University Sports of South Africa & Comrades Marathon Association briefings on their Strategic Plans, Governance, Transformation and Development; Lovelife Annual report; SA Rugby Legends – Grassroots Development

Sports, Arts and Culture

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

University Sports of South Africa briefed the Committee on its historical context.  It was open to all institutions providing qualifications at a National Qualification Framework Level 5.  Its governance structures made provision for participation by both staff members of member institutions and students.  The body played a role in preparing the national team for international and regional events, and in managing the various national events.  South Africa had enjoyed its most successful Universiade in the 2013 event at Kazan, in Russia.  More funding was needed.  The recent innovation of the Varsity Cup in rugby and Varsity Sports in other codes, was raising the profile of university sport.

Members were told that the Department of Higher Education and Training did not directly fund university sport.  The provincial branches of University Sport South Africa were encouraged to work with provincial governments.  Members were assured that netball was being prioritised in the face of the popularity of male-dominated codes.  Members were concerned over the high number of school-leavers who stopped participating in sport.  A mechanism was needed to track these people.  The importance of community involvement was stressed.  Members were assured that recreational drug use was not a major issue at universities, and there was a good relationship with the authorities in terms of performance-enhancing drugs.

The Comrades Marathon Association briefed the Committee on the history of the organisation of the race.  A large number of volunteers assisted with the race.  There was a commitment to transformation in what had been seen as an event for the elite in the past.  Support was provided for indigent runners.  Securing sponsorship was a challenge.  Other challenges were the quality of the television broadcast of the race and the amount which the Association had to provide to ensure the broadcast.  Fees payable to the municipalities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg for police and emergency services were also a challenge.  The Comrades Marathon continued to be recognised as one of the best of its kind in the world.

Members raised questions over the Association's relationship with the provincial and national athletics federations.  They were assured that its financial affairs were well-managed.  The Association did not receive anything from the television broadcast rights, and in fact had to pay a considerable amount to ensure the broadcast.  An academy had been formed to develop endurance running.

Members were briefed by the South African Rugby Legends Association and the Vuka Rugby Trust.  Their mission was to develop the game in disadvantaged areas where the game had all but died out.  From a handful of schools in Mitchell's Plain, a number of townships had become involved and the programme had been spread to other provinces.  There were leagues for Under 19 and Under 15 boys, and there was also a programme for girls. 

Members encouraged the Trust to continue with what it was doing, and looked forward to seeing the programme expanded to other areas and provinces.

A delegation from LoveLife briefed the meeting on the Annual Report for 2012.  LoveLife continued to reach as many young people as possible, with advice on healthy lifestyles and HIV prevention.  A number of volunteers were used within the community, as well as various media platforms.  Y-Centres were provided at various locations.  Sport was seen as a major component of the outreach programme.  A leadership academy had been established.  Sports coaches were being trained with an emphasis on communicating with young people over lifestyles and risky behaviour.  LoveLife had a high turnover of volunteers.  It was not possible to pay stipends to the vast majority of the volunteers.  There was a communication gap between parents and the younger generation.  Another challenge was the ownership and maintenance of infrastructure.  Members cautioned that non-government organisations should not become a new layer of government.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed the delegations.  He said that the Committee was very concerned about transformation.

University Sport (USSA)
Prof Tyrone Pretorius, President, University Sport South Africa (USSA), said that USSA was the unified structure governing university sport.  The body’s founding values included unity, accountability, non-racialism, non-sexism and democracy..  The goal was to optimise university participation in sport, bearing in mind that the prime goal of universities was academic excellence. 

Mr Louis Nel, Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), USSA, sketched the historical background.  There had been a fragmented landscape based on race in the past.  In April 2008, the Minister of Sport and Recreation and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) had agreed that university sport should exist separately, at which time USSA had been constituted.  Membership was open to higher education institutes (HEI) in South Africa offering qualifications at the National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 5 and above.  USSA had 37 private and public institutions as members, with a total of 561 clubs between them in the different codes represented.  The number of students participating in national events annually was 14 500. 

There was a national secretariat based in Pretoria.  There was a management committee (MANCO).  There were 33 associations representing the various codes, and provincial structures in all nine provinces.

Every three years, the universities elected a National Executive Committee (NEC) to manage the affairs of USSA.  The NEC consisted of a President, a First Vice-President, who must be a senior staff member at a member institution, and a Second Vice-President, who would be a senior student. The students were given the opportunity to act as leaders.  The other portfolios were for a Chief Finance & Marketing Officer, who would be a staff member, five assessors and the Secretary General / CEO, acting ex officio.  The balance of the NEC consisted of a minimum of four current students, and four officials employed by any of the member bodies.

