Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa: Annual Report 2011/2012

Committee: Sport and Recreation

Chairperson: Mr M Mdakane (ANC)

Date of Meeting: 17 Oct 2012

Summary

The Department of Sport and Recreation (the Department or SRSA) presented an overview of its performance, highlighting the progress made throughout the year. A new National Sport and Recreation Act had been implemented at the Sport and Recreation Indaba in November 2011, which allowed each sphere of implementation to work towards common goals and policies. It had also meant that the Annual Performance Plan had changed, but it had still been audited as if it had not been changed.

The Department was preparing to table the country’s report on the 2010 FIFA World Cup to the Committee, detailing the event’s social and economic benefits and legacy. It would be implementing two exciting new programmes which would greatly help the development of sport at school level.  These were the School Sport Programme and the National Youth Olympics. The implementation, preparation and registration for these programmes was well under way. The Department also reported on a very successful “Magnificent Fridays” campaign and the implementation of national youth camps.  The annual Sports Awards ceremonies were being successfully hosted.

The Department was still in the process of restructuring, as outlined in the previous year’s report, but claimed that it was transforming into a centre of excellence in terms of implementing projects and activities. The budget for the Department had been reduced from the previous year and remained small in relation to the projects that it attempted to execute, and could be executing. Many projects had to be abandoned, scaled down or deferred to the private sector. The Department hoped that the new sports plan would come with funding to allow for optimal output and delivery.

The Department had noted improved cohesion between itself, municipalities, national federations and agencies, but there were still outstanding issues involving Cricket SA and Athletics SA.  A compromise had been reached with Lovelife, but the issue had still affected the financial performance during the year. The delivery of recreation was acknowledged to be still lacking in cohesion and coordination.

The Department was very happy that it had produced a significantly improved report and had received an unqualified audit with no matters of emphasis. The budget of R820 880 000 had been 98.8% spent, which represented a small underexpenditure.

Members raised questions about the number of people with disabilities participating in sports events, the relationship of the Department with the SABC and SuperSport in respect of broadcasting rights, the level of vacancies and lack of promotional opportunities within the Department, and the cost of using consultants.  The Department also confirmed that Beyonce would not be attending the forthcoming Sports Awards ceremony. 


Minutes

Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson announced that the agenda for the meeting was a presentation by the Department of Sport and Recreation on the entire Annual Report for 2011/2012 and the performance levels of the year, followed by a discussion with Members of Parliament to take the process forward.   The Chairperson noted apologies for Ms M Dube (ANC), Mr B Holomisa (UDM) and Mr S Mmusi (ANC) for running late, while apologies from Mr G Mackenzie (COPE) and Ms T Lishiva (ANC) were noted in advance for leaving early.

Presentation of Annual Report by the Minister
Mr Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Sport and Recreation, presented an overview of the annual report for the year 2011/2012. He pointed out that it was aimed at giving South Africa a clear indication of the progress made and provided a chronological account of the strategic plan from 2011 to 2015, broken down in annual activities.

He explained that the report worked towards the integration of the National Sport and Recreation Act that was adopted by the SRSA at the Sport and Recreation Indaba in November 2011.  SRSA was a facilitator and regulator for the Act. The SRSA’s legislative mandate included promotion and development of sports and recreation, coordination between national federations and other agencies, provision for interventions to correct imbalances and to promote equitable access and proper government. The report showed the contribution from the SRSA to the government’s five year strategic framework and programme of action.

SRSA had received an unqualified audit report for the same reasons as the previous year’s annual report and that this epitomized a drive towards clean audit findings. This resulted in a pursuit of the highest level of prudence in accountability for the use and management of public funds. There was a consequential drive towards intolerance of any mismanagement, misappropriation or financial dishonesty.

The Department was cooperating with the Auditor General to improve financial management, while continuing to manage all processes and outcomes to ensure adherence to proper governance and measures.

In terms of expenditure under the year under review, the Minister said that the Department had utilized 98.8% of the budget compared to 99.7% in the previous year, for a decline in underspending of 0.9%. This performance represented an improvement on previous financial years, which had emphasized the perpetual underexpenditure that had afflicted the Department.  Underexpenditure denoted poor budgetary planning, deficient organizational management and a lack of synergy between the strategy and allocation of resources. The expenditure improvement underscored functional efficiencies and optimal performance in the delivery of services, national priorities and performance indicators.

