by President George W Bush which had caused many guests to be asked to leave. The presidential visit arrangements should have been made in good time. If they were of a last minute nature then displaced guests should have been reimbursed. There was also a lot of money which had been budgeted for an exhibition. He asked what had really happened.
Mr Suka emphasised Mr Lee's point. The Committee needed a comprehensive report. He asked what the value of the contract with Mizuno was. If the problems with the NLB were man-made then there should be an investigation. It seemed to have been a problem of leadership.
Mr M Dikgacwi asked if the CEO had been the same person since 2004. There had been frustrating issues due to the previous leadership. People on the NLB distribution agency were SASCOC Board members but they refused to allocate money to sport.
Mr Sam said that the hotel accommodation in Beijing had been for members of the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA). The team had stayed in the Olympic village. A report had been submitted but he would send another copy to the Committee. There had been some value in kind from the Mizuno deal, which had been clinched at the last minute. The shorts had been made for the Jamaican team with a South African badge attached. These had been a gift.
Mr Sam said the problem with the NLB did not lie with the NLB distribution agency, but in the Act. The new Chairperson was a breath of fresh air. Only two SASCOC members had served with the NLB, and had recused themselves when their codes were under discussion. The Minister of Trade and Industries had called them in and they were working on a Bill. One of the problems with smaller organisations was the requirement for two years of audited financial statements. This was being addressed.
The President said that no SASCOC CEO had been appointed since the departure of Mr Banele Sindani. In February 2009 interviews had been held that had led to an appointment. Mr Vorster of the NLB had met with the Committee. What he said had been reported in Hansard. He had presented incorrect facts. One of his statements was that the NLB would not fund operational expenses, but without such funding organisations could not operate.
Mr Frolick asked if there was any interaction before the Beijing Olympics. He asked what support had been given for the preparation of Team South Africa. He asked if there had been any support from SRSA, and if so, what kind and what the timing had been. A lot of money had been wasted on the hotel. He asked if SASCOC had made any input.
The Chairperson noted that in May 2008 SASCOC was still begging SRSA for assistance. It was unacceptable for a sports movement to have to beg for funding. This was the responsibility of SRSA. His impression was that SRSA would have provided 80 to 90% of the funding. He did not understand why they would still need to beg. SASCOC had never been given the Committee's support. The organisation was not transformed. Their meetings were reminiscent of an Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) meeting. They had no idea where they were going and there was no sense of transformation. A number of SASCOC members served on the NLB. When they did recuse themselves there was no longer quorum. There were huge conflicts of interest.
Mr Dikgacwi said that SASCOC had appointed an Acting CEO who had been interviewed for a permanent appointment. He asked if the post had been advertised. If this had happened it had occurred in a dark corner. This method of appointment was illegal. There were allegations that the failure in Beijing had been caused by political interference.
Ms Hafela Kajee (First Vice President, SASCOC) said that SRSA had secured the Westin Hotel in Beijing. They had been running with the Khaya group since Athens. Funding had been received in advance on the All Africa Games and had been allocated to cover the living expenses of athletes. This had since been stopped. The funding for the 2009/10 financial year was R9 million and had just been released. This was what had been allocated before the creation of SASCOC.
The Chairperson said that the Department could not run away from its responsibilities. SASCOC was responsible for the preparation of the team while funding was the responsibility of SRSA.
Ms Kajee said that the grant of R9 million was standard. The funds had been released in May. There was a lot of red tape involved. She was not sure if it was a responsibility of SASCOC to demand repayment.
Mr Sam said that transformation was a sore point. At the most recent Council meeting 90% of the participants had been white and only 10% black. He did not know why the leadership was still in this situation. If the best men had been appointed for the job, then he would have to accept it. If not an audit was needed.
The Chairperson countered that some federations were run by families. The South African Football Association (SAFA) was not part of SASCOC at the time. All federations should belong to SASCOC but some did not. Leaders could be white but must speak the right language.
Mr Sam said that SASCOC had a six-point plan. They were on track. Transformation was one of the issues. It was a sore point. At the meeting in Durban the question had arisen over who was the watchdog of transformation at provincial level. Mr Tubby Reddy had not served as CEO before. He was the Chief Operations Officer (COO) and had been appointed as Acting CEO. Two Board meetings had deliberated on his appointment. There was no doubt over his knowledge of the organisation. Mr Reddy had accepted the offer even though he could have earned much more money elsewhere due to his loyalty to sport.
Mr Suka did not know the magnitude of the problems. They must call on SRSA to discuss some issues such as the pyjamas worn at Beijing. There were conflicts of interest with the lottery grants. He asked if the affected members declared their interests. Members took a strategic position. He was not surprised that the SABC was not interested in committing itself to broadcast sponsorship.
Mr Dikgacwi said that the King 2 Report called for discipline and transparency. The appointment of the CEO had been kept as an in-house affair. This was incorrect. Everybody should have had a fair chance to apply for the post. He did not accept the explanation given.
The Chairperson said that a factor in Mr Reddy's appointment had been the depth of his knowledge. He asked to whom Mr Reddy had been compared.
