SASCOC on its Strategic Plan & Commonwealth Games preparations and performance

Sports, Arts and Culture

09 September 2014
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was to be briefed by Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on developments and challenges across all the sporting federations.

However, SASCOC only presented a report on its preparation and performance at the 2014 Commonwealth games as well as its strategy for 2013-2016.

Members asked SASCOC to return to the Committee after it had prepared a better report and presentation as it could not engage that particular presentation as it seemed to have been prepared hurriedly. They also asked SASCOC to bring its President and other senior managers to the next meeting.

Meeting report

Opening remarks
The Chairperson stated that she was not feeling well and apologised to the Committee. Thereafter, she asked Members to indicate whether they wanted to propose any further additions to the Committee’s agenda, which included announcements and invitiations, outstanding committee minutes and a briefing by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympics Committee.

Ms D Manana (ANC) suggested that announcements should be placed last on the agenda.

The Chairperson said that because the Committee was still awaiting visitors, it could entertain the announcements and invitations first.

Announcements and Invites
Ms Suné Pauw, Committee Secretary, informed Members that the Committee Assistant would give further insight about queries regrading the tickets to the Bafana vs Nigeria match which was taking place at the Cape Town Stadium on the following evening.

The Chairperson asked the staff to remind the Committee when the National Lotteries Board’s (NLB) Indaba was taking place.

Mr Mphumzi Mdekazi, Committee Researcher, reminded the Committee that the NLB Indaba would be held on 24 September.

The Chairperson asked whether the Committee was interested in attending the Indaba.

Mr D Bergman (DA) asked for more information on the Indaba.

Mr Teboho Thebehae, Content Advisor, replied that there would about 3500 stakeholders at Birchwood Hotel, Johannesburg to discuss matters of common interest and issues with funding criteria that NLB used to grant funding.

The Chairperson advised that the Committee should not discuss invitations and that whatever information members needed could be requested from the staff.

Consideration of Committee minutes of the of the 2 of September 2014
The Chairperson tabled the minutes dated 2 September for consideration.

The minutes were adopted without any amendments
The Chairperson then welcomed the SASCOC delegation and summarised the key points that they had to brief the Committee on.

Briefing by South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)
Road to Rio 2016 Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Preparation and Performance (see document)
Ms Hajera Kajee, Deputy President, SASCOC, apologised for on behalf of her delegation for their late arrival. She then introduced all members of her delegation and said that the SASCOC general manager for High Performance would take the Committee through the preparation and performance of the Commonwealth team of athletes in 2014.

Ms Ezera Tshabangu, SASCOC, General Manager for High Performance, SASCOC, took the Committee through the presentation.

Strategy for 2013-2016
Ms Kajee explained that SASCOC was responsible for high performance even though achieving results from that was a challenge due to funding for most of the federations overseen by the organisation. The strategic plan contained an outline of how SASCOC supported and identified athletes and the opportunities it was able to give them in competing internationally. Moreover, it acknowledged that there was a gap regarding gender as well as the demographics. The organisation was addressing transformation as per the Minister’s National Sports Transformation Plan. SASCOC had been holding one on one meetings with its affiliates and looking at the development plans in school leagues concerning that issue. The strategic plan was a living document that was reviewed annually and the organisation hoped that the country would do better in Rio than it had in Glasgow.

Ms Tshabangu said that SASCOC had realised that Operation Excellence (OPEX) and