Mr Nel said that there was a limit of a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms.  On 20 April 2013, Prof Pretorius had been elected as President.  He named the members of the current NEC and their affiliations.  Of the current executive, half of the members were female. 

Mr Nel said that USSA was affiliated to the Zone VI Confederation of University and Colleges Sports Associations (CUCSA), the Federation of Africa University Sports (FASU) and the International University Sports Federation (FISU).  There were South African representatives on all the executives of these bodies.  USSA delivered student teams, together with SASCOC, for multi-code games.  These events were the FISU Universiades and the FASU and CUCSA Games..

Ms Ilhaam Groenewald, First Vice-President, USSA, listed the focus areas.  These included the appointment of additional staff, high-performance sport and the hosting of major events.  There were currently 33 events being held annually.  The NEC managed international relations.   She cited the example of the number of students in the women's national football team, Banyana Banyana.

Ms Groenewald wanted to see USSA as an influential body.  Accountability was needed, together with wide collaboration with academic bodies.  Alignment was needed.  The body had to stay in touch with the needs of students.   There were some areas of growth and development.  The head office had two employees, the CEO and a head administrator.  Another administrator would be employed soon.

Ms Groenewald said that inconsistent funding was a challenge. The lottery funding for the recent FISU Universiades had been received only two days before the team's departure for Kazan, in Russia.  More visibility was needed at school level.  There was a poor public perception of the USSA brand.  Resources were allocated inconsistently, especially regarding the disadvantaged institutions.  USSA did not want to be dependent on the subscriptions paid by the institutions and the lottery.

Ms Groenewald aimed to collect R80 million over the following five years to develop the USSA brand.  At the twentieth anniversary of unified sport, the role played by student leadership needed to be addressed.  Improvements were needed in programme management due to the increasing sophistication of the student body.  A monitoring system needed to be in place consistently.

Prof Pretorius said that the Committee would be aware of the role played by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) in the United States of America (USA).  This was the example followed internationally.  Ms Groenewald would soon be visiting the USA to learn from their experience.  University sports represented the next level of Olympic champions. 

There were institutional challenges.  There had been research in 2010.  There was a legacy issue on the state of sports development.  Universities fell into three distinct categories.  At the lower end -- the previously disadvantaged institutions -- sport was provided as purely a social experience for students.  In the middle level, there was some competition and infrastructure.  The University of the Western Cape (UWC) now fell into this category.  The third category was the high performance universities, which had well-developed facilities.  This was a challenge.  Sports development at previously disadvantaged institutions was lagging far behind that of the previously advantaged institutions.

The research detailed in the presentation indicated that sport was not only about physical participation.  Sport played a key role in all the key priorities of a university.  These bodies were spending significant amounts on facilities, as well as the broader infrastructure. 

Ms Groenewald said that USSA had participated in the World Student Games since 1993.  In 2009, a female had headed the delegation, and again in 2013.  The performance had improved at these events.  The 27th Summer Universiade at Kazan in 2013 had been a special year.  Over 170 countries had participated.  USSA’s goal had been to win thirteen medals, but fourteen had been achieved, of which seven were gold and four silver.

Prof Pretorius said that South Africa had been placed second in track and field athletics, behind Russia, and eighth overall.

Ms Groenewald said she was very proud of this achievement.  The team sports had all ended in the top five places, but the women's football had finished fourth.  This had created an extra place for an African team at the next event.  The external partners needed to be acknowledged.  The Minister's office had provided wonderful support.  A new phenomenon was the Varsity Cup and Varsity Sports tournaments.  The national weeks were being used as qualification events for the Varsity Cup in rugby and the Varsity Sports tournaments in other codes.  In hockey, men and women would participate in alternate years.

Prof Pretorius concluded that Ms Groenewald must be forgiven her passion for women's involvement, and the performance of UWC.  He had made himself available for the presidency reluctantly.  Sport had a crucial role to play in promoting identities.  USSA was the representative body in sport, and needed effective leadership.  He hoped that he was considered effective as a leader.  The body was still reactive in terms of its management of university sport.  The service providers had come up with the concept of the Varsity Cup and Varsity Sports in the other codes.  At present, USSA was largely supported by contributions from its members.  Grants were needed from the lottery and the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) to host events and take part in the world games.  The lottery had been very generous.  Capacity needed to be developed.  The leaders of the future had to be groomed in sports administration, where there were challenges in the country.  He hoped that participation in the management of USSA would create leaders in the different codes at a national level.  Management systems needed to be developed in the CEO's office, to track athletes.  Participation was at an all time high.  USSA had to remain a responsible organisation. 

