The Chairperson welcomed all present to the first meeting of the Committee for 2013. He commented on the African Cup of Nations 2013 Tournament and congratulated Bafana Bafana on making it to the quarter finals. The Committee agreed that the local organising committee of the African Cup of Nations 2013 needed to brief the Committee on why there had been organising glitches. Of great concern to the Chairperson was the fact that it seemed that white South Africans did not support local soccer. It was confusing because whites in South Africa loved soccer which was evident in the manner in which they for example supported teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and Barcelona.
The First Term Committee Programme was placed before the Committee for consideration. Members identified certain issues which they felt were important and needed to be included in the Programme as a matter of urgency. Some of the issues were the discord amongst officials in the South African Football Association, issues pertaining to the selection of cricket players by Cricket SA, specifics on whether the EP Kings rugby franchise was delivering on rugby development in the Eastern Cape and also gripes which boxing promoters had against Boxing SA.
The inputs made by members would be incorporated into the Programme and an amended version would be circulated to the Committee by weeks end.
The Committee Secretary Mr Lichakane Phori also briefly took the Committee through its Draft Committee Report on its Study Tour to Argentina by highlighting important sections. The Report was at this stage mainly for perusal by Members and would at a later time be considered and adopted. Members were encouraged to forward any amendments or additions to the Report to the Committee Secretary.
The Chairperson welcomed all present to the first meeting of the Committee for 2013. He felt it appropriate to comment on the African Cup of Nations Tournament 2013 which was currently being hosted in South Africa. The Tournament was living up to expectations and he congratulated the South African National Team Bafana Bafana on reaching the quarterfinals of the tournament. The level of soccer in Africa was definitely on the rise.
The attendance to games by South Africans was somewhat poor and he encouraged all South Africans to make an effort to buy tickets and attend the Tournament. There had also been glitches on the organisational side of the Tournament and in the future it should be avoided as it reflected badly on South Africa. The organisation of events in South Africa should be top notch. It was considered important that the Committee should set the foundation for the development of sport in SA. Transformation in sport was necessary and new ways should be considered for it to be done. The negative aspects prevalent in sports should be removed.
Of great concern was the fact that it seemed that white South Africans did not support local soccer. It was confusing because whites in South Africa loved soccer which was evident in the manner in which they supported teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and Barcelona.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee had its First Term Committee Programme and the Report on the study tour to Argentina on its agenda. The latter document was not necessarily going to be adopted by the Committee in the present meeting as members who had not been on the Study Tour had to still peruse it.
First Term Committee Programme
The Chairperson placed the Programme before the Committee and asked members to comment or suggest changes or additions to it.
Ms G Tseke (ANC) reminded the Committee that Members were required to undergo compulsory training during the first week of February 2013 and hence the meetings scheduled for that period should perhaps be rescheduled for another time.
The Chairperson confirmed that training for Members was scheduled for the first week of February 2013.
Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) felt that provision should be made on the Programme for the African Cup of Nations Tournament to be discussed by the Committee soon after the event. The Local Organising Committee should be part of the discussion. He also felt that Cricket SA should address the Committee before May 2013 as was scheduled on the Programme. There were many things happening in cricket which needed to be addressed. One such issue was why SA Cricket was searching for a capable wicket keeper to replace Mr Mark Boucher when Mr Thami Tsolekile could do the job. He felt that Mr Tsolekile was doing a sterling job at the Highveld Lions as both a batsman and wicketkeeper.
Mr G MacKenzie (DA) agreed that the African Cup of Nations and Cricket SA meetings be moved forward on the Programme of the Committee. He also felt that the South African Football Association (SAFA) should also address the Committee over the suspension and reinstatement of its officials. It should be placed on the Programme as early as possible. Another issue which needed to be placed on the Programme was the issue of the EP Kings rugby franchise. Not only should SA Rugby brief the Committee but EP Kings should also be present at the briefing. The EP Kings franchise had gotten the go ahead so that rugby development could take place in the Eastern Cape.
He also mentioned that sports persons who had recently passed away also needed to be recognised and honoured.
Mr S Mmusi (ANC) suggested that oversight visits by the Committee be undertaken to the North West and Eastern Cape Provinces as well.
Ms G Sindani (ANC) recommended that the Committee check on the programmes of Boxing SA. She also felt that the Committee should also keep tabs on the activities of South African Lotto and should receive a briefing from them.
Mr M Hlengwa (IFP) pointed out that the Programme seemed to be filled by presentations on programmes and challenges. He suggested that prior to the presentations on programmes and challenges the Committee should discuss issues that cropped up previously. He was also concerned that the time allocated towards the briefing by the Department of Sports and Recreation in April 2013 was not sufficient. Time was always an issue at such briefings.
