The Chairperson and Members of the Committee, at the outset, expressed their concerns about the way in which this Committee was treated by the Department, citing inadequate time for Members to study relevant documents for this meeting, and apparent sidelining of the Members of the Committee in not being kept abreast of all developments, not being invited to pitch and venue inspections, and being excluded from some events. The Deputy Minister answered the concerns, noting that FIFA was running the event, not the Department, and that the Department had stressed that both houses of Parliament were involved, as it saw the Houses as being of equal importance.
The Department of Sport and Recreation presented its Strategic plan and budget for 2010 to 2013. The strategic plan contained the Department’s long-term and short term plans. The World Cup event was at the centre of the Department’s plans to make 2010 a year of action. The Department’s main focus was on finding and developing new talent as well as focusing on the recreational aspect of sports, which had been neglected. South Africa’s international obligations were an important consideration when the strategic plan was drawn up. The Department had played a leading role in the Supreme Council of Sports in Africa. Sports and recreation were part of the government’s projected outcomes. The National Sports and Recreation Act contributed towards sport, physical education and social development, but it had to be interrogated to ascertain whether it was responsive to the current needs of the country’s sporting codes.
The South African Institute for Drug Free Sport and Boxing South Africa reported directly to the Minister. There was a turnaround strategy in place for Boxing South Africa. The South African Combat Sports Bill would be tabled before Parliament to rationalise all combat sports in order to have them under one umbrella. Mass participation was geared towards increasing the number of participants in sport and recreation activities. The talent identification and development programme would be developed further in order to bridge the gap between the mass participation programme and the elite programme. Nation building through developing an implicit citizenry was a key focus area. Programme 1 dealt with administrative issues; Programme 2 was Sport Support Services; Programme 3 was labelled as Mass Participation; Programme 4 focused on International Liaison & Events; Programme 5 was Facilities and Programme 6 was the 2010 Government Unit. The budget had increased from R886 million to R2.9 billion from 2006/07 to 2009/10. Over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework period total expenditure was projected to decrease at an average of 35%. The budget for the Mass Participation Programme was currently R426 million.
The Committee wanted to know where some of the Department’s projects and development initiatives were located. The Committee particularly mentioned the German Technical Corporation, the legacy projects as well as the location of some of the newly built facilities. There were concerns over the state of affairs of Boxing SA as well as the distribution of funds by the Lottery. The Mass Participation Programme came under scrutiny, particularly its delivery rate, performance and growth. The Department’s vacancy rate was probed. The Committee was generally concerned about the development of recreational facilities, sporting facilities and the effectiveness of the Mass Participation Programme in the rural areas. The Committee was also concerned with the access of citizens from disadvantaged areas to the High Performance Programmes. Transformation was a key topic of discussion and the Committee was of the view that it was not very visible. The Municipal Infrastructural Grant was discussed at length, as it had been previously used by the Department to build facilities but was then given to municipalities. The Committee wanted this matter of the grant to be resolved.
Opening remarks by the Chairperson
The Chairperson addressed the delegation from the Department of Sport and Recreation, and said that the issue of documents that were to be presented being sent so late to Members was worrying and unacceptable. It was not correct to give the Committee only a few hours to read documents before they were presented. The Committee took its work seriously and would investigate further to ascertain where the problem lay.
Ms P Ngcube (ANC, Gauteng) said that the Committee was not being treated at an equal level with the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation in the National Assembly. During the draw for the World Cup on 4 December 2010, the Chairperson for this Committee had to run around and beg for tickets to be allocated to members. The Chairperson was informed that the only recognised Committee and Chairperson was the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation, which had been issued with tickets. The Committee raised its objections on this matter but nothing had changed. During the 100 days before the World Cup celebrations the Portfolio Committee of Sport and Recreation was again given preference. The Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) paid for the travel expenses of the Portfolio Committee members, but did not do the same for the Select Committee members. The Select Committee was also yet to receive the T-shirts it was promised, and was not included in the World Cup venue and pitch inspections. She stressed that since Parliament was made up of two Houses, both should be treated equally.
Mr W Faber (DA, Northern Cape) said that when the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the Department visited the stadiums they had to include members of the Select Committee who were from that particular province, because they were provincial representatives in Parliament. In Gauteng, for instance, Ms Ngcube should have been included. It was not clear why the Select Committee was excluded from a lot of events. The World Cup was not going to be hosted at some national venue but in the provinces, and Select Committee Members were the provincial representatives. The Portfolio Committee of Sports and Recreation was well informed but this Committee was not. The Committee was often viewed as a “rubber-stamp Committee” and this was not acceptable. He agreed that the Department did not treat both Committees equally.