The Chairperson thanked the President for the presentation.  The profile of university sport was low, but this was where some of the highest level sport was being played.  He was not sure how many Members were aware of USSA.

Prof Pretorius acknowledged that visibility was a problem.  The Monday night televised events were raising the profile.  The focus should be on the winning athletes, and not the administrators.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) thanked USSA for their input.  He saw that The Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) was listed as an external partner.  He asked if there was any involvement from their provincial counterparts.  There was heavy involvement in Banyana Banyana, but what was being done for netball?    What contribution was being made by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)?   He had visited the Free State recently, where the provincial sport department was the best in the country.  He noted that good medal hauls were achieved only when the “chef de mission” was female.

Prof Pretorius replied that the DHET did not provide direct support for university sport, but did support the universities as a whole through a system of grants.  He was not aware of any specific grant for sport.  There was, however, a focus on the holistic development of students.

Mr Nel said that there were provincial USSA structures, and they were tasked to liaise with provincial governments.  There was good support in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng, but the same could not be said of all provinces.

Ms Groenewald said that all universities did offer netball as a code.  The Tshwane University of Technology had about eight teams.  It would be arrogant for universities to develop the sport at school level, but they could participate as a partner.  There was a focus on the code.  The national tournament had seen 46 campuses across the country competing in three sections.  A number of universities offered bursaries to promising athletes.

Mr Nel added that netball was a priority sport both for SRSA and for USSA.  A lot was being done for the men, especially codes such as rugby, soccer and cricket.  Netball needed to be promoted.  The world university netball championships had been hosted in Cape Town in 2012, and might be hosted there again in 2014.  Eight teams had participated.  The cost of the tournament had been R5 million, and the provincial government had supported this well.

Prof Pretorius said that the semi-finals of the varsity netball had been completed at Stellenbosch the previous day.  The crowd in attendance had been bigger that that for the football.  He felt that this competition was a huge stimulus for the code.

Mr G MacKenzie (COPE) was interested to see that participation was great, without compromising academic excellence, but there were some students who seemed to take forever to complete their degrees.  He asked how the 561 clubs boosted membership.  He was pleased to see the involvement of students at the executive level.  The lottery money was an issue.  It always seemed that funds came through at the last minute.  This hampered planning.  The biggest challenge was the gap between school leavers and club sport.  The names of participants in sport at school level should be captured in a database, and be accessible to universities.  Only 2% of school leavers went on to play sport at club level.  The reasons for this needed to be discovered.  He asked how the target of R80 million would be reached, with a single paid official at Ms Groenewald's disposal.  The reason for the success of NCAA was that their approach was to have interaction with the surrounding community.  There was also a disparity between the capacity of different institutions in the USA.
Ms G Sindane (ANC) shared the concern over school leavers.  She asked if students were expected to pay subscriptions.

Prof Pretorius said that the issue of sports clubs was that each university offered different codes.  This is what was meant by a club.  The tuition fees of some universities had an all-inclusive fee, while others charged a levy for the use of different facilities.  USSA did not have a view or a say on how universities structured their fees.  He thought that the key was that in both the academic sporting sectors, too many matriculants simply disappeared.  The management information system (MIS) he had mentioned would be a key to addressing this problem.  At most universities, there were special bursaries for talented school-leavers.  If USSA could assist in identifying worthy matriculants, it might address the issue.  The key was the availability of the MIS.  He agreed fully on the role of the NCAA.  Students were a transitory group, but the anchor at university level in the USA was the community.  This was one of the aspects of the Varsity Cup and Sports.  The community should identify with the institution in their area.  This was happening in the academic environment, but the same could not yet be said of the sports environment.  There was a strategic planning session in November. 

Ms Groenewald said that a qualification had been included in the Varsity Cup teams -- students had to maintain a certain academic level.  R80 million was not an impossible dream.  Universities such as Fort Hare and Walter Sisulu should benefit from the R100 million allocated for each province. A service provider was interested in assisting with the hosting of the 33 national tournaments.  A centralised service provider might assist greatly.  The money was there to be found.

The Chairperson asked how enthusiastic the students were.  Parents were not encouraging their children to participate in sport, as they saw it as a distraction to academic performance.  Sport was seen as having many benefits at school, but as a distraction at university level.  There were townships around universities, but many institutions seemed to be isolated from their communities.  He asked if there was a problem with the abuse of drugs.  Security was becoming an increasing concern at schools, and he asked if universities were experiencing the same problem.

Mr Dikgacwi noted that First National Bank (FNB) was a sponsor of the Varsity Cup.  He asked if there was any relationship with other banks.  He asked if there was any involvement with the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS).

