Sport and Recreation Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report; Committee Report on 2013 provincial oversight visits

Sports, Arts and Culture

15 October 2013
Chairperson: Mr M Mdakane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee considered its Sport and Recreation Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report. The Committee reviewed its mandate and reaffirmed its duty of exercising oversight over the Department of Sport and Recreation. The Committee had interacted with many bodies and dealt with various reports in order to come to their conclusions and they had conducted oversight visits in many provinces.  Members were supportive of initiatives taken by the Department which supported the National Development Plan, but concern was raised over the South African Boxing Act. Support by some Members of the private member’s bill, Combat Sports Bill, was raised. Boxing South Africa itself was noted as a troubled entity as they did not even have a full staff.

The report highlighted spending and provided an overview of key policy focus areas. The Committee noted that there was R160.9 million budgeted to be given as funding to the host cities of the African Nations Championships of 2014 soccer tournament. Members wanted to be assured that these funds would be accounted for and that they would be spent by the cities and not by the South African Soccer Association. Members were concerned with attendance at the matches and wanted organisers to properly market the tournament.

The Cabinet had approved the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NRSP) and it was seen as an integral part of the National Development Plan. Despite the positive perception of the NRSP the Department had taken it on without having a full staff. Members wondered how they would achieve their targets without the proper human resources. The delegation from the Department noted that many people were being hired as other employees were resigning.

Members had issues with the Department’s stated goal of increasing participation in sports by 5%, what was the figure based upon, was there a baseline to measure it against and there needed to be a distinction between players and observers. Members also expressed a desire for athletes to be better informed about HIV and AIDS as this would help them to develop to their full potential. The Committee wanted to know how much the Department planned on spending to implement projects aimed at achieving the five government priorities and two United Nations priorities as no dates were provided. Members believed it was time for someone to be assigned to municipalities to ensure that funding was spent appropriately and on the proper facilities and projects. This was a long discussed subject and the Committee felt it was time to take action in providing financial accountability.

The Committee was overall impressed with the Department as it had adjusted quite well to the changes brought about by the adoption of the new sport plan the previous year. It was believed that despite the Department having a small budget they had the potential to produce significant social change through sport and recreation and their success would ultimately be measured not in fiscal numbers but in societal change. The main concerns of the Committee were that they wanted the Department to fill vacant posts, especially in the senior management sector, this needed to be an immediate priority. They also wanted more mechanisms in place from the Department to assure that funding was being properly spent and any grant guidelines were being adhered to. Members stated that building more sport and recreation facilities in rural areas would help engage the youth of the area and provide them with a healthier future.

The Committee read through and adopted the Committee Report on its oversight visits to the provinces of Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Free State, North West, Western Cape and Northern Cape. The purpose of these visits was to meet with local municipalities and leaders in sport to determine the state of affairs and what areas needed attention and resources to increase the profile of sport. The Committee wished to ensure that key strategic areas of the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NRSP) were being targeted in these provinces. It was noted that many facilities across the country were built as part of the 2010 FIFA Legacy Trust programme which provided funding to build 52 facilities across the country and to date they had completed 27. The Committee wished to ensure that grants and funding allocations were being spent properly and not being shifted to non-sport items.

Many Limpopo venues were impressive and seemed to be in good working order. Members were concerned that the only reason that some venues were in good shape was because they were warned of the Committee’s impending visit. The Chairperson suggested that in the future they considered making unannounced visits. Limpopo had always been a challenging area, facilities received poor maintenance and people stole from them.  But the management of SAFA in Limpopo was working hard and was well organised.  They demonstrated a willingness to work with the Department and strive to get better.

After their visit to Mpumalanga the Committee determined that the state of affairs was poor and much work needed to be done. The Committee had determined that federations in Mpumalanga lacked governance and accountability which made it unsustainable for the Department to continue to provide them with funding. Many of the venues visited were in various states of dilapidation and most lacked proper maintenance facilities. Most municipalities in Mpumalanga lacked a clear plan as to where sport and recreation was going in their area. The Committee was concerned with the lack of team work amongst sport councils and wished to assure them that they belonged to the same mandate.

The Free State Department was dealing with problems related to gangsters recruiting in primary schools. The Department realised the need for sport and recreation programmes to help alleviate some societal problems and keep youths out of trouble. This was why they had pushed many mass participation programmes, which were deemed successful and helpful to the community. Free State had developed a data base containing all the athletes in their programmes which better helped them track progress and identify their problem areas within sports.

