The South African Institute for Drug Free Sport said that it was starting to receive an increase in funding but was also looking for a grant from the Lottery. Extra funding would be used for more testing. More intensive methods were needed to combat more sophisticated doping techniques. It was agreed that education had to be a priority, especially in schools were the level of substance abuse was alarming. Another concern was the use of supplements. Some supplements did contain banned substances and information on the products was often incorrect. The recent tests involving Springbok rugby players had arisen due to a trusted product available in South Africa being contaminated when supplied by a British distributor. It was important to develop an intelligence gathering capacity. Although the Institute had received an unqualified audit there were some concerns, particularly regarding supply chain management.
Members expressed their concern about the use of banned substances at school level. There were difficulties in testing minors although the Institute was able to test at events organised outside of the school context such as the rugby Craven Week. Members were told that remuneration of Board members was in accordance with the guidelines of National Treasury. Increases in funding could lead to some new jobs being created, but nothing concrete could be done until a lottery grant was paid out. The Minister had the right to appoint and replace Board members although the Committee felt that there should be some accountability to Parliament. The Committee was concerned that the Chairperson of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport had failed to attend Committee meetings on at least four occasions. This made it difficult for the Committee to lobby for funding from government on behalf of the Institute.
The Committee expressed its support for hosting major events in smaller towns in reaction to the new bidding process to host the Rugby Sevens tournament traditionally held in George.
Dr Ismal Jakoet, SAIDS Board Director, said that he was the former Chairperson of the Board. He was now an ordinary Board member. There was no post of Vice Chairperson.
The Chairperson explained the budgeting process. It was concerning that the Chairperson was absent from this meeting despite his apology. Entities needed to lobby for funding and if reports were not submitted in time, it would be difficult to argue their case in Parliament. He pleaded with SAIDS to respond to repeated queries. SAIDS had been unable to present its case to Parliament on four occasions already.
Dr Jakoet said he was caught unawares. He was not aware of correspondence directed to the Board.
Mr Galant said it was unfortunate that the 2010 Annual Report was only now been presented. A hard copy was sent to the Committee by August 2010 as required by National Treasury regulations. SRSA told them that they could not present to the Committee until the Minister had tabled the report at Cabinet level. This only happened in November and it was not possible to arrange a meeting until the present date. He took the Chairperson's comments to heart and the Annual Report would be presented timeously in 2011.
The Chairperson said that the report had been submitted to the Speaker. However, this was only one element of the required procedure. They were only one of the entities reporting to SRSA. The Department was not right to lay the blame at the Minister's door. BSA was in a similar situation but did present their report to the Committee. SRSA was not telling the truth.
Mr Lee said that he had asked where SAIDS was at the time. Their input was included in the composite report. He would not say that SRSA had misled them, but SAIDS should have been informed.
Mr L Suka (ANC) asked if SAIDS was a Chapter 9 institution.
The Chairperson said that SAIDS was an arm of Sports Recreation South Africa.
Mr Suka said that entities should provide quarterly updates. This would prevent similar situations from arising. Now the Committee was receiving these reports only hours before the budget was to be tabled. This put Members into a predicament. The Committee needed to make a case to Treasury for funding of SAIDS.
The Chairperson said that the Money Bills Amendment Act required that interaction was needed with entities such as SAIDS on a quarterly basis. Spending was not on an even basis. It could be fiscal dumping towards the end of the financial year. The law required the Committee to interact with the entities under its oversight. The Minister presented SRSA's Annual Report. The Chairperson of SAIDS was overseas at the time. He should have presented the Annual Report in person. Dr Manjira had declined two further invitations due to prior commitments. The meeting today would have been the fifth time that SAIDS had declined to meet the Committee to account for its funding.
Mr Galant noted the comments made by the Chairperson. He undertook to correspond with the Committee Secretary to present quarterly reports.
South African Institute for Drug Free Sport 2009/10 Annual Report presentation
Dr Jakoet introduced the delegation. He apologised for the absence of the Chairperson. He would take this up at the next Board meeting. The Board members were not aware of the invitations to present the Annual Report being declined. He felt that this situation was absolutely unacceptable. SAIDS had enjoyed a good track record with SRSA and the Committee.