The Minister informed the committee that the Department’s strategic programmes would not be able to be realized unless sufficient resources were made available, and that it was committed to doing everything possible to secure additional financial resources.  However, the baseline allocation from the National Treasury would have to be increased in order for the SRSA to fully deliver on its mandate. It was noted that it was important for all stakeholders, including Parliament, SASCOC, national federations and communities to work together to unlock their value proposition. The Department was confident that their plans put forward in the 2011-2015 strategic plan and other policy documents would reap benefits for sport and recreation and the nation as a whole.

He summarized the report as a tool to account officially for the execution of the Department’s mandate to create possibilities that would enable South Africans of varied backgrounds and disciplines to have access to sport and recreation activities, particularly marginalized communities.

The Department had announced its intentions to submit a FIFA World Cup 2010 country report in the previous year’s annual report. The report had been submitted to the Cabinet and was a collation of evidence from commissions, empirical research and reports of stakeholders. It had also provided details of social and economic benefits that the country had experienced as a result of hosting the World Cup.

The Minister explained that the annual report – and the first ever National Sport and Recreation Plan within the report – had been tabled before Cabinet and was anchored by the transformation charter and scorecard. The National Sport and Recreation Plan justified the plea, supported by growing evidence, that sport was an indispensable tool to fundamentally alter the quality of life of people and was a vehicle for progressive human advancement and social economic upliftment. The Cabinet had adopted the Plan, with the transformation charter and its stated scorecards. The Plan would become an integral part of the programme of government and would be integrated into the new National Development Plan, after which it would be integrated into all spheres of government. The Plan would deal holistically with sport and recreational development at all levels of participation in South Africa.

In the year under review, the Department had established the Eminent Persons Group on Transformation in South Africa and the Ministerial Advisory Committee as part of the consequential National Sport and Recreation indaba. Their recommendations would form the basis of an overall assessment and policy trajectory and practice for the future of the sport and recreation dispensation.

The Minister stated that through the launch of the first ever Schools Sports Programme in November 2011, the potential of thousands of South African youths would be unleashed. The kickoff event took place at Vlakfontein High School in Mamelodi in March 2012. Together with the Department of Basic Education, sport and recreation was being implemented in all schools, and making physical education compulsory. He reported that 11 000 out of 27 000 schools had registered for the Schools Sports Programme in 2012, and that this number was still growing. This number was aimed to double by the end of 2013 and reach all public schools in South Africa. School sport was the bedrock of the National Sports and Recreation Plan, and the Plan would fail if the School Sports Programme failed. The first ever National Youth Olympics is set to take place in December 2012 for South African schools.  7 000 athletes were expected at this tournament.

One of the biggest successes in the report was the hosting of the Magnificent Fridays Campaign. This was intended to galvanise the country and allow it to stand behind its sporting heroes and heroines, helping them to achieve their best in the international tournaments that took place in 2011, while also improving social cohesion. South African citizens were encouraged to wear the shirts of the rugby, cricket and netball national teams who took part in World Cups and international championships on Fridays, while singing the national anthem and waving the flag.

During the reported financial year, the Department also hosted a successful South African Sports Awards at Sun City, to reward sporting excellence. It was planning to organize a bigger and better Sports Awards ceremony in November 2012.

The Minister said that sport youth camps were a strategic anchor for social cohesion in order for young people to work across race, ethnicity, gender, class, language and creed. They helped to empower disadvantaged and disabled youth. Youth camps had been set up across the length and breadth of the country for the first time by the SRSA together with the National Youth Development Agency. They had helped promote patriotism, a sense of citizenship and nationhood.

As reported during the 2010/2011 annual report, the Department had continued to implement active and concrete measures to turn the department around. The new structure of the Department was being finalized which would elevate the levels of responsibility of many of the management posts, as well as attracting and retaining its capacity. The Department would stop functioning as a “pigeonhole” and start functioning as a centre of excellence in implementing projects and activities.

The Minister stated that the Department was particularly concerned with some members of the Committee who went out of their way to raise issues out of context with regard to sport in this country. In particular he referred to Mr M Rabotapi (DA), who had raised matters in public which he knew should have been said before the Portfolio Committee.  The citizenry must be properly informed by Members of Parliament without fear or favour, and Mr Rabotapi was determined to mislead people in everything that he did. The Minister stated he was convinced that Mr Rabotapi was irrelevant to this Parliament and the people of South Africa and that he did not serve the interests of the people.

