Department of Sports and Recreation on Budget Vote 19; Hearings on Budget Vote 19

Sports, Arts and Culture

15 March 2010
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

 

The Department of Sports and Recreation presented its breakdown of budget expenditure and the amount allocated to the 71 sports federations under its purview. The Department highlighted the importance of increasing mass participation in sport and transformation across sporting codes where the ratio of black to white was still skewed. It highlighted its aim to liaise with international sporting administrations and top develop networks to improve its own administration. The need to develop sports at a grass roots level was also stressed. It was noted that funding had been allocated for infrastructure development and outreach, so as to improve sports in rural and remote areas, and expenditure of development across each province was highlighted. Members asked why LoveLife was allocated money from the Sports and Recreation Budget and why the total it received was higher than all 71 federations under the Department combined, and also sought clarity on the funding being paid, and whether there had been any breakdown of expenditure by this organisation. They enquired about the level of transformation throughout sports and what the Department was doing to alter the situation in sporting codes which were relatively untransformed. Members requested a formal business plan and expenditure plan to get a better understanding of where the money allocated was specifically going. Members asked why the wealthier provinces such as the Western Cape and Gauteng received higher financial appropriations compared to poorer provinces. Members were also disturbed about the inadequate funding of high performance sport, the distribution of lottery funding, and under-utilisation of proceeds from sport tourism for the sports development programmes. The Committee noted that the Department continued to have qualified audit reports, and commented on the numbers of staff in Acting posts, the lack of permanent appointments at the higher levels, and low staff morale that seemed to affect overall performance. They questioned mass participation, school sport, and the fact that insufficient funding seemed to be available for all sporting codes.

Sporting codes then commented briefly on the budget. Cricket South Africa said that mass participation in this sport was increasing and that funding from provincial governments was being received to enhance the sport across the nine provinces. However, the shrinking of the budget to sport was detrimental to the sporting codes. It was concerned that LoveLife was getting appropriations from the sports budget, since it was not a sport-oriented organisation. There was a need to develop cricket in rural areas. Members commented favourably on the specific sponsorship for school cricket that Cricket SA received.

South African Rugby Union expressed dissatisfaction with the level of funding it was receiving from the Department, and commented that bureaucratic backlog seemed to block funds that had been approved for spending. The Union received only R100 000 from government, which was far too little. The efforts of the Lotto Programme were appreciated. Members noted that lack of assistance for rugby at a Primary and High School level, commented that rugby was still not being transformed, but this issue needed to be addressed later, and said that there was a serious problem with rural areas accessing funds to improve rugby and cricket. Better relations between the Department and federations were needed. The Chairperson asked what had happened to club initiatives. 

Sports Trust and Institute for Drug Free Sport noted that they were happy with their allocation. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee were highly displeased at the allocation of funds in the budget, believing that not enough attention was being paid to this organisation and its efforts for Olympic success in 2012.

Meeting report

Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA): Budget presentation
Mr Vernon Petersen, Director General, Department of Sports and Recreation, outlined the efforts of the Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA or the Department) in expanding mass participation and improving transformation across sporting codes. The Department sought to move away from the fostering phase in sports to developing and nurturing sports so as to produce sportsman capable of competing at the highest international level. He said the Department would put in place stringent monitoring rules in order to ensure that transformation and mass participation were occurring.

He noted that the Department strove to improve service delivery, placing an emphasis on training coaches and giving funding to developing sports foundations and clubs.

Mr Petersen then said that the Department had allocated R27 million for the 71 sports federations under the Department and R28 million for Love Life. He presented the provincial fiscal allocation, which showed that Gauteng and the Western Cape were receiving more than the other seven provinces (see attached presentation for details)

The Department highlighted the outstanding money still to be paid to cities with World Cup stadia for beautification projects around the respective stadia. The Cape Town Stadium was the only one still owed above R100 million, whilst other stadiums were owed amounts less than that sum.

Mr Petersen confirmed that the Department had a specific person in charge of World Cup 2010 coordination,  and he would work exclusively on world cup issues on behalf of the Department to ensure that all things ran smoothly and that no problems would occur because the project was not receiving enough attention.

Discussion
The Chairperson asked what Mr Petersen felt was the greatest achievement of the Department in the years he had been Director-General at the Department. He asked what Mr Petersen felt was the Department’s key area of focus.

Mr J McGluwa (ID) asked whether the Department was prepared to give the Committee a business and expenditure plan. He asked what the future plans for transformation were in the Department.

Mr Petersen said that the budget plan was in production and would be made available once it was finalised.

Mr T Lee (DA) said that the Department should avoid another qualified audit report and that problems with finances seemed to emanate from provincial administration, rather than from the national Department.

Mr Lee believed that money allocated to the Department was not solely being used for sport and requested a breakdown of school funding.