Mr Galant said that he would address both historical and current issues. He sketched the background to SAIDS. All major international and national competitions held in South Africa had to comply with doping regulations. There were two pending cases, but these had been clarified in the interim.
Mr Galant said that SAIDS had been approached by a new federation responsible for mixed martial arts. It was difficult for SAIDS to test the athletes of federations that were not recognised by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). SAIDS could not test private entities where there were no rules covering sanctions.
Mr Galant said that SAIDS had placed advertisements for two additional members to fill vacancies. The internal audit committee had the services of senior registered accountants. Mazars Consulting was being used as external auditor.
Mr Galant said that SAIDS had complied with the regulations regarding its Annual Report. They had submitted a hard copy by 31 August 2010. A copy had been delivered to the Chairperson by hand.
Mr Galant said that the audit fee charged by the Auditor General was high. It took up more than 1% of SAIDS's revenue. SAIDS had contested the figure. As a result, the Audiotr General (AG) had waived some R53 000 of the audit charges. The AG acknowledged that there were some inefficiencies. On a positive note, the AG had expressed an unqualified opinion in the Annual Report. There were some emphases of matter, mainly related to supply chain management (SCM). The CEO acknowledged that there was room for improvement. Internal policies at SAIDS had to be better aligned with the regulations of the National Treasury. SAIDS was not big enough to maintain a full-time SCM department. Irregular expenditure identified by the AG was based on a lack of SCM. Some of these irregular expenses had in fact been condoned by the AG.
The CEO said that the AG would express an opinion on the performance report. The AG had given a taste of how the performance review would be conducted. The AG explained how the report should be structured. The external audit had indicated that there were irregularities. Some remedies had been identified. More attention would be given to staff training on Treasury regulations and the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). A review of internal SCM policies was needed. A huge overhaul of performance management was needed within SAIDS. One of the problems was that an increase of funding of SAIDS had forced a review of the strategic plan. A performance review was needed on staff issues, strategic objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). A clear and succinct report was needed. This format would be used for quarterly presentations to Parliament.
Mr Galant said that the financial performance of SAIDS had been enhanced by a 14% increase in the government grant for the 2009/10 FY. This was the first year in which there had been a considerable increase since 1997. The increase for the 2010/11 FY was due to be 55%. Additional funding was still needed. SAIDS had applied to the NLB for a grant for anti-doping education in schools. The agency had heeded the Committee's advice not to be dependant on government hand-outs. A request had been made to the Lottery in 2009 and again in 2010. To date there had been no response except that the NLB was still processing the request.
The CEO said that SAIDS had requested R4 million to be spread over three years. The money would be used to make SAIDS compliant to AG recommendations. It would be used for anti-doping education. SAIDS had increased its footprint into schools but it was really just the toes testing the waters to date. Education would also be extended to coaches and national federations. Education was also needed on the use of supplements. SAIDS also had to develop more smart tests and to gather intelligence. They needed to conduct blood tests and compile biological profiles of athletes in order to stay abreast with new doping techniques. These were expensive exercises and were also infrastructure intensive. Intelligence gathering was haphazard. SAIDS was working with the Medicines Control Council (MCC). Doping was not a high priority for the South African Police Service (SAPS). Recently a methyl amphetamine factory had been raided in Johannesburg. Such a facility could also be used to manufacture banned substances. The process was moving at a snail's pace.
Mr Galant said that in terms of results management, there had been an 100% success rate in prosecutions. It was expensive. One court case could cost between R15 000 and R20 000, as long as it was not adjourned. SAIDS needed to gather all the evidence before the case went to court. Only then could it be taken to the tribunal.