Mr MacKenzie asked what the policy was, of non-students playing in university teams.  A talented youngster might not qualify for studies at a university, but could be encouraged to play for a university team.

Prof Pretorius responded that he was aware of research on the relationship of the total student experience, and its link with academic achievement.  The university experience was a key moment in a student's life.  The university provided a holistic social, sport, cultural and academic experience.  On the drug problem, universities attracted young adolescents, many of whom were in a period of experimentation.  He did not think the problem was a bad as that being experienced in certain communities.  He believed that many students did experiment with drugs, but it was not a real problem at this level.  On the doping issue, the NEC had a sports medicine sub-committee which was involved with SAIDS.  The high-performance events had demonstrated that corporations did have an appetite for funding student activities.  The students of today were the earners of tomorrow.  FNB had cornered the market from the banking sector.  Wimpy, Cell-C and Samsung were also sponsoring events.  The sponsors wanted to be competitive and corner the market.  With Cell-C as a sponsor, it was difficult to approach other cellphone providers.

Ms Groenewald added that there was a direct relationship with the national federations, and there had been a SAIDS presence at their events.  Some clubs were closed to outsiders and others were open, and USSA had no influence over this.  In rugby, the number of non-students had been reduced to four in the Varsity Cup.  In the other Varsity Sports events, only students were allowed to compete.

Mr Nel said that the open club philosophy was to attract youngsters who might study at the university at a later date.  There was a good relationship with SAIDS.  At international events, such as the netball, athletes from all nations were tested.  There was a big concern over the gap in participation in sport before and after leaving school   In many cases, young people tended to rebel after years of discipline at the school level.

The Chairperson stressed the importance of sport, and in links being maintained with the community.

Comrades Marathon Association
Mr Dave Dixon, Chairperson of the Board, Comrades Marathon Association (CMA), introduced the delegation.  The CMA presentation was on the strategic plan, governance, transformation and development. 

The Comrades Marathon had been established in 1921.  In 2013 the Marathon had been run for the 88th time.  The Collegians Harriers club had organised the race initially, but in 1985 an organisation had been founded to continue this function.  The Comrades Marathon Board had been established in 2009 to provide for more professional administration.  In 2004, the Association had seen the need to organise the event on more professional lines. 

Mr Dixon said that there was a volunteer complement, both at Board level and in aspects of organising the race itself.  There was a race director, assisted by a committee of 26.  In 2000 there had been 24 500 entrants for the millennium year.  There had been a dramatic drop in numbers since then, and the Association had embarked on a drive to keep the event relevant.  From an international perspective, entries were received from 60 countries.  There had been nearly 2 000 international entries for 2013.  The event had its own brand identity. 

Mr Dixon said that over R500 million was generated by the event.  He wished that other bodies would conduct themselves with the same degree of transparency and honesty.

Mr Chris Bruwer, General Manager (GM), CMA, gave the vision of the Association.  The race was recognised as the biggest ultra-marathon in the world.  The event should continue to promote social cohesion.  The race attracted a television audience of up to 2 million.  There were continued good relations with the provincial government and Athletics South Africa (ASA).  Assistance, in the form of accommodation and medical support, was provided for up to 800 indigent athletes.  There were 5 500 volunteers.  The spirit of Comrades was how people supported each other.  There was a charity umbrella, which raised money for five charities.  The Association continued to strive for financial viability.  The funds were being managed properly.  There was a contingency fund.

Mr Bruwer said that efforts to commercialise the event were an ongoing success.  There was good support from the local government.  In the broadcast of 2014, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) had agreed to allow thirteen one-minute inserts to promote local tourism.

Mr Dixon added that the budget was close to R25 million, of which 12% came from entry fees.  These were kept accessible.  85-90% of the income came from sponsorships, which were a huge challenge in the country.  The Association was fortunate to have four committed major sponsors.  The Association had decided many years previously never to sell the naming rights.  The role of government had to be emphasised.  New opportunities were needed for government departments to play a role.

Mr Steve Mkasi , CMA Board member, had been on the Board since 2012.  He was charged with constitutional amendments.  While the Comrades brought in up to R5 million in revenue, the municipalities were still imposing charges for traffic police and other services.  He asked if Parliament could intervene, to have such fees waived.  The constitution of CMA had previously had a requirement that the board should be elected by the general membership.  Membership was open to all.  A source of tension was the election of the chief office bearers.  The current board had decided to take this away.  Corporate governance on the formation of a board had been discussed.  The board members themselves should elect a chairperson.  On 21 August a Special General Meeting of the CMA had been held and a new constitution adopted.  This provision had been included in the constitution.