The Minister said the budget allocation for the Department remained small compared to the projects that it was executing and could execute. Many projects were having to being abandoned, scaled down or deferred to the private sector, which was unacceptable. It was their understanding that the new sports plan would come with funding to attain optimal output and delivery.

The Department was not a crisis management team and national federations needed to get their houses in order. The Department had taken stock of recent developments with Cricket SA and Athletics SA with a view to bringing closure to the public spat that had marred the sporting fraternity. The Department had concluded all matters regarding this and was awaiting reports from the affected federations, including SASCOC. Proper monitoring and evaluating capacity were being continually developed to ensure improved delivery capability.

During the year under review, the Department was still sorting out and investigating outstanding incidents involving officials contracting suppliers without approaching their delegations. Harsh measures had been proposed against those who had transgressed proper public financial management.

The Department had closed the 2011 year with the completion of the country report on the hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2010 and other strategic programmes, including the 100 days report of the Ministry of Sport and Recreation and the tabling of the Annual Report. Both 2011 and 2012 had been happy periods for the people of South Africa in the history of sport and recreation. Progress has been made since 1994, but more still needed to be done to level the playing field. There was a lack of fully funded sports development in the country. The report was an honest account of the progress made in the past year. The Minister was pleased to officially table the report to Parliament, and thanked the Committee.

Discussion
The Chairperson thanked the Minister and wished to move the meeting forward unless members had anything to say, bearing in mind that they are responding to a Minister of Parliament.

Mr T Lee (DA) said that he had taken exception to listening to Baby Jake Matlala on the news express how disappointed he was as a sports person of South Africa and where he was today. He stated that Baby Jake was relevant to the country. He also took exception to the labeling of Mr Rabodabi as irrelevant, based on the matters he brought up. Money was being misspent, as money that could be going to Matlala was going elsewhere and not being spent properly, and that was the matter Mr Rabodabi had brought up.

The Chairperson took the view that Parliament was always a national platform where members were free to engage in politics. However, he said that they should focus on taking the discussed issues forward and that the Minister had set the tone already.

Mr G Mackenzie (COPE) said that the Minister had dwelt on one of the main challenges, being the lack of funds for driving the goals and ambitions of the development of sport in South Africa. He agreed that the Department was underfunded, but wanted to know what the realistic chances were of the Treasury boosting funding, coupled with corporate or private investment.

Mr M Hlengwa (IFP) said that the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities had made pronouncements that political parties that did not meet the fifty-fifty requirements of gender equity must not contest elections. He noted that women’s representation in the Department was minimal and that the report said that only 28% of management was women. He was concerned about this and said that one needed to see tangible results.

The Minister explained that he meant to say “irreverent” instead of “irrelevant” when speaking previously about Mr Rabotapi. He said that the DG would focus on the details of misspending and not focusing on athletes. When he was first appointed as a Minister of Sport, Baby Jake Matala was dying in his bed. He had raised over R1 million for Matlala, and without any support from anybody, had staged a tournament for Matlala at Carnival City which nobody had thanked him for. He said he refused to give money for something or someone who was not intended to get it. Some former athletes were buried with the Department’s money. Former athletes had been integrated into the Department’s plans. He was working with athletes such as Joost van der Westhuizen, who was fighting for his life. His actions spoke for themselves in this regard.  He welcomed the opposition doing their duty; but they had to be reasonable and not be disingenuous.  

In relation to women’s representation, he stated that they were the leading department in government, and  senior management was largely women. He praised the previous Minister of Sport in this regard, but shared the viewpoint that it needed to be improved further.

The Chairperson noted that the DG would also touch on Mr Mackenzie’s query on the budget. He encouraged Mr Lee to raise his political points to Members of Parliament, but stated that he did not approve of political matters being brought before the DG, as this was not his responsibility.

Mr Lee said that school Olympics being held for the first time was a positive thing, but wanted to know how the Department would get people to take part. These events were undermined by people not being able to get to the venue and being underfunded. It should not be about how much money one had, but how much talent one had. He asked if everything wais in place to get people to where they needed to get and if the money wais available.

The Minister replied that the money wais available and that 7 000 athletes had already registered, while all of the country’s provinces were taking part. There would be 11 different sporting codes that would compete. The Department had been working with all the federations to produce a marvellous event.