Mr Makoto Matlala, Chief Financial Officer, SRSA, said that more was being made available for schools’ budgets in order to assist those struggling with sport. He said that at the next definitive sitting, the school sport budget allocation would be ready and could be extensively discussed then. A joint sitting with the National Treasury would be needed in order to iron out funding issues at the school level.

Mr Lee asked why LoveLife received money from the Department, when it had nothing to do with sports. He believed that sponsorships were being abused and he wanted some affiliates under the Department to account for the money they were allocated in the budget.

Mr G McKenzie (COPE) said that LoveLife should be held to account for the money it received from the Department. 

Mr McKenzie said that he was disappointed that poorer communities and rural areas were not receiving funds, as a result of provinces such as the Western Cape and Gauteng receiving larger allocations than the poorer provinces. He said that a new set of punitive measures should be put in place to punish those who transgressed by spending large sums on irrelevant things. He noted that there was a general rise in expenditure and sought clarity on it.

Mr L Suka (ANC) said that the Department was yet to respond to questions from the last sitting and should take note of that.

Mr Suka noted that a large number of the presentation team for the Department were described as being in Acting posts, and he asked what the reason for a lack of permanent personnel was in those positions. He asked whether the Department had a legal services section.

Mr Suka agreed that funds allocated to the Department needed to be monitored more closely. He asked why Cape Town was still owed R122 million for its stadium as opposed to other stadiums, where the amount owed was under R100 million. He asked when the governing policy on sport was going to be formalised and introduced.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) asked whether the transformation policy was formalised. He also asked why the Western Cape and Gauteng were allocated a lot of money in the budget ahead of poorer provinces.

Ms T Lishivha (ANC) asked whether the Department was applying international bodies’ laws to its administrative activities.

Ms Lishivha asked why people who were suspended for transgressing against the Department were being paid while they were on suspension. She also asked why there were so many Acting personnel and whether or not that would adversely affect the Department.

Ms Lishivha asked what foreign interactions the Department had had to promote and exhibit South African sport.

The Chairperson said that in future the Committee should discuss the importance of transformation in sponsorships offered by the Department.

Mr Petersen gave general replies to these questions, after the meeting had allowed him to consult with his team.

Mr Petersen noted that
high performance centres were funded by the lottery money rather than the Department. He said that the Department was not able to fund high performance sports, but it was totally committed to improving medal count. There were some funds that flowed indirectly to some federations emanating from sports tourism. South Africa could not be compared to developed countries that had been investing in sports development for some time. The lottery funds distribution was not addressing the needs of the previously disadvantaged. Mr Petersen said that there was a need to improve on talent identification and development. The funding model could be restructured to address the needs of sports federations. He said that his Department had done a comprehensive audit regarding mass participation. The majority of training facilities were in a state of disuse and neglect. The Department had identified a need to train facility managers to ensure that the sports facilities were properly utilised.

The Chairperson asked for clarity on the legislative mandate of the Department on sports development. He suggested that the funding model should be structured so that it would drive the development programmes. He said that the Committee had asked the Department to pinpoint money that was allocated for facilities.  He said that resource co-ordination was not properly done. The Department and the lottery board could achieve better results with the funds that were available, through proper coordination.

Mr Bernardus Van der Spuy, Director: Strategic Services, SRSA, replied that the White Paper on Sport Development stated that proper coordination would address the funding model.

The Chairperson suggested that a levy of R1 from every ticket sold for sport events in South Africa could be channeled to development programmes, as was the case in countries like Canada and Australia

Mr Gideon Sam, President, South African Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASOC), added that he identified a need for a forum that would discuss issues around benefits of Sports Tourism. Private business had benefited tremendously from the sport tourism. He queried the proceeds of sports like motor and horse racing.

Mr Mackenzie said that he liked Mr Sam's frankness, and said that there was a lot to be done on the lottery funds distribution.

The Chairperson noted the situation around the audit qualifications, which had persisted, and asked whether the Department had the necessary will to address the problems.

Mr Petersen replied that the number of audit qualifications had dropped from three to one, and the problems had been caused mostly by the royalty issue. He mentioned that he was not satisfied with the way things were going with the Department. He said that sometimes the Department would be busy with non-core issues such as organising events.

Mr Van Der Spuy replied that his Department would look at all issues raised by the Committee.

The Chairperson felt that the morale within the Department was at its lowest and affected performance.

Mr Petersen said that the issue of staff morale was a result of amalgamation of two different working traditions. One group was from an NGO background while the other was from a bureaucratic background of the former Department.

The Chairperson asked about the tools used to measure progress on school sport mass participation programmes.

Mr Petersen replied that mass participation was not a total failure because there were pockets of success, and a progress report would be forwarded to the Committee.

Mr Suka mentioned that he would like to see fixtures and tournaments at school sport level, and co-operation with the Department of Basic Education.

Mr Petersen said that he understood the frustrations of Members around school sport. The Department would in the future focus on the specifics of school sport. He acknowledged that there was a disjuncture between the Strategic Plan and the mandate of the Department. He hastened to add that his Department would continue to align the mandate and the strategic plan. Capacity problems continued to hamper delivery of programmes, especially at provincial level.

