Boxing South Africa & South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport 2012 Strategic Plans

Sports, Arts and Culture

18 April 2012
Chairperson: Mr. R Mdakane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The purpose of the meeting was to look at the strategic and budget plans of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) and Boxing South Africa.

The work of the Institute had changed tremendously since its establishment ten years ago. Athletes had become sophisticated, and this necessitated improvement in the methods of anti-doping work. The entire paradigm in anti-doping had shifted and a couple of principles governed the paradigm shift. One such paradigm would be the broader framework of ethical sport. Athletes engaged in doping were also involved in other social criminal activities such as social and recreation drugs; and betting in sports.

The Institute campaigned hard to entrench the ethical sport principle. There was a need to examine the idea of having the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport as a broader organisation of ethical sport. This could be modelled on the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports, where such an agency dealt with broader ethical issues in sport. SAIDS needed to promote the broader values of ethical sport including anti-doping.

Another critical area was school sports. One of the challenges that SAIDS faced was jurisdiction. This problem was continuing because jurisdiction was with the national federations. Consequently, there was a need to look at the legislation that would give SAIDS powers to go into schools. The obstacles for SAIDS were that schools were private property and the sporting codes were administered privately. SAIDS dealt with issues like age, consent, and lack of policy framework under which learners could be prosecuted. SAIDS was working on a self-regulatory mechanism where schools would buy into the programme voluntarily. This would be piloted soon, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had supported it.

Another issue was around funding. Some of the legal challenges put up by athletes cost well over R100 000. To counter this, SAIDS had centralised tribunals. Before, national federations used to have their own tribunals, but the challenge was that decisions were inconsistent. The only way to have the field levelled was to constitute an independent tribunal and that had increased operational costs.

Members asked about the organisation’s jurisdiction in relation to schools, he testing of school children, the approval of supplements, roadshows and cooperation with the Department of Basic Education. Members also sought further clarity on the R8.5 million budget shortfall.

Boxing South Africa reported that the task of revitalising boxing, as ordered by the Minister, was huge. Previously, boxing had the second hugest following after football. The current Board wanted to make boxing a leading sporting code in SA, and a world-class authority. The country’s representivity in all aspects of boxing from officiating to the inside of the ring was encouraging. The organisation wanted to safeguard health and well-being of professional boxers.

Boxing South Africa needed an amount of about R39 million for its turn-around strategy and documents had been submitted in that regard. The appointment of the new CEO and Board had been achieved. The financial management consultant had been appointed, while the appointment of a CFO had been hamstrung by unavailability of funds. It was hoped that the CFO would be appointed by July.

The necessary Board sub-committees – audit, sanctioning, rating, management, disciplinary, and medical – had all been established. Boxing South Africa had developed a new Action Plan and the Board had approved the revised policies. The key issue was the relocation of BSA offices into a more upmarket area. An image of an entity was critical.
The Committee wanted know the latest information on Mzonke Fana saga. They voiced concern at the deterioration that was evident in the boxing. Members also wanted to know what had happened to coloured boxers.

Meeting report

Opening remarks
The Chairperson said that the purpose of the meeting was to look at the strategic and budget plans of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) and Boxing South Africa. The Money Bill gave the Committee the power to effect changes to the budget. The Budget Vote 20 (Sport) would be debated on 11 May. Parliament would consider sending a delegation to the London Olympic Games if there was money available. Members were allowed to accompany Team South Africa. Members were not allowed though to receive funding from organisations that were accountable to Parliament. This was a principled standpoint; any other organisation, except Parliament, should not sponsor MPs. Parliament would be compromised forever if that were to happen. He handed over to SAIDS.

SAIDS presentation
Mr Shuaib Manjra, Board Chairman, SAIDS, said that the organisation welcomed the opportunity to do a presentation on the challenges it faced and its objectives. The presentation would focus on what SAIDS believed the Committee could do in assisting it to ensure that the country engaged in ethical and drug-free sport.

