Department Sport & Recreation 2nd quarter performance report; Eminent Persons Group update; Departmental updates on Geographical Information System, National Facilities Plan, norms& standards, AG's findings on SA Institute for Drug-free Sport, Netball SA

Sports, Arts and Culture

28 January 2014
Chairperson: Mr M Mdakane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) briefed the Committee on its 2nd quarter 2013 financial performance. The Eminent Persons Group reported on some of its findings since establishment. The Department detail its action plan to deal with the Auditor-General’s findings on the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS), and gave updates on acquisition of a geographical information system, and the updated norms and standards dealing with the National Facilities Plan. Finally, Netball South Africa briefed the Committee on its programmes of action and developments on governance, transformation, progress made in establishing Netball Premier League, and sponsorships, with input also from SRSA.

The Chairperson of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), Dr Somadoda Fikeni, outlined the history and purpose of the EPG, and noted the importance of establishing proper systems to now effect desired transformation. Its members were dedicated. A code of conduct had been developed to curtail diluted engagement of the EPG with the different sporting codes. It had become apparent that EPG needed administrative support from SRSA. A list of its meetings was given, including with SASCOC. In the past, quota of players had been a prime consideration but EPG had focused on the whole value chain and the developmental side of sports. Although it had not yet tabled its recommendations, preliminary findings were that if schools and tertiary institutions did not undertake revival or revision of sport, the feeder to the national teams would not happen. There was a need for reliable data. Transformation needed honest, courageous, incorruptible and transparent individuals. Furthermore, comprehensive transformation from schools, through communities right up to professional level was needed. The spheres of government and departments had to synchronise to ensure transformation, and the important of the private sector and civil society was also important. EPG was currently analysing systematically what the bottlenecks were and the causes of resistance to transformation, and suggested that a barometer was needed to track performance.  Members suggested that EPG should perhaps be mandated to formulate an action plan for sport, having now identified the problems. The initial mandates should be followed, and although representivity was a major issue now, it would be eased if the sports administration sorted out the underlying problems. Members agreed that governance was a problem.

SRSA presented its second quarter performance report. It was likely that by the end of the year it would have achieved 93% of targets, a substantial increase on the previous year. In this quarter, specific targets highlighted included the Ministerial outreach programmes, the on-going hand over of multi-purpose sports courts and outdoor community gyms. SRSA had extended its internal audit function to Boxing SA and it was performing well. Filling of vacant posts had proven an ongoing challenge until SRSA revised its agreement with the unions that jobs must be advertised internally first, because this practice simply led to an ongoing cycle of people moving up and creating new vacancies. Seven recreation bodies had not received funding, even though the target was to fund ten, mainly due to not meeting the SRSA compliance criteria. SRSA was helping to capacitate and train them. In the new Annual Performance Plan the indicators that could only be fulfilled by SASCOC, and over which the SRSA itself had little control, were being removed. SRSA realised that it was more realistic to halve its targets, down to 20 000 sport educators being trained.

SRSA presented its Top Ten Risks Action Plan, noting the improvements since 2010. In particular, it highlighted that it had made great strides in disciplinary cases being finalised expeditiously, and in addressing fraud and corruption, although it was not possible to eliminate this completely.

Reporting on the progress of the investigations in the Geographical Information System, SRSA noted that although a proposal from the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research had been made, at a cost of R18 million, SRSA had since discovered that by using ASRI it could pay considerably less for development of a system, although the licensing costs would still be added. It was piloting a project in Eastern Cape on a short term basis and would report back on that and on the National Treasury’s willingness to provide a grant.

The SRSA gave an outline of the Netball Premier League (NPL) , which was well on the way to establishment. Although initially intended to be run in December, it would take place now within a more compressed time frame of five weeks, with all games being played in Pretoria, significantly reducing the costs of travel, and this would also suit the players, who held other jobs. The SRSA was confident on sponsorship and outlined the various options that had been considered and preferred. This report was supplemented with another given by Netball SA (NSA), which expressed appreciation for the fact that the matter was moving forward.

Members raised some questions around the administrative support to EPG, educators that needed to be trained, the mass participation school sport programme, the question of franchises and the forthcoming bill on combat sports. A more detailed explanation was provided on combat sports and their financing and future governance and regulation. The Committee asked how many clinics and fund-raisers had Floyd Mayweather put on, who paid for his trip, whether any state department had contributed, and, if so, how much and who approved that. The meeting was closed for the SRSA to reply, since it was concerned that there might be contractual implications if some of the information was made public.

SRSA then expounded at some length on the issue of private owners of soccer teams and their responsibility to release national players, the interference or intervention in federation activities and the problems with the football federation. The Committee agreed it would need to consider the problems.

Netball South Africa briefed the Committee on the NPL, and highlighted its meeting with other bodies to share its programmes and plans, saying that there were still some concerns about selection processes. It bemoaned the fact that  SA had only three international umpires, who were all white, but said that it was currently looking at about five to seven umpires of colour, who were accredited to umpire in Africa and were focusing on them to push them to get international accreditation. Members asked what incentives were in place for netball players, and how these compared to the rugby, soccer and cricket codes, commenting that Netball SA’s performance had been very good. This was linked to comment on the National Sports Awards and National Sports Plan. Members congratulated the good administration and running of the NSA.