Mr Mkasi said that in terms of corporate governance, the question of voluntary service was an issue.  Members of the board often had other responsibilities, such as assisting the race director.  Volunteers subjected themselves to the leadership of the GM.  He felt that the board should be separated completely from managing the race, but this could kill the voluntary spirit of the race.  CMA could not be compared to any other company.

Mr Dixon said that any source of conflict should be eradicated.  An important aspect was transformation and development.

Mr Macdonald Chitja, Vice-Chairman, CMA, said that Comrades had been one of the first events to open itself up to black runners and females.  This decision had been taken as far back as 1975.  The board had done this in defiance of government policy at the time.  In later years the new government had called for Comrades to be transformed.  The board had deliberated on how this could be done.  Pillars of transformation had been identified which would lead to a natural transformation.  A policy document had been adopted.  Comrades should display various values, such as equity, accessibility, democracy and capacity building.  Comrades had been seen as an event for the elite, and this perception had been changed.  The difficult part was in changing the mindset of the members, to take these policies to heart.  Mr MacKenzie had assisted in overcoming problems and had provided guidance.  The body was now unified.

Mr Chitja said that the only way to transform a body was through unity.  Not everything in the CMA was perfect, but they were working on it.  The profile of a Comrades runner had changed dramatically since 2000.  There had been very few black ladies participating.  There were now more black runners, especially females, while the traditional runners had been retained.  Office bearers realised how important this aspect was.  He assured Members that Comrades was in good hands.  The international audience looked at the race with envy.  Government assistance was needed to achieve true transformation.

The CMA was not a federation, but was an organisation to manage a particular event.  Several joint projects with KZN Athletics (KZNA) and other bodies were listed.  The event had to be kept accessible.  The first project was the indigent runners’ village.  People came from distant areas with a passion, but nowhere to stay overnight.  This project was supported by the sponsors.  Accommodation and meals were provided on the night before an event.  The accommodation was normally in Pietermaritzburg, and transport was provided when the race started in Durban.

The Chairperson asked Mr Chitja to move on, as Members were already aware of much that was in the written presentation.

Mr Chitja said that other important events were the youth run the day before the event, over distances of 5 and 10 km.  There had been over 5 000 participants in 2013.  The Edendale race was organised together with municipalities, and he hoped that the youngsters targeted would graduate to Comrades.

Mr Dixon continued that engagement would be welcomed.  Challenges were in sponsorship and  the SABC production -- Comrades was one of the few events in the country with a thirteen-hour broadcast.  The CMA had to find R4 million to ensure that coverage took place.  He listed the achievements of the CMA.

The Chairperson said that Mr MacKenzie had been briefing Members on events within the CMA. 

Mr Dikgacwi noted that Mr Mkasi agreed with the CMA’s constitution.  He asked if the provincial constitutions agreed with the national constitution.  In order to achieve transformation and development, there would be ongoing problems if the national body did not make appropriate interventions.  Nothing had been said about what was happening in other provinces. 

Ms T Lishivha (ANC) asked if the youth run involved children from other provinces.

Ms G Tseke (ANC) noted that people paid R20 as a joining fee.  Was this applicable to individual persons only or also to groups, such as sponsors.  She asked what the fee was for overseas members.  She asked how the funds were managed. 

Ms Sindane asked to whom the financial statements were provided.  She wondered if one of the challenges with sponsors was that satisfactory feedback was not being provided.

Mr MacKenzie wanted to know if the CMA was active in negotiations with SABC, or if the mother body conducted these on their behalf.  He asked what portion of the television revenue reverted to the CMA.

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) asked about the relationship with the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg.  There was considerable income for the municipalities.

Mr Mkasi said that the responsibility of the CMA was solely to organise this race.  They relied on ASA and KZNA to provide athletes to participate.  There was no purpose in CMA being represented in other provinces.  They relied on ASA and their provincial affiliates.  If people funded a body, they needed to see how their money was used.  CMA provided full accounting, audited by BDO.  The CMA was a registered public benefit organisation and was thus required to keep audited financial statements.  Any person could request a copy.  The R20 fee was for membership of CMA.  This had nothing to do with entering the race itself.  The entry fee for 2013 had been R330 for local runners and R1 800 for overseas entrants.

Mr Chitja said that the CMA was tasked only with organising the Comrades. The CMA had to be an associate member of KZNA.  Runners had to be members of clubs.  The CMA was not a running club, but a special member of KZNA.  The constitution had to be aligned with the provincial constitution, and he assumed this in turn was aligned with that of ASA.