In the North West province an emphasis was placed on programmes that took place in schools and the formation of inter-school sports leagues. The Committee observed that municipalities did not place sports as a priority in their budgets and those working to develop sports in their areas worked tirelessly. The NWU-FNB High Performance Institute for Sport which provided a synergy between sports and education in which athletes would be given the life skills needed to prepare for a post-athletic life. Members who participated in the trip to the North West province noted that many of the venues they had travelled to were in bad shape and led them to believe that it was due to years of negligence. Some municipalities were misusing their funds and frustrating the objectives of the Department. The Committee reiterated the need to conduct surprise visits in order to show that they were being shown the true state of affairs and not just what the provinces and municipalities wanted them to see.

Based off their visits to Western Cape the Committee concluded that the overall state of sport was healthy and clubs were recipients of many benefits. Most of the venues visited were in good shape and well maintained. However venues in the municipality of Cape Aguhlas and Riversdal had venues in various states of disrepair and in there were not enough venues in Cape Aguhlas.

The Committee visited the Northern Cape where they were taken to venues at the Prieska show grounds in the Siyathemba municipality. These facilities had received funding from the National Lottery and had been improved upon, however the facilities were not easily accessible to the public. The Committee was satisfied with their visits to the Khara Hais and Kai Garib municipalities where they stated that funding was properly spend and sport facilities were in good shape.

Overall the Committee concluded that based from their trips, the FIFA Legacy Trust had performed admirably, but still had much work to do to fulfil their mandate. Many rural areas still struggled with obtaining and maintaining proper sports facilities and programmes. Members felt continued focus on rural areas would help in engaging the youth of the areas in positive activities and promote a healthy lifestyle. Members recommended that the Department initiate a better monitoring mechanism to ensure that grants and funding were being properly spent.
 

Meeting report

The Chairperson stated his concern over the cancellation of the marathon that had been scheduled in Soweto. Funding had been provided by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) but nobody knew where the money had gone. He used the marathon as an example of a South African athletic association that was in trouble due to poor governance and a lack of accountability. He suggested the Committee meet with the marathon organisers and express disappointment in the way they had conducted themselves.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) stated that there was a serious crisis occurring in sports in South Africa and the country was not prepared to handle it. The Minister was often restricted in his attempts to intervene and help any situation as athletic bodies merely see it as government interference. He believed that the Minister needed to be provided more powers in order to alleviate some of the problems sports in South Africa were facing. The marathon in Soweto was occurring in a disadvantaged area and its cancellation was a disappointment.

The Chairperson noted that South Africa should learn from France where the Minister for Sport had powers to intervene and was not just a spectator. The governing bodies of FIFA and the Olympics had both been opposed to state intervention but the state cannot merely be a spectator. He noted the health of cricket in the country and the incentives that teams were provided to include African players were seen as a positive change. But the Chairperson wondered why such an incentive was needed.

Mr T Lee (DA) believed that a debate on such issues must be had.

Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report of the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation on the performance of the Department of Sport and Recreation for the 2012/13 financial year
The Chairperson read the report and Members were encouraged to give their thoughts and concerns as they came up. The report began by noting the role and mandate of the Committee which included exercising oversight over the Department of Sport and Recreation and its statutory bodies, namely Boxing South Africa and the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport and to act as a facilitator for public participation in their processes.

Ms G Sindane (ANC) stated that the Committee’s requirement to act as a facilitator for public participation was a gray area and needed to be looked at more in depth at future Committee meetings.

The Chairperson continued and noted that for the period under review the Committee had interacted with the Department and analysed the 2012/13 budgets, the Auditor-Generals report, the State of the Nation address, the 2011/12 estimates of the national expenditure and the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan. The Committee had held meetings throughout the year with various sports associations and conducted oversight visits in the Free State, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Western Cape and Northern Cape.

Ms Sindane stated that KwaZulu-Natal had been visited for oversight purposes but was not listed.

Ms Sumayya Khan, Chief Operations Officer, Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), responded that the visits to KZN had occurred before October of the previous year which meant that they were part of the 2011/12 reports.

The Chairperson wished to clarify that there was a distinction between amending the budget and airing their grievances. He stated that the Committee did not have the same capacity as the Cabinet and that the process for amending a budget was long and involved many different bodies. He stated that there was a national sports plan that would sway the 2014/15 budget.

Mr Lee was happy that the Committee and the Department were finally working to support the National Development Bill.