Finally, the SRSA briefly outlined the action plan for addressing the Auditor-General’s findings on the South African Institute of Drug-free Sport. This body was well managed but faced ongoing challenges around targets for testing, because it was entirely dependent upon the calendar for events set by SASCOC, another body. In addition, it was impossible for it to predict the legal action that would be taken against it.
 

Meeting report

Opening comment
The Chairperson expressed the hope that the National Soccer Team (Bafana Bafana) would do better in their next game, having recently lost to Nigeria, which was a country with a strong soccer side historically.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) congratulated the Chairperson on his election as the President of the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO), and added that other prominent leaders at national level had hailed originally from this Committee.

Eminent Persons Group (EPG) for Sport transformation: Report
Dr Somadoda Fikeni, Chairperson of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), introduced and outlined the history of the formation of the EPG, and its purpose of sport transformation. Although EPG should have reported earlier to this Committee, it had explained that it had thought it very important to ensure that systems were properly established to ensure that EPG would not make the same mistakes of earlier bodies concentrating on transformation that had not effected the desired change. Therefore, substantial time had been allowed for the establishment and effective operation of the EPG and for settling of its roles vis-à-vis other bodies such as Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) and SASCOC.

Dr Fikeni then read through sections of the attached document, noting his credentials as boxer and manager of a university boxing club. He reiterated that clarity on the roles was vital. The involvement of certain members of the EPG with certain sport codes meant that there was a need for an overall code of conduct, and that was subsequently developed to ensure that all areas were covered. EPG also must ensure proper governance in the way it did its own work. Transformation, and the assessments and sanctions that could result if it was not followed, were of a sensitive nature so EPG must be beyond reproach.

Dr Fikeni noted that it had become clear that EPG needed administrative support from the SRSA, and it had been responsive. However, the unions had queried whether the appointments were in line with regulatory requirements in the SRSA, with the result that SRSA had limited its administrative support to periods of 12 months, although EPG indicated that some roles would ideally be for longer periods.

EPG had met with the SRSA, collated all previous transformation reports from previous bodies, and had met with SASCOC, from whom it needed concurrence, data and cooperation to be able to fulfil its mandate. EPG would be making a detailed report on a pilot study for collaboration between the EPG and the SRSA, with recommendations. He emphasised that in the past sport transformation had always focused on the quota of players, but the EPG now focused on the whole value chain of dimensions within the sporting codes and the developmental side. Although its full report was not yet available, EPG noted that unless the schools and tertiary institutions undertook sport revival or revision, the necessary feeders to the national teams simply would not happen. There was a need for the Departments of Basic Education (DBE), Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the SRSA to engage on this. Additionally, since there were extensive inconsistencies in the data collection of federations, EPG would have to address that issue, as in order to determine whether there had been any progress, it was necessary to have reliable data collection. It might be that EPG would have to hold workshops with the federations to emphasise the basic book-keeping requirements.

Finally, he noted that even if there was transformation in sport in terms of representivity, excellence had to be a consideration, and excellence was about winning.

Discussion
Mr T Lee (DA) said that Dr Fikeni had clearly articulated what the country’s sport action plan needed to be, and agreed that transformation was not about numbers on the field only. He suggested that the EPG perhaps should be mandated to formulate an action plan for sport in the country; having identified the problems, it could maybe then advise SRSA on the possible solutions.

Mr Dikgacwi said that the challenges around access to facilities that Dr Fikeni had touched on was also a problem in his constituency. Bongolethu Senior Secondary School was having its athletics meeting on 31/01/2014. As there was a stadium in that community, the municipality had told the school to hold the meeting in town. However this school was a no-fee school, so no consideration had been given to how it should transport the players and pay to use this facility. He commented that, in relation to data mining and record keeping, the Committee had found, during an oversight tour in France, that federations there swiftly access records on whether a particular player had been injured, where he was being treated and other details. He fully agreed on the need to strengthen record-keeping. Representivity was a problem across the board in South African (SA) sports, from management to sports players. He thought there was a problem that when individuals were elected to management, they tended to ignore their original mandates. He lamented the fact that sportsmen and women would be given only one opportunity, and failure meant that they would be forever out of favour. In relation to Bafana Bafana, he asked whether there were feeder teams for the National team that were competing at international level for the country.

Mr G Mackenzie (COPE) found it interesting that the EPG did not look at the faces on the field, but focused on the real issues of facilities, resources and management systems. At last the committee and SRSA could also hone in on the real problems, instead of the end-product of the issues bedevilling SA sports. It would be vitally important for EPG to influence the sport administrators in government and elsewhere with its findings. The country had laws and plans for sports in general, but, as alluded to by Dr Fikeni, most of the sporting codes outside of the five concentrated upon in the pilot study had no systems at all, and it was impossible for those codes to participate effectively in sport, let alone compete internationally. Mr Mackenzie agreed that representivity was a big issue, but he did not think it would be such an issue once the sports administration in the country sorted out the underlying problems as identified by the EPG.

Mr Lee asked whether Netball was also one of the codes that were mentioned in Dr Fikeni's report.

Dr Fikeni indicated that it was.

