Africa Cup of Nations 2013 progress: Local Organising Committee & SAFA briefings

Sports, Arts and Culture

16 May 2012
Chairperson: Mr M Mdakane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The South African Football Association (SAFA) appreciated the Chairperson's assertion that football had the power to address many social ills. Many young people would give up drugs and alcohol if they took up sport.  Obesity was a serious health concern. SAFA addressed governance, Development of the National Technical Master Plan, Banyana Banyana preparations for the 2012  London Olympics, the report on FIFA investigation into the allegation of match fixing, and progress leading towards the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). SAFA noted that it was necessary to achieve sustained international success. Major developmental targets would be to remain in the top three in Africa and to consistently remain within the top 20 in the world. This would be possible through the Seven Streams of Success, which included developing and aligning South Africa’s national football philosophy from a very young age, creating a talent identification and developmental pipeline, entrenching a dynamic coaching education and deployment system, establishing a national competition framework, building optimal football infrastructure and administration, harnessing the power of technology, and leveraging the expertise of sports science. The minimum period required for adequate success was approximately 10 years of training. SAFA contributed R20 million for Banyana Banyana.  Sasol had been a major funder in the success and progress of women’s football.  Absa was not going to renew its funding contract for the Women’s League. On the other hand, the Women's League was expected to find an alternative sponsor very soon.

A DA Member wanted  the Eastern Cape team represented in the Football Association. He queried the many discrepancies in the allocation of the money received from FIFA. He asked why  sports facilities were in a bad state. He wanted an update on the investigation. He also asked how the National Lottery money would be administered and whether SAFA would administer the R20 million. ANC Members said that there was a need for a spokesperson to  address the issues in the media and dispel false perceptions. A database was lacking to show actual progress - such would also enable SAFA to keep proper record. A Member queried whether SAFA could really manage the 53 regions, and asked how SAFA reacted on the ethics issue. Was it not a conflict of interest for SAFA to play a role in the investigation? The support given to Banyana Banyana was appreciated. SAFA delegates were not being grilled but were engaging in progressive discussion and should not hesitate to appear before the Committee. A Member of COPE extended good wishes on behalf of his party to Banyana Banyana. He probed the legality of the relationship of SAFA and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and  wanted to know whether PSL was bound by the 7 Streams of Success plan, which was world class. However, he wanted to know the specific timeframes. The Chairperson said that cultural imperialism was a significant issue which should be reprioritised. It might seem a small issue but in the long run it might have a negative impact in society.

 The Local Organising Committee (LOC) presented  AFCON's progress for 2013. The main aim was to ensure that the stadiums were filled. The same spirit that existed during the World Cup should be inculcated in AFCON where the issue of who was playing should not be relevant, but rather the ability to ensure  successful hosting should be the main priority. AFCON and African Nations Championship (CHAN) would be taken as one project.  There existed a notion that South Africa was not part of the African continent and therefore through AFCON an opportunity would be given to remove this notion.  In support and funding SAFA had formed a non-profit company. Tickets were to be affordable and easily accessible. There would also be recreational events hosted with the Ministry of Arts and Culture. The top five cities to be recommended as hosts were Ethekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay, Rustenburg, Mbombela and Johannesburg.  Kimberley was the only city which did not have a world cup stadium and it should be a priority to build one. 

 The Chairperson said that stadiums used to be full, and the drop needed to be reversed. There  should be training provided in other sports areas that required assistance in development.  He appreciated the presentations.

Meeting report

Introduction
The Chairperson welcomed SAFA and asserted that sports could play a critical role in addressing the social ills of society. One would not find unmotivated young men who were were skilled in sport. With proper assistance in enhancing their potential they would fundamentally improve. The aim of the meeting was to have a dialogue on transformation in sports. The 2013 AFCON was a  significant time and SAFA should strive for the best.

SAFA Presentation
Mr Kirsten Nematandani, SAFA President,  thanked the Committee for the invitation to brief it on SAFA's progress and appreciated the Chairperson's assertion that football had the power to address many social ills. Many young people suffered from either drug or alcohol abuse and if they would take part in sports they would move away from drugs and alcohol. Approximately 61% of the South African population was obese. This was a serious health concern. There was a need for municipalities to be able to receive the prescribed grant. FIFA had finally allocated R450 million as a way to enhance development through football. Prison holdings should be rehabilitated as sports centres instead of prison centres. A major issue was that those who were in sport tended to lack interest in their academic subjects. This issue needed to be prioritised. SAFA was demarcated along governmental structures and a main role of   football was as an extra mural activity which might assist Government in developing the state.