Although the drug-free principle was a corner stone of ethical sport, SAIDS tried to imbue SA with a broader ethical paradigm in sport. SAIDS would not promise medals from London, but if Team SA won any, they would be clean medals won without any use of performance enhancing substances.

The work of SAIDS had changed tremendously since its establishment ten years ago. Athletes had become sophisticated, and this necessitated improvement in the methods of anti-doping work. The entire paradigm in anti-doping had shifted and a couple of principles governed the paradigm shift. One such paradigm would be the broader framework of ethical sport. Athletes engaged in doping were also involved in other social criminal activities such as social and recreation drugs; and betting in sports.

SAIDS would campaign hard to entrench the ethical sport principle. There was a need to examine the idea of having SAIDS as a broader organisation of ethical sport. This could be modelled on the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports, where such an agency dealt with broader ethical issues in sport. SAIDS needed to promote the broader values of ethical sport including anti-doping.

Mr Manjra said another discussion needed to be on whether the new agency could deal with conflicts in sport by way of setting up independent tribunals. Another issue was dealing with those who distributed performance-enhancing drugs and were involved in other criminal activities.

Most anti-doping agencies across the world had been given powers to conduct search and seizures. These agencies worked closely with customs, police services and intelligence agencies. This did not limit the agencies into only testing athletes, but also engaging the entire chain where drugs were obtained.

Another critical area was school sports. One of the challenges that SAIDS faced was jurisdiction. This problem was continuing because jurisdiction was with the national federations. Consequently, there was a need to look at the legislation that would give SAIDS powers to go into schools. The obstacles for SAIDS were that schools were private property and the sporting codes were administered privately. SAIDS dealt with issues like age, consent, and lack of policy framework under which learners could be prosecuted. SAIDS was working on a self-regulatory mechanism where schools would buy into the programme voluntarily. This would be piloted soon, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had supported it.

Another issue was around funding. Some of the legal challenges put up by athletes cost well over R100 000. To counter this, SAIDS had centralised tribunals. Before, national federations used to have their own tribunals, but the challenge was that decisions were inconsistent. The only way to have the field levelled was to constitute an independent tribunal and that had increased operational costs.

The nature of testing had changed and SAIDS had to do more out-of-competition testing. The procedure would be to create a ‘biological passport’ or a fingerprint for athletes in terms of physiological make-up. Tests would no longer focus on the presence of substance, but also the effects in the system of an athlete.

Testing for substances had become so difficult, because drugs cleared quickly out of a human system. But if the effects of a substance were tested, there was a much better chance to detect, as effects took long to clear from the system. The results would be tested against the fingerprint (profile of an athlete). The process would be exhaustive and would cost a lot of money. SAIDS had constantly been underfunded for the last 10 years but there had been significant improvements in the last two years. This had allowed SAIDS to honour commitments and meet the expectations that the public had on the Agency. He said as a result of the increased funding, SAIDS had been able to upscale its education drive. Chief among the campaigns was ‘I Play Fair’.

Mr Manjra said the critical point would be the review of legislation. The legislation was outdated and events had overtaken it. Parliament should look at an overhaul of the legislation to keep up with the new code of anti-doping.

CEO’s input

Mr Khalid Galant, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), SAIDS, said that the organisation had received R13.1 million for the current financial year. Since inception the agency had been given inflationary increases and that had impacted on its legislative mandate. Large portions of the funds were spent on anti-doping education.

Trends indicated an increased spending in corporate services and the independent tribunals for adjudication processes. Previously SAIDS could not afford to constitute independent hearings as a result of the thin budget. Increased funding in anti-doping education was focused on school sporting events last year.

SAIDS education team conducted five road trips, lasting for about six weeks, doing presentations at schools. As a result of these trips, increases of positive testing were noticeable in boxing. SAIDS met with the then BSA CEO (Mr Loyisa Mtya) and specifically formulated an anti-doping programme for boxing. There was good support from both the amateur and professional boxing structures. Boxing managers and former professional boxers especially in the Eastern Cape largely drove the programme.