Mr T Mashamaite (ANC, Limpopo) said that if the Committee were employees they would have demonstrated in front of the office of the Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation. He questioned why the Department thought there was a need to brief the Select Committee on its budget, and stressed that if the Committee sent the Department back without looking at the budget proposal, it could not be approved without the vote of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
Deputy Minister’s Response
Hon Gert Oosthuizen, Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation (DSR) said that the Department had developed its Strategic Plan after the State of the Nation Address (SONA), and this was delivered on the day of the deadline, to Parliament. He would be complaining to the Leader of Government Business, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, about the fact that the strategic plan had apparently not been delivered on time to Members, which he indicated was a Parliamentary, and not a Departmental function. He conceded that the Powerpoint presentation was circulated only yesterday, but the Department had been under the impression that the Strategic Plan had been with the Committee since it was delivered to Parliament.
He noted that the 2010 World Cup was a FIFA owned event. For the first time in the history of the World Cup the LOC was made up of Private Business, members of the football fraternity and government. FIFA had a company called Match, which was responsible for the marketing, accreditation, and hospitality for the tournament. The Department was only responsible for delivering on the 17 guarantees the government signed with FIFA. The Department had to ensure that the host city agreements were signed and that the relative legislation was enacted. For this reason, the event was not government-run, but FIFA-run. He said that even he did not feel that he was being included in the proceedings at times.
He said that the Department did not have a budget for purchasing and did not distribute tickets. In principle, he questioned how the purchasing of tickets by a Department for those who were already empowered could be justified. Similarly, the Department did not buy and distribute T-shirts. The Department was not in a position to distribute any tickets for any event that was related to the World Cup. The Department had requested tickets and invitations for both Houses, but it was ultimately up to FIFA, via Match, to issue tickets and invitations. He corrected the Member, saying that the Department had not paid for any Member of the two Committees to travel or attend any event or function. The Department had asked for the incorporation of both Houses for the tournament but there were no guarantees regarding the opening and closing ceremonies. The Committee had to be briefed by the Department on its Strategic Plan and budget, as it was part of Parliament. The Department was not of the view that the Committee was less important than the Portfolio Committee of Sport and Recreation.
Department of Sport and Recreation: Strategic Plan and budget 2010 - 2013
Mr Vernie Petersen, Director General, Department of Sport and Recreation, referred at the outset to Slide 1 of his presentation as a guideline to the long term plans of the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA or the Department). The FIFA World Cup was at the cornerstone of the Department’s plans to make 2010 a year of action. The presentation was an overview of what needed to be done. The Department’s main focus was on finding and developing new talent and on closing the gap between individuals entering the sporting system via the mass participation programme on the one hand, and those in the elite programmes on the other hand. This strategic plan was not dramatically altered from the previous strategic plan. There was a focus on the recreational aspect of sports. This was important, as recreation had been neglected in the past. The strategic environment comprised the United Nations (UN) Resolution, the Millennium Development Goals and the Sport for Development and Peace initiative.
The Department considered South Africa’s international obligations when it crafted the strategic plan. The Department would continue to play a leading role on the African continent and in the rest of the world. The Department had also played a leading role in the Supreme Council of Sports (SCS) in Africa. The African Union (AU) had recently decided that the SCS should be more aligned to its sporting structures and the Department had been initiating this process. The Department viewed sports and recreation as being part of the government’s projected outcomes. The specific contribution of sports towards these outcomes would also be identified. The role of sports towards skills development and growth had been underestimated in the past. The Department had been assigned powers and functions to develop and implement national policies and programmes through the National Sports and Recreation Act (NSRA) and the power vested in the Minister. The Act ensured that South Africa contributed to sport, physical education and social development.
The Department was the supreme body responsible for sport and recreation in South Africa, irrespective of the roles of stakeholders. The Act had to be interrogated to ascertain whether it was responsive to the current needs of the country’s sporting codes. The Department embarked on this process and the result of this was that a White Paper policy document was compiled and reviewed. The Act had to be more explicit on the roles and powers of stakeholders and federations. The Department should be more realistic in its goals, as sport was competing with various other obligations that the government wanted to fulfil. The South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDFS) and Boxing South Africa (BSA) reported directly to the Minister. The SAIDFS was an entity that the Department was extremely proud of and was the only one of its kind in Africa. BSA was a challenge but the Department had worked on a turnaround strategy.