The Chairperson continued and began section 2 which gave an overview of the key relevant policy focus areas.

Mr Lee raised concern over the paragraph related to the South African Boxing Act. He had submitted a private members bill to repeal the Boxing Act in favour of the Combat Sports Bill. This change needed to happen in the near future as it was a complicated process.

Mr Dikgacwi agreed with Mr Lee and stated his support for the Combat Sports Bill and noted that Boxing South Africa Boxing was in trouble and at that point they did not even have a full staff.

The Chairperson expressed concern with the final paragraph of section 2 which provided R160.9 million to the host’s cities of the African Nations Championships of 2014. He wished to ensure that the funding went to the cities and not the South African Soccer Association. Attendance at the matches was of concern, the organisers needed to know how to properly market their games. Many fans did not know the details or what nations were participating. Early advertising was necessary because without it the stadiums would not be full. They did not want the stadium to be filled with kids who received free tickets and had to leave school in order to attend.

Mr Dikgacwi wanted assurance that the funds were being properly spent and that there was enforcement of accountability.

The Chairperson moved on to an overview of key developments in the organisational and service delivery environments of the Department. Cabinet had approved the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NRSP) and it was an integral part of the National Development Plan of South Africa. He presented some of the questions and comments for consideration, including the fact that the Department had taken on the NRSP without the proper staff in place. How were they expected to meet their targets?

Ms Khan noted that there were people resigning at the same time that the Department was hiring and it was making it difficult to keep sufficient numbers. The Department had taken steps to alleviate this by doing more external advertising.

Mr Dikgacwi said that these issues were brought up the previous week in meetings with the Minister.

The Chairperson noted that the questions and comments for consideration in the document were for Members to use as reference as it provided explanations from the Department. The Minister had promised that sport would be more thoroughly developed through the country and he was excited to see how. He joked that since the South African National Soccer team did not qualify for the World Cup in Brazil, SAFA should have to pay.

The report noted that Strategic Goal 1 was to increase citizens’ access to sports and recreation by 5% by 2016. The Department had not been able to achieve this goal and fell well short of their targets.

Ms Sindane was concerned with these statistics but was appreciative of the Department’s commitment to bettering the state of sport and recreation in the country.

Mr G MacKenzie (COPE) thought that the Committee must be careful in considering the goal of increasing participation by 5%. What was this figure based on, the goal was noble but there needed to be a way to measure it properly in the future.

The Chairperson agreed and stated that there was no baseline to measure against. There also had to be a distinction between players and observers.

One of the concerns raised in the report was the budget allocation of R529 million. Ms Khan stated that this amount was a conditional grant and that it must be spent in accordance with the grant framework provided.

Strategic Goal 2 called for the oversight of the transformation of the sport and recreation sector where the goal was to have 80% of the recognised National Federations should meet the transformation targets by 2016. The latest available figures stated that there were 76 affiliated federations and during 2012/13 the Department had assisted 68 (89%). This was an increase from the 54 assisted the previous year.

The questions for consideration included how many of these federations were evaluated with the Transformation Scorecard, which scored federations out of ten. The validity of the scorecard was questioned.

Ms Khan defended the scorecard and stated that it helped the Department to provide conditional funding in order to assure that the money was spent correctly.

Strategic Goal 3 which was to ensure that more athletes achieved international success by a 10% increase by 2016.  this goal was not achieved due to the decline in number of athletes supported overall.

Ms Khan briefly spoke on the Athlete Support Programme which supported high performance athletes. The programme supported the best athletes with the financing and technological assets they needed to strive for success on the world stage.

The Chairperson was very enthused by this programme.

Strategic Goal 4 was to develop enabling mechanisms to support the delivery of sport and recreation,  the performance indicators of this goal were not specific. The Committee needed to consider when the department would have refined criteria of performance measurements and what would the priorities be.

Mr M Rabotapi (DA) believed that sports federations must be more involved in the delivery of sports and recreation in the country. He went on to say that players needed to be better informed in regards to HIV and AIDS, they needed to be informed in order to develop to their full potential.

Ms Khan stated that volunteers and coaches are provided with training about HIV and AIDS as part of the Departments Mass Participation Programme. They provided education programmes and promoted healthy lifestyles.