Mr Dixon elaborated that a draft copy of the financial statements had been provided to Members.  There was an annual audit, with a strict code of conduct in place.  A chartered accountant chaired the audit committee.  The funds were adequately controlled and managed.  Procurement policies were managed stringently.  They were careful to avoid malpractices in this regard.  There was a direct link between sponsorship and broadcast rights.    A production company liaised with the SABC.  The sponsors needed to get good mileage for their investment.  The role of the CMA in the management of the TV production had been discussed at length.  ASA was the custodian of all broadcast rights and the CMA received nothing back from this; in fact, they had to finance the broadcast to the tune of R4 million.  These rights were a critical component towards sustainability.  There was a huge investment in Pietermaritzburg and Durban, and the relationship was healthy.  The cities had their fiscal constraints, but there was ongoing discussion.

Mr Bruwer said that Enduracad was an anagram for Endurance Academy.  This was a non-profit organisation started by Ms Elana Meyer.  The Academy had been endorsed by the Minister, and was aimed at producing top quality marathon runners, especially women.  There were two levels of involvement, at grass roots and at semi-elite level.  The main level was international professional athletes.  The CMA had invested in eight athletes, of whom four would come from KZN and four would be women.  Eight semi-elite athletes would enjoy the support of the academy, including advice on nutrition, skills development and business sustainability.  Sports psychology and a life after athletics would be considered.

Ms Sumayya Khan, Chief Operating Officer (COO), SRSA, had heard the comment that there were costs for police and other emergency services.  She would discuss this with the delegation outside the meeting.

Mr Mkasi said that logistical challenges precluded involving youth from other provinces in the youth race.  The provincial department supplied the transport at present.

The Chairperson urged Members to maintain contact with the CMA, especially those based in KZN.  Organisers of other marathons around the country could learn from the experience of CMA.   While the Russian twins were always winning, there was little American involvement in Comrades.

Mr Dixon thanked the Committee for their support.  There was a new theme every year, and a few years ago, it was that every South African should run just once.  He asked the Chairperson if he would be running in 2014.

South African Rugby Legends Association
The Chairperson asked the delegation from Rugby Legends to keep their presentation brief.  As they were based in Cape Town, a lengthier interaction was needed at some other time.

Mr Ismail Teladia, Trustee, Vuka Rugby Trust, introduced the delegation, including former Springbok, Dale Santon.  His school had produced two rugby Springboks.  This was the only disadvantaged school to achieve this.  Only three high schools in Mitchell's Plain had played rugby at one time, but now there were 85 disadvantaged schools playing in the league.  This was the focus of the Vuka programme.  The focus of Western Province had been on the Craven Week and high performance.  The Vuka programme was now being expanded into KZN and Gauteng, concentrating on reviving rugby where it had died out.  The word 'vuka' meant 'awakening'.

Mr Teladia said that the first part of the year was spent on capacity building. This included coaching courses and the Bok Smart programme.  Teachers had to be trained to keep rugby alive.  There was a partnership with the Laureus Sport for Good Programme.  Life skills were also being taught, and were bringing a new dimension to coaches.  The first group had been under 19s, with games every Wednesday.  It was now being taken down to the under 15 level as well, with Thursday afternoons also being used.  Schools were grouped into leagues of eight, with representative teams playing in competitions during the school holidays.  The South African Rugby Union (SARU) had seen the model, and had provided financial support to take it further. 

Mr Teladia said that composite teams played for the Legends Iqhawe Cup. The game was being taken into different townships.  One of the problems was explaining the dynamics of township life to the Springbok coaches.  There was a link with the universities, with a partnership being established at University of Western Cape (UWC).  Some of the products of the project were playing in the UWC Under 20 team. The Iqhawe week had been introduced for Under 15 players.  Eight provinces had taken part, and it was hoped that this would be expanded to all fourteen provincial unions.  Only disadvantaged schools could take part in the programme.  Talented players were being given the chance to showcase their talents.  Universities were providing bursaries.  There was currently close contact with three provinces, but this would be expanded.  It was about passing on the passion.

Mr Teladia said that there would be a focus on girls and “sevens” rugby in the future.  Funding was needed to finance the coaching of teachers.  SARU was providing some funds, but South African Rugby Legends (SARL) was also generating its own funds.

Mr Pieter Muller, Development Officer National, Vuka Rugby, said that there was also a focus on coaching and administration.  Many players were unemployed at the end of their careers.  There was also a fun side.  Fund-raising functions were held.  Tournaments were held for older players.  Fund-raising was undertaken for players in need.

Mr Teladia said that there was a list of more than a dozen unemployed former Springboks.  They could be used to assist with physical training and sport at schools.  The programme was going national.

