Sport & Recreation South Africa; South African Sports Commission: Budget & Strategic Plans 2002/3

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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

Professor Hendricks responded by saying that they did recognise the problem of lack of sponsorship and were aware that some federations were struggling to get sponsors

14 May 2002

Miss N.R Bhengu

Documents handed out:
SRSA Budget presentation
SRSA:Programmes presentation
SRSA: Building for Sport & Recreation
South Africa Sports Commission presentation

The Department, Sport and Recreation South Africa, presented its budget and strategic plan to the Committee. They were followed by the South Africa Sports Commission. At the end of the meeting the Committee expressed its satisfaction in understanding the link between SRSA and South African Sports Commission. A follow-up meeting on 21 May will look at SRSA's lack of procurement policy in approving contracts for the building of sport facilities; the budget for its legal department and the break-down of personnel in both SRSA and South African Sports Commission.

Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA)
Prof Hendricks, Mr Fredericks, Ms Cloete and Mr Phango were present on behalf of the Department.

South African Sports Commission
Dr Joe Pahla, the CEO of the South African Sports Commission, facilitated this presentation. Mr Bernardus van der Spuy accompanied him.

[For both South African Sports Commission and SRSA's presentations, refer to the documents]

Mr T Lee (DP) referred to the issue raised by Prof Hendricks on the tendency of sponsors to shy away from sport to other areas, and said that this should be viewed in the light of the constant allegations of corruption and mismanagement within sport. He asked if SRSA was raising this issue when interacting with the sport federations.

Mr P Swart (DP) commended both institutions for their detailed presentations. He hoped that the R1 million budgeted for enquiries under SRSA's programmes budget would include probing corruption within sport as well. He was concerned that SRSA's presentation did not make any mention of a budget for the maintenance of facilities after buildings had been completed. He added that the figures in Thrust 5 did not make sense, as they did not add up. He complained that a lot of money in both institutions was going towards personnel rather than to sport development. He concluded by saying that there was a need for an organogram showing personnel in both SRSA and South African Sports Commission.

Professor Hendricks replied that they did recognise the problem of lack of sponsorship and were aware that some federations were struggling to get sponsors. He also agreed that corruption was a major hindrance to sponsorship. However he believed that the lack of sponsorship was also due to companies choosing to invest where they could get good value for their money so many companies wanted to sponsor only winning teams. He added that federations had been penalized where corruption was identified in their ranks. Sadly, the money used to root out corruption could be used elsewhere where it was needed the most. The government had set up a Fraud Prevention Hotline and people who detected fraud could phone the hotline.

Dr Joe Pahla added to Professor Hendricks' input on the problem of lack of sponsorship by explaining that the Sports Commission planned a workshop in August this year where sponsors had been invited to spell out what they were looking for before giving sponsorship. They accepted the fact that negative reports about certain sports affected sponsors' decisions on giving or not giving sponsorship. The media had also been invited to the workshop because they thought that media reports on sport were at times contributing to the way things were regarding sponsorship.

With regard to the suggestion that the money go directly to the federations, Dr Pahla said they were not necessarily opposed to that. It would however be shortsighted to focus on that exclusively without focussing on structures. There was a need to make and uphold proper standards and a national platform through which this could be co-ordinated was therefore necessary. If they were to close factory and give money directly to federations, there would be chaos.

Dr Pahla said they would provide information on the personnel breakdown. He raised the issue that the Commission was competing with sports such as cricket and rugby for personnel and that they were poaching their personnel by paying them more money.

Dr Pahla agreed that there was a problem with the figures in the presentation and said that this was a technical error.

Mr H Chauke (ANC) asked if there was a need to allocate money to the big sports such as cricket and rugby where there was already a lot of money and resources.

Mr Fredericks (SRSA) replied that they had battled with that issue and it was something that needed to be looked at regularly. Their obligation should be to the struggling sports such as Premier Soccer League where some clubs did not have sponsorship.

The Chairperson, referred to Programme 3: Facilities in SRSA's document and asked what happened after facilities had been built and whether there were funds for their continued sustenance.

Mr Phango (SRSA) replied that there was a monitoring and cooperation agreement signed before the building of any facility. There was no budget for sustainability of facilities. They just empower the community or the municipal council to look after facilities. This is because the money used to build facilities was a grant strictly for the establishment of facilities and not for their sustainability.

Mr C Morkel (NNP) commenting on the issue of facilities wanted clarity on the decision-making powers, ownership and management of facilities. Was there a model clarifying these issues that SRSA was taking to its August workshop? He said that he was raising this question in the light of the debate surrounding the new Athlone stadium.

Ms N Lamani wanted SRSA's view on the manner in which the issue of indoor and outdoor sport facilities was being dealt with. What was the motivation for building outdoor rather than indoor sport facilities? She also wanted to know if rural children were benefiting from the sports academies and the Junior Dipapadi and whether they were accessible to them .

Mr Phango replied they did not want to get involved in programme identification for building outdoor rather than indoor sport facilities as that was the responsibility of local government. He said that SRSA stressed community consultation and if an indoor facility was the popular or favoured option then the community should get it.