The Chairperson said that the Committee should allow Dr Fikeni to respond fully. He had said in this report that the EPG still had work in progress. However, the Committee was in possession of the National Sport Plan, so how to proceed would be one of the questions put to the SRSA, although he himself was not quite clear why SRSA was the one to be challenged on what had to be done to ensure that sports were transformed. For instance, Athletics South Africa (ASA) had set up new administration, and the Committee and SRSA needed to address why it was difficult to transform sport. He accepted that the economy and politics were difficult to transform, but why it should be so with sport was an enigma to him. He accepted that governance was a problem, commenting that some federations were not even being run as effectively as were spaza shops.  Sports transformation had been discussed since 1992, particularly for soccer, yet the national soccer team was still being beaten in every competition. 

Ms G Sindane (ANC) asked what the EPG’s thinking was on coaching and the turnover in the coaching staff of the National Soccer team.

Dr Fikeni replied that he was grateful to hear the positive input. He maintained that transformation needed honest, courageous, incorruptible and transparent individuals, so the ethical dimension was very important to the EPG.

He argued that a sports action plan perhaps needed to be seen from the angle of how other “sports powerhouse” countries, with limited resources, processed and identified potentially talented individuals. The EPG’s preliminary observation was sports had to be transformed comprehensively, from community and school right up to professional level, because that was what was done in Australia, China and similar places.

He noted that it was particularly painful that the stadiums in municipalities were seen as white elephants. There had to be better synergy between spheres of government and education and sports departments, which were the core of transformation of sports in the country. If these spheres did not speak to each other, transformation would not go anywhere. It was also important to recognise the interface between government, the private sector and civil society.  He was happy that the Committee also seemed to agree that focus had to be put on the input and process of transformation, instead of just the end-product, saying that if the former was addressed, the latter would take care of itself and there would be good ongoing supply. When asking questions, EPG was simultaneously analysing systematically what and where the bottlenecks were and what the causes of resistance had been to transformation. The report and assessment of the different codes was saying that there should be an annual barometer, to track whether a federation that had been doing well in governance previously was struggling currently, with the ability to intervene, and similarly with other transformational dimensions mentioned.

In regard to coaching, he noted the disturbing discussions he had held with the late Baby Jake Matlala over mentoring of the youth. Baby Jake noted that sportspeople retired early; boxers were “has-beens” by the age of 30. However, older fighters like Tap-Tap Makhathini could be providing mentorship to young boxers, and Baby Jake too had lamented that there was so much unused potential for mentorship, which could be tapped into against a nominal fee, for clubs and schools.

The Chairperson lamented the fact that the good news was coming at the end of the current Committee’s term, and that this Committee had been hoping to engage on the full report, even once it had dissolved officially. He noted that Joel Netshitenze recently wrote a very good article over the state of sport in the country. There was a real need for detailed discussion on sport. All teams had to work to the National Sport Plan. He noted that in ASA, one person had held the Federation to ransom for a long period. Perhaps SA might consider the French system,  where the government was not a spectator in national sports debacles, but could intervene to remove individuals or dissolve a federation.

Department of Sport and Recreation 2nd quarter 2013 performance report
Mr Alec Moemi, Director-General, SRSA, took the Committee through the SRSA’s 2nd Quarter  Performance report. The 3rd quarter report had also been presented, and whilst he would only officially present on the 2nd quarter he could tell the Committee how far SRSA was in achieving third quarter targets also. By the end of March 2014, SRSA was confident it would have achieved approximately 92% of its targets. In this year, the SRSA Annual Performance Plan (APP) targets were aligned directly with its Sports and Recreation Plan (SRP). In 2013 the SRSA had only managed to achieve 54% of its targets, and therefore this represented a good leap forward. SRSA had already committed itself to achieving the bulk of all set targets. However, by the end of the 3rd quarter it had realised that some targets would not be able to be reached, for specific reasons that he would touch on.

Mr Moemi said that the SRSA had achieved 30 of the 42 set targets by the end of the second quarter, which translated into 71% achievement at the end of that quarter. This achievement rose to about 89% in the 3rd quarter, meaning that indeed the SRSA was well on its way to the revised 92% target.

Mr Moemi took the Committee through the presentation (see attached document) and highlighted certain achievements. Of the nine targeted Ministerial outreach programmes, three had already been done by the end of the second quarter, so it was hoped to achieve the full target by March. These programmes included the hand over of multi-purpose sports courts as well as outdoor community gyms, with about one being handed over per week in the targeted communities. 19 of the gyms were already completed for hand-over, and ceremonies would continue through 2014/15.

SRSA had extended its internal audit function mandate to include the internal audit of Boxing South Africa (BSA), which had been a big eye opener for the SRSA after the completion of the first two audits. The SRSA internal audit unit had performed to such a good level that even the Auditor-General (AG) started relying on it.

National Treasury (NT) and the Department of the Office of the Presidency (DOP) had asked the SRSA to consider acting as Chair of the new outcome 14b in the National Development Plan. The SRSA had, however, respectfully declined, because it would have meant creating a whole new unit at SRSA within the confines of SRSA’s current resources, in order to manage and coordinate that outcome. In addition, the budget would have remained with the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) as all the allocations for national days vested there.

SRSA was planning to expand the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture day to a Super-weekend, that would accommodate netball and cricket on the Sunday, and soccer and rugby would share the stage on the Saturday.