The Chairperson suggested that the Department should implement the Durban resolution around the national symbols displayed on sport equipment such as soccer jerseys.

Mr Petersen replied that the previous South African Football Association (SAFA) leadership did not address the issues around national symbols and royalties, but the new administration was co-operative.

Mr Suka asked for clarity regarding the absence of the golden star on top of the National Soccer
team logo, to show that they were the 1996 African Cup of Winners champions.

Mr Van Der Spuy replied that the issue was resolved with the new SAFA Leadership.

The Chairperson said that it was baffling to find that the hosting team did not have a base camp three months before the World Cup kick off. The 2010 Local Organising Committee was not “on not on top of things”  as far as base camps were concerned.

Mr Peterson replied that SAFA was supposed to be responsible for the selection of a base camp for the national team. His Department was still awaiting a briefing regarding the selection of the camp.

The Chairperson cautioned that visiting teams and their national media could view substandard base camps as a reflection of failure of the World Cup tournament in South Africa. He cited the example of the false report based on wrong pictures of the England soccer team base camp in Rustenburg in the North West Province of South Africa.

Mr C Frolick (ANC) urged the Department to sort out the challenge around the ownership of Free State stadium.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) Comments on the budget
Mr Gerald Majola, Chief Executive Officer, Cricket South Africa, said that Cricket South Africa (CSA) was  displeased with the fact that the Association had yet to come up with a plan of action while the  Department’s budget was already in its final stages of development. Mr Majola said that mass participation in the sport was increasing, and that funding from provincial governments was being received to enhance the sport across the nine provinces. He said that the budget allocations for SRSA seemed to be shrinking annually, and this was detrimental to cricket and other sporting codes. He said that he was concerned that LoveLife was getting appropriations from the sports budget, since it was not a sport-oriented organisation. He emphasised the importance of developing cricket in rural areas and improving facilities in order to spread the game to remoter areas. He announced that CSA would be receiving its sponsorship from a different sponsor for its development programme

Discussion.
The Chairperson said that he was pleased with the manner with which cricket was progressing in the country but said he was displeased with recent events at the Gauteng Cricket Board and would consult further with Mr Majola on ways to remedy that situation.

Mr Lee said that he was happy about the specific sponsorship for schools cricket the CSA received and said the same thing would be wholly beneficial for the South African Rugby Union (SARU).

South African Rugby Union (SARU) comments on the budget
Mr Regan Hoskins, President, South African Rugby Union, said that the South African Rugby Union (SARU) was dissatisfied with the level of funding it was receiving from SRSA. Mr Hoskins said that as money was allocated, the lower echelons of the unions got smaller  amounts and faced challenges in developing the sport on “meagre scraps”. He said that there was a problem of bureaucratic backlog in government, which seemed to block funds that had been approved for spending. He said that the Union had received R100 000 from government and nothing more, which was far too little. He praised the efforts of the Lotto Program which funded poorer rugby clubs and assisted at a grassroots level.

Discussion
Mr Lee said that there seemed to be no assistance for rugby at a Primary and High School level.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) said that it seemed rugby was going backwards with regards to transformation and asked why that was so.

The Chairperson suggested that this could be discussed at length with Mr Hoskins at a later sitting.

Mr Suka said that transformation was moving at too slow a pace and delivery was lagging in sport. He stressed the need for an audit to find solutions to the problem of transformation. He said that normal sport could not be played in an abnormal society.

A Member said that there was a serious problem with rural areas accessing funds to improve rugby and cricket.

Ms Lishivha said that better relations between the Department and federations needed to be fostered.

Mr Petersen said that fund allocation needed to be accounted for, and the Department would take that up. He said that the Department allocated money to women taking part in rugby and cricket.

The Chairperson said that club development was dead and asked what happened to initiatives such as Siyadlala.

Ms Kelly Mkhonto, Chief Director, SRSA, said that provinces were doing their part in funds allocation and initiatives were dependant on provincial support.

Ms R Naidoo, Chief Director, SRSA, said that infrastructure development was at issue and more would be done to improve the situation to improve sports at a lower level.

Sports Trust Comment on the budget
Sports Trust said that it was happy with its budget allocation and was creating networks with international partners to expand their outreach and improve their standard of work.

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) comment on the budget
Mr Gideon Sam, President, South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, said that he was highly displeased at the allocation of funds in the budget. He said that not enough attention was being paid to the organisation and its efforts for Olympic success in 2012. He said that, compared to athletics organisations elsewhere in the world, SASCOC was grossly underfunded. He said that it remained a mystery to him why the Department undervalued the organisation yet expected medals when tournaments were held.

Institute for Drug Free Sport in South Africa comment on the budget
Mr Khalid Galant, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Drug Free Sport in South Africa thanked the Department for the increased allocation, and said his organisation was also looking for other sources of funding.

The meeting was adjourned.



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