Mr Rabotapi asked how many of the 7 000 athletes were disabled.

The Minister replied that he was not in a position to answer that question, but that the DG would be able to answer. He emphasized the talent of the individuals being important, but agreed with the nature of the question.

The Chairperson asked the Minister to touch upon the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be hosted by South Africa in 2013 and mention its progress.

The Minister said that the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) had been established for the AFCON and that it was fully functional. The final draw for the tournament was taking place on 24 October in Durban. The Department had dealt with the budget issues and the adjustment budgetary process would be presented to Parliament. The host cities were on board and fully confirmed. The programme on marketing of the event was about to be rolled out. The selling of tickets had already begun, despite the marketing programme not yet having been implemented. The excitement was out there, but the information about AFCON was not yet there. After the final draw, hype would build up before the opening ceremony in January 2013 at Soccer City. The LOC was meeting regularly to ensure steady progress. There were issues being finalized with the Confederation of African Football (CAF), such as sponsorship, as there were prohibiting rules that did not allow the Department to mobilize private resources. The Department confirmed that they were on track and looking forward to a successful tournament.

Mr Mackenzie noted that there was a story about South African swimmers going to championships in Turkey having to pay for fares themselves, as well as ten athletes who had tested positive for drug abuse. He wanted to know why the swimmers had to pay for themselves and for an update on the athletes.

The Minister said that he was uncertain how the swimming system worked. For the Olympics, Swimming SA had had a large allocation of funds and that the results showed this. He had asked for a report from Swimming SA about the issue. Sport had a long-term problem with funding that needed to be solved to avoid problems like this. The Department was attempting to ensure that they could receive sponsorship from government parastatals such as Telkom.  He had not been informed of the problem and only learned of it from the news, but had asked the DG to investigate the problem. He was deeply shocked by this and the issue of athletes testing positive. This was a matter of concern and he was waiting for a report on the incident.

The Chairman thanked the Minister for his time, as he needed to leave the meeting. The DG would take the Committee through the report. He appreciated that it was an unqualified report, and hoped that next year it would be clean. He also asked for clarification on the national indaba for sport and recreation that had been held.

Presentation of the Annual Report from the Director General
Mr Alec Moemi, Director General of the Department of Sports and Recreation, presented the report, focusing on issues of implementation, inherent weaknesses of the department, legislation and financial performance. He also wanted to highlight challenges moving forward and recommendations for the future. He indicated that next year’s report may not be clean but that by 2014/2015, the Department hoped for a clean report.

The main responsibility of the Department was to develop national policies and guidelines for sport and recreation. This mandate often put them at crossroads with communities and municipalities but they were key implementers of the policies, as well as national federations and agencies such as Lovelife and Show Me Your Number. Therefore, the implementation of policies was done by these three spheres. This created challenges, because the spheres never had a common plan in implementing policies. Hence there had been a national indaba to produce a first Sports and Recreation National Plan to achieve common goals in all spheres.

Mr Moemi explained that the Department administered two public entities, Boxing South Africa (BSA) and the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport.  BSA faced a number of problems and was not what it should be. However, work from November 2011 to March 2012 showed that there had been much progress. He had received a full appraisal from a colleague who was sent to work with BSA. The Department had been reviewing regulations for the Boxing Acts which were responsible for many of the issues. They noted that there were inherent difficulties within BSA and that its baseline was wrong and  setting it up for failure. BSA needed further resources to stay afloat and they had heavy debts. The Department was assisting them with accounting policies to balance their books. They were now in a healthy state but were still badly managed. The sustainability of boxing lay in revenue streams. The bulk of revenue no longer came from sponsorship but from broadcasting rights. The Department was working with the SABC and Supersport to achieve advantageous deals. Broadcasting rights needed to be with BSA, not promoters, to ensure that the revenue streams went to the right place. This system was in place and needed to be persisted with. If the system was enforced, it would help in addressing financial issues.

The South African Institute for Drug Free Sport was well managed. It would be the first public entity to achieve a clean audit by 2013. There was a need to streamline policies in terms of reporting drug tests, as reports could take too long. The AG had raised this issue with the Department and they believed that if policies couldn be streamlined, then 80% of the issues would be addressed.