Mr Robin Peterson, SAFA CEO, said that the key issues which SAFA was going to address in the meeting were:

Governance with regards to SAFA

Development of National Technical Master Plan

Banyana Banyana preparations for the 2012  London Olympics

Report on FIFA investigation into the allegation of match fixing

And the report of progress leading towards the 2013 AFCON

In terms of governance SAFA subscribed to the principles of good governance. SAFA was structured into 24 National Executive Council (NEC) sub-committees, each holding at least four meetings per year. There was a significant amount of Procurement Policies put in place. Unqualified audits were reported annually and the roles of the CEO and the Executive were well defined. With regard to SAFA membership, there were 53 Regional Associations which existed in all South African municipal areas. The associate members  were the South African Football Medical Association, University Sport South Africa, South African Football Coaches Association, the South African National Defence Force Football Association, the South African Masters Football Association, the South African Industrial Football League, the South African Deaf Football League, the South African Intellectually Impaired Football Association, and the South African Football Association. The reaction to the failure to qualify for AFCON 2012 and the Olympics under-23 had made it very clear that whatever would be done would be judged and critiqued solely on success.   It was necessary to achieve sustained international success. Major developmental targets would be to remain in the top three in Africa and to consistently remain within the top 20 in the world. This would be possible through what he termed the Seven Streams of Success, namely:

In developing and aligning South Africa’s National Football philosophy from a very young age to children beginning to play from 12 years onwards

Creating a talent identification and developmental pipeline

Entrenching a dynamic coaching education and deployment system, with the target to reach 150 thousands coaches nationally

Establishing a necessary national competition framework

Building the optimal football infrastructure and administration

Harnessing the power of technology

And leveraging the expertise of sports science

With these in place success would be reached. However, the minimum period required for adequate success was approximately 10 years of training. With regard to Banyana Banyana, SAFA contributed R20 million and Sasol, a major sponsor, also a significant amount in terms of the preparation throughout the years starting from 2009 until 2012. The SABC had received rights to broadcast matches in the Olympics. He thanked Sasol which had been a major funder in the success and progress of women’s football; however, he stated that Absa was not going to renew its funding contract for the Women’s League. On the other hand, he  expected that the Women's League would find an alternative sponsor very soon.

Discussion
Mr T Lee (DA) wished to see the Eastern Cape team represented in the Football Association. The Eastern Cape was being subordinated in football. Volkswagen, though it assembled vehicles in the Eastern Cape, had a tendency to sponsor outside the province. He also said that there was a big controversy in the media that money was received from FIFA and he queried the extent of so many discrepancies in the allocation of the money received. He commented that in the media he read that the sports facilities were in a bad state and asked why such occurrences were allowed. He also said that the soccer allocation for the Velledroom was being removed and wanted to find out what SAFA was going to do about it. As to the investigation, he stated that the person was known as to the number of matches involved and he therefore asked who was the person responsible and wanted an update on the investigation. He also commented on the sponsorship from the National Lottery for school sports and asked how the money would be administered and whether SAFA would administer the R20 million.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) said that there was a need for a spokesperson, who would address the issues on the media, due to the perception it displayed which might be false. He said that based upon the presentation a database was lacking to show actual progress more efficiently, which would also enable SAFA to keep proper record. He queried whether SAFA could really manage the 53 regions; he alluded that on the ground level there had been a display of numerous cheating activities, and wanted to know how SAFA reacted on the ethics issue. He also said that, based upon the presentation by SAFA, it had to be asked if there was an indication that the officials of SAFA were involved in the syndicate and he therefore asked whether it was not a conflict of interest for SAFA to play a role in the investigation. He lastly appreciated the support given to Banyana Banyana. 

Ms M Dube (ANC) said, in appeal to the delegates of SAFA, that they were not being grilled but were engaging in progressive discussion and should not hesitate to appear before the Committee. She wanted to know the bases for the existence of the association members and special association members and requested one of the delegates of SAFA to explain the long list of associates. 

Mr G Mackenzie (COPE) appreciated the presentation of SAFA, and extended good wishes on behalf of his party to Banyana Banyana. He probed the legality of the relationship of SAFA and PSL and  wanted to know whether PSL was bound by the 7 Streams of Success plan. This was world class, however, he wanted to know the specific timeframe of the streams in order to ascertain  success. Overall, he found the presentation very refreshing and he applauded the SAFA representatives.

Ms G Sindani (ANC) appreciated the presentation and found it clear and concise in layout. She asked about the 7 Streams of Success. The CEO of SAFA had indicated that the age group in terms of identification had to begin from the age of 12. However, based on this, there were no adequate  formulae of practical assurance of success from the age of 12. There were currently 8 000 coaches and yet SAFA had an expectation of 15 000. She asked about the time frame for fulfilling this goal and asserted that the outsourcing of coaches was a huge expenditure that decreased internal resources. In SAFA there were no female representatives across the provinces and the issue of gender should be prioritised. She appreciated the news that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) had signed an agreement to host Banyana Banyana.     