SAIDS focused a lot on the danger of sporting supplements on athletes and the fact that it was unregulated. It also held an international sports conference and this was followed by a number of regional seminars on sport supplements.

The public awareness campaign was launched at two Super 15 matches last year. The intention of the awareness campaigns was to garner support for ethical sport and the anti-doping programme and also discourage the use of steroids in schools.

Mr Gallant said that the strategy of the campaign was to promote the ‘I Play Fair’ message using well-known personalities at sporting events. The Cape Argus Cycle Tour was the first such event; the campaign was led by the Minister of Sport (Mr Fikile Mbalula) and the Premier of the WC (Ms Helen Zille). These events were followed up with other small events where educational messages were spread.

The motivation for underfunded strategic priorities was based on the capacity to deliver. The Agency always bore in mind the capacity to deliver when it asked for additional funding, as it was not ideal to ask for more money and yet fail to deliver. The anti-doping code had evolved and would change in 2013. SAIDS would have to adapt and re-evaluate its strategic priorities. The agency would do more and hopefully would be rewarded for delivering on past promises.

The underfunded priorities included testing in schools; building sport law capacity; investigative and intelligence gathering infrastructure; and acquisition of anti-doping headquarters. There had been two reported incidents of steroid use in schools in the past six months. The World Anti-doping Agency and the International Rugby Board (IRB) were looking at how SA tackled the issues. The interest by these two world organisations was as a result of the willingness demonstrated to engage challenges by authorities. The challenge of jurisdiction was not insurmountable.

The cost of testing in schools was a significant challenge. The cost here included testing equipment; collection and analysis fees; results management; and education to school governing bodies. This was different to testing athletes who belonged to federations who knew the national policies and how the framework worked. So there had to be a separate education forum for governing bodies to make them understand the framework and what was done. Drugs’ testing was not cheap, and for the testing programme to be effective it had to be rolled-out throughout the country. The estimated cost for this purpose over a two-year period was R2.8 million.

Another underfunded priority was building sports law capacity. Athletes put up a fight by bringing attorneys to hearings and that led to some cases costing up to R100 000. Costs were also driven up by adjournments and postponements. There were tribunals at provincial level and that saved a lot of time and money.

The legislation governing drugs in sport was last drafted in 1995, and only promulgated in 1997. The world anti-doping code had changed three times during this period. There was a proposal for a national court of arbitration in sport, where issues of governance and conflict could be decided without the involvement of the normal court process.

SAIDS would organize seminars ahead of the 2013 world anti-doping conference to be hosted by the City of Johannesburg. The purpose of the conference would be to allow SA’s sporting federations an opportunity to raise issues they wanted discussed at the conference. SAIDS would invite other African countries to get their views. The Committee would also be invited to these seminars.

Another underfunded priority was investigations and intelligence gathering. The increased funding would allow for detectives from the South African Police Services to be seconded to SAIDS. This would broaden the way investigations and testing was done, and would therefore not only focus on the end-user of the drugs. This would allow SAIDS to develop cases and forward them to the National Prosecuting Authority for prosecution.

The last underfunded priority was acquisition of anti-doping headquarters. SAIDS had always rented property. The international standards for anti-doping agencies had changed because of the nature of handling intelligence information and document control. SAIDS ought to find stable headquarters, with regulated access. SAIDS currently did not comply with the world anti-doping facility standards. Rental property was volatile and the Agency had moved trice in the last four years.

There was a budget shortfall of about R8.5 million as a result of these underfunded priorities.

Discussion
Mr G Mackenzie (DA) said the Committee appreciated professionalism shown in the governance operations of SAIDS. Members were aware of the clean audits received. The idea of initiating school legislation had been discussed before. The understanding was that school athletes had to be registered with a federation and be issued with a membership. He wanted to know if such membership did not give SAIDS access to those athletes. If there were impediments to testing school athletes, then their schools should not be allowed to participate under the federation.