The vision and mission of the SRSA remained relevant to create an active and winning nation. They had not yet met the mass participation goal but the commitment was there. Currently, there were huge gaps between amateur and professional athletes. There needed to be mechanisms to assist the transition between the two. There also needed to be better mechanisms to allow youngsters to emerge from grassroots level into higher levels. However the model had been established, as academies and high-performance centres were in place around the country.

The Department had 210 funded posts, and had filled 174 posts, with 36 vacancies for the year in question. They had two special advisors, along with 18 interns. There were 18 terminations and one dismissal. The dismissal had led to a criminal case. 

The Department had budget R820 880 000 for the financial year.  Approximately half of this went to the provinces, while a quarter went to other organizations, including NGOs such as Lovelife. There had been issues with Lovelife, who saw the Department as a conveyer belt for money from the Treasury. Previously, the Department did not have a say in how the money going to these organisations was to be spent. After consultation with the Minister, the decision had been made that money must be go directly from Treasury to the organizations, if the Department did not have a say in how it was to be used. There were two financial quarters where no transfers had been made to Lovelife.  Eventually, a compromise had been reached with Lovelife where the Department could prioritise where the expenditure went, instead of just paying for issues not related to sport and recreation. The department was currently a doing cost-substitution and addressing key long-standing issues. It was no longer signing one-year agreements, but three-year agreements in accordance with three-year cycles.

Mr Moemi said that the Minister had already spoken about the School Sport Programme and the School Sport Olympics. He clarified that there were 11 sports federations taking part in the Olympics and sixteen in the School Sport Programme. He said that some federations’ footprint was too small to take part. The Department had prioritised the big five sports, being football, rugby, netball, cricket and athletics. Three of the federations were hosting disabled sport programmes.  Women’s football was also prioritized.

There were currently 13 000 schools registered and 7 000 active schools currently in the Programme. Seven of the nine provinces had finished their provincials and were ready to compete. The other two were currently finalizing theirs. All the base costs for this were covered by the Department.  This programme had never been attempted on such a large scale and would not be perfect the first time around, due to issues such as not having enough officials. The Department had requested two years to put the league in place completely. By the 2015/2016 financial year, they hoped to be fully in place. The issue of independent schools had not yet been resolved as they currently had their own leagues. The Department did not want to disrupt their leagues and had postponed their integration by three years. This was also due to the mismatches that would exist currently between independent schools and the others.

Mr Moemi said that the Department’s budget was being cut back each year and the mandate had become more difficult to fulfill, particularly with the coaching framework which had been finalized. Expansion plans had been temporarily halted because of these financial issues. He said that communities frequently protested the lack of service delivery, but none had addressed greater school sport involvement. The Department often felt like the stepchild of the government as they were always the first to experience budget cuts. He hoped that the Members of the Committee would help to fight to achieve a greater budget in the future. He hoped that by 2013, there would be 10 000 teachers trained as coaches but that this was still a far cry from where they wanted to be.

The SRSA has reviewed its support strategy for research and believed that scientific guidance was needed to move forward. A policy had not yet implemented but for 2013, it would be implemented to assist Masters and PHD students to conduct research into sport science.

The Department had hosted the Golden Games in the Free State in 2011 and this year they would take place in North-West. The National Indigenous Games took place in March 2012. Eight of the nine provinces took part, with the Northern Cape not taking part. He said the country and the Department needed to preserve the legacy and heritage of these games, and make them more serious. They had set aside R3 million for next year for the games. They also planned to grow them significantly, provide prize money, increase broadcasting through Supersport, and ensure the overall winner received a car.  They wanted to make the winners as significant as the likes of Lucas Radebe.  It was going to be repositioned as a family festival. The Department needed to grow the games to allow public sector sponsorship in the future..

Mr Moemi said that the National Sports Volunteer Corps was an important part of allowing former athletes to give back to sport. The Department had developed an electronic system, but the marketing process was yet to start. They targeted former coaches and former players to pledge their support. Registering had already begun despite the marketing process not yet having started. They expected over 1 000 people to register.