Mr Dikgacwi thanked SARL for their presentation and their good work.  He asked what was being done in the Boland and South Western Districts (SWD) regions.  These were the neighbouring provinces, and there were also legends residing in those areas.  In Port Elizabeth, the ex-KWARU players had been assigned to train at schools.

Mr MacKenzie asked about the outreach to other unions.  It was important to source the traditional rugby-playing areas.  He asked how many children were registered, and if there was a database being kept of these players.  How many girls were involved, as South Africa was lagging in women's rugby?  He was intrigued to know how the teachers were being involved, as there was no longer a culture of teachers contributing in their own time after class.

Mr Teladia said that there had been Boland and SWD teams at the Iqhawe Week.  The programme would be taking in another seven provincial teams in 2014.  The rugby legends needed to be identified in these provinces.  The focus on rugby for girls was based on the sevens format.  The player numbers would be forwarded to the Committee.  A database would be drawn up for the rugby legends, and there was already a database on those who had come through the programme and moved on to universities.  The programme had been running for five years and was now getting support.  Vuka would become a buzzword for SARU.

Ms Sindane asked what the objective was on gangs and drugs.  After five years, she asked if it was possible to evaluate what impact had been made in this regard.

Mr Teladia said that the original number of five schools had been increased to sixteen in Mitchell's Plain.  There were programmes in Lavender Hill and Ocean View.  There had been some razzmatazz.  The gangsters had come out to watch and had been impressed.  Small gains were being made.

The Chairperson said that the programme had to be kept expanding.  The solidarity of sportsmen would help to heal social ills.  Members should also take the opportunity to see what was happening in the local communities.

Presentation by LoveLife
The Chairperson welcomed the delegation from LoveLife.  He acknowledged the many invitations received, but Members had had many commitments on their time. 

Ms Grace Mathlape, CEO, LoveLife, said that a report had shown the risks faced by young people.  LoveLife had been challenged to present on its policy recommendations.

The key highlight for 2012 had been the ongoing interaction with young people around the country.  While media were useful in creating awareness, the real benefits came from face to face contact.  LoveLife now worked in almost 900 communities and over 6 000 schools.  Mobile-based monitoring systems had been introduced.  The groundBREAKERS (gbs) were now able to provide data almost in real time of their activities.  Another highlight was a new Y-centre in KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage, sponsored by Volkswagen.  This centre helped LoveLife to reach 20 000 young people, using sport and the arts as a gateway.  Another Y-centre had been opened in Khayalitsha, offering the same programmes.  The sport component was critical.  One facility could be used to support multiple sports codes. 

Ms Mathlape said that the sport programme was a major component of the outreach programme.  The programme itself had been modified, but remained an important tool.  With the challenges of poverty and unemployment, many young leaders were participants.  There had been 11 000 participants.  Gbs and Mpintshi were appointed for a three month period.  There were many indicators of success, but two stood out.  Firstly, those who participated as gbs were more likely to continue with education on completion of their term.  They were more likely to succeed at tertiary education level and to gain employment.  Half a million people were contacting LoveLife through the various platforms provided to obtain advice and information.  Almost 90% of people contacting the call centres used the “Plz Cal Me” helpline.  There was movement towards social media platforms.  LoveLife was monitoring the social media platform usage of the youth.  There was also good interaction through the medium of radio, with over 3.6 million exposed to radio broadcasts, and the UNCUT magazine had a distribution of over 1 million.

LoveLife was about focussing on the risks of HIV. The logo of LoveLife had changed.  An evaluation was needed about what the various stakeholders wanted from the body.  Young people should appreciate that life was always on “play” and never on “pause.”  Too many young people were pausing after completing school.  The longer young people stayed unemployed after school, the less likely they were to find gainful employment.  HIV shared the same drivers as substance and spousal abuse. 

Ms Mathlape revealed that a LoveLife leadership academy had been established.  This enabled LoveLife to accredit the programme, and young people could emerge from the programme with a recognised certificate in business management. 

There was an increased used of digital platforms.  There was a joint programme with Discovery Health to incentivise healthy living.  There were many rewards programmes, but Vitality was a leader in this regard.

Mr Raxmax Mashigo, GM: LoveLife Games, said that there had been a significant increase in the number of children participating in sport.  The perceived double mandate between LoveLife and sports federations was now a thing of the past.  He wished that the SARL delegation could still have been present.  Many coaches were not aware of the challenges faced by the youth.  There would be more direct interventions.  One was that many netball players fell pregnant and were unable to continue playing, and pregnancy awareness was a key focus area.  The demand for a presence in the rural areas was increasing.  In 2012, LoveLife had participated in over 1 600 events.  In 2013, the statistics showed a positive shift.  There was now a focussed interest on who had finished what programme.