Mr Galant said that SAIDS was trying to react to the call for job creation made by the President in his State of the Nation Address. No new jobs had been created in the 2009/10 FY due to financial constraints. In the 2010/11 FY one full time position would be created and two part-time opportunities for education. Fifteen trainee Doping Control Officers (DCOs) had been appointed. When the lottery grant came through, two more full-time positions could be created. If funding remained constant then two more full-time and two part-time staff could be appointed and ten more trainee DCOs could be recruited.
Mr Galant listed some of the challenges faced by SAIDS. The first was its school programme. There were testing initiatives at some schools. The problem was in dealing with minors. SAIDS only had a jurisdiction within entities recognised by SASCOC. They looked at doping in a sports context. There was no budget for conducting tests in schools. Some money had been re-allocated from other programmes in order to provide minimal testing services for schools. Lottery money would be used to address these shortages. Some legal obstacles had been overcome, while some schools were better resourced than others. Schools had different levels of sports tradition. A second challenge was the uncertainty over the lottery grant. SAIDS could not afford to work on hope. A third challenge lay in results management. The cost of prosecution was very high. SAIDS was looking to develop the capacity to prosecute doping cases in the law schools. Hopefully newly qualified lawyers would be more conversant with the laws relating to doping. Intelligence gathering was another challenge. It did not help to get the information without being able to process the cases.
The CEO said that there had been an increase in the number of cases being taken to the tribunal. In 2009/10 eighteen cases had been processed, but there had already been 26 cases to date in 2011. These involved the use of steroids and other substances. He was concerned that the age of offenders was getting younger. Positive tests had been conducted in high schools. What was coming to light was the ubiquitous use of supplements. A lot of adverse media coverage was resulting. SAIDS would be hosting an international conference on the use of supplements in April 2011. The agency would invite the Members to attend. Topics for discussion would include the beneficial use of supplements and the risks involved.
Mr Galant said that media coverage had focussed on certain stories. There had been coverage of the use of supplements and the warnings issued to some of the Springboks. A boxer had been issued with a sixteen year ban. This was for the second offence. He had been serving a two-year suspension when he had tested positive for a second time, this time for the use of even harder core steroids. The tribunal had considered extenuating and aggravating circumstances in passing sentence. A cyclist had been suspended for three years for the use of two banned substances. Cycling had been identified as a high priority sport. The Tour of South Africa would be starting later in the week. SAIDS would be spending R60 000 for testing during the event.
Mr Lee asked why the two Board members resigned. He asked if there were personal reasons or some dissent in the Board. He had been asked about the positive tests on Springbok players. It seemed that all the players had used the same supplement. Anything to be given to the players should be cleared with SAIDS beforehand. He realised that SAIDS would need more money to fulfil this further requirement. He was glad to hear that SAIDS was confirming their struggle to get funds from NLB. When the Committee met the NLB the following weekend, the documentation would be handy to press the case. He had met with the father of a child playing rugby at a well known school in the Eastern Cape. The father had stopped his son from playing the sport due to the continual pressure on his son to use banned substances. He wanted to know how the Committee could help to combat the use of drugs at schools.
The Chairperson asked how much was paid to Directors. There were some relaxations on certain supplements. He asked what these supplements were. Bryan Habana was known to use one of these to treat his asthma. The Springbok players concerned would not have been prosecuted if the substance had been detected in 2011 as the ban had been lifted.
Mr Galant said that all the Springboks would have been sanctioned if they had tested positive. Suppliers came to him regularly to have their products approved by SAIDS. There was a long list of medicines. One of the problems was that supplements were not controlled. Often the list of ingredients provided was incorrect. The Department of Health was considering regulation on sport supplements. He did not know what the status of this proposed legislation was. SAIDS had the capacity to analyse substances, but resources were limited. This was not considered a high priority. The payment rates for Board members was set by Treasury. There was a schedule. SAIDS was classified as Class C. There were specific guidelines. The Chairperson of the Board had more engagements than ordinary Board members and therefore received more remuneration. Per diems paid to Board members were not taxed.