The Department had recently dealt with the passing away of Thabang Lebese, a former Kaizer Chiefs footballer. They had supported his family and also launched a new programme to help former athletes. They had also looked at the current crop of players and wanted to make it compulsory for professional players to make retirement plans. It should not be the Department’s responsibility to look after players after retirement. They were working with Alexander Forbes and Old Mutual to work on this issue. They had also looked at the situation regarding retired players who could no longer work on retirement plans. They had asked for special permission from the Treasury to provide assistance for these players. Mr Moemi acknowledged that was a lot of money taken away from sports development.   However, he stressed that it was important to look after former athletes and a one-off premium would be provided. He also said the Department would be unable to respond to unreasonable requests, such as giving Baby Jake Matlala an allowance, or other former athletes who requested such financial assistance.

The Department had hosted youth camps, as the Minister had previously explained. The Department felt it needed to change the methodology to have provincial camps of 300 people each, and to have a central system to ensure the same mandate was fulfilled nationwide.

Mr Moemi explained that the country report on the FIFA World Cup 2010 had been delayed because different departments could not agree on statistics, but it would be tabled before Parliament soon. It would say clearly what the Department saw as the legacy of the World Cup.

The Department had to lobby municipalities to build facilities. Provinces had been better in this regard, as they had better funding. The Department had hosted a municipal conference on sport and recreation where it was decided that there needed to be one fund to finance sport infrastructure that must be implemented by the Department. They hoped that by 2015 the fund would kick in. They could build 52 sports academies across the country if the R2 billion predicted from the fund was utilized, but it would take a long time for mechanisms to be put in place, so 2015 was a realistic date.

The Department had hosted the Sports Awards at Sun City in 2011. The strategy had been to develop the awards into a premium product. They had set a target of five years for the awards to be self-sustainable financially. This year saw a revamped and renewed event to attract sponsors. They had targeted the next financial year 2013/2014 to achieve equilibrium, but also to keep standards high. The awards had upstaged other awards in terms of standards and they were the only awards which were televised by both Supersport and SABC live at the same time. The Department did not buy air time from broadcasters. Broadcasters gave them airtime and production, and paid the Department for the premium product. In excess of six million people watched the awards, and even more listened on radio. They needed an important profile to make sports more fashionable and to make sports athletes role models who could compete with artists and entertainers. This strategy was working well. They were convinced that in 20 years’ time, the product would compete with the Oscars and Emmys. The investment was not in vain and the long-term plan was there. They were attempting to increase the prize money by working with sponsors.  This year’s awards would be at the Sandton Convention Centre and Members of the Committee had all been invited, and would have front-row seats.

On the international front, the Department had hosted the 123rd International Olympic Committee Session in July 2011. The Committee had offered SA  the opportunity to host the Olympics, but the Cabinet had decided against hosting, as they wanted to focus on service delivery. 

Elsewhere, the country had hosted Youth Development through Football (YDF). The Department did not have a say over expenditure, but had agreed to support our schools. The All-Africa Games in Mozambique were a success for the Department, as the Department had provided them with technical support and practically co-hosted the tournament with them. South Africa had finished on top of the rankings. The Department had also helped with the Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development that took place in Burundi, as sporting equipment had been sent to Burundi. South Africa had also hosted a study tour delegation from the Uganda National Sport Council.

The Department had sent nine South African students to Cuba. Two of these students had been pulled out, one because she was consistently not passing and also fell pregnant, while the other misbehaved, disturbed the peace, fought with other students, and was expelled from the university. The Department was legally obliged to claim the money from them, but the families already had financial difficulties so moral decisions still needed to be made.  Mr Moemi said that this was one case where he had been indecisive, as he was hesitant to punish the parents for their children’s mistakes.

Mr Moemi said that the Chairperson of the World Anti-Doping Agency had visited South Africa. The laboratory in Bloemfontein was the only one of its kind in Africa although the Department was supporting Tunisia to reopen theirs. They were encouraging all African countries to utilize the South African facilities and were also hosting a conference in June 2013 in Johannesburg on anti-doping.

He said the Department had held successful talks with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in USA for SABC to broadcast their games at half the price. The NBA hadalso funded new basketball courts in South Africa. Basketball without Borders had also assisted with the promotion of basketball in South Africa and they were going to administer the University Cup. The Department was also trying to revive the Premier Basketball League (PBL) in South Africa.

The Department had provided immense support for the qualification of Banyana Banyana and the national women’s hockey team at the Olympics. The rowing had also been funded by the Department, as SASCOC did not help the rowers but they did help with other athletes, including paralympians.  SASCOC was also given R12 million to prepare Team South Africa. There were currently 126 athletes in the high-performance centre in Pretoria. There was a strategy of prioritization to fund high-achieving sports. Cumulatively R49 million had been given to SASCOC and the federations to prepare Team South Africa for the Olympics.