Mr Moemi noted that the filling of vacant posts had been quite a challenge because of an earlier agreement with the local bargaining council, which included the local branch of the National Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA), to the effect that before advertising the posts externally, they would be advertised internally.  That had resulted in a continuous cycle of recruitment, because if staff moved up a post, they created more vacancies when they moved. SRSA returned to the unions to tell them of the difficulties, and said that SRSA had to be able to advertise externally and get the best candidates, whether from internal staff or external candidates. Office space had become a challenge as the current offices were full to capacity, but the non-availability of a suitable alternative, coupled with the disruption of moving to temporary accommodation, made no logical or financial sense. SRSA decided rather to wait; the Sports Plan envisaged the development of sports Hubs, where the SRSA would in future house all the federations and subdivisions. It therefore intended to stay in the current premises for the next five years, only moving after building and establishing the hubs, after the first consolidated grant came through.

Seven recreation bodies had not received funding, even though the target was to fund ten, mainly due to not meeting the SRSA compliance criteria. These bodies had no real administration, and suspect accountability levels, so this was a target that would not be achieved by March. However, SRSA hoped that with the capacitation and training it was giving to those bodies, they would be able to reach the necessary compliance to access the money over time. Only cricket and rugby national federations, from the 16 that were prioritised, had met the targets to be supported with training, so that overall target also would not be achieved.

SRSA had decided in future to remove all indicators that were linked to SASCOC from the Annual Performance Plan when the new framework came into effect, because SRSA had no control over those indicators, and had to depend on a separate entity hopefully complying. For instance, if this continued, SRSA would have to detail everything that it required from SASCOC in relation to the transfer payment, which might include something like how many medals SASCOC should win.

SRSA had set a very ambitious target of training about 40 000 sport educators in the Schools Sport Mass Participation Programme, but only managed to train about 12 800 educators, and although this was ongoing, it was unlikely that the target would be reached, even with the best intentions of the Culture Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) making money available. Realistically, a target of training about 20 000 per year was more achievable, despite the demand for 100 000 trained educator coaches.

Mr Moemi said that SRSA had evaluated the viability of the stadia built or refurbished for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but the only stadium that was viable was Moses Mabhida, whilst the rest were merely a huge cash-drain on the municipalities and provinces where they were situated. Moses Mabhida was sustained by the retail precinct around it, with a mall, food court and a people’s park which generated revenue. The Mbombela and Peter Mokaba Stadia were the biggest white elephants, as they did not attract many events. The First National Bank (FNB) Stadium was supposed to be built in three phases, which would have culminated in  water and football theme parks across the stadium, a three star hotel next to it and, in conjunction with youth employment initiatives, a large stadium precinct. However the discovery of collusion in the construction companies led to those plans not coming to fruition. The government now shifted its focus to invest in economic, rather than social infrastructure. SRSA had thought that grants should be prioritising building of stadium precincts around them, so that they would not continually stay as white elephants.

Top 10 strategic significant risks Action Plan: SRSA briefing
Mr Moemi presented the latest Top 10 Risks Action Plan (2013/14). In 2010/11 there had been several areas highlighted in red as posing major risk, but the position had since improved. He highlighted the salient points in the document (see attached presentation). The failure to develop high performance athletes remained a challenge, but SRSA was confident it would soon change, as SASCOC had signed the new agreement with the SRSA, which stipulated that it had to produce a set number of medals as in line with the funding it had received from the SRSA. Mr Moemi also said the failure to implement the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) would change also, as the SRSA had finalised the review of the first year of the implementation of the Sports Plan. The SRSA was hoping for significant improvement by year three of the NSRP implementation.

He noted that SRSA was amongst the departments most expediently dealing with fraud and corruption. Its last disciplinary case took just two weeks to finalise. However, the risk remained elusive. Even with the best anti-corruption policy, fraud and anti-corruption and internal audit units, it was still only possible to deal with corruption after it was discovered.

Geographical Information System progress report:
Mr Moemi  told the Committee that the SRSA had had a partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which initially envisaged a 50/50 resource sharing, but the ultimate proposal from the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) quoted R18 million for the development cost of a Geographical Information System (GIS), which represented a lot of money for the SRSA, as a small department. SRSA had consulted with other departments who already had GISs and found out that most had partnered with ASRI. SRSA, when asking for quotations there, also discovered that it would be cheaper for ASRI to develop its GIS. It must be remembered that on top of the costs of development at around R900 000, licensing fees of about 45% of the value of the system had to be paid annually. SRSA had to decide between the two providers, but it NT rejected its application for a grant to pay ASRI, which would be cheaper in the medium to long term, it would have to go with the CSIR offering.

Mr Moemi said that the SRSA had finished the framework plan for National facilities and had finalised the norms and standards, and the grading and classification framework. Some weaknesses had been identified in systems already in use at other departments, particularly that at the South African Police Service (SAPS), which could identify the size of the force, vehicles, address and management capacity of a police station, but not provide other useful data. There was a pilot study ongoing with the provincial department in the Eastern Cape (which was procuring a GIS on a short term licensing basis) to find out what it could retrieve, and SRSA would later be able to update the Committee on those findings.