Mr G MacKenzie (COPE) was aware of a former policeman who had his own supplement business. There was a massive demand and he was doing good business. These substances were dangerous. It was a massive problem. The lack of resources was worrying. There was a gymnasium in Durban and the change room below this gymnasium was used by soccer and rugby players. Used needles were scattered all over the dressing room on any day of the week. The boxer was still a young man with a promising career. He asked if there had been any educational counselling process, or whether he was managed by reckless individuals.
Dr Jakoet emphasised the risks attached to supplements. Every medicine entering the country and being sold was regulated by the MCC. All of these were certified in terms of content and side effects. However, nowhere in the world was there any control over supplements. There was no compulsion to list the ingredients, effects and side-effects. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and international federations had recognised this. Warnings had been issued, but combating this was like trying to stop a runaway train. There was a huge and lucrative market. Some years ago, SARU produced a document in cooperation with SAIDS warning athletes about the use of supplements. Athletes still danced to the tune of their coaches and fitness advisers while ignoring the medical experts. Many international federations were looking at minimising the risk of athletes testing positive, given the prevalence of supplements. SAIDS thought they had found the answer. This was the track record of the company. Products should be certified as being free of banned substances. SAIDS took this further by testing some products. Rugby did this. The supplements taken by the national team were certified as being drug-free. This was confirmed by the laboratory in Bloemfontein. In the United Kingdom (UK), the same product was supplied by the same company. The UK batch was contaminated. If the whole team had been tested instead of a sample of two, all might well have tested positive. That would have been a disaster for the country.
Dr Jakoet said that matters had been taken one step further. SARU had said that no supplement would be supplied to any national team. The emphasis was on eliminating rather than minimising risk.
The Chairperson said that the question of the contaminated UK batch had never been made public. This impacted on the country's image. Everybody should know that it was not the fault of those players.
Dr Jakoet continued that since November, SARU had carried out this policy. The Sevens team had won the tournament without supplements. It would now be a personal matter for players and they would have to face the consequences of a positive test. The change of categorisation was particularly related to stimulants. These had a short life, and some of these ingredients were often found in short-term medicines such as nasal sprays. These could enhance performance and lead to a positive test. Such products were classified differently. During 2010 a particular substance was found to be common in medicine. It was not necessary to impose sanctions on players. This is the substance that was found in the supplement used by the Springboks. The Specified Group would no longer attract a two year suspension if a tribunal was satisfied that there had been no intention to boost performance.
Mr Lee asked if the same thing was happening in other codes.
Mr Galant said that a task team of eight professionals had been put together to prepare for the planned conference. They could then advise from a position of knowledge. The supplement industry was big. A supplement company was sponsoring several codes. Information was needed to make good decisions. Some took warnings issued by SAIDS seriously while others might need to know that the Committee was behind SAIDS, in order to take notice.
Dr Jakoet said that South African Rugby Union (SARU) had withdrawn supplements. Some of the member unions might have their own arrangements at their own risk. He felt that it would be better if the provinces followed SARU's lead, but one could not prescribe to them.
Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) said that there was a question over the independence of the unions. This raised a constitutional question within SARU. He saw a racial bias. The players concerned had been left without any support.
The Chairperson agreed that the players deserved more support. The question of the contaminated product should have been raised in their defence.
Mr Galant said that he took note of the allegations being made. It was hard to follow-up on vague information such as a gym in Durban. More specific information was needed, and such revelations had led to prosecutions.
Mr J McGluwa (ID) asked about the emphases of matter raised by the AG. He needed to red flag the issue in terms of the PFMA. The non-submission of reports was a serious offence. He asked if internal policies had been reviewed satisfactorily. Supply chain control was a concern. He congratulated SAIDS on their unqualified report.
Mr Suka appreciated the presentation. He felt that the Committee should tell the NLB to respond properly to the institutions which had requested funding.
The Chairperson said that the point was to ask NLB why the applications took so long to be processed. Facts must be used when confronting the NLB.
Mr Suka had a problem with funds of R600 000 being condoned. He understood that the AG had pointed to this. He wanted to know if corrective measures had been instituted. He queried the amounts paid to Board members. These were listed in the report. Allowances were paid to the Chairperson even though there was a CEO in place to drive the body. One member had resigned. He asked why so much was being paid in the form of honoraria.
