South African Sports Commission on Indigenous Sports: briefing

Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


7 May 2002

Documents handed out:
Indigenous Games Project Milestones Powerpoint Presentation
Indigenous Sports Brochure

Chairperson: Chairperson D M.Kgware (ANC)

The Sports Commission informed the Committee that it was looking into ways of integrating Indigenous Games in the Recreation programme. It planned to develop a multi-coded structure of indigenous Games. A National Festival was planned to celebrate indigenous games in November this year.

Briefing by Mr William Chuene
Mr Chuene informed the Committee that the South African Sport Commission's
(SASC) milestone projects on indigenous sports revolved around education and training, workshops, information gathering, technological advancement and conferences. He added that other activities were promotion and facilitation, consultation and feedback and that the Commission networks with Zone IV (SADC) which internationalises indigenous sport.

Mr Chuene said that education and training was conducted through the provincial DSR Co-ordinators that helped to ensure skills acquisition. Through education and training the Commission ensured that the indigenous sport was compliant to the National Qualification Framework. The SASC's programme was inter-sectoral in that it incorporated the Local Government, Teachers, NGOs and CBOS.

Trained co-ordinators act as facilitators for national workshops and that a series of such workshops had already been conducted throughout the country. Through information gathering heritage sites had been identified where indigenous sports could be developed. He listed some of the heritage sites as, the Basotho Cultural Village in the Free State, the Nelson Mandela Museum in the Eastern Cape, The Great Place King Maxhoba Sandile in the Eastern Cape and the Owela Museum in Namibia.

The Commission was looking into how technological advancement could be used to develop cultural resources.The CSIR was in particular looking at how equipment standardisation and branding could be developed for specific indigenous games.

The Commission had embarked on the process of promoting and facilitating the popularisation of the indigenous sport. Mr Chuene added that where possible the Commission marketed the sport. He singled out the Launch of Alexandra Urban Renewal Strategy where there was a demonstration at last year as one such example.

Mr Chuene said that the Commission worked in close consultation with various stakeholders including USSASA where there was a chat and an opportunity for a scheduled presentation. The Commission had already made presentations to the Minister of Sports and Recreation on the "lintonga" - Stick Fight. A similar presentation had been made to the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation.

To demonstrate that the indigenous sport was an international phenomenon, Mr Chuene said that the Commission networked with Zone IV (SADC) and that a delegation had recently visited the OWELA Museum in Namibia for an expedition.

Outlining the Commission's plans for the future, Mr Chuene said that the Commission was looking into ways of fusing the Indigenous Games with the Recreation programme and that it planned to develop a multi-coded structure of indigenous Games. He added that the Commission was planning a National Festival to celebrate indigenous games later in November this year.

The Chair noted that one of the main objectives of the indigenous sport programme was to unify South Africans in their diversity. He then asked what, if any, assistance the Commission gets from Provincial Youth Committees in terms especially of reaching out to all corners of the country.

Mr Chuene replied that the Commission was indeed networking with the Provincial Department of Arts and Recreation but hastened to add that the National link was not as successful as one would have expected. He admitted that the Commission had fallen short of seeking and reaching out to other possible stakeholders in the provinces a factor, which he promised to rectify in future.

Ms Nkuna (ANC) asked where, if at all, one could access records for indigenous sports.

Mr Chuene did not address this particular question.

Mr Raju (DP) asked why presentations had been made to other stakeholders and not to the Select Committee of the NCOP.

The Chair explained that the arrangement was a matter of re-scheduling whereby the Commission had made presentations to the Portfolio Committee first and that it was now submitting before the Select Committee as scheduled.

Mr Raju remarked that it should not be the practice that the Select Committee was treated as an after-thought.

The Chair said he had taken note of that observation.

Mr Tolo (ANC) said that the stick game was known to be raw and therefore very dangerous. Was it absolutely necessary to re-introduce the sport?

Mr Chuene replied that the issue of safety had been looked at and that this was where the question of responsibility for regulation comes in. These measures were an intrinsic value in the sport itself. The standardisation programme, which the Commission had rolled out, was addressing this question. He added that a prototype stick had been taken to the provinces for their in-put.

Mr Sogoni (UDM) cautioned that the stick sport could introduce street fights, which were very dangerous. He however, supported the idea of standardising the equipment but asked how this objective would be achieved.

Mr Chuene replied that the Commission would look at the product and the rules applicable to the particular sport, which would then be adapted to the dictates of modern times to ensure a secure environment for it to thrive. He clarified nonetheless that such modification must and will preserve the essential ingredient of the sport.

Ms Ntlabati (ANC) concurred with the sentiments expressed by Mr Chuene and added that culture is dynamic and that it undergoes appropriate changes due to modernisation and that it was necessary that cultural norms be suitably adapted to meet such changes.

Mr Raju (DP) commended the Commission for an excellent production on the indigenous sport but criticised the publisher for the many spelling errors apparent in the booklet.

Mr Chuene acknowledged the pit-falls in printing and promised to address the problem in future.

Mr Raju (DP) noted that there were many other popular indigenous sports that were not reflected anywhere in the presentation.

Mr Chuene agreed that the list was not exhaustive but pointed out that some of the sport came in different versions and that it was only through research that a proper distinctions could be made.

Mr Sogoni (UDM ) asked when the various programmes outlined by the Commission would be implemented among the people.

Mr Chuene replied that Arts and Culture were essentially a provincial phenomenon and that therefore one should expect concrete activities in the first week of June 2002. He added that this would come in the form of workshops which would be used to consolidate the provincial in-put then through a policy documents the Commission would be in a position to identify what to roll out.

Mr Chuene said that the Commission viewed the provinces as central repositories of Arts and Culture and that therefore, the Commission was advocating for mass participation through decentralisation of programmes.

The Chair pointed out that the Committee itself had a lot to offer in terms of facilitating these programmes in the provinces. The Committee would welcome proper research to be undertaken in the area of indigenous sport.

The Chair advised the Commission to contact the offices of the NCOP to help assist in the latter's programmes given that it has the provincial appeal.


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