Netball Premier League: SRSA input
Mr Moemi said that the SRSA was currently well on track to establishing the Netball Premier League (NPL), having moved from its original target to launch it in December 2013. Netball South Africa (NSA) had been actively responsive in meeting the SRSA requirements, but had a difficulty in agreeing on the methodology of implementation. SRSA had acquired a consultant who had work-shopped the issues with both the SRSA and NSA. There was agreement, finally, to have a start-up league of ten teams, divided into the south and north conferences, with five teams per conference. All games would be played at the Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria, which would reduce the costs of otherwise travelling all over the country. There would be a shorter season with congested matches, to complete the season by the end of the five-week league period. There was proof that this could work and that had significantly reduced the costs for the NPL. Supersport had already signed off a partner to broadcast some of the games, and NSA was negotiating with SABC to sell secondary rights, to generate more revenue to sustain the NPL. The SRSA was confident that within two weeks it could announce a title sponsor for the NPL. The NPL would definitely be launched in April. There were already other sponsors on board, such as Tsogo Sun Hotels, and other technical sponsors.

Discussion
Ms Tseke said that the NSRP report was in place, but wanted more clarity on some issues. Noting the earlier comment of the EPG chairperson on administrative support, she wanted to know what progress was made in supporting EPG.

Mr Moemi said that the EPG was never conceptualised as a permanent body, but as a sports transformation body advising the Minister on transformation. The Sports Transformation Commission that grew out of EPG therefore would get permanent staff, in line with the DPSA regulations.

Ms Tseke thought that the briefing would also touch on the Sport and Recreation Act 110 of 1998 and the South African Boxing Act 11 of 2001, but it had not mentioned them.

Ms Tseke asked if SRSA still had its Siyadlala Mass Participation Programme.

Ms Sindane wanted clarity from SRSA on the budgetary constraints to filling vacancies, and wondered if the revised process was likely to lead to any conflicts with Unions.

Mr Moemi responded that, with hindsight, SRSA management had committed a mistake by agreeing to the principle of internal advertisement first, because as soon as it applied that, it had realised it was creating a cycle of vacancies, as alluded to earlier. SRSA had thus made the unions understand that that principle was not working and posts should (and were now) advertised both internally and externally. Currently the SRSA was consolidating the records of all those that had been appointed and the posts had been filled.

Mr Mackenzie asked whether the educators who needed to be trained on the mass participation school sport programme were coming forward voluntarily, or were being encouraged to do so by DBE.

Mr Moemi said that some of the educators came voluntarily for the training, but the SRSA at certain times had to request the federations to encourage and bring forward educators to be trained for schools sports. DBE had not played a role in any of that.

Mr Mackenzie said that some time ago the Minister of Sports and Recreation had boasted about the new NPL, and SRSA was engaged on the issues. A lot of expectations were raised. The NSA enumerated its frustration over promises of possible funding, the question of franchises over non-franchises and a whole series of other issues. He thus wanted more clarity and detail on the NPL. He wondered if basing this new NPL in Pretoria would really be growing the game as a national sport.

The Chairperson said that because the NSA was present he thought it pertinent to allow it to respond or the members to put the questions to do with netball to it.

Mr T Lee (DA) asked that Mr Moemi stay for the presentation by Netball SA. He had, in an earlier meeting, alluded to “fist and knuckle fighting” in Limpopo and the North West, and he quipped that now he had come to understood the politics within the ANC.

Mr Moemi said that SRSA had promised the NSA that the SRSA would fund the Diamond Challenge, as part of its contribution to woman's month for 2011, and the SRSA had indeed done so. Secondly, the SRSA had tasked NSA with conceptualising the NPL, after which both bodies would look for funding for the NPL. The reason for that was that there were many other leagues and the SRSA had just completed an arrangement with Basketball South Africa, where both parties had raised money for that league without the SRSA committing its own resources. The SRSA paid for sports development and not leagues. Federations had to fund their own leagues, as a policy stance of the SRSA. When the SRSA started talking with NSA, it was of the opinion that NSA should sell franchises and the teams should be privately owned, with private investors investing money in the NPL. NSA pointed to the analogy of soccer when teams were privately owned, and said that owners might refuse to release players for national duty. Since NSA was an amateur league there had never been problems with accessing the best talent for national duty. That argument had convinced SRSA that when the NPL was launched all the teams would be owned by NSA. Three years from establishment of the NPL, that arrangement would be reviewed. If it had worked by then, then SRSA would consider keeping it as a permanent feature. If not, then the SRSA may have to resort to a semi-private arrangement, where NSA would sell 30% of the shares in each team but retained the 70%.

In contrast with basketball, franchises in the bigger cities were snapped up very quickly, but franchises in the smaller towns really did not have much investment potential, and, based on the basketball federation experience, SRSA had to concur that unsold franchises needed to be concessioned, which meant that there would be a team of potential owners, whilst ownership would rest with Basketball South Africa. Transfer of ownership then would be delayed until the potential owners had raised enough capital to acquire the teams. However, in return, the owners would provide management and administration for their respective teams. When the league started making money, the profits would then go into the league, instead of the teams, in exchange for shares, so that that share buying scheme could ensure that all provinces were represented in the Basketball Premier League (BPL). The money that was invested into basketball, when teams were bought, assisted in the establishment of the BPL.

Alternatively with the NPL, the SRSA had to rely greatly on private sector sponsorships as no one had showed interest in buying NPL teams. The SRSA was more confident that it could find a title sponsorship, as its cooperation with NSA had yielded supplier, broadcasting and media sponsorships. However, the challenge was that sponsors tended to apply a “wait and see” attitude and only be prepared to enter into one-year agreements.