The Chairperson noted that during the Committee's study tour visits they had found many facilities being vandalized and not properly maintained by local government. She asked what monitoring mechanisms were there to ensure that the facilities were maintained at a certain standard or level.

With regard to problem of facilities especially in the Eastern Cape and Free State, Mr Phango said there was a problem with emerging contractors tendering for big contracts even though they did have big contract experience. To deal with this problem, SRSA was trying to get a big contractor to employ various small emerging contractors. The capacity problems of small contractors had to be considered when awarding contracts.

Regarding vandalized facilities, Mr Phango replied that they were doing random visits to look at facilities that had been completed. They were making sure that there was a full-time facility manager in place after a facility had been built to address the problem of vandalism. Facility managers also had to work with local sports councils on the utilization of the facility. He added that where there was a buy-in by the community before the building of facility, chances of vandalism were minimal.

Mr van der Spuy (SA Sports Commission) noted that they were developing training manuals for training facility managers. He agreed with Mr Phango that where there was a community buy-in before building of facilities, there were minimal chances of vandalism.

Regarding the Junior Dipapadi, Mr Van der Spuy said they were training people to go and train those in the rural areas. Wherever possible, workshops were conducted in the rural areas. They were also making manuals available to the rural areas to kick-start the process of physical sport activities.

The Chairperson referred to Mr Phango's reply about giving building contracts to big contractors as opposed to small contractors. She asked if that was the procurement policy of the Department. She also asked if that was in line with the empowerment of communities.

Mr Phango replied that it was not SRSA to decide on who was to be employed or not employed. That was the role of the local government. Nor did they prescribe whom local government should employ. There was no procurement policy as such within the Department as that was done at local government level.

The Chairperson pointed out that even though the projects were done at local government level, the Department was supposed to set certain minimum standards to be adhered to. She asked if the issue of procurement was being left to the discretion of the local governments.

Mr J Louw (ANC) commented that not all local governments had the capacity to deal with procurement policies and it was irresponsible for SRSA to leave procurement up to local government. He asked how SRSA could give out projects without providing empowerment guidelines.

Mr Fourie (ANC) commented that local government had battled to implement the simplest of projects. He said that it was sad to note that SRSA had no guidelines for procurement and had to rely on local government.

Mr Phango replied that in 2001 they had explained to the Committee that they had guidelines in line with Public Works.

Mr Fourie (ANC) raised his reservations about the Committee passing the SRSA budget vote. He said the Committee needed to be sure about the procurement policy of SRSA before passing the budget vote.

Mr L Reid (ANC) added that it was clear that SRSA did not have a procurement policy in place. He said that this was bad news for black empowerment.

The Chairperson suggested that the issue of procurement be shelved for another meeting where it and the issue of the personnel breakdown could both be dealt with. She said that there was no way that the SRSA could depend on the procurement policy of Public Works.

Mr Z Ncinane (ANC) noted the fact that there were sports councils established in villages and rural areas and asked if there was any link between sports councils and the village sports councils established by provinces as duplication should be avoided. Referring to Dr Pahla's mention of a Dispute Resolution Committee, he asked if there were disciplinary measures taken against federations who did not use the Dispute Resolution Committee but instead go straight to Court. He wanted to know why bidding and hosting sports or federations did not give financial reports after bidding and hosting. Finally was something being done about the fact that sport academies were still based "in the white universities"?

Mr Fredericks replied to Mr Ncinane's question on bids by stating that they had received full reports from the bidding sports except for the Cape Town Bid.

Dr Pahla noted that most of the disputes were at the professional soccer level and that they related to management of soccer as a business. They were more about conflict of interests and were less about skills, which could be dealt with in a workshop situation. In other sporting federations, disputes were resolved through the dissolution of the entire executive or management structure where possible. Where there was a misuse of funds, they would institute an audit. On the Dispute Resolution Committee versus court issue, there was nothing they could do about it as it could be difficult to discipline those who chose to go court. There could be legal repercussions with disciplining them.

The Chairperson noted that there was reference to legislation by SRSA in its objectives, core business and business priorities and she wanted to know why.

Prof Hendricks replied that there had never been any sport legislation until the Sports Commission Act. A Sport and Recreation Bill had been presented to parliament last year but issues about its constitutionality prevented it from being passed and it was therefore withdrawn. He said SRSA was now on the verge of resubmitting the Bill.

Mr Chauke emphasized the need for transformation legislation in the light of sport federations "misbehaving".

The Chairperson noted that the budget for the SRSA's legal department had not been included in the budget.

Prof Hendricks replied that it was included but then realised that it had not been included in the presentation document. He promised to make the figures available to the committee.

The Chairperson said that one of SRSA's core businesses was legislation but the outputs of its legal department was not indicated. She said that the Committee needed to know the budget amount spent on the legal department. At the end of the meeting the Committee expressed its satisfaction in understanding the link between SRSA and South African Sports Commission. Before adjourning the meeting, she noted the date for the follow-up meeting was 21 May 2002.


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