The Department was, in this year, planning to table before Parliament the South African Combat Sports Bill. The Department wanted to rationalise all combat sports in order to have them under one umbrella. The Department had processed the Hosting and Bidding Regulations and Fitness Regulations. The Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act should be in place in the course of the year. The Regulations relating to accreditation of foreign medical contingents and approval of medicines, scheduled substances and medical devices was processed by the Department. The Department of Health also played a central role during this process. Mass participation was geared towards increasing the number of participants in sport and recreation and delivery of school sport programmes. The talent identification and development programme had to be developed further in order to bridge the gap between the mass participation programme (MPP) and the elite programme. The responsibility of high performance was that of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the national federations. Nation building through developing an implicit citizenry was a key focus area.
Programme 1 dealt with administrative issues. Programme 2 was Sport Support Services. The work of the Department focused on the 66 sport and recreation bodies. Sustaining sports development was also viewed as important. This would be achieved through the club development initiative. The transition of talented athletes from the mass participation programme to the high performance programme would be accelerated. Programme 3 was about mass participation and building on the 2010 legacy. Programme 4 centred on bringing sporting events into the country as well as building sporting relationships with other countries. Programme Five concerned Facilities, and the Department would assist municipalities in this regard. Programme 6 was the 2010 Government unit and entailed delivery of the FIFA World Cup guarantees.
Mr Makoto Matlala, Chief Financial Officer, SRSA, pointed out the budget had increased from R886 million to R2.9 billion from 2006/07 to 2009/10. Over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period total expenditure was projected to decrease at an average of 35% as the upgrading and construction of stadia for the World Cup would be completed in 2010. The Mass Participation Grant Allocation had increased at an average rate of 45% between 2006 and 2010. The budget was currently R2.8 billion and expenditure was at R2.84 billion. The budget for the Mass Participation Programme was currently R426 million.
The Chairperson requested more information on the German Technical Corporation (GTZ). It was important to know where the organisation was operating at provincial level for oversight purposes.
Mr Petersen replied that more information would be provided to the Committee regarding the GTZ. The GTZ was the German arm of the German Department of International Cooperation. The Department was satisfied with the relationship it had with Germany, which had offered to establish lasting legacies of the 2010 World Cup. The programme that was developed in cooperation with GTZ was Youth Development through Sport (YDS). This programme was about teaching life skills to the youth through sport. The programme strongly emphasised that development should take place in disadvantaged communities. The GTZ programme, through YDS, reached about 50 000 children. GTZ worked with other non-governmental organisations. The Department was working with the German government to establish playing fields with artificial turf where the youth could play.
Ms Ngcube commented that there were glaring irregularities in the financial management of BSA, when that Association had made a presentation to the Committee last year. She wondered if the SRSA’s turnaround strategy for BSA would be sufficient to fix the problems.
Ms Ngcube asked where the legacy projects were located. She agreed that it was important for the Committee to have more information on this for oversight purposes.
Mr Petersen said that the problems with BSA had been ongoing for a number of years. BSA was an ongoing concern for the Auditor-General (AG) as well. BSA had been spending more than its allocated budget and it had to raise its own funds as well. The Department was concerned about the issue of mismanagement within BSA and the fact that the organisation had operated without a Chief Financial Officer for a considerable period of time. The Department was struggling with ways to assist BSA. It had, however, seen fit to grant more funding to it for the appointment of key staff in important positions. The model for BSA was being analysed by the Department in cooperation with National Treasury. The turnaround strategy comprised engaging with National Treasury, improving the revenue of BSA and strengthening its governance. The Committee would be provided with a list of where the legacy projects were located.
Mr S Plaatjie (COPE, North West) observed that a large chunk of the budget was allocated to the Mass Participation Programme, and asked if this programme yielded the desired outcome. He also asked how the high performance programme was being accelerated in order to benefit citizens in the rural areas.
Mr Plaatjie said that the Department had been focusing on sport but not recreation. He asked what it was doing concerning recreational activities, especially indigenous games, and what it was doing to ensure that sporting resources were made available to citizens in the rural areas.
Mr Petersen said that more and more individuals were participating in the Mass Participation Programme. The participation had increased from 600 000 to 1.3 million individuals from 2008/09 to 2009/10. There was clearly growth. The programme was identifying talent - for example, the first African gymnast had emerged from Kwazulu Natal. The Department conceded that more talent had to be identified. The Department would identify talent and ensure that these individuals identified entered the high development programmes under SASCOC. Last year there were 1 600 such athletes.
The biggest challenge with the Mass Participation Programme was to assess its returns. There was now a monitoring unit that was responsible for the monitoring of this programme. The Department hoped that it would be able to report back on the progress of this unit in its annual report.