Mr Lee was very glad that there was a new Bill on the way for combat sports, instead of the Boxing Act, and he was a primary instigator for that move. However, it was unfair for combat sports to be administered by the SRSA, whereas NSA and the rugby federations were all paying for their own administration.

Mr Moemi said that in fact SRSA was paying for the administration of all sporting codes, but the debate on contact sports was really more to do with how much beating should be allowed before the match stopped. Everywhere else in the world, combat sports were regulated differently to other sporting codes. Currently, in South Africa, the title holder in combat sport, with the rights to that title, had to regulate the degree of punishment between himself and the opponent. SRSA wanted to regulate those combat sports, to protect the interests of the state, the citizens affected and the competitors themselves. SRSA believed that a regulatory body without an inspectorate was pointless, hence the Combat Sport Bill that would establish an inspectorate to inspect the facilities and trainers, and have the authority to revoke a practice licence, if there was no compliance with the regulations. 

Mr Mackenzie asked how many clinics and fund-raisers had Floyd Mayweather put on. He asked directly whether any State department had paid for his trip to SA, and, if so, which one, how much was paid, and who approved that payment?

Mr Moemi said that perhaps he had to take the Committee into confidence on two elements, and thus asked the permission of the Chairperson that the meeting be closed at this point to PMG and all other media representatives, before he answered the questions. There were contractual issues in respect of that visit to which the SRSA was signatory, which would lead to possible lawsuits were they to be made public.

The Chairperson agreed. PMG and other media representatives left the meeting, taking their recorders, and the answer was not recorded.

On resumption, Mr Moemi spoke to the boxing academy inaugurated that was to be named after Baby Jake Matlala. If there were issues with that renaming, this resided entirely with the Johannesburg City Council, which had had to consult the public and the trainers and owners of that gym. Currently, the academy was named as the Baby Jake Academy but the gym had a different name, but this would be finalised once the City Council had the mandate.

Ms Sindane wanted clarity from the DG on the performance of the national teams, internationally. She also asked for more clarity on the leagues that would be semi-privatised. She asked what programmes did the SRSA have in place to turn around the issue of private owners of soccer teams refusing to release players for national duty?

Mr Moemi said that the state’s legal sporting framework did not allow the SRSA full authority over sporting federations and the national teams. Government did not appoint coaches, neither did it appoint federations to administer the sporting codes on the SRSA’s behalf. Many governments were probably toying with trying to achieve a fair balance between what might be interpreted as interference, as against interventions. The term “decisive intervention” was used when it was convenient for federations who were struggling to accept interventions from the State. However, when the state wanted to intervene over matters of collusion, corruption and investigations of why teams were not winning matches and audits were always qualified with disclaimers, federations descried this as “interference”. That was exacerbated by the posture of international federations with which they were associated, which also saw interventions as a threat, especially when there was collusion between federation heads and between countries. Only the International Triathlon Federation and the International Cricket Council (ICC) allowed governments to intervene decisively where things were going wrong. SRSA could only hold the federations accountable for performance and fund them progressively to make sure that they achieve those performance targets. However, when Bafana Bafana was not performing well, the public held the state accountable for their failure.

For this reason, SRSA had named the non-performance of the national teams as a risk, and it was necessary to look at this progressively. SA was not only about soccer, there were many national teams that were doing extremely well. It was amazing what the SA sporting fraternity had been able to achieve even in sports like sailing. However, because the honouring of such heroes by the SRSA was not publicised, the public never became aware of good general performance. However, if the Springboks or the Proteas or Bafana Bafana underperformed, the public perception was that disaster had struck. Mr Moemi noted that although the Spar Proteas had been beating everybody, that was never publicised so well. On 27 January, the SA Women’s hockey team had beaten Netherlands very convincingly. Underperformance was a risk to an active and winning nation.

Mr Moemi expanded that one story that was not being told in public was that, as early as June 2013, he had called Mr Dennis Mumble, CEO of the South African Football Association (SAFA) and told him that the SRSA wanted Bafana Bafana to win the African Nations Championship, and wanted to conceptualise proposals on how to achieve it. It did not want Bafana Bafana to be eliminated as early as it had been in the  Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), since that had been embarrassing, particularly since SA had been known to have a prime league on the continent. However, that proposal was promised but not provided. In July, SRSA asked SAFA to collapse its annual Mandela Day Tournament under the umbrella of the National Mandela Sports and Culture Day. SRSA would guarantee the R1 million contribution that SAFA had to make towards the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and it would also pay SAFA its dues for that amalgamation of events. Mr Mumble told SRSA that the SAFA board and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund had refused, as they wanted a separate match. SRSA had responded that it only had money for one match, and only that on 18 August could be funded. SAFA came back in early August to plead with Minister of Sports for help. The Minister, making a political decision, told SRSA to pay for the SAFA match against Nigeria, and SAFA then had argued that the SA coach believed that, now that Ethiopia had dropped three points for fielding a player that was not supposed to have played, SA possibly stood a chance for qualifying for the World Cup. Mr Moemi told the Committee that he had asked SAFA to drop that argument, as SA had accepted that Bafana Bafana had not qualified. SRSA told SAFA that it preferred Bafana Bafana to play a country that had qualified for CHAN, using local players only to prepare for the CHAN tournament. However, SAFA repeated that the coach wanted to play a full strength Nigerian side, as he still believed in the World Cup dream. The bulk of the team that played Nigeria was made of internationally-based players and lost. In addition, the coach had assumed that Botswana would beat Ethiopia. SRSA paid for the Burkina Faso Match on 18 August, but it also had to be firm with SAFA that only locally based players were to be used by both countries.