The Department had hosted Ekhaya projects, to create a “home away from home” for athletes, at the All Africa Games in Maputo and the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011. The Olympics and Paralympics this year also had Ekhaya projects. These were very successful and had been emulated by other countries and the tournaments.

The Department had implemented different Ministerial Outreach Programmes which had helped with the opening of facilities in many places, including a rugby academy in Nelson Mandela Bay, a swimming pool at Willowridge High School, and many others.

Mr Moemi moved on to challenges, recommendations and weaknesses involved in the funding aspect of the report. He noted that the support structures of the Department were bloated and they needed to expand, but could not do this with continuous budget cuts. Therefore the Department needed to prioritise different areas of focus. There was a lack of learnership and national youth service programmes. South Africa had a relatively small sport infrastructure and it wais difficult to enable the youth to break into it.  A weak control environment was also noted as one of the biggest challenges. The Department had done a lot of work to solve these problems and new measures had been introduced. Streamlining policies and introducing new policies to strengthen control environment had also taken place. The Department had worked hard to ensure federations and provinces did not get funding until they submitted reports indicating understanding of a common philosophy.

Other threats included uncontrolled bidding to host international events. Last year South Africa had hosted 18 international tournaments and sometimes no advance warning had been given, making it difficult to prepare for the tournaments. The Department also wanted to change the political landscape through changing its strategic direction and also regulating unrecognized sporting organizations and federations.

He said that other challenges included recreation in particular, with its delivery lacking in cohesion and coordination. Transformation remained a massive challenge, but that required a separate presentation, which would be tabled before the Committee. School sport was also seen as a challenge, particularly because of the uneven spread of competition opportunities. However, the Department was confident of meeting this challenge through its initiatives.

There was a shortage of suitable sporting equipment and kit, and current tenders were unpopular among provinces. Price was not a major determinant for the Department as a price index had already been done by them. Therefore, functionality was more important. The provinces wanted a greater say with regard to tenders, but the Department was adamant that they would make the decisions.

In terms of the performance overview, he said that the context was very important when interpreting the results. Because a new plan had been agreed at the National Sport and Recreation Indaba with new priorities, the Annual Performance Plan (APP) had changed. Bearing this in mind, 47% of the targets had been achieved, but this was done by design, as the APP had changed and the AG had audited from the APP. An internal audit was also in place which had approved the Strategic Plan for 2012-2016.

Mr Moemi responded to earlier inquiries concerning gender equality. Females accounted for 28% of senior management level positions and the Department still needed to appoint seven more to meet the employment equity target. The Department had met the 2% target in terms of people with disabilities.

He said that on legal services there were Bills, Acts and regulations that had been brought in, including the Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill which would be tabled, and the Boxing Amendment Bill. An amendment was also being brought into the South African Institute of Drug-Free Sport Act to give the Institute more power to undertake mitigation and help children in schools. There were also fitness regulations being brought in, as the fitness industry had been unregulated.

Mr Moemi explained that Programme 2 dealt with financial management and that 29 projects had been monitored and evaluated against the target of 43. This was a big improvement.

He said that Programme 3 was very important because it involved mass participation. The Department had successfully achieved their target with respect to the legacy projects from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

He moved to Progamme 5, which dealt with facilities. Facilities auditing was continuing and was a big challenge. There was a lot of work to do and it was very expensive, but it was important for facilities to be managed. A total of 163 against the targeted 100 municipalities had been lobbied to build sport and recreation facilities which had been a great success, while four reports against the targeted four on facilities provision, had been produced.

Mr Moemi spoke about the financial statements in the report and said that there were still housekeeping matters raised by the AG which needed to be addressed, while staff turnover needed to be reined in. The Department had received an unqualified audit opinion for three consecutive years, with this year being the first with no emphasis of matter. Auditing queries by the AG had also been dramatically reduced from previous years and many of them had already been addressed.

He compared expenditure patterns from the current financial year to past years on an Expenditure against Budget table. There was an underexpenditure of about R10 million, but about R7 million of this had been earmarked for Lovelife and was then not transferred and not able to be used.  The other part came from the implementation of Indigenous Games, which had been unexpectedly different to what had been planned, for a number of reasons. Therefore the underexpenditure had to be considered in context, as the funds were not always available. In 2011/2012, the department had spent 98.8% of the budget which was a good trend by government standards. He was happy with this figure, as there was no over expenditure.