Mr Lee returned to the members of the NLB. It was no use asking these persons to recuse themselves as their presence would still be felt in the room even if they were physically standing outside. The codes they represented would still enjoy a distinct advantage in the negotiation for funds. It was perhaps policy but he felt that no SASCOC member should serve on the NLB. The public needed to have faith in the process.
Mr Sam replied that they were guided by the Articles of Association. The appointment of Mr Reddy had been endorsed at a full Council meeting. The issues raised at this meeting would be discussed at the next council meeting. Members on the NLB distribution agency were taken from public nominations and were appointed by the Minister of Trade and Industry. Perhaps in retrospect SASCOC members should not have been involved. There were only two SASCOC members on the NLB in 2008, and three other members had not been reappointed. The distribution agency consisted of 9 persons. With three members already missing, there would be no quorum if the two SASCOC members recused themselves. The membership had now been increased to eleven including the Director-General. These problems were not of the members' making but were a result of ministerial decision. It was a healthy debate but Parliament would have to have the final say.
Mr Suka thought that Mr Sam was the President of the Sports distribution agency at the NLB.
Mr Sam replied that he was the Vice President of that body.
The Chairperson repeated that conflicts of interest were a concern of the Committee. It was not for the Minister to make such decisions. Parliament was saying that there was a conflict of interest and this was a dangerous thing. They were completely uncomfortable with the situation. Two of the SASCOC members who had served on the NLB distribution agency had seen their codes rewarded. Volleyball had received R4.2 million and table tennis R7 million.
Mr Sam said that these were perceptions. What was not mentioned was that a sport like canoeing had received R23 million. There were other examples where the allocations exceeded those quoted by the Chairperson. The NLB had the criteria for the awards. Those who followed the guidelines would be rewarded. He would walk away from the NLB immediately if he could. He had tried to recuse himself but had been told to stay on.
The Chairperson said that the Department could not make these decisions. It might come as a shock to the Minister but he could not appoint his cronies to the Board. Parliament superseded all in this regard.
Road to London 2012 presentation
Ms Ezera Tshabangu (General Manager: High Performance, SASCOC) said that South Africa needed to improve its ranking. The goal was to earn twelve medals at the 2012 Olympics. To improve the base of sports people, one issue was the revival of local sports councils. This was happening but not all of these bodies were members of SASCOC. There were various academies around the country but not all of these were reporting to SASCOC. There was a need to open up lines of communication.
Ms Tshabangu said that some of the communications strategies were the launch of a magazine called Road to London. SASCOC had also established a website, www.roadtolondon2012.co.za, which was updated daily. It contained links to the websites of the national federations.
Ms Tshabangu said that was necessary to co-ordinate resources. SASCOC had formed good relationships with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), tertiary institutes and national federations. In the past SASCOC had only made use of the High Performance (HP) centre in Pretoria but now realised that other centres could also make contributions. Some of these specialised in certain codes.
Ms Tshabangu said that SASCOC co-operated with the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS). All members of Team South Africa were in the Registered Testing Pool. The role of the South African Sports Medicine Association to deliver teams was also being recognized. There were some cases of professional jealousy but a more multi-disciplinary approach was being followed. A Sports Technology Centre had been established. SASCOC had met with the federations. The Services Sector Educational Training Authority (SETA) had offered to assist with education of coaches.
Ms Tshabangu said that SASCOC was offering bursaries to athletes. These had to be for sports related courses. The bursaries were linked to national federations.
Ms Tshabangu said that SASCOC had started with the process of identifying the Olympic athletes at an earlier stage. There had been meetings with coaches and athletes. There was still a shortage of R94 million to prepare the team for 2012. This was needed for medical, living and scientific expenses as well as covering the costs of international competition. R7.5 million was needed for the paralympic team. Meals were an important issue for these athletes. SASCOC was already looking at identifying the squad for the 2016 Olympic games. Identified athletes would be included in academies and team preparation programmes. It was important to track and monitor these athletes. Athletes should stay in their home provinces but often preferred to move. Major events in preparation for the 2016 Olympics were the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2011 and the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. The athletes identified would be among the 25 top ranked athletes in their discipline.
Ms Tshabangu outlined SASCOC's Vision 2014. They wished to bring back the Transformation and Gender Ethics Commission. In terms of the coaching system there would be an audit of the major federations. If the coaches were not transformed then this would spill onto the field. It was necessary to make plans over three years in advance. Some federations had no High Performance plan. Such plans should be set out well in advance. The Chef de Mission appointments had been made well in advance.
Ms Tshabangu said that a uniform standard of coaching had to be developed. There needed to be some recognition of prior learning. The partnership with the SANDF had resulted in a countrywide road-show. One of the fruits of this was an initiative to recruit 128 children into the SANDF at Oudtshoorn. They would be trained as boxers. Those who did not show enough talent would still complete their military training.