Strategic Goal 5 was to use sports and recreation as a strategic tool to contribute to all five government priorities and two United Nations priorities by 2016. The Department had repacked and expanded the Sport for Social Change programme in order to catalyse change in the environment, HIV and AIDS and sports against crime. These changes aimed to aid in the government goal of building an empowered, fair, and inclusive citizenship. While their intentions were well aimed they did not indicate clear targets to demonstrate how they would help. Three projects had been undertaken to help reach United Nations priorities.

The Committee wished to know how much the budget was for the implementation of these projects and when they would be provided with more details about these projects.

Mr MacKenzie asked if it was not time for someone to be assigned to monitor municipalities to ensure that funding was going to the proper facilities in order to achieve these goals. He felt as though these subjects had been discussed many times and action needed to be taken.

The Chairperson agreed with this sentiment and thought having a better monitoring system in place for municipalities was a good idea.

Strategic Goal 6 was to implement internal processes and procedures which ensured that SRSA received an annual unqualified audit report. It was noted that for 2012/13 the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation had used the Management Performance and Assessment Tool (MPAT) to assess the Department and had scored them a 2.9 out of 4. The assessment noted that the Department was not consistent in complying with their predetermined objectives and that in some cases they were not able to measure the information they had received to determine the success of their initiatives. It was determined that the Department had not been compliant with the requirements of Section 40(1) of the PFMA which gave deadlines in submit annual statements. Furthermore the transfer of funds and conditional grants given by the Department did apply the adequate measures of compliance as required by the Treasury.

Ms Kahn stated that the Department had thoroughly reviewed their goals and plans and ensured that they were realistic. They had come up with a monitoring tool and were sending teams to provinces to ensure that funding was being used for the reasons it was allocated. The Department had appointed an official dedicated to watching over the use of conditional grants.

The Chairperson asked if this meant that the finances of the Department would be in order the following year.

Mr Dikgacwi asked when the people monitoring provinces would begin their work so that the Committee could follow up with their progress.

Ms Kahn stated that teams had been out doing verification and validation since April.

The Chairperson stated that the overall impression of the Committee was that the Department had performed well in Strategic Goals 1 through 6. Despite the new sport plan being adopted only the previous year, the Department had done a good job of reorganising and providing the Committee with an assessment. The Department was on the move and the destination was a healthy society. The Department was not big in terms of financial clout but was huge in the potential impact on society it could have. He stated that engagement must be made in rural areas as sport had the capacity to bind people; he used the positive results of sports (specifically soccer) in Brazil and Argentina as examples of this.

The Chairperson then moved onto the summary of previous key financial statements and performance. In this regard the Committee had recommended to the Minister of Sport and Recreation to ensure that the Department strengthened their Information Technology Strategy to improve the capturing and collation of data within the Department. Furthermore that additional funding was allocated to sport support services which would enable them to provide further funding to sport federations and agencies with good track records. The Committee had also asked for further funding to be allocated to Boxing South Africa (BSA) to fill all the key vacant strategic positions. The Department had been asked to move swiftly in order to amend the South African Boxing Act as well as the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport Act. Leadership in SRSA needed to be strengthened in order to achieve better corporate governance in sport.

The annual report stated that the Department had taken the suggestions of the Committee seriously and implemented the development of their ICT systems, but did not provide specific targets. Additional funding had also been requested from the National Treasury and BSA had appointed a Chief Financial Officer, despite this appointment many key senior management positions remained vacant.

Ms Sindane believed that BSA needed a deal of improvement and that they did not fill all the vacant posts or address the issues raised by the Auditor-General. But despite this they had still managed to receive an unqualified audit.

Mr MacKenzie thought that BSA receiving an unqualified audit was a big statement. He pointed out that there had been money being deducted from the pay of boxers for their retirement, was this picked up by the audit? People had been contributing to this retirement fund despite it not having been in effect for 10 years.

Ms Khan stated that this issue was not raised in previous meetings but there had been media reports about it and the Department had been engaging BSA to get some answers.

The Chairperson continued and only briefly touched on pages 14 and 15 which provided an overview and assessment of the financial and service delivery performance of the department, this information had already been discussed at a prior date so the Chairperson did not spend much time on it. Page 16 provided a programme by programme breakdown of spending and the Committee did not spend much time on this as it was information they had previously commented on. However it was noted in Programme 1 the Department had spent less on compensation of employees and this was due to vacancy in a few senior posts such as Directors of Finance and vacancies that resulted from the restructuring of the Ministry.