In November SRSA asked SAFA for a plan of action for Bafana's CHAN preparation. SRSA had been shocked to discover, on a trip to the Bulawayo stadium in Harare, that the Zimbabwean National Soccer Team was at camp, preparing for CHAN. That had never materialised, and by December there were problems of the coach not being able to get players. Bafana camped a week before the start of CHAN. When the Minister of Sport demanded a report from SAFA, it would have to be considered against the backdrop of all those previous engagements.

Mr Moemi said that the issue of performance had to be standardised across all of the country’s national teams and assess them on that basis. He reminded the Committee that he had reported previously on the SAFA administrational default on R92 million payments, and on the challenges at SAFA. SRSA wanted to investigate not just match fixing, but the entirety of the SAFA administration of football. SAFA was resisting all of this, with the assistance of FIFA, threatening that if the SRSA interfered, SA football would be suspended from international football.

Mr Moemi also reminded the Committee that since he was a trustee of the FIFA Legacy Fund, he had complained to the Committee over the administration of that Fund. On the eve of the Legacy Fund meeting, despite all agenda items needing to be tabled 14 days in advance of that meeting, he had received a proposal that SAFA wanted R10 million from the trust, for administration. Mr Moemi had objected that that was against good corporate governance, but it seemed that SAFA had already caucused with FIFA and all the FIFA representatives on the Fund agreed to consider that proposal. He had finally asked that SRSA’s objections must be minuted.

Mr Moemi said that football should not be the base adjuster of the country’s public perceptions, although it was the most popular sport. He believed the he biggest challenge in football was the landscape of football itself. The idea of a Premier Soccer League (PSL) that was independent of SAFA had never materialised. About 93% of all football expenditure in SA was spent by the PSL, and SAFA only accounted for 7% although it was responsible for the national team. Corporate and cooperative governance principles were not being properly applied to the PSL. Clubs would use their chairpersons to form a Board of Governors, that owned the PSL. That entity was self regulatory and when it declared profits, the governors shared the profits. Once in a while, the Board might give SAFA an ex gratia payment of R4 million. Very few of the PSL teams had developmental structures, and Mr Moemi questioned who then would be feeders to the clubs, who wanted “finished products”.  He suggested that it was probably was about time that PSL should be amalgamated with SAFA. The other sporting codes did not have as many and as difficult challenges, because everything belonged under one federation umbrella. PSL was so powerful because its chairperson was vice-President of SAFA, although SAFA did not have the right to sit on the PSL board.

The Chairperson said that the Committee indeed needed to deal with the real issues that Mr Moemi and the EPG were raising about SAFA and the PSL. He told the Committee that there was still a long way to go in transforming that sporting code in the country.

Netball SA-briefing on programme of action, development programmes, governance, transformation, establishment of Netball Premier League, and sponsorships:
Ms Mimi Mthethwa, President, Netball South Africa, said that her delegation would rather make comments on the NPL first and then deal with other issues, to allow Mr Moemi at least to be informed of the challenges if he needed to leave early.

Ms Blanche de la Guerre, Chief Executive Officer, Netball South Africa, said that Netball South Africa (NSA) had realised that to perform, achieve and play against the top three countries in the world of netball, there was a need for more quality court time for players. That was how the NSA started with the NPL proposal and it later approached SRSA with a plan for an NPL. At that stage the proposal was for a professional league, but it later visited and researched the Australian league worked, and, with assistance from SRSA, had asked BMI to do a study on what it could sell and at what value. Eventually, all agreed that the NPL was a better option than a professional league. That meant that the top players would have to take time off from their normal jobs, they would be remunerated for participating, and allow NSA to provide more competition for players, which afforded the quality time on the court that the NSA desired for players. She explained that individual franchises could not be sold. The NSA wanted the NPL to be seen as a big investment in women empowerment. The study showed that NSA would  empower 250 women with employment. Additionally the NSA and the SRSA had lobbied a very interested investor, and although the NPL season would be short, it would not be insignificant.  In the interest of netball, and as the custodians of netball, NSA still needed more funding to start the NPL.

Ms Mthethwa said that the NSA was hopeful, after hearing Mr Moemi’s report, which indicated progress. NSA only needed to speak briefly, because it had sent through all reports and documents to Parliament to keep Members up to date.

She recounted NSA’s history and that it met twice a year. NSA initially operated with an administrative staff of volunteers, but had since resolved at its Bi-annual General Meeting (BGM) in October 2013 to have a formalised, professional staff component, because NSA wanted to brand netball to be marketable in a way that was self sustainable. NSA thus had to ensure that it had proper governance structures. NSA currently had a four year term of office for its executive members, a change from the previous two years. In the BGM there were directors' reports for coaching, umpiring, selection, and most importantly demarcation and structures.  The CEO, who was also the Vice-President, was also in charge of the NSA finances. NSA had three staff members at the moment but this would increase. From 2015, the President of the NSA would be employed on a full time basis to ensure daily operations were on track, with two additional executive members working nominal hours.

NSA actually operated in 47 regions instead of the reported 52, since netball was demarcated according to municipal districts. NSA would also be reviewing its policies to realign them with its targets as set in the NSRP. 