Mr Manjra replied that those kids who played at schools were likely to play outside school as well. Mr Mackenzie was correct about the jurisdiction that SAIDS had when it came to school pupils. The challenge was when those who played at school were not affiliated to any club. There would be a problem with jurisdiction in such a case as there would be no direct link to either a club or anti-doping code. SAIDS needed a universal and uniform access to schools.

Mr Manjra said it was virtually impossible to go around schools trying to identify which pupils were affiliated to clubs. The simple way of doing this was to amend the Act that allowed for recreational drugs testing in schools to include performance-enhancing drugs. It should give power to SAIDS to go into schools and test. SAIDS had engaged the Department of Basic Education (DBE) but the discussions had not progressed very far. There was a need for a self-regulation mechanism and a first step to that was developing a framework of legislation. In the absence of this SAIDS would work on the self-regulation mechanism, and hopefully that would evolve to national legislation.

Mr Mackenzie asked if there were any supplement providers that were approved by SAIDS. There was a major problem with Springbok rugby players (Chilliboy Rallepele and Bjorn Basson) who were recently penalised by the IRB. He said the Democratic Alliance would support a budget increase for SAIDS. The Agency was doing a good job.

Mr Manjra replied that it was difficult to give approval to any kind of supplements. He cited an example of the two Springbok players, who used a USN Product that was an official supplier to SA Rugby. The two used the supplement and it returned negative results. The two players bought the same product off the shelves in the United Kingdom, and they tested positive. The reason for this was because the supplement contained different substances to the one available in SA.

Mr Manjra said this demonstrated there was a lack of quality control and proper labelling. Substances were not governed by any regulations either food, health or drug regulations. This was a challenge. And that was why SAIDS adopted a blanket policy that it would not approve or put its name to any of the supplements. The supplement industry needed to be seriously looked at.

Mr Mackenzie sought further information on a blitz rumour going around about a R1.2 million spent on school testing. He asked if this was spent in one sporting code.

Mr Galant replied that R1.2 million was not a calculated cost. SAIDS just threw that figure to the media because it was put on the spot. The major challenge was developing a framework but testing in school was equitable. Every school had an opportunity to participate and sign on to the programme.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) wanted to know if the national road shows covered all provinces. He said there was a lot of boxing in areas that were not easily noticeable like Robertson, Mosselbay Worcester and George in the Western Cape (2010 FIFA World Cup).

Mr Gallant replied that the road shows had been to all nine provinces. SAIDS was sensitive to not only being urban centred; it also went out to rural areas. In boxing, SAIDS partnered with BSA in identifying the nodal points it would like to have looked at. The road shows were not a once-off thing; they were continuing every year. The first road show was started in the WC, with stops at the EC; KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng. The next road show would take into consideration other provinces but BSA would determine the stops.

Mr Dikgacwi wanted to know if the R8.5 million budget shortfall would address all the funding challenges that SAIDS had including the fingerprinting.

Mr Manjra replied that to create the fingerprint eight to ten blood and steroid tests were needed on an athlete. Because of the variability of the human body, one test was not sufficient. Ten tests would cost anywhere between R20 000 to R30 000 per athlete, and the software used in handling the information. The cost was indeed included in the R8.5 million rand.

Mr Dikgacwi asked if SAIDS had engaged the Department of Basic Education and School Governing Bodies (SGBs) on testing challenges encountered at schools. Drugs in school were not only the issue for those pupils involved in sports, but the wider school population.

Mr Gallant replied that SAIDS had informally engaged DBE, but it had requested more details on the work of the Agency. There was a lot of grey area in the area of legislation as it pertained to schools. The key message from the discussions with DBE was that SAIDS should not test for steroids only but also social drugs like marijuana and cocaine. There were challenges but were not insurmountable.

Ms G Sindani (ANC) said that the presentation was welcomed especially because it put emphasis on curbing doping in schools. It was noticeable that the anti-doping campaign needed financing. There was a need to measure SAIDS on the work done at provinces so that clear information on progress and problem areas was provided. Provinces would not respond the same way, as drug availability was measured in some others. There was a need for clarity on how far the Agency had gone. She wanted to know if the girl child was also considered in the testing in schools, and if girls were adequately represented in boxing.