Programme 2 was sport support services and an achievement of the Department was increasing their support to sport and recreation bodies from 54 in 2011/12 to 68 in 2012/13. However they had fallen well short of their goal of developing 180 clubs as they only managed to develop six. Many federations could not be helped due to non-compliance with the requirements to receive funding. The Department fell well short of their goal of training 425 coaches, technical officials and administrators, as they trained zero. This was caused by the reprioritisation of their training due to the new priority codes listed in line with the NRSP.

Programme 3: Mass Participation was the largest programme of the Department and had a budget of R509.63 million. It was noted that the Department had planned 2 youth camps and ended up holding 9, these camps were spread out through the country. The Chairperson suggested that the excess amount of camps being held could have been due to under planning.  1.13 million learners had participated in school sport and 7 405 educators were trained to deliver school sports programmes. The Department had noted that a partnership with the Department of Rural Areas would be effective in ensuring that programmes and camps for youth were not just for privileged persons.

Ms Sindane believed that as the Members responsible for oversight on sports they must ensure that the pledges that the youth say at these camps are correct and non political.

Many Members agreed with her sentiment as it was important to ensure that the pledges youth were saying at these camps promoted a healthy lifestyle and positive use of sports and not anything that was politically biased.

The Chairperson continued with Programme 4: International Liaison. This programme managed international exchange programmes, supported travel arrangements and encouraged the staging of international events in South Africa. There were no questions or comments on this section of the budget. Programme 5: Facilities Coordination was established to facilities the provision and management of sustainable sport and recreation facilities. The bulk of the allocated funds in this programme went to planning and advocacy.

The report moved to SRSA public entities and began with the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport which had an increased allocation for 2012/13. They had overspent their allocation by R1.4 million; with this the Committee wished to know what measures had been put in place to avoid the reoccurrence of the situation.

Ms Khan stated that the Department was working on address the issue of overspending and agreed with the Committee that this was not to become a recurring issue.

The Chairperson stated that the SAIDF was a highly praised entity that did good work. He then continued the presentation and noted that Boxing SA had been allocated R10.1 million in 2011/12 and this number was reduced to R5.1 million for 2012/13. It was noted that BSA did not submit their Annual Performance Plan at the beginning of the 2012/13 financial year making it difficult to determine what their objectives were. The Committee needed to know what mechanisms were in place to ensure that the money that was irregularly spent was recovered and when BSA planned on filling their senior management positions.

Ms Sindane stated that this breakdown of BSA was simple and demonstrated their recurring problems.

The Chairperson briefly read over pages 24-25 which reiterated the budget statistics for the Department before moving on to section 5.4. This section provided the concluding comments on the financial and service delivery performance for the year as viewed by the Department. The Department noted their need to fill their vacant post especially in the senior management sector and stated that it would be an immediate priority. They also believed that they must better ensure that federations complied with the grant frameworks when provided with grants. Reporting mechanisms within programme 3; mass participation was a priority as the Department needed to assure that the funds were being spent properly as it was the highest funded programme. Building sport and recreation facilities in rural communities remained a priority for the Department and they were working on a database of all sporting facilities in the country.

Ms Sindane believed that the comments given by the Department in Section 5.4 were too broad.

Mr Rabotapi asked how progress was measured, was it based off the performance of the federations or the athletes the country produced?

The Chairperson responded that he believed the only way to measure progress was based on the impact sports and recreation had on the society. Although they could look at success as a statistic related to departmental success such as a good budget and efficiency spending, the real success was societal.

He continued to the observations and responses of the Committee, beginning with technical issues. The Committee felt as though there was a need for the department to improve their inter-governmental relations as there were some inconsistencies in statistics presented from the Department of Basic Education when compared with the statistics presented by the Department of Sport and Recreation. The Committee had observed that the Department lacked a solid system that ensured that there were no irregular expenditures and adherence to the relevant frameworks.

In terms of service delivery, the Committee was concerned with the inability of the department to meet their strategic objectives. This needed to be rectified and the Department needed to better align their targets with the NRSP. The Department had performed well in the financial sector and used the resources they were given quite well, but concern was raised over the decline in the number of active participants in sport. This decline was present despite the budget being fully utilised. There was a need to ensure that more deserving sport federations were given support from the Department.

Mr Lee agreed with the suggestions presented but believed that things needed to start happening immediately and no longer just on paper.

Mr Dikgacwi said that many of the concerns noted were raised with the Minister in previous weeks. He felt as though many of the issues of concern were being addressed and there were very few fundamental recommendations to be made.

