Committee Report Adoption, Draft Committee programme

Sports, Arts and Culture

27 November 2012
Chairperson: Mr M Mdakane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee discussed their concerns over a standing apology by a Member from the UDM who was not attending meetings and resolved that, whilst the time constraints on this person were noted, the Chairperson should call on the party to perhaps consider nominating another Member who would be able to contribute.

The draft programme of the Committee for the first quarter of 2013 was adopted, with some additions. Members noted the need for follow up visits to provinces, and said that there was also a need to try to ensure that Committee recommendations in reports were actually implemented. Several Members outlined the concerns around the proposed legislation on banning of advertising and sponsorship by alcohol companies, and the Chairperson asked all parties to carefully consider their position. Joint meetings would be held on the Bill.

The minutes of 13 November 2012 were adopted, with some amendments. A concern arising out of these minutes was the state of readiness of African Cup of Nations host venues, and Members resident in the cities where the Cup would be held were urged to do impromptu follow-up visits, perhaps using guidelines compiled by the Committee, to keep the Committee up to date, since it would not be able to visit all venues regularly. Members briefly held an impromptu introspection on the role of Parliament in the transformation of South African Society, and, in expressing their good wishes for the festive season, thanked other parties and the Committee support staff for the good and positive working relationships.

Meeting report

Chairperson’s opening remarks and apologies
The Chairperson informed Members that only eighteen months was a very long time in politics, prior to the next elections. He noted that sport could be used as a catalyst for social cohesion, but sport had also become a huge money spinner and there were “lots of crooks” in the sports industry.

He noted that the meeting was to adopt outstanding minutes and reports.

A Member asked for clarity about another Member who appeared to have tendered an apology for every meeting, as was reflected on all the reports of meetings.

Mr G Mackenzie (COPE) said that the constant apology would be reflected on Parliamentary records. That kind of behaviour reflected badly not only on the Member concerned, but would also impact on the work of the Committee. He suggested that the Committee should write a letter to the UDM asking it to nominate someone who would be available for meetings and make a real contribution.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) said that the ANC was able to deal with truant Members, but other parties were responsible for the attendance of their Members. The Committee could only write a letter. He reminded Members that some smaller parties had only one Member and they were not able to stretch themselves to attend every Committee.

The Member understood this point, but said that the problem was that a standing apology was noted. Other Members, even from other smaller parties, did take time to indicate whether they would be attending or not.

The Chairperson assured the Committee that he would try and sort out the matter with Mr Holomisa, but he understood that this Member, being the leader of his political party, also had other commitments.

Consideration of the Committee 1st Quarter Programme 2013
Mr L Phori, Committee Secretary, mentioned that the programme, drafted in conjunction with the Researcher, had already been submitted to the Speaker’s Office for consideration. He hoped it would capture the wishes of the whole Committee. He took Members through the programme. He highlighted the proposed oversight visit to the Free State Province, Limpopo, and Gauteng, as a continuation of the trip already made to the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces. In February the Committee would meet Netball South Africa. In March the Committee would be meeting the South African Rugby Board and Basketball South Africa, as well as the South African Marketers Association regarding alcohol advertising and its effect on sports sponsorship. The meeting was meant to address the pending legislation regarding the banning of alcohol advertising.

The Chairperson suggested that the draft programme should be adopted in January 2013

Member asked whether the Committee would be spending one day in each province per day or would be trying to cover them within a week.

A Member suggested that when the sporting Codes came to brief the Committee, they should also come with their paraplegic counterparts.

Mr Dikgacwi raised his concern that during oversight trips, the Committee picked up problems but nothing was being done to solve them. He cited the problems that were prevalent in the Eastern Cape. As a rhetorical question, he wanted to know what would be done with that report? The Committee would soon be visiting other provinces. He noted that, in his constituency, a certain sports Code was given money by the National Lotteries Board (NLB), but the executive apparently withdrew the funds and never accounted for them. The President of that Code deposited the money into his personal account. The matter had been reported to the NLB’s legal department.

Mr Dikgacwi argued that the banning of alcohol advertising and sponsorship of sports codes would cripple sports funding.

Mr T Lee (DA) asked when the legislation on banning of alcohol advertising was envisaged.

Mr Lee said that the SABC would also lose out on the sponsorship if the proposed legislation was enacted.

The Chairperson suggested that the political parties should try and look at pros and cons of legislating against alcohol companies sponsoring sport.

Ms M Dube (ANC) proposed that the Committee should meet with the responsible Minister, for a briefing, early next year before work started on the forthcoming legislation. The Portfolio Committee on Health had already been doing some work on the proposed Bill.

Another Member emphatically said that alcohol killed, that much was known, but what had to be considered was the other effects of the Bill and what would replace alcohol company sponsorship.

A Member suggested that Members should rather discuss the matter at a later stage.

Chairperson made the point that Members were emphasising the need for the Committee to be well prepared for the road ahead, because the Bill would have far reaching implications. Sports codes would be given a chance to air their views as well.

