The Minister and Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA) briefed the Committee on the strategic plan for 2013-16. The SRSA was striving to achieve its vision of “an active winning nation", and it was noted that it dedicated resources to programmes fostering recreation and mass participation. Stakeholder engagement would continue. The linkages between the 2012/16 Strategic Plan, the 2013/4 Annual Performance Plan and the National Development Plan and government priorities were explained. The Strategic and Annual Plan complied with the National Treasury framework. It was explained that the National Sports and Recreation Plan would guide the work of the SRSA, and its programmes were outlined. The National Development Plan emphasised sport to promote wellness and social cohesion, physical education and school development. Access to sporting facilities, the formation of new sporting events and leagues were also noted. It was expected that schools should have both sports facilities and qualified physical education teachers, and that both children at school and communities would be encouraged to participate in sport. Key projects for the 2013/14 financial year were summarised as a focus on national indigenous games, sport awards, the Soweto Tennis Open, the netball Premier League, the national basketball league, and the WADA world conference on doping sport. SRSA would, in this year, be focusing on athletes and coach support programmes, training of technical officials, education and training, sports broadcasting and sponsorships. It was also focusing on geo-political sport, boundaries, sport and the environment. In the following financial year it would be looking to domestic and international competitions, recognition systems, sports information and centres, ethics and sports tourism.
SRSA’s current human resource structure was inadequate in some areas, and the Department had started an organisational review process to address the problems, and was hoping to finalise the new structure, with the assistance of the Department of Public Service and Administration and National Treasury in this year. Job evaluations of all 333 proposed posts were completed and quality assured by a Transversal Job Evaluation Panel. It was also intended to offer more training and bursaries to staff. Amendments to the legislation may be needed to align appropriately with the revised White Paper and the national Plan that was approved at the National Sport Indaba in November 2011. Transformation, rural development, job creation, a healthy life style, peace, economic growth and social cohesion were all continuing and important issues.
Finally, the Minister noted that some of the public entities, particularly Boxing South Africa, relied on SRSA for funding. Boxing South Africa was still experiencing problems because its funding did not allow for effective administration and cover staff salaries. SRSA had seconded some staff across and was assisting in the appointment of a Chief Financial Officer and providing audit guidance. However, new revenue streams from licensing and broadcasting needed to be secured to make the entity sustainable, and its legislation and policies needed upgrading. The South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) also needed to be supported in order to continue with its good work and extend to the school sport field.
Members asked a number of questions around development of sport facilities in rural areas, and talent identification at school level, questioned the levels of support for Banyana Banyana and athletes, asked about teacher training, development and maintenance of sport infrastructure, and the results of the money that was invested in Mpumalanga province and money spent on sport facilities. One member stressed that maintenance of sport infrastructure in communities seemed to be an ongoing serious problem, and the Department of Sport and Recreation should at least put some measures in place to try and deal with it effectively. Other questions related to transformation in rugby, and noted slow progress in some schools, not assisted by schools governing bodies. The Committee requested more officials for the next engagement.
Department of Sport and Recreation on the Strategic Plan and Budget Vote 2013 briefing
Mr Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Sport and Recreation, said by way of introduction that the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) would continue to work hard towards realising the vision of "an active and winning nation”. SRSA would dedicate resources to programmes fostering recreation and mass participation. SRSA would engage stakeholders, including the primary delivery agent, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), to review the delivery of programmes relating to excellence and high performance.
SRSA’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan and the 2013/14 Annual Performance Plan were developed to ensure that the National Development Plan (NDP) and government priorities, the mandate of the Department, and the strategic direction emanating from the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) were addressed. The aim of the Annual Performance Plan was to put the Strategic Plan into operation. The Strategic Plan and the Annual Performance Plan were developed according to the frameworks issued by National Treasury. The first draft of the 2014-2019 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) would be submitted to the Cabinet Lekgotla in July 2013, to allow national and provincial departments to align their 2014-2019 departmental strategic plans, and the 2013/19 Strategic Plan would also be aligned during the final two quarters of the financial year.
Mr Mbalula said that the National Development Plan recognised that sport played an important role in promoting wellness and social cohesion. The NDP encouraged sport and physical education, proposed that all schools should develop and maintain sport infrastructure, that all communities should have access to sports facilities, encouraged the formation of amateur leagues, and encouraged South African to walk, run, cycle or play team games on the second Saturday of every month. NDP noted that physical education should be compulsory in all schools, so that every school in South Africa should employ a qualified education teacher. Schools should have access to adequate facilities, and be supported to participate in organised sport at local, district, provincial and national levels. School health promoting teams should be established across the country, and a culture of wellness must be established in communities and at work. The NDP acknowledged that every ward should have good sport facilities, and further there should be incentives for employers to provide opportunities for employees to exercise and have access to information about healthy eating. In rural and urban areas, people should be encouraged to run, walk, and cycle, communities should be encouraged to organise sport events and leagues, and corporate investments in grassroots sport should be promoted. Finally, South Africa should showcase leadership in sport.