The Chairperson stated that in terms of supporting a variety of federations there was the federation of the year title, which provided one federation an increase of R1 million in their budget in order to provide better governance and capacity development. For 2013 the federation of the year was tennis and for 2014 it was basketball. He then asked if any Members had further recommendations to add.

Mr MacKenzie wished to see a monitoring tool or database of participants involved in various programmes in order to track progress. This would help in ensuring that programmes were sustainable and productive.

Mr Dikgacwi asked what happened to youths when they finish the camps spoken about earlier, where did they go. He wanted to find a way to help youth continue their education and sports programmes as this would help them to stay off the streets and get into dangerous activities.

Mr MacKenzie stated that the Committee did not really provide and methods or suggestions to the Department on how governance could be strengthened. Could they hold workshops or provided documents?

The Chairperson noted all the suggestions of the Members and stated that the team would take them and add them to the report. He further suggested that the team clean up their paragraphs and make them more concise as well as verify the financial figures presented.

Afternoon session
Committee Report on Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Free State, North West, Western & Northern Cape 2013 oversight visits
The Chairperson noted the purpose of the visits was to oversee key strategic areas of the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NRSP) and the sport facilities and programmes of the areas visited. Some of these facilities were built as part of the 2010 FIFA Legacy Trust which intended to build 52 multi-purpose facilities in all the regions of the South African Football Association (SAFA). Of the intended 52 facilities the FIFA Legacy Trust had built 27. The Committee also oversaw the progress of facilities build by or in partnership with the Sport Trust and Lovelife. Many facilities being built around the country were funded by National Treasury’s Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) first approved by Cabinet in March 2003 and provided to municipalities.

The Chairperson stated that the specific oversight goals of the Committee delegation during these visits was to ensure that funds were being properly used as well as to explore the efficiency with which the public and private partnerships were creating sporting opportunities for rural communities.

The Chairperson read through the report:
Limpopo
The Committee was welcomed in Limpopo by the municipal councils and managers as well as officials from the Provincial Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. One of the biggest venues the Committee visited was the Limpopo Academy of Sport (LAS) which served as the delivery arm for the Provincial Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and prepared teams to participate in National and International Championships. LAS received additional funding from the National Lottery to enhance the performance of Limpopo athletes and the Academy provided sports science and medicine support, life skills programmes, education and training, and coaching.

Other facilities in Limpopo included the Sekhukhune District Academy which hosted Football and Netball coaching courses in May and was being run by a volunteer on a daily basis. The Capricorn Satellite Academy of Sport had gym equipment installed in 2011, but the Committee found upon visiting that the venue had suffered damage from heavy rains and repairs were needed.

There were numerous 2010 FIFA Legacy Projects in Limpopo, including the New Peter Mokaba Stadium which was used four times a month for soccer and rugby matches and housed offices for the Blue Bulls Rugby Union and the Limpopo Cricket Union. There was a further seven Legacy Projects, including the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium which was still used roughly 15 times a month for many different functions.

The Committee’s visit to the Academy Gym at the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture was noted. The gym equipment at the facility was bought in 2006 for R500 000 with funds allocated by the National Lottery. At the time of the visit the gym equipment had yet to be used and the responsible bodies were struggling to find a suitable place to house it. The Committee was told that plans had been approved by the Department to build a venue for the equipment but the funding was not available. An alternative was suggested in which a private investor would start a public gym service with the equipment.

The Chairperson stated that many venues they visited were impressive and seemed to be in good working order but he was worried that the good condition of the facilities was only due to the fact that the venues knew of the visit by the Committee beforehand. He noted that workers in Burgersdorp told them that what management was telling them was not necessarily the truth and many venues in the area were still not open to everyone. The Chairperson suggested that in the future they consider making unannounced visits. Limpopo had always been a challenging area, facilities received poor maintenance and people stole from them. But the management of SAFA in Limpopo was working hard and was well organised. They demonstrated a willingness to work with the Department and strive to improve.

Mr M Rabotapi thought that the Committee needed to organise their trips better as during their oversight trips there were many cases of wasting time and money.

Mpumalanga
The municipal council of the Mbombela municipality gave a presentation on the state of sport and facilities in the municipality. It had a population of about 600 000 and 16 sports facilities, which included seven stadiums and one FIFA Legacy Project. The Matsoko Stadium was a concern as it was in poor shape, and the artificial pitch in Numbi (which was a FIFA Legacy Project) did not have water or electricity. While there the Committee had the chance to visit Mbombela stadium which was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup but the municipality was offering leverage for smaller clubs to play there. The stadium was greatly helped by the return of the Black Aces to the PSL.