Ms Mthethwa said that NSA wanted to be part of the federations focused on by the EPG, because it was currently working on a racial quota system of 5:2 white: black players. That quota system of course would be reversed as netball was now being entrenched in communities of colour, with more players from those communities yearning to play in national colours. She felt that it was evident the racial quota system had worked in all national teams, as players of all colours who had been given opportunity had indeed performed well.

Ms Mthethwa said that most of the questions that the Committee had asked were responded to in the NSA’s Directors Reports booklet supplied to members in advance.

She then referred to the document concerning the partnership between NSA and SASCOC over the SA Coaching Framework initiative. That project was in preparation for the netball clinics and workshops that were to be run by the accredited coaches from NSA across the country. The NSA had met with the schools netball structure and shared its plans and programmes, and could play an oversight function in ascertaining that the programmes did in fact take place. There were still concerns, at school and tertiary institutions, over the selection processes, where certain schools still used parents as selectors. Since those institutions were NSA affiliates, NSA would start seriously monitoring. There were concerns also with the Varsity Cup initiative, and the issue of equal opportunity for all races in that tournament. NSA was going to engage where it felt intervention was needed.

Referring to the NSA statistics document in the NSAs Directors Reports, Ms Mthethwa told the Committee that coaches in its development projects were still going to be accredited, up to level three,. She urged the Committee to study the  Directors Reports, stressing the sections on the national team and national development, which suggested how current weaknesses could be made into strengths. Ms Mthethwa bewailed the fact that SA had only three international umpires, who were all white, but said that NSA was currently looking at about five to seven umpires of colour, who were accredited to umpire in Africa and was focusing on getting them international accreditation. The NSA had visited Scotland in August in 2013 to engage the head of accreditation in international umpiring, and that engagement had been fruitful.

Discussion
Mr Dikgacwi thanked the SRSA and NSA for finding common ground and starting off 2014 well, with the NPL.

Ms Sindane wanted to know about the incentives that the netball players would be getting, and how they compared to rugby, soccer and cricket, and how their performance compared also to those codes. She asked what plan the SRSA was formulating to incentivise netball players, since they were always out-performing the three big sporting codes?

Ms Tseke commended NSA for the Best Administrator award it had won at the National Sports Awards in 2013.

Mr Moemi said that indeed in comparison to Bafana Bafana and the younger soccer national teams, netball was doing very well. NSA was to propose its own incentives and in the long term to make Netball profitable through the NPL, so that it could be self sustainable, and be able to finance the junior champs and club championships as a long term plan. The medium term plan was that the SRSA had doubled the NSA allocation from 2013. Additionally, as and when the national team won a tournament, the players were each paid R15 000 as an incentive for performing well. Even NSA partook in those incentives, since the SRSA’s structured incentive programme was the National Sports Awards. The monetary prizes there were quite significant. NSA also received the Ministerial Excellence Sport Award and the President of NSA had received the Administrator of the Year award as well. Even the coach was incentivised, as long as the team performed. These incentives were a short term measure; the long term was the NPL becoming profitable.

The Chairperson said that the Committee was hopeful after the briefing, but added that he also hoped that in the long run, netball could be also made accessible to remote villages, as urban based people had very easy access to the sport which was thus residentially biased. He said that he hoped that NSA someday could share experiences with SAFA and the PSL on how to get things right.

Ms Mthethwa asked the Committee to come and watch some of the national team matches, because that would probably bring home to the members the impact of netball in SA.

The Chairperson promised that the Committee would make time to attend, and quipped that this was provided the national team won! He explained the time constraints that had prevented this earlier.

Mr Moemi said that the EPG work must not be seen in isolation, because it also formed the basis of the funding allocation for all the sports federations. SRSA had already revised and amended the grant framework for funding of federations, and that it was already having an effect. Of the “big five”, only soccer had not submitted the required data, and as a result had not received its annual allocation. In terms of the arrangement between federations and the SRSA, if by 31 January soccer had still not complied, this federation would forfeit its annual allocation entirely. SRSA had not started penalising federations for not being transformed just yet, because it wanted them to gravitate to compliance, but in the long run, if a federation failed, upon request, to submit data to the EPG, it would also fail to get an allocation. Mr Moemi said there was no reason SAFA could not comply whilst NSA, with a smaller staff complement, managed. The SRSA would link the targets set by the EPG to the allocation of funding for federations in future.

SRSA Action plan for addressing Auditor-General’s findings in relation to SAIDS
Mr Moemi said that the South African Institute of Drug-free Sport(SAIDS) was so well managed that he wished that the SRSA was where it was with addressing the AGs findings.

He then took the committee through the SAIDS presentation.  He said the issue with random testing which SAIDS did at times, was that it could not be time bound. The only concern the SRSA had with SAIDS was that if the target from SRSA was a minimum of 2000 tests per year should be done by SAIDS, it should reach that target. However, this was made challenging for SAIDS because the calendar of events had not been finalised by SASCOC. 

In respect of the third finding, he defended SAIDS by saying that it was one entity that was taken to court often; and reminded the Committee of the Mamabolo case, where the SAIDS legal services budget escalated to three times more than the allocation to SAIDS. The DG said that the SRSA could achieve an unqualified audit whilst SAIDS fell under its wing and still faced these difficulties.

The meeting was adjourned.
 

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