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SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
26 February 2002
MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: BRIEFING
Presentation by the Minister and Legislative Programme for Ministry
Acting Chairperson: Mr B Ntuli
The Minister stressed that he is seriously considering legislation to facilitate transformation in sport. He rebuked (opposition) party members who are "grandstanding about merit selection" while offering no meaningful contribution to ensure transformation in sport. He said there are millions of South Africans who cannot rally behind national teams, with the exception of soccer, because these resemble those of apartheid South Africa. The Minister said he will be putting in place monitoring mechanisms to ensure that national federations meet their targets regarding policies of transformation.
The Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Ngconde Balfour's briefing to the Committee is attached to these minutes.
The Minister also presented his Department's legislative programme for the year.
Mr D Lee (DP) asked, with regard to the Minister's statement that transformation in sport is now non-negotiable, whether the Minister has considered vigorous development especially in schools.
The Minister said he has always maintained that development was inextricably linked as part of the bigger process of transformation. When he signs the performance agreements with Federations he looks at the development plans they have. There will be a joint MINMEC with the Minister of Education to look at development of sport at school level.
The Minister said although school sport is critical, Members should not be of the mind that the point of starting sport in schools is that this should delay disadvantaged sports persons' entrance to national level. He referred to the various stages of development in sports where there is some form of representivity, saying that the main problem arises when players have to play at provincial and national level; the black players are suddenly disregarded for selection.
Mr Lee asked whether there has been investigation into issues of corruption in sport and if so whether Members can receive a report.
The Minister said he would not refer to this as corruption but poor financial management skills, which results in poor reporting. The Department has tried to assist Federations in this regard by setting up a team that tries to build capacity on financial reporting for federations.
Mr Ferreira (IFP) asked whether the Minister subscribes to the notion that winning is everything because people will not unite behind loosing teams. Has the Minister looked at the causes of the poor performance of South African national teams recently.
The Minister said Members should not make the mistake of thinking that South Africa is the only country going through the loosing patch. For instance, New Zealand cricket went through a string of coaches and captains because of its losses. The job of ensuring good performance is that of national federations and if they need assistance from the Ministry they are welcome to say so. Maybe these federations need to also look at external expertise to see what is lacking. The Department would look at what can be done to assist.
The meeting was adjourned.
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