The Committee offered some observations on the state of affairs based on their visit to Carolina and Hendrina. They noted that it was not sustainable to provide federations with funding because their operation systems provided no accountability and there was poor governance within some of them. Further, it was found the sports council of Carolina and Hendrina did not have office space to operate in and that the stadium in Hendrina was in a very dilapidated state. Many of the facilities in the area were in poor condition and lacked proper maintenance. The municipalities did not have a clear plan as to what their future plans were in regard to sport and recreation in their community.

Ms G Sindane (ANC) asked why sports councils in Mpumalanga did not work together. She believed that many in the council felt as though the old initiatives did not speak to the new ones, which caused reluctance among them. The Committee and Department needed to assure them that they belonged to the same mandate.

Free State
The Chairperson asked Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) to present the Committee’s findings during their trip to Free State.

Mr Dikgacwi stated that they had received a presentation which explained the projects and programmes that the Department had undertaken in the Free State. There were four sub-programmes in the Provincial Chief Directorate of Sport: community sport, sport and talent development, management and the Free State Sport Science Institute. The latter was the first government owned sports institute. The Institute had finished building their high performance training centre for boxing and there were plans to develop a National Academy of Sport.

The Committee provided a state of facilities section in their report and noted that the Seeisa Ramabodu Stadium was in the early stages of building and had a budget of R81.3 million for the 2013/14 financial year. The Virginia gym facility had received a donation from SRSA of gym equipment valued at R250 000 and it was being used at a local community hall. The gym was managed by the sports council.

The Committee had observed that the Department was aware that there were gangsters who were recruiting in primary schools and that programmes could be developed to address this. The Department had spent R526 million on building facilities in Free State. The state of boxing in Free State was strong as they finished third in a recent boxing tournament held in Cape Town. There were also about 82 townships in the province involved in mass participation programmes and the province had developed a database for the athletes in their programme.

North West province
Mr Dikgacwi read that the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture presented on the status of sports in the North West. An emphasis was placed on the programmes in place in schools and inter-school leagues that had been formed. Youth camps took place annually which targeted the 14-25 year old age group.

The Committee travelled to the Tlokwe Municipality where the municipal representatives stated that they felt there was a need for the transformation of sport both provincially and nationally. They stated that South Africa was still a two sport nation, this was in reference to the emphasis placed on cricket and rugby, and these sports were divided along racial lines. The representatives felt as though the demographics of the country needed to be reflected in the sporting codes.

The Committee observed that the municipality did not place sports as a priority in their budget. The Mayor of Tlokwe had embarking on a quest to establish a directorate focused on sport alone which would remedy the budgetary situation. It was noted that the Chairperson of Sport Council utilised their own money for travel and many volunteers generously donated their time to ensure that the facilities and programmes around the municipality remained functional.

The NWU-FNB High Performance Institute for Sport was discussed and the services of the academy. The Committee believed that there was a need for synergy between sports and education whereby athletes would be provided with life skills in order to prepare for a post-athletic life and the institute was a body which could provide this.

The report moved onto the Committee’s observations on the state of sport in the Moses Kotane Municipality and Mr Dikgacwi noted that the Department believed that the municipality was not taking sports seriously. They misused their funds and frustrated the objectives of the Department. The municipality used their sports funds on other things and according to law this was illegal. Municipalities were required to stick to legal framework that went along with their funding. Mr Dikgacwi noted that many of the facilities they personally visited in the Moses Kotane Municipality were in terrible shape and there was dust on the walls that had been building for years.

Mr Rabotapi stated that in future visits to the area the delegation must visit the facilities they were being told about to see the truth firsthand as he felt that many of the presentations were deceitful.

Mr Dikgacwi agreed with this and believed that throughout their visits to the provinces they were only taken to the places that the provinces and municipalities wanted them to see. Many of the upper management of these areas responsible for sport were not present and were avoiding their questions.

Western Cape
The Chairperson read the findings from the Committee’s visit to some Western Cape municipalities. They began with the municipality of Riversdal and noted that both the Riverville Stadium and Riversdale Stadium were in a good state and well used. Riverville Stadium was owned by the local municipality and was open to the use of any member of the public. The Gouritsmond-Bouville Stadium was noted as being not adequately maintained and in need of upgrades.