Mr T Lee (DA) raised concerns over how boxing promoters were treated by Boxing SA. He spoke of a boxing champion of South Africa now working at a golf course. He felt it important that not only should Boxing SA appear before the Committee but also boxing promoters. The Committee needed to hear the perspective of boxing promoters.
Mr MacKenzie added that the Comrades Marathon Association should also brief the Committee as they were doing positive work.
Mr Dikgacwi asked that the Committee Secretary and Committee Researcher to come up with a compilation of issues raised previously by the Committee as Mr Hlengwa had earlier spoken about. He reiterated that the EP Kings rugby franchise should appear before the Committee. The franchise was supposed to unearth black players in the Eastern Cape. It seemed to only cover Port Elizabeth. Was development taking place?
The Chairperson reminded the Committee that in 2012 it was agreed that meetings would commence at 9am rather than 10am as a lack of time was always an issue. Organisations briefing the Committee should also be informed on what areas they should brief the Committee on and that any information should be provided beforehand.
He suggested that the Committee be briefed about the African Cup of Nations around March 2013. Organisational issues needed to be discussed in order to prevent mistakes in the future.
SAFA also needed to appear before the Committee to explain what was happening in its ranks. SAFA was embarrassing South Africa.
The SA Rugby Union (SARU) and the EP Kings franchise should brief the Committee on what was happening around the franchise.
He added that perhaps two stakeholders, one big and one small could be slotted into a 9am-1pm briefing session.
Mr Lee reiterated that Boxing SA should be called before the Committee. Boxing SA being a statutory body should be first on the Committee’s Programme. The rest of the organisations mentioned were not statutory bodies.
The Chairperson noted that the comments and suggestions made by members would be incorporated into the Programme by the Committee Section administrative staff. The Committee would by the end of the week have an amended Programme.
He added that if members of the media requested copies of the final Programme it should be provided to them.
Ms Sindani said that the Committee should look into the sport of gold panning.
Mr Lichakane Phori, Committee Secretary, stated that he had noted the comments of members. Henceforth Committee meetings would be scheduled for 9am. He would also try to slot in two stakeholders into a 9am -1pm briefing session. He asked whether members wished that he reshuffle the first couple of meetings of the Committee to include SARU, EP Kings and Cricket SA as a matter of urgency.
Mr Dikgacwi asked if the organisations appearing on the Programme for the first couple of meetings of the Committee had already been invited and had confirmed.
Mr Phori responded that they had been invited but no confirmation had yet been received.
Mr Dikgacwi said that in that case the organisations highlighted by members ie SARU, EP Kings, Cricket SA etc could be slotted in as priority ahead of other organisations.
The Chairperson suggested that perhaps that Cricket SA could be coupled with Netball SA on the 19 February 2013. Small organisations could be coupled with big organisations.
The amended Programme would be circulated to members.
Mr MacKenzie suggested that he himself, Mr Lee and Mr Dikgacwi could engage with the EP Kings franchise prior to the scheduled meeting.
Mr Dikgacwi on the EP Kings issue noted that he had already engaged with the Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) of Sport in the Eastern Cape.
Draft Committee Report: Study Tour to Argentina
Mr Phori presented the Report to the Committee and emphasised that it was a draft. Members should feel free to comment and effect changes to it as they deemed appropriate. He took members through the Report page by page highlighting important areas.
The study tour to Argentina had been undertaken with the view of learning how best to implement sports policy and services in schools to facilitate the development of sports at schools.
Mr Dikgacwi suggested that members read the Report and forward any suggestions to Mr Phori for inclusion into the Report. Thereafter the Committee could meet to consider and adopt the Report.
The Chairperson pointed out that recommendations made in the Report should be able to qualify in the House. Parliament adopted the recommendations made by the Committee regarding the work the Department of Sport and Recreation should do.
In Argentina there was close engagement between health and sport. The two were interlinked especially at school level. Problems with obesity in schools was becoming a worldwide problem and SA was not unaffected in this regard. In 10 years SA could experience obesity problems at schools. Children who do well in sports also do well academically. The Department of Sports and Recreation should engage more on research pertaining to schools sports. The Argentinean example of one percent of cellphone subscription charges being contributed towards sports development was perhaps an option which South Africa should consider.
In closing the Chairperson informed members that Mr Phori was leaving the Committee as Committee Secretary and would be pursuing other career opportunities. His last meeting as Committee Secretary was scheduled for the 26 February 2013.
The meeting was adjourned.
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