A Member suggested that the issue of the Southern Kings and SARBU should be separated.

The Chairperson warned that there was a tendency that briefings took too long leaving the Committee with insufficient time for discussion.

Ms G Tseke (ANC) said that the Committee had agreed to meet the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the Sports Trust and suggested that these two be incorporated in the programme.

Mr Dikgacwi suggested that Mr Phori should be highlighting the issues raised by Members.

The Chairperson also suggested that the Committee should look at issues that were raised concerning the Provinces that would be visited. The Committee should try and do follow ups on all those issues when they next visited.

A Member suggested that the Committee should prepare for the Netball SA outstanding problems and do follow ups.

He also said that the Committee should look at the Committee’s spending patterns and try to lead by example, to show the entities how they must behave.

The Chairperson said that the Committee should get used to starting meetings at 0900 to ensure meaningful engagement with stakeholders. Issues such as transformation and delivery would receive ample time. He said that there was an improvement in communication between the Secretariat and the Committee.

The Chairperson said that the meeting with Sports Trust was important because it was not clear what this body was really doing. There were many organisations that were dealing with sports and it was better for the Committee to know exactly what they were doing. The Committee should try to meet with the Afcon Committee after the Tournament.

The Chairperson also noted that this Committee would meet with other portfolio committees on Trade and Industry, Health and Social Development. Mr Phori will look at appropriate times within the first quarter to arrange those. The Committee should also look at the 2010 Legacy Projects during the provincial oversight visits. Members should also look at indigenous sports associations and maybe those associations could be invited. The yearly programme would act as a guide to the work.

Minute adoption
The Chairperson went through the Minutes of 13 November, page by page, and invited comments and amendments from the floor.

A Member noted a minor grammatical amendment on page one.

Ms Tseke suggested some minor technical amendments on page 3.

Mr Lee suggested, in relation to page 4, that the Committee should do a follow up on some issues.

Mr Lee mentioned that he went to Port Elizabeth to asses the upgrading of the Zwide Stadium because it was declared a practice venue for the Afcon Tournament. He was told that there was no upgrading, but only maintenance, because there were no funds allocated. He raised his concern that the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality would not be ready to host the tournament. He then asked the Chairperson to ask Mr Mvuzo Mbebe, Chief Executive Officer of the Local Organising Committee to look into the matter.

Another Member suggested that Mr Lee should revisit the stadiums in the Port Elizabeth area, where he stayed, to look at the readiness of all the venues.

Mr Dikgacwi said that the Committee should see this report as a wake up call, and stressed the need for the Committee Members, particularly those residing in the host cities, to look at all other venues and to keep in contact with the Chairperson.

Mr Lee raised his concerns regarding the safety of foreign players, after the incident of stone throwing of the Zambian player’s bus.

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) said that the Committee should try and look at as many aspects as possible, when going on oversight visits.

The Chairperson explained that the Committee did not have money to cover everything, and the Parliamentary officials had explained that the Committee would get only sufficient funds to cover certain issues till the next financial year.

A Member suggested that the Committee should write a letter to the host cities and tell them that the Committee would be visiting to look at specific progress as stipulated by the Local Organising Committee. Those Members resident in those areas would have clear guidelines on what to look for.

The Chairperson said that Members should not be afraid to make surprise visits to these areas but cautioned that hosts would often offer hospitality to delay the inspections, until insufficient time was available. He cited an example where the Committee had visited only to discover that there were no facilities and sports academies. He urged the Committee to be bold and do its job of oversight, saying that MPs had to earn the trust of the people, even if the Members were confronted with uncomfortable truths. He emphasised that the role of Parliamentarians was to serve the people.

Ms Dube asked whether the Committee was really fulfilling its mandate of seeing that the officials delivered or simply dealing too softly with issues.

Mr M Hlengwa (IFP) cautioned the Committee not fall into a trap of becoming a talk-shop with no teeth.

Ms Tseke said that Parliament as an institution had a major role to play in shaping the lives of South Africans. Though there were many shortfalls, and although it might not be obvious to all, she felt that Parliament had done a lot.

Mr Lee said that the departments should ensure that all were dedicated to delivery. Many ordinary people had a low opinion of government, and, irrespective of political affiliations, signals sent by incidents such as Marikana and De Doorns were very worrying. He commended the openness of the Members and the good work done by the support staff.

Mr Dikgacwi suggested that the Committee should do a follow up of the Eastern Cape forensic report. He thanked Members for their good working relations.

A Member also thanked the working and the open spirit of the Committee. She suggested the need for quarterly Committee reports that would objectively asses the work of the Committee. She also thanked the Research Unit for the sterling work they were doing and asked the research unit to compile an evaluation of the Committee work.

The Minutes were adopted, with amendments

The Chairperson thanked his Committee and wished them a happy festive season.

The meeting was adjourned.


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