Mr Gallant replied that SAIDS did not do development of sports. This was the competence of the sporting federations. In 2011 BSA successfully hosted a girls-only tournament where SAIDS was a partner. In terms of its mandate, there was no differentiation between a male or female; amateur or professional boxer. SAIDS delivered an anti-doping education product.

Mr Ntlanganiso, Board Member, BSA,, said there were 20 registered female boxers in the country. Out of the 20 there were two world champions – Noni Tenge and Unathi Myekeni. Ms Tenge held two belts – one from the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and another from the International Boxing Organisation (IBO). The two were expected to be unifying all titles in their weight divisions. There were four national champions from Eastern Cape (2), Gauteng and Limpopo.

The Chairperson said Members needed to note the comments around legislation with a view to process that accordingly. The sooner the Department of Sport worked on that, the better. He said ethical sport was very important and there was a need to work with Members in instilling the values of drug free sport. He commended the centralisation of adjudication processes. But also SAIDS should inform the Committee when the road shows were going on. There would be no conflict of interest for Members to be part of the road shows when they were available. The Committee would consider motivating for the R8.5 million.

BSA presentation
Mr Mandla Ntlanganiso, Board member BSA, said the task of revitalising boxing, as ordered by the Minister, was huge. Previously, boxing had the second hugest following after football. The current Board wanted to make boxing a leading sporting code in SA, and a world-class authority. The country’s representivity in all aspects of boxing from officiating to the inside of the ring was encouraging. BSA wanted to safeguard health and well-being of professional boxers.

BSA’s vision was to promote and sanction quality boxing events; rate boxers; and also promote the sport’s popularity. This would entail positioning BSA as a credible point of reference for international boxing. He said BSA wanted to improve the stature of national titles and coordinate functions of stakeholders.

Mr Ntlanganiso said BSA officials were often utilised by world sanctioning bodies like the World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Organisation. SA boxing had already been well represented at an international stage both inside and outside the ring. Although the state of boxing was not in a good state today, SA still produced world champions.

Professionalism underpinned the values that BSA lived by. Professionalism encompassed wide-ranging aspects outside of the ring as governance, administration and handling finances. Emphasis would also be on leadership. Any organisation without leadership was bound to fail. Leadership was needed from the office right down to the clubs where athletes were sourced.

All BSA operations were in line with the SA Boxing Act. The fact that boxing was regulated by an Act of law, necessitated that BSA be accountable in all its operations otherwise it would not be listened to by Parliament. Diversity was a critical issue for the organisation. This was an underpinning pillar even for government. Boxing needed not be seen as a sport for a particular race or province.

Mr Ntlanganiso said boxing was administered, and enjoyed mostly by people from the previously disadvantaged communities. He said there was a challenge of low education levels among administrators; that had to be dealt with.

CEO presentation
Mr Moffat Qithi, CEO BSA, said BSA was not a federation but a commission established by an act of Parliament to ensure the welfare of boxing as a sport. There was a disjuncture on how the public and stakeholders viewed BSA. The main role of the Commission (BSA) was to promote interaction among associations, trainers and managers of boxers. On top of these there had to be a federation of these associations that BSA would regulate. The interpretation had been that BSA was running boxing and that was not the case.

There had not been a permanent Chief Financial Officer at BSA since 2009, as required by the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Since 2009 an Acting CEO, who was not sufficiently qualified, had led the organisation. Other challenges included an ineffective audit committee; no proper audit function; financial resources; sponsorships; and a general lack of internal controls. BSA did not have money to fund its strategic objectives.

The annual grant of R2.2 million – had been lower than this before 2010 – was meagre for operations at BSA. This amount was critical when taking into consideration things like the staff cost and fixed rental. Employee costs alone were R2.8 million annually. Before BSA could do anything it was already operating on a deficit.