Mr Mbalula said that the NSRP priorities for 2012 to 2014 were being addressed in the 2013/14 Annual Performance Plan (APP). Priorities for 2012 were school sport, recreation, talent identification and development, clubs, sporting councils, the academy system, transformation, priority codes, financial resources, participation promotion and campaigns. SRSA’s priorities for 2013 included athletes and coach support programmes, a focus on facilities, training of technical officials, education and training, sports broadcasting and sponsorships. It also would be focusing on geo-political sport, boundaries, sport and the environment. The 2014 priorities would include domestic competition, international competitions, recognition systems, sports information and centres, volunteers, amateurs Vs professional sport, the ethical environment and sport tourism.
He noted that SRSA would implement the Strategic Plan through the its programmes of Administration, Sport support services, Mass participation, International Relations, and Facilities Coordination.
Mr Mbalula said that after evaluating its human resources, it was found that SRSA’s current human resource structure was inadequate in some areas, and the Department had started an organisational review process to address the problems. The review process would be finalised in the 2013/14 financial year, in conjunction with the Department of Public Service and Administration and National Treasury. Job evaluations of all 333 proposed posts were completed and quality assured by a Transversal Job Evaluation Panel. The organisational review of the Department was high on the agenda for the 2013/14 financial year, and SRSA would train and up-skill employees. The next financial year would see an increase in the number of staff receiving and also accessing departmental bursaries.
Mr Mbalula noted that the 2012-16 Strategic Plan consisted of three sections. The first part comprised a strategic overview, which included the vision, mission and values of SRSA, as well as outlining the constitutional, legislative and policy mandate, situational analysis and strategic outcome goals of the institution. Section 2 set out the strategic objectives of the five programmes of SRSA. Section 3 was links to other plans, which included public entities and the conditional grant.
Mr Mbalula noted that the SRSA had a constitutional, legislative and policy mandate, and the Minister had powers as reflected in the National Sport and Recreation Act (the Act), to oversee the development and management of sport in South Africa. That included the promotion and development of sport and recreation, the promotion of equitable access and ensuring proper governance in sport and recreation.
Mr Mbalula noted that it may be necessary to effect amendments to the Act, to align appropriately with the revised White Paper and the NSRP that was approved at the National Sport Indaba in November 2011. The SRSA should continue to contribute towards transformation, rural development, job creation, a healthy life style, peace, economic growth and social cohesion.
The 2012-16 Strategic Plan had six main goals, namely, citizens access to sport and recreation activities, the development of an efficient and effective organisation, using enabling mechanisms to support sport and recreation, a focus on ensuring that the sport and recreation sector would be adequately transformed, and that sport would be used as a tool to support relevant government and global priorities. The strategic objectives were informed by strategic goals, and indicators and targets linked to the strategic objectives were documented in the Annual Performance Plan (APP).
The Minister noted that some of the key priorities for the 2013/14 financial year included the promotion of South African school national champions, national indigenous games, sport awards, the revitalisation of the Soweto Tennis Open, The WADA World Conference on Doping in Sport, and a focus on the netball premier league and national basketball league.
Mr Mbalula noted that public entities, in particular Boxing South Africa (BSA), relied on funding from SRSA for their administration and programmes. The allocation provided to Boxing South Africa did not adequately provide for effective administration, and it did not cover the salaries of staff for a financial year. BSA had critical vacancies, and that impacted on its administration. BSA continued to be plagued by governance and financial challenges. SRSA had intervened to help, by seconding staff and interns, by advertising the vacancies, and assisting to appoint a Chief Financial Officer and providing audit guidance. However, new revenue streams from licensing and broadcasting needed to be secured to make the entity sustainable. In addition, the South African Boxing Act (2001) needed to be amended and effective systems and policies and procedures needed to be institutionalised.
The South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) needed to be supported in order to continue with its good work. The SAIDS board was appointed in November 2012, and the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport Act (1997) would be amended, and the entity would expand its scope to cover anti-doping awareness and drug testing programme for school sport.
Ms B Mncube (Gauteng, ANC) noted that the presentation handed out was not the same as the one the Minister had just presented, and requested that a closer transcript of what the Minister had just said should be forwarded to Members.
Ms Mncube noted the problems of governance and administration at Boxing South Africa.
Ms Mncube said that talent identification at schools across the country was important. However, learners who were not part of clubs at community level seemed not to progress as well as those who did participate in clubs or with their communities. Some players at the Banyana Banyana football team did not have clubs at community level, and they seemed not to get enough support.
Ms Mncube noted that in 1994, there was some sports training for teachers taking place, but it was no longer taken seriously enough. The school governing body had the powers to decide on the curriculum, and some gave the SRSA a tough time when it tried proposing extra curriculum time.
Ms Mncube complained about access to some sporting facilities. Freedom Park in Johannesburg was very poor, and there had been instances where women were raped there. Access to the Essellen Park School of excellence was a challenge to many young players, and those who got there did so usually through networks. She asked how the SRSA would intervene to address the challenges.