Mr Petersen conceded that the Department was concerned about not paying enough attention to its recreational mandate. In the document there was a slide that demonstrated the relationship between high performance, mass participation and recreational activities. The definition of recreational activities had to be expanded and developed. Building facilities remained a challenge although a large number of facilities had been built in many areas. There had since been a slowdown of this activity, when the building of facilities was taken away from the Department. The building of facilities was now done via the municipalities through the Municipal Infrastructural Grant (MIG). The Department was battling to get control of this grant once more. Municipalities, if given a choice, would list sport as one of their last priorities. The Department had completed an audit for tracking the development of sports facilities.
Mr M De Villiers (DA, Western Cape) commented that there were many vacant posts in the Department, and asked if the increase in expenditure had been used to fill posts, and what percentage of these posts should be filled during the course of the year.
Mr De Villiers asked what the Department was doing to address the lack of facilities in the rural areas and in the disadvantaged areas. The National Department allocated a lot of money to provinces, but he wanted to know what monitoring process was put in place to check how this money was spent.
Mr Matlala replied that the increase of the budget did take into consideration the issue of vacant posts. The Department was in the process of filling the posts and would like to assure the Committee that some of the posts had been filled, whilst the rest would be filled as soon as possible. The Department hoped that by the end of the financial year all the posts would have been filled.
Mr Petersen added that the Department agreed with the assertion that there was a lack of facilities in the rural areas. The Department was however entirely dependant on municipalities to deliver. In the case of schools, the Department relied on school governing bodies and the Department of Basic Education (DBE). The Department had been working very closely with the DBE and there had been a lot of policy review.
The Chairperson said that not enough was being done regarding Mass Participation, as it was too events-oriented. She enquired if the Department was able to find talent via this programme. She also asked for the latest statistics for completed facilities, saying it was important to know this, as some of the facilities in the provinces were only half complete. She also enquired how far the Department had gone with fast tracking transformation.
Mr Petersen said that the Department was of the view that although federations talked about transformation the results were not clearly visible. This issue of transformation had to be reviewed. One of the priority areas of the Department was the development of the Transformation Charter. This would also result in the federations being held to account.
The Deputy Minister added that the focus should be on boxing at amateur level. Good corporate governance had to be enforced on Boxing SA, and the Boxing Act had to be revisited and amended. The Department was currently doing a legacy audit for facilities, which would be completed by the end of August. He urged that Parliament must be vigorous and not allow municipalities to shy away from building sport and recreational facilities. Facilities also had to be properly managed, with full time managers in place. Transformation would be accelerated through the establishment of facilities. A further challenge was to have mass participation and talent identification from school to provincial and national level. A further important point was that a national team should comprise nationals of a country and not foreigners. The government had to address the ills of the previous regime, otherwise transformation would still be a topic in the future.
The Chairperson said that the MIG grant was a burning issue. Politicians had to address this issue as they must consider the needs of the electorate.
Mr Faber asked if there was a detailed breakdown of how much was allocated to each sporting code, and insisted that if there was such a detailed breakdown, the Committee should receive copies.
Ms M Boroto (ANC, Mpumalanga) asked if it was possible for the Department to provide operational plans to address the disparities mentioned in the presentation. This would allow the Committee, during its oversight visits, to measure the work done by the Department against what the operational plans had set out.
Mr Mashamaite asked if the Department had a Memorandum of Understanding with the Lottery, since it had previously stated that it did not account to the Department. He asked if there were mechanisms in place to ensure that the Lottery dispersed funds according to the government’s instructions.
The Chairperson asked if LoveLife, which was getting a huge budget, was delivering on its targets.
The Deputy Minister replied that LoveLife was set up via an international agreement with the Kaiser Foundation. The agreement was to the effect that the Foundation would donate R5 for every R1 donated by the South African government. The result of this was the Department did not even ask for money that would be allocated to LoveLife, but National Treasury would just issue an amount already pre-determined. The Department ensured that the money for LoveLife went to certain programmes.
He noted that the National Lottery resided with the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). The responsibility to oversee the distribution of funds from the lottery was that of dti. The Department was in the third year of negotiations to take over this responsibility, and the Director-General participated in the Board of the agency responsible for the distribution of funds. The Department hoped that in the near future it would be able to get a certain percentage of the MIG grant.
The Chairperson thanked the Department.
Adoption of Committee Report
The Committee adopted its Report on Budget Vote 19 and the Strategic Plan of the Department of Sport and Recreation.
The meeting was adjourned.
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