In 2010, the ministry assisted BSA to settle an amount of R4.5 million with the South African Revenue Services (SARS). This debt was initially at R8.6 million but BSA managed to convince SARS to waiver penalties and the interest on the debt. The debt grew exponentially, but the ministry intervened and cleared the R4.5 million. There were off course other creditors that included among others the Auditor General; trade payables; audit function fees; and board fees.

No funds were received by way of sponsorship; and collection of licence fees amounted to R260 000. There was a R1million rand grant from the EC, but it was ring-fenced for growth of boxing in that province. Other minimal amounts were achieved in forfeit and sanctioning fees. BSA had accumulated a deficit of about R7.2 million over the years.

BSA needed an amount of about R39 million for its turn-around strategy and documents had been submitted in that regard. The appointment of the new CEO and Board had been achieved. The financial management consultant had been appointed, while the appointment of a CFO had been hamstrung by unavailability of funds. It was hoped that the CFO would be appointed by July.

The necessary Board sub-committees – audit, sanctioning, rating, management, disciplinary, and medical – had all been established. When BSA advertised for the audit committee there was no response. BSA turned it to the Department and it put out the advert and before the closing date last month, 105 applications were received. That process was ongoing and it was hoped by June there would be a properly constituted audit committee.

BSA had developed a new Action Plan and the Board had approved the revised policies. The key issue was the relocation of BSA offices into a more upmarket area. An image of an entity was critical. BSA was currently occupying a third floor of some privately owned building. BSA had no control of nonsensical issues such as lighting or air-conditioning. One could not have control over service charges. On the outside BSA could not even do branding to enhance visibility. The Minister’s office had been engaged in trying to locate new headquarters for BSA.

The Board was in the process of developing a new marketing and communication strategy. BSA’s website contained outdated information.

There was insufficient funding to successfully implement the turn around strategy. BSA had asked the Department to increase the annual grant so that it could at least meet the legislative requirements. The Board and the CEO had begun the process of applying for sponsorships. The management was also analysing methods of increasing sanctioning and licence fees.

Mr Qithi said BSA was aware that there was much competition for the resources on the national fiscus. BSA did not need resources at all cost but Parliament needed to view the gap between actual resource base and the desired state. He said this would improve operations at BSA. Funding also affected governance as the Board could not meet as regular as it would want.

Discussion
Ms Sindani said it was encouraging that girls participated in boxing. She said being involved in sports discouraged young girls from being involved in astray activities. The funding challenge in boxing was well known, and there had been deliberations with Treasury. She asked if Treasury and the Department had agreed on the R2.2 million allocation, or if there was some more funding to come. The Committee needed clarity on the funding, as the deficit was just too much.

Ms G Tseke (ANC) agreed that the funding challenge was known. She said there was a presentation by Lottery and an indication was that sport federations were getting a lot of money from them. She said there was a need for the Committee to engage Lottery.

Mr Dikgacwi asked what strategy was there to market boxing.

Mr Ntlanganiso said BSA was in talks with the City of Cape Town to help market boxing. There were planned events to remember former champions who were bred in Cape Town. This would put Cape Town on the map. He said BSA would engage all provincial governments.

Mr Dikgacwi wanted to know what had happened to coloured boxers, as they were not coming through the system. He asked for a racial statistical breakdown of the 20 female boxers who were registered with BSA.

Mr Ntlanganiso said white boxers were on the increase around Gauteng. There were coloured boxers, but tournaments got no television coverage.

Mr Dikgacwi said it was worrying that most boxers died penniless. He wondered if BSA was helping boxers with financial management skills. Most boxers were not involved on financial issues; all they did was to appear on the ring. He also asked for an update on Mzonke Fana (he was stripped his world title after a controversial move to train in the EC).

Mr Ntlanganiso said BSA had met with Mr Fana to ascertain the reasons why his belt was stripped. The Board had as a result mandated the CEO to interact with the IBF on its unprecedented action. The process was unfolding; correspondence had been sent to IBF and BSA awaited the response. He said the concerned fighter was given regular feedback on the processes.

