Discussion of issues relating to sport in South Africa

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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


25 June 2002

Chairperson: Ms N R Bhengu (ANC)

Documents handed out:

The Committee raised issues of concern with regards to sport, suggesting the way forward and solutions to those concerns. One point discussed was the need for transformation in sport. But If school children are not involved in sport, there could be no transformation. Members recommended that teachers be encouraged to involve children in sport to help the transformation process

The Chairperson said that an annual report of the Committee should be compiled and it should be presented before Parliament in February next year at the latest. Members would have to choose from amongst themselves who will be involved in the drafting of the report.

Dr Schoeman (ANC) asked if it was not the duty of the secretariat to draft the report.

The Chairperson said that the secretariat will draft the report but the issues that would be in the report would have to come from the members of the committee because they are the ones who have discussed the issues.

A Member asked how many members that should be selected.

Mr JT Louw (ANC) proposed that one member from each party should be selected.

Mr Lee (DP) suggested that the report be drafted by the secretariat and thereafter discussed by the Committee and accepted, rejected or amended. The Committee members would not have time to draft the report themselves, as they are busy.

Mr Louw asked if the Committee would have to write or compile the report, as these are two different things.

The Chairperson said that the secretariat will write the report but the Committee will decide on the contents of the report. The clerk will write the report and then the report will be brought back to the Committee to examine and either accept or reject.

Mr Lee suggested that the minutes of the Committee should be kept so that Members should know what has happened in the previous meetings.

Mr Louw said that the minutes can be accessed on the parliamentary website.

The chairperson said the parties should come up with the issues of concern that would be discussed as Mr Morkel proposed in the previous meeting.

Mr Louw (ANC) asked whether the members should come up with issues that concern them as members.

Ms Bhengu said that when Mr Morkel raised this issue, he said that he was concerned about the issues that were happening on the sporting front, as these issues are not considered properly. The Chairperson decided to set aside a day where these issues were going to be discussed and also to look at what government does to address these concerns.

A Member said that he was concerned about what is happening in the grass root level. The sport federations like SAFA and USSASA do not care enough about those sporting people in the grass root level because sometimes those sports people do not even have transport to the tournaments. He wanted to know what the parliament does about the development of sports at grass root level and also about the sports facilities in the rural areas.

Mr Lee asked what financial support was available for poor sports people and what is done to build sports facilities or to improve those that already exist. He said that the Departments of Education and Sport and Recreation should work together because young sports people are actually at the schools.

Mr Reid (ANC) said that sports people in rural areas do not have facilities and have to walk long distances if they want to play and the sports fields are in bad conditions.

Ms Lamani (ANC) said that people in the provinces should be informed that a committee could be consulted directly if the people have some concerns.

Mr Louw said that the disadvantaged schools have limited sports codes while the 'model c' schools have a variety of sporting codes. Children in the disadvantaged schools have limited choices and their talents are buried.

Dr Schoeman said that there is a lack of transformation in our schools. The Committee must be able to assess the work of the sport federations and these federations must make reports to the Committee about what they are doing. Transformation starts at the lowest level.

The Chairperson said that there is fragmentation in the work of the Committee. The reports and recommendations that the Committee makes do not serve a purpose if they are not taken to the people. Parliament should be asked how the reports will be taken to the people to effect change.

The study tours are also a matter of concern. The Committee goes on study tours and report back to Parliament but what does the Committee do to make sure that their concerns are heard so they can be move towards a way forward?

Mr Swart (DP) said that no-one will check the reports if the Committee does not do so itself. It is the duty of the Committee to observe the issues, follow those issues and to make sure that they are implemented. The Committee needs to stretch a bit and make sure that what they discuss is implemented. Previously parents in the 'model c' schools took responsibility for those schools, they were as bad as the public schools. A sense of responsibility should be instilled in the community.

The Chairperson noted that the study tours do not really help if only the Committee goes on those tours. The Portfolio Committee should go on those tours with the Department so that the Department can see what is happening and to act upon the problem sports people encounter.

The Committee wants to meet with sports federations, but because it was the soccer world cup competition. SAFA was not available and the Committee thought it would be better to wait for SAFA and will meet with the federations at a later date.

Mr Swart said that he only needed a way forward, otherwise the Committee would not be going anywhere in its work. There also is a lot of pointing figures at the 'model c' schools as if they did something bad.

Mr Louw said that his concern was not about the facilities in the 'model c' schools but what the public schools can do to improve their conditions.

The Chairperson said that when they go on study tour, the Committee should interact with the governing bodies of the model c schools and learn from them and see what can be done to improve the sports conditions in public schools. When there are debates about sport issues, issues of abused children is never looked at as sport can help those abused children in the healing process. The Committee should interact with the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to encourage them to build sport facilities in the rural areas. A preventative approach should be taken.

Mr Swart said that the Committee should try to 'sell' the sport so the people could see how important sport is.

Ms Lamani (ANC) suggested that the Committee should work with the NCOP as the NCOP has the power to call the MECs and they should join the NCOP about the reports because the reports are mainly about provincial matters. If the Committee works with the NCOP they can have access to the Sports MECs.

Mr Lee (DP) said that the involvement with the Education Department would be about transformation. If school children are not involved in sport, there can be no transformation. Teachers should be encouraged to be involved in sport with children and that would help in the transformation process. The committee should work together with the Portfolio Committee on Education.

The chairperson said in drafting the committee programme for the next term, meeting with portfolio committee on education and NCOP should be included in the programme.

Mr Swart said that about ten years ago, the teachers in the model c schools were more involved in the sport at schools. The teachers in the public schools do not see teaching as a calling but as a job and they do not care whether children are involved in sport. Teachers in model c schools have also disappeared in sports in the last few years.

Mr Lee said that in public schools, same teachers are involved in different sporting codes. These teachers, who sacrifice their time, should be given some incentives so as to encourage them.

Mr Ferreira (IFP) said that he does not have a problem if the people are given incentives for extra work, but the problem is with the people's attitude. The teachers do not care about the children's involvement in sport. The attitude problem should be addressed.

A Member said that the issue of sport in schools is very important. The Committee should visit the sports federations and see if these federations have proper structures and also observe how are those federations run.

The Chairperson said the contribution of the Members was valuable. She said that the absence of Mr Morkel in the meeting disturbs her, as Mr Morkel was the person who proposed the discussion. The Committee faces a challenge of making people see sport as a tool for development.

The meeting was adjourned.


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