Ms M Moshodi (Free State, ANC) noted that existing sports facilities were not taken care of, and access to sport facilities in rural areas was still a problem. She then asked if there would be a plan in place to make sure that rural areas have access to sport facilities, and whether existing facilities in other areas across the country would be taken care of.
Mr M de Villiers (Western Cape, DA) agreed with Ms Mncube that the training of teachers in the area of sport was not taking place.
Mr de Villiers noted that although there had been a lot of money spent on sport infrastructures, many local municipalities did not adhere to the principle of maintenance of sport infrastructure. In addition, a lot of money had been invested in Mpumalanga province, but it had not been properly spent. Rural areas did not have good sports facilities, and development of sport clubs was very slow. He then asked what promise could the Committee get from the SRSA that teacher training, development of sport in rural areas, and maintenance of sport facilities would take place.
Mr de Villiers wanted clarity on the Department’s finances.
Mr W Faber (Northern Cape, DA) noted that there were problems of finance and resources for South African athletes. He asked for more information from the SRSA in respect of these problems of finance, as well as more information on the new Super 15 franchise, and transformation in rugby.
Mr Faber enquired how the SRSA planned to deal with the problems at BSA.
The Chairperson noted that the Department of Basic Education seemed not to be involved in school sport, and the problems with the school governing bodies was a burning issue. The issue of talent identification was important, as well as the issue of compliance by provinces. She emphasised that the focus on sport did not have to be on soccer only, but should extend to other sporting activities. She also asked clarity on sport at schools, and asked how many talents had been identified and where.
Mr Mbalula responded that in relation to Banyana Banyana, the main problem of was the lack of women’s football league at communities. The 2010 funds would help in establishing a women’s football league, and South African Football Association would come on board and help in establishing it. Currently, women’s football was actively played at the universities.
Mr Mbalula noted the questions around teachers and sport and schools and said that the SRSA intended to deploy experts in different sporting activities to train teachers at school level. Teachers should volunteer their time for that training. It was important that public schools have good sport facilities. Model C schools had good sport facilities and sport was linked to the school curriculum.
Mr Mbalula confirmed that existing sports facilities were under-utilised and often were vandalised, and he agreed that local municipalities did not really look after sport facilities. However, communities should also take responsibility to look after sport facilities, as they were supposed to cater for the interests of all members of the communities. In most cases, communities failed to take care of the facilities, and then attempted to shift the blame to government.
Mr Mbalula said that Team South Africa should be a collective responsibility, and the Department of Sport and Recreation was of the view that athletes should be prepared as early as possible. The Department had allocated R18 million for athletes.
Mr Alec Moemi, Director General, Department of Sport and Recreation, added that the Department of Sport and Recreation had started the process of talent identification in the 2012 year, and SRSA had then established a sport focus school programme. There were specialised schools that offered different sports. For example, there were 50 schools that specialised in rugby, and 40 schools specialised in cricket. The Department had offered some children sporting bursaries to go and study at those specialised schools, but the problem had been with them fulfilling the academic admission requirements. Some learners were good at sport, but not good academically, and then it became a problem for those children to be admitted to the school. However, the Department had engaged with those specialised schools to amend their admission requirements. Fourteen learners had been granted ministerial bursaries, and only eight had managed to go to specialised schools.
Mr Moemi added that the SRSA and SASCOC had programmes aimed at identifying talent. There was a new plan in place that would help the Department to roll out sport facilities to rural areas. The Department would engage with rural chiefs and traditional leaders to make sure that those facilities would be well taken care of.
Mr Moemi agreed that the maintenance of sport facilities had been a problem; it was regarded as the biggest “sports curse”. The alternative to SRSA having to do all sports facilities maintenance was to work very closely with local municipalities.
Mr Moemi also spoke to the question of teacher training, noting that SRSA had contracted Pitso Mosimane, former Bafana Bafana football team coach, to write soccer modules for teacher training, but he had then joined Mamelodi Sundowns football team. There were regrettably no manuals for either netball or athletics training. The rest of the sporting codes would be worked on in due course.
Mr Moemi said that any province that did not comply with SRSA’s requirements did not get money. Seven provinces had complied, but Gauteng and Mpumalanga province did not comply. Mpumalanga was in a poor position, as it depended on equitable shares. Gauteng province submitted its compliance paper late.
Mr Moemi agreed that there were some challenges around support for athletes, but the Department of Sport and Recreation had provided money to SASCOC. The Department had engaged with SASCOC around the issue of criteria to qualify for Opec Olympics. In the 2013 financial year, the budget for SASCOC was R18 million, and it would increase.
SRSA also had other sporting activities such as volleyball, table tennis, and morabaraba, and SRSA also had a major focus on sport for disabled people. Soccer was being offered for deaf people. Opec was the programme for SASCOC. Members had to remember that there had been some challenges that had been inherited, and they needed to be dealt with.
He noted that the full allocations and programmes were set out in more detail in the SRSA Annual Performance Plan.
The Chairperson thanked the Minister and Department of Sport and Recreation, but asked that on the next occasion, more officials from the Department attend, because they could account for what the Department was doing. She emphasised that communities should use whatever resources they had, and the government would also assist.
The meeting was adjourned.
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