Mr Mashigo said that LoveLife had thought in depth about how to guide a young athlete through the different levels.  Too many young people had been buried at an untimely age.  LoveLife had started an ambitious campaign to train coaches in soccer, volleyball and basketball.  The thrust of this training was more on off-the-field help, rather than on the techniques of the game.  The LoveLife Academy was taking a broader look at the question of coaching.  The chances of access and encouraging positive behaviour would be better if the Y- Centre was established in sporting facilities, rather than within the community. 

Ms Mathlape listed the challenges.  One of these was the availability of gbs and the mpintshis.  These people were being trained to deliver the programmes for LoveLife, but costs were an issue.  The 900 gbs were on a stipend, but more than 10 000 Mpintshis did not receive this.  Volunteers were still coming forward, but there was a high turnover.

The infrastructure was ageing.  The organisation needed to keep up with the financial demands of maintenance, and many centres did not belong to LoveLife.  In many cases, the structures needed to be rebuilt.

The annual report included all the funders.  LoveLife had managed to meet the relevant Portfolio Committees.  A concern had been expressed that there should not be double funding.

Mr Scott Burnett, Senior Executive Manager: Programmes, LoveLife, said that LoveLife's interest in sport had been on the role played by sport -- and school sport especially -- in the lives of young people.  The intention had always been to find the best place to interact with young people.  The demand on gbs would always outstrip the supply.  There were strategies to encourage mass participation at school level.  What needed to develop was the interaction between the coach and young people.  Risky behaviour could be put down to three causes.  The first was individual factors, such as the way young people saw themselves.  The next category was the social norms in which young people grew up.  These factors predisposed people to risk.  The third factor was the economy and the structure of society.  Sport had an incredible role to play in all three areas.  There were many examples of risky behaviour.

Mr Burnett said that there was a need for parents or caregivers to create a better bond with young people.  There was a chasm developing between parents and children, mainly due to modern technology.  The norms of children were different to those of their teachers -- often not for the better.  Coaches should develop a sense of values and belonging among their charges.  The national coaching framework should focus more on the interaction between the coach and young persons in personal development.  In many cases, any hope of obtaining a job and social success was based on the adult role models presented to them.  Talent identification might lead one to lose sight of the bigger picture.  Key learning areas were strengthening knowledge of HIV, improving interpersonal communication, strengthening the capacity to impart life-skills and engaging families and their communities in bridging the generation gap.

Mr Burnett said that young people knew about working in a team, and valued sport and exercise in their lives.  Young people engaged with adults in a valuable way. 

The Chairperson noted that Members were relatively happy with the presentation. 

Ms Sindane said that the challenges should have been addressed in more detail, such as refurbishment for facilities that needed maintenance.

Mr Dikgacwi had often fought with LoveLife.  He had seen what they had done in the Free State.  Ex-prisoners had been taught various skills, thanks to the interaction of LoveLife.  There were lessons for other provinces.  The conditions in the Boland area needed attention, as he had seen far too many obese children in the area.

The Chairperson said that the question of infrastructure needed to be addressed.  Many of the premises LoveLife used would be owned by local government. 

Ms Mathlape said that the first group of centres had not belonged to LoveLife.  However, more recent developments had been subject to strong partnership agreements.  There were also partnerships with business, such as in Mthatha, where there was an agreement with Anglo American.  Opportunities would be incrementally pursued, such as one in Vryburg.  If municipalities could not donate the land on which the buildings stood, LoveLife would look to move the centres to sites which they did own.  The Acornhoek centre would be upgraded by the end of 2014.  This was a robust building.  LoveLife would like to be connected with people that could help them, such as the 2010 World Cup Trust.  In Upington, this funding would be used to build a site.

LoveLife was also concerned with out-of-school youth.  Centres were needed to attract these young people.  While the situation in Free State and Mpumalanga was acceptable, there was still room for improvement in other provinces.

The Chairperson accepted the work being done by LoveLife.  They were not a government organisation, and sometimes expectations could be too high.  Government should be building the centres, which LoveLife could then run.  There was a tendency for non-government organisations (NGOs) to become government by default, and this led to resentment from the people.  This occurred where government was not fulfilling its responsibilities.  In some cases, the NGO could dictate policy.  LoveLife should not overstretch itself, as this would be an unsustainable process.  LoveLife could not raise money from taxes.  Many people in the rural areas were missing out on services.  There should be continuous interaction between the Committee and LoveLife.

The meeting was adjourned.


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