The expenditure tables signified exactly where the money had been spent per programme and sector. He explained that the machinery and equipment expenditure was not good, with only 52.8% of the final appropriation being spent, and this was attributed to moving to new locations. Provinces had to surrender any unused budget back to the Department, who surrendered it back to the Treasury, and if they did not, it would be deducted off their budget for the next financial year.

In the last five months of the financial year, irregular expenditure through quotations not being obtained, had been minimized. Non-compliance through no tax clearance certificates had formed a part of irregular expenditure, as the Department had no control over previous invoices. The current practice did not favour the accounting officers in this regard.

Mr Moemi concluded by stating that the Department had produced a significantly improved report. It had improved on programme delivery and it was a miracle that so much had been achieved with the amount of money that was available. The biggest challenge that they faced was taking decisions, not on what to do, but on what not to do, as they had to refocus on priorities to do well.

Discussion

The Chairperson thanked the Director General for the very comprehensive report and allowed members to direct questions based on the report.

Mr Moemi corrected himself by saying that although he had said that there would be 600 disabled athletes at the School Sports Olympics earlier in his presentation, he had meant to say 1 400, which constituted about 37% of all athletes.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) asked if BSA had already signed an agreement and welcomed the report for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He raised the issue of IT with school registration for the programmes planned and asked how much registration would cost and how many jobs it would create.

Mr Rabotapi asked if Beyonce would form a part of next year’s sports awards, and why the consultancy outsourced services and travel subsidies were so high.

Ms T Lishiva (ANC) raised the issue of vacant posts within the Department carrying on every year, as it affected everyone. She said that with regard to the employment of people with disabilities, 2% was the minimum, and it would be nice to see this surpassed.

Mr Hlengwa noted that there were no promotions in the Department, but that 66.6% of people were leaving to go to other departments. He asked if there was any room for growth within the Department. He also asked how many of the schools involved in the new programmes were rural and how the Department offset hosting unexpected events. He asked about the education of athletes for their post-careers, so that they could find jobs outside of their sport.

Mr Moemi said that the BSA MOU had been signed by the Department’s legal services. The key issue was the broadcasting rights, and the value of these rights still needed to be realized.

He said that the IT strategy applied not only to his Departments.  They had been told to consider open-source software, which had a totally different configuration to VPM networks, but these required paid licenses. Both had advantages and disadvantages. The decision had been postponed for three years. In September, they had decided to proceed with a VPM network at a cost of R3 million over the next three years. Consequently, this had solved many problems. He had been lobbying other departments to choose the same VPM platform. The software system to register schools had already been designed. Through forms and manual capturing, the information had been captured. The capturing process had not created jobs.

Mr Moemi explained the situation regarding Beyonce. The Department had issued a tender for companies to host the Sports Awards. Each company had made presentations. One company which was bidding was a BEE partner to Big Concerts, and had said that they could bring Beyonce to South Africa in October this year if they were awarded the rights.  However, certain mechanics needed to be finalized, and nothing had been guaranteed.  The Minister, on Khaya FM, had let it slip that Beyonce would be attending the awards and the press had sensationalized the matter. There was a figure R17 million to get Beyonce that the press had reported, and they had said that this would come from the Department. Beyonce’s party also felt aggrieved and had threatened to sue. The Minister had then denounced the rumour that she would come, and Mr Moemi could therefore confirm that she was not coming.

One reason that consultancy fees were high was that they included agencies that helped transfer funds between the Department and NGOs. The Department’s vacant posts had been advertised and they were recruiting. He said that there were virtually no promotions within the Department and that the Performance Management Design Systems in government was horrible, anarchic and subjective. It was not the Department’s problem alone, and that often for a person to rise, one had to resign or die.

Mr Moemi explained that on the issue of educating athletes, rugby academies were required to have their players study. Draconian measures, such as outlawing children who were 18 and under from being contracted, had been considered but had not been implemented as other countries did not have the same measures. He also stated that approximately 46% of schools in the School Sports Programme were rural.

The Chairperson thanked the Director General and all members for their contribution.

The meeting was adjourned.