The municipality of Cape Agulhas had a population of 33 000 and the municipality felt as though they did not have enough sport and recreation facilities especially in previously disadvantaged areas. Many of the facilities visited by the Committee were deemed inadequate and in need of repair.

Overall the Committee observed that sport in Western Cape was doing well. Clubs were recipients of benefits such as R15 000 for travel. These clubs did not usually use local transport service providers because they lacked the proper paperwork to be eligible. Local clubs needed to inform the Department on what service providers they wished to use in order for the Department to help them register.

Northern Cape
The Chairperson continued presenting the findings of the visit to the Northern Cape where the delegation had visited the sport field at the Prieska show grounds in the Siyathemba municipality. The site contained two gravel fields and the municipality put up poles annually which were always stolen. The Prieska High School received a R500 000 allocation from the National Lottery and was owned by the government. The funds were used to improve their facilities, but it was noted that the facilities were not easily accessible to the community.

The Committee visited the Khara Hais Local Municipality and the Karos Sport Stadium which consisted of a soccer field and fenced courts for netball, volleyball or handball. The facility was funded by the National Lottery and reported to be in good condition with two people employed to maintain the facility. The Kalksloot community sport field had received R1.9 million from the National Lottery. An irrigation system was present at night and was supplied by a reservoir. Overall the Committee found the facilities to be well maintained.

The Chairperson then spoke on the Committee’s visit to the Kai Garib Local Municipality where they visited Langverwag stadium. This facility was heavily used, especially by school football teams. The Committee noted that the venue was unlocked when they arrived but despite this the funding had been spent in the proper areas and sport infrastructure had been well executed in the area.

The 2010 FIFA Legacy Project Facility in Upington was a facility that cost about R7.11 million to build and included a clubhouse which housed the regional offices of SAFA and a new sprinkler system. It was noted that this area was very poor and the community faced many social challenges. SAFA had been working hard to engage more people in the community to use the facility and the Committee believed that it was a venue the community could be proud of.

The Sport for Change (SFC) initiative was a programme which intended to use ball sports, specifically football, as a catalyst for transmitting life skills to children and youth in order to reduce violence in the community and other social ills. R3.7 million had been committed to four rural projects which included the construction of junior soccer fields. Many of the life skill components of the programme had commenced in municipalities and coaches and instructors were being recruited.

The Committee felt as though more training needed to be done for coaches in this municipality as there were only three teams in the region that played in the Vodacom league and only two professional players in the PSL had come from this region. But their visits to the municipality demonstrated to Members that the regional and provincial sport council of the area was functioning well and most districts were active. Their primary area of concern in the province was Prieska where much work needed to be done and facilities needed to be better taken care of.

The Committee had concluded by the end of their trips that the FIFA Legacy Trust had performed admirably in their work and their focus on building venues in rural areas was appreciated by members. It was an ongoing process as there were still 25 Legacy venues to be built. Most rural areas struggled with obtaining and maintaining proper sport development programmes and it was these areas that were the most important as the youth there were more susceptible to drugs and other illicit activities. The document concluded by stating that it was of the most importance that the people who were tasked with running sport facilities in South Africa did so professionally and observed principles of good governance.

The Chairperson was overall satisfied with the document and felt as though it covered the key areas of concern raised by their visit. He did make some suggestions about making the report more concise and some minor grammatical changes. Overall he felt that the Legacy Trust was doing a good job on their projects, but he reiterated that many projects still had to be built. Some of the initiatives taken by federations across the country to get girls more involved in sport were good as it had been found that girls who play sports at a young age are less likely to get pregnant. Alcohol abuse was less common in the families of those who play sport as youths tend to avoid substance issues when they are athletically active.

Ms Sindane stated that the Committee could request SRSA ensure that the grant allocations were being properly spent and to determine which provinces were using their money successfully.

Ms M Dube (ANC) stated that the oversight visits had been very eye opening and it was good for the Committee to be able to see the work done firsthand.

The Chairperson agreed and believed that they had done good work and that the report raised both positive and negative issues on the state of sport in the provinces visited. With the changes to the report as suggested by Members it would be an informative document.

Ms G Tseke (ANC) moved to adopt the report and Ms Dube seconded the motion.

With this the Chairperson thanked all those present for their input and noted that this Committee was committed to bettering the state of Sport and Recreation in the country as evidenced by the constant commitment of the Members of the Committee. He thanked them for their continued attendance and their involvement on the important issues.

The Committee approved minutes of meetings held on September 10 and October 8 with amendments.

Meeting adjourned.
 

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