Mr Dikgacwi asked whether the provinces were guided by their own constitution or if they were subject to the same SAFA constitution.

Mr Lee appreciated the President of SAFA's mission which was to investigate whether municipalities were using the grants allocated to them appropriately.

Mr Nematanda said that the Eastern Cape issue of not being represented was limited to the structure of how a team was to be selected in terms of being representative.  He asserted that there was great need for volunteers to enhance the clubs in the Eastern Cape. There was a good relationship between SAFA and PSL, which had a seat in one of SAFA structures, where issues of mutual interest were discussed. As to the controversy of the money received from FIFA, from the beginning FIFA had disclosed $100 million dollars. Of that, $10 million was used to build the SAFA House, another $10 million to resource South African clubs in preparation for the cup, and another $15 million dollars was used to buy cars and buses. 52 extra buses were bought as well. In every region there was a significant deployment of these buses,  mainly to enable flexibility in travelling in each region. $65 million dollars was left and was secured by the Board of Trustees. As to the media, he asserted that every detail disclosed by the media was false and agreed that there was a need to have a spokesperson who would represent SAFA. He agreed that there had been a battle to keep the school of excellence running.  Despite an application for funding, FIFA was hesitant to fund the school unless Transnet issued a lease for the school. He asserted that FIFA had been very happy with SAFA's  cooperation in the investigation. It had been alleged that SAFA officials were involved. However, he said, it meant that the officials were working with the people and not involved in  illegality. As to cheating, that was a national agenda. He suggested that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) should have an extra curriculum item on ethics. The gender issue was a social one.

Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, SAFA Vice-President, said  that in each region there was a women league. He asserted the existence of the ABSA Women’s League and that franchises selling women’s clothes were very hesitant in participating in women's development through sport. He also stated that all members and regions were guided by the SAFA Constitution, because their endorsement was subject to it. He also said that associate members were part of football and therefore there ought to be a relationship with them in order to ensure the success of SAFA.

Mr Nematanda stated that the African continent was being colonised again, this time through entertainment, Africans were more enthusiastic to watch outside matches like Arsenal playing than African matches, and he stated that DSTV was a big issue that needed a sharp focus.

Mr Elvis Shisana, SAFA NEC Member, had   heard about the issue and would attend to it as soon as possible. It would be a challenge to host sufficiently, due to the lack of infrastructure. He requested the Committee's assistance in this issue and suggested that if some of the facilities prizes were not so exorbitant than things would be better.

The Chairperson said that cultural imperialism was a significant issue which should be reprioritised. He asserted that it might seem a small issue but in the long might have a negative impact in society.

AFCON 2013 Progress Presentation
Mr Mvuzo Mbebe, AFCON Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO, presented  AFCON's progress for 2013, which, on account of the way in which hosting had to occur, had to happen through community-based participation. The main aim was to ensure that the stadiums were filled. The same spirit that existed during the World Cup should be inculcated in AFCON where the issue of who was playing should not be relevant, but rather the ability to ensure  successful hosting should be the main priority.

AFCON and CHAN would be taken as one project and he stated that the success of these events were critical as they revolved around the coming of the World Cup.  There existed a notion that South Africa was not part of the African continent and therefore through AFCON an opportunity would be given to remove this notion. There was a need to change the  philosophy of African soccer and Africa as a whole. In terms of support and funding SAFA had formed a non-profit company. As to accommodation the local organising committee paid for the event and all the necessary expenses, taking cognisance that the local regions would be official beneficiaries from tourism and other income produced from events. The tickets were to be affordable and easily accessible. There would also be recreational events hosted in collaboration with the Ministry of Arts and Culture. Four teams would be placed in particular cities and each city would be responsible in the hosting of the teams allocated to it. In terms of venue or city selection, there was a system of score sheeting in choosing the cities. The criterion mainly used was the ability of each city to host the events. The other criteria  were cost and legacy benefits and accessibility. The top five cities to be recommended to Parliament were Ethekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay, Rustenburg, Mbombela and Johannesburg.  Kimberley was the only city which did not have a world cup stadium and he therefore asserted that it was a priority to build such a stadium in Kimberley. 

Chairperson's concluding remarks
The Chairperson stated that the presentation was for 2013 and therefore expected no discussion. Stadiums used to be full, and this drop needed to be reversed. There should be training provided in other sports areas that required assistance in development. In 20 years there would be a display of world class players. There would be an oversight visit in June to see the rural parts of South Africa. There would be an international tour to Argentina to learn from Argentina’s experience. He appreciated the presentations.

The meeting was adjourned

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