Mr Qithi said for as long as communication with the IBF on the Mzonke Fana matter was done on phones and emails it would not be resolved. The federation would continue ignoring correspondence. Sadly, on the R2.2 million budget one could not fly out to IBF head office in New York. The resource base was a critical enabler and if one did not have it there was not much that could be done. Mr Qithi said staff had started to resign as well, and that impacted on the operations of the organisation.

Mr Dikgacwi said it was clear that boxing would never move out of the current financial crisis it was in. He said even if the Committee approached Lottery, the question would be if BSA had applied.

Mr Mackenzie said it was difficult to approve a deficit budget. He wanted to know the actual income of BSA. Until the Committee knew the projected turnover; it could not go and vote with confidence on 11 May.

Mr Ntlanganiso replied the staff salaries amounted to R2.2 million with vacancies. He outlined as some of the key vacant positions the Board Secretary; PA to CEO; Director of Marketing; and CFO. He said there was a huge disjuncture when comparing the strategy, the mandate and the resources. The Department had availed R3 million to BSA on top of the allocated budget. The funding would have to improve a great deal for BSA to be where it wanted to be. Mr Ntlanganiso said the website was horrible. Various companies were engaged to help out with that aspect of marketing. A newsletter would be issued in May.

Mr Qithi replied that the Committee needed to remember BSA was established in 2001, and yet its budget allocation was still at R2 million. This was a clear indication of a disjuncture. Boxing was a sport where people died. If people knew their rights they could take BSA to the cleaners. He cited an example of a young pugilist (Anele Makhwelo) who died last year in CT. BSA should be at all the venues overseeing tournaments, but that was not happening due to the lack of finances.

He said the creditors were very expensive to engage. The AG alone charged BSA R800 000 where would that put an organisation operating on R2.2 million. Another heavy creditor was SARS. The tabulated and detailed figures on charges by creditors would be availed to the Committee at a later stage. Rent was so expensive that BSA was toying with the idea of having its own property.

He said there were road shows in February to all provinces. The purpose was to introduce the new Board and have the public buying into the strategic plan.

Mr Qithi said the Board got the SABC to broadcast tournaments and fights. It had already broadcasted two tournaments, but at an asking price of R4 million. BSA could only raise R210 000 of that amount. He was worried the SABC would not want to come on-board next time on account of unpaid commitments. He said television was critical in trying to lure back sponsors.

Follow ups

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) said it was worrying that the Fana issue was taking too long to resolve. This was the boxer who had nothing on the table. He asked that the Board prioritise the issue and follow up on the request the Committee had made before.

Mr Dikgacwi said the Committee needed to find an update on the Fana saga from the Department, because the request was made to it. He wanted to know if BSA had applied for Lottery funding.

Mr Qithi said BSA had a scheduled meeting with Lottery. But the challenge was that institutions had to wait until Lottery invited applications. That had not happened yet. He said an ideal position would be to approach Lottery privately and involve both the Minister and the Committee.

Mr Ntlanganiso replied that a fight had been organise for Mzonke in June, but he would not be fighting for an IBF sanctioned bout. The issue of broadcasting by the SABC had been taken up at ministerial level, where the Minister of Arts (Paul Mashatile) had meetings with the Minister of Communications (Dina Pule). He was not privy to the details of the negotiations but boxing on SABC TV was discussed.

Closing remarks
The Chairperson said the story line from the organisations had been ‘no money’. The Committee supported BSA, but it had to expedite the Fana issue. The Committee from time to time, without being lobbyists for BSA, would motivate for funding for boxing. Members would raise the decline of boxing in the house and in meetings with ministers.

The R4 million rand asking price for broadcasting by the SABC was expensive. The Committee would motivate to the Lottery, but if BSA books were not in order it would be difficult. He acknowledged that boxing was going down not only in SA but also throughout the world.

The Chairperson noted that both organisations had failed to table any presentation document to the Committee. He therefore cautioned them that in future they should submit these at least 7 days before they appeared before the Committee.

The meeting was adjourned.

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