Ms Tshabangu said that a key priority area was the delivery of a well-prepared team to the Commonwealth Games. SASCOC wished to see South Africa finishing in fifth place at this event. In individual codes the athletes would only be selected if they were ranked within the top four Commonwealth athletes. A coaching conference would be held in the Free State during November. SASCOC would be holding a President's Council for the Presidents of all member federations. Research would be conducted into the status of the federations. A monitoring and evaluation system needed to be devised. SASCOC was prepared to act as a research agent for the Committee. A funding mechanism was needed.
The Chairperson said that a very clear way forward had been sketched.
Mr Sam invited the Committee to join SASCOC at a conference to be held in Johannesburg from 6 to 7 March 2010. They would interrogate what had happened to sport in the country. Many promises had been made at the time of unity. Fifteen years later the fight was still continuing. A White Paper was needed. A bone of contention was funding. There was a need to question whether there was a meaningful return on the investments made in sport by sponsors, the lottery and provincial government.
Mr Sam said that when he looked at Team South Africa which would go to the Commonwealth Games. Three of the provinces were making no contribution to the team. There were no representatives from the Eastern and Northern Cape. Much had been invested into infrastructure. Funds had been provided but there were no returns. Federations should provide a three year plan and be held to it. It was a time to sign contracts. Federations had to define their priorities. Provinces had to do likewise. He had travelled through the country for a year. He had noticed stockpiles of equipment which were never used. He expected the problems with shooting would be resolved by 4 July 2010.
Mr Lee like the language that he was hearing. If there was no commitment, then sports people would get nowhere. The biggest problem was the lack of a coordinated schools system. The co-operation of the Department of Education was needed. It all started at the primary school level. The Union of School Sports of South Africa (USSASA) had disintegrated. SASCOC needed to talk sense into the education bodies. A result would be that senior sport would then flourish.
Mr Suka said that SASCOC should learn from best international practice. He asked what was being done for federations that were under-performing. He asked how many learners would benefit from the bursary scheme. Quarterly meetings were needed to clarify misunderstandings. There was a need to improve on channels of communication. The local media needed to be target to spread the message as they played a greater role within communities. He pointed out that there were universities in the rural areas which could be hubs for sport.
Mr J van der Linde (DA) said that SRSA had presented to the Committee the previous year. It was clear that school sport was dead at Departmental level. They had to engage with SRSA. They had to help SASCOC with funding. Success at school level would lead to success at senior level. It was really important to look at performance levels in all codes. He was involved with hockey and it was a sad story. SASCOC must realise that sport was played not only in the big regions. Rural areas were being left behind.
Mr Dikgacwi said that a committee was needed to look at transformation issues. Federations regularly came to the Committee with transformation charters but these led to nothing. The current team for the rugby sevens was a sad story. In terms of demographics it was back to square one. SASCOC must engage with rugby.
Mr Sam said that for South African sport to stay in line, there must be engagement between SASCOC and the Committee. The level of engagement must be upped. There were gaps in the knowledge of both bodies which must be plugged. If bodies did not get satisfaction from SASCOC they would run to SRSA for support. He said that there were no sports councils in KwaZulu-Natal and North West. Quarterly meetings were needed to map progress. It was a question of how activities were supervised.
The Chairperson said that in Port Elizabeth there were two competing sports councils. A meeting was needed involving SASCOC, the Committee and SRSA. The Department needed to provide equipment through the mass participation programme. He anticipated that SRSA would focus on the problem of distribution. SRSA was on a giving spree but could not say who was receiving the equipment.
The Chairperson said that he had received a call from the Director General of SRSA that day. He recognised the problems between SRSA and the Department of Education regarding school sport. A meeting would be held within two weeks. It would be of a make or break nature. It was important that the Department of Basic Education should send decision makers and not low-level officials.
Mr Komphela said that the issues of transformation were very real and pertinent. Coaching had to be transformed. Coaches were needed in poor communities. They received a stipend from SRSA which hardly covered their taxi fares. SRSA must provide transport for children to attend events.
The Chairperson asked what the vision was for 2012. Apart from providing R9 million in funding he asked what role SRSA played. Several national federations had no national base. He asked how they could then be called national federations. The sooner such dinosaurs were despatched the better.
The Chairperson said that the experience with USSASA was painful. Nothing had replaced the body. The only change which should have been made was the removal of non-teachers from the USSASA structures. National Coordination Committee (NACOC) had no idea of what it was doing. A miracle was needed to recapture the spirit of school sport. The disbanding of the National Sports Council had also been carried out quietly overnight.
Mr Komphela said that this was the first he had heard of data tracking of athletes. It had been done in Cuba with some success.
Mr Komphela commented that hermaphrodites were prevalent in sport. It was a shock when this had been revealed. It was mind-blowing how this phenomenon was being dealt with. The condition was prevalent in various codes. Some ladies had addressed the Committee. He would put SASCOC in touch with these ladies.
The Chairperson said that he would have to check to see if the Committee would have time to attend the event in March. They would like to attend but Parliament would be occupied with preparations for the budget vote at that time. Service level agreements were needed. He would not relax until a 50/50 representation was reached. If the provinces did not drive transformation issues then it would not happen at higher levels. Some rapprochement was needed.
The meeting was adjourned.
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.