The Department of Sports and Recreation was supposed to brief the Committee on its 2012 Strategic plan. Members expressed unhappiness about the low number of Department delegates in attendance. They argued that they had expected the relevant officials for the different programmes to be present. The Department pointed out that the Deputy Minister and the Director-General were present and could address all concerns raised by Members. It was subsequently noted that both the Minister and the Director-General would leave the meeting early. The Committee therefore decided to postpone the meeting to a later date and urged the Department to bring a larger delegation.
The Chairperson welcomed all and requested everyone in attendance introduce themselves.
The Chairperson was worried that many Members were absent and said this should be understood as these were provincial representatives and many were out of the country.
The Chairperson expressed her deep concern about the low number of Department delegates in attendance. She expected the relevant officials for the different programmes to be present. She asked the Members for their opinion on the matter.
Mr Gert Oosthuizen, Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, assured Members that the Department was taking the Committee seriously. It was part of the Department’s mandate to consider the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and provinces and the delegation in attendance had significant officials present like the Director-General, who was the accounting officer for the Department and who was fully aware of the Department’s various programmes. He asked the Committee to understand that the Department faced austerity measures as it was costly to fly many directors around for presentations. He pleaded with the Chairperson to accept the explanation and assured her the delegates present where well equipped to deliver the presentation and address their concerns.
The Chairperson reiterated that she was not convinced especially because the Deputy Minister and Director-General had to be excused at 11h00. She therefore could not pretend that the situation was acceptable.
Ms R Rasmeni (ANC,
Ms M Boroto (ANC,
Mr M De Villiers (DA,
The Chairperson wanted to make it clear the Committee needed to be properly briefed before the budget vote. She was very concerned and said a greater delegation should have been made available to the Committee.
Ms Boroto felt time should not be wasted and that the Department should ensure better communication between the Office of the Minister and Deputy Minister and the Chairperson to do justice to the Committee. She understood the issues of the Department and their other obligations. She proposed the Chairperson reconvene the meeting for another time.
Ms Rasmeni supported Ms Boroto and said if the meeting was reconvened the Department could make more delegates available for the full presentation.
Deputy Minister Oosthuizen explained that the Department was overtook with events and had to attend a host city meeting convened by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. That meeting was moved from an afternoon slot to an earlier time despite the Department trying to renegotiate in order to meet the Committee but it was out of its hands. The Department faced a number of other obligations and events from Cabinet which it needed to adhere to. The Department had correspondence to substantiate this. If the Committee rescheduled the meeting, the Department would avail itself given the opportunity.
The Chairperson said discussion on this matter was over and the meeting would be rescheduled. She explained that the Committee understood what the Deputy Minister said but when it came to the budget vote it would be difficult for the Committee to argue in favour or not if it did not have the proper opportunity to engage with the Department and its relevant officials. She said her office would correspond with the Department on the reconvened date.
The Chairperson thanked the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
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