Mr Abubakar Saban, Chief Financial Officer Support, SAIDS, said that SAIDS had a full-time staff complement of just five and had no capacity for supply chain management. SAIDS disagreed with the opinion expressed by the AG about the R600 000. The audit committee had conducted its own review and was satisfied that the expenditure was justified. All expenditure was within the Board's procurement policy. It had not been identified in the previous year. While the amounts appear extraordinary it was paid to a single vendor. Proposals were requested for internal audit services. Only two quotes were obtained. The AG considered this irregular. There was only one service provider for some of the services needed. Evidence could not be provided on verbal quotations, which the AG found unacceptable.
The Chairperson said that better communication was needed with the AG.
Mr Galant said that the AG had the prerogative to accept or reject the explanation provided by SAIDS. He questioned the methodology used by the AG. The optimal relationship with the AG might not have existed.
Mr Suka said that the AG was also governed by the rules of Parliament. There was a law to guide the process and not just some gentlemen's agreement. The rules of the game should be observed.
The Chairperson said there was a question of the lack of sensitivity by the AG. The principle was that proper communication should have taken place.
Mr Dikgacwi asked for the names of the Board members who had resigned. He saw only two Africans on the Board. This concerned him. He turned to anti-doping education for schools and national federations. At a high school in his constituency, students were terrifying teachers by their aggressive attitude. SAIDS should budget for school doping projects. At Cape Town High School a learner had been found with the substances in her uniform. Action was needed at schools. In the report, the AG was reported as saying that compliance with pre-determined objectives was not satisfactory. Internal audit had detected problems. In terms of supply chain management, R710 000 expenditure had been found to be irregular. This was an increase on the previous year. He asked why this was happening.
Mr Galant said that the names of the Board members were in the Report. Dr Goqwana had taken up an appointment at Parliament. Ms Ntanjana had resigned due to business reasons. Prof Ojewole had completed his tenure at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and returned to Nigeria.
The Chairperson asked if legislation hampered the ability of SAIDS to conduct testing at competitions. He felt that at such events the participants were no longer considered as learners but as athletes, and he felt that there should be no restrictions on testing under those circumstances. At the Craven Week children represented their provinces. There was a potential to test at such an event.
Mr Dikgacwi said that the universities were currently involved in a rugby tournament.
Mr Galant said that there was testing at events like the Craven Week. This was held under the auspices of SARU. There had been a positive test at the Week during 2010. Normal school matches were a different matter and it was difficult for SAIDS to have jurisdiction. There was a problem with legislation. There was a sports law project. SAIDS would produce concrete proposals for a complete overhaul of the SAIDS Act to address the issues of schools and intelligence gathering. There was a broader question of ethics such as gambling in sport. There was a question of a court of arbitration to provide satisfaction in a sporting environment rather than seeing sports disputes go to court. SAIDS was well placed to oversee such a body.
Mr Suka commented on the media issues. He understood the harsh penalty for repeat offenders. He was looking for consistency in the levels of punishment. The cyclist had been suspended for three years but the boxer for sixteen. This was effectively a life ban.
Dr Jakoet said that sanctions were determined by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and not the federations. All steroids could result in a two year suspension. The penalty could be reduced at the discretion of the tribunal. Other factors including the possibility that the athlete exposed other guilty parties. The three year ban was due to the cyclist using two substances at the same time. In the case of the boxer, he was already serving a two year suspension and the imposition of a life ban was in line with WADA regulations.
Mr Galant said that the boxer was educated. He had studied a module on doping in sport so should have been informed. Although he did not attend the second hearing, no evidence in mitigation was led. The final offence involved an even stronger stimulant and was in fact an animal product. In some cases there was a case for leniency while in others there were aggravating circumstances.
Mr Suka had a concern about job creation. He was trying to match the payment of a Doping Control officer with the figures given for staff remuneration. The Money Bill Amendment Act could change matters.
Mr Galant replied that there was a different classification. DCOs were classified under a different section of the expenses breakdown. SAIDS was looking at job creation, but this was dependent on increased revenue from Parliament and the lottery.
The Chairperson referred to the Chairperson's report. SAIDS had enjoyed a huge success in partnering with a number of federations and with SASCOC. He asked to whom SASCOC was providing the programme.
Mr Galant replied that SASCOC was a partner. SAIDS provided the programme. They tried to coordinate their education programmes with the SASCOC calendar in terms of meetings and athlete camps. SASCOC also covered some of SAIDS's costs.
The Chairperson asked what the progress was on the biological passport programme. This was an expensive project. The SAIDS chairperson had made a comment that there was a lack of political support.
Mr Galant said that there were many infrastructure challenges relating to the biological passport. He undertook to provide documentation to the Committee. There was a case pending based on an athlete's biological passport. The programme was up and running in certain specified codes. There were some challenges regarding political will. There was a difficulty in getting doors opened. SAIDS was now more optimistic with the new Minister in office. The Minister was showing some knowledge and enthusiasm.
The Chairperson saw the name of Dr Adams everywhere. He had caused a lot of controversy, particularly in the Caster Semenya saga. He managed to survive through all the crises. He did not think that Dr Adams was a reliable person. When things fell apart, Dr Adams survived all the chaos.
Mr Galant replied that in terms of the founding Act, the Minister had the prerogative to appoint and remove members of the Board. He was not familiar with the founding acts of other entities.
Dr Jakoet replied that a report had been submitted to the Minister on the activities of the Board. Some persons had been named as not adding value to the function of the Board. The name of Dr Adams was one of them. SAIDS had asked that Dr Adams be removed from the Board.
The Chairperson asked if the Board was only accountable to the Minister, or jointly to the Minister and Parliament. If the latter case was applicable, any matter concerning the Board was also the business of Parliament.
Mr Galant said that a protocol issue was involved. The Chairperson might be correct.
The Chairperson returned to the AG’s matters of emphasis. If these matters were not resolved, they would keep on cropping up. The issues could not be wished away. He urged SAIDS to take action to resolve the issues raised. The accounting authority had not taken measures to maintain a transparent system. He did not think that this was in fact a matter for an accounting authority to control. It was not up to an accounting authority to submit financial statements. It was up to the accounting officer to do this. There was something wrong with the design of the system of accounting. Financial reports were handled by the accounting officer, which was the CEO. He asked what communication had happened between SAIDS and the AG on some of the matters. On the question of job creation, he asked for a plan on how SAIDS could react to the call by President. This should be a bold plan, including the resources needed to achieve the plan. Concrete plans were needed and the Committee would assist. There were no vacancies at SAIDS but those at SRSA were to be filled within ninety days. He reminded SAIDS that matters of emphasis might lead to further problems if not addressed. He complimented the agency on the good work that it was doing.
The Chairperson said that the Committee had received an invitation to the launch of a legacy project in Worcester. This was to be held on 16 February. Members should indicate if they were available, but the problem was that the debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) was still in progress. Several other launches were planned and so an apology would be sent to Dr Danny Jordaan for this event.
Mr D Lee (DA) said that Members should be advised timeously in order to plan their programmes.
The Chairperson said that Boxing South Africa (BSA) had invited Members to attend an event in Durban. Four Members, including himself, planned to attend. The Committee needed to meet the National Lotteries Board (NLB) before meeting with the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA). The Committee needed to know what resources were available to the NLB and what they intended to allocate to sport. The Committee's programme was dynamic and such a meeting could be included. The NLB would be invited to brief the Committee.
The Chairperson noted that Mr Dikgacwi had requested a meeting with the South African Rugby Union (SARU). A long letter, which he termed a thesis, had been received from George on the subject of their annual international Rugby Sevens tournament. Bids had been received from North West, Mpumalanga, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and George for the future right to host the tournament that had been traditionally held in George. The Committee had a bias towards smaller towns where such events had a much greater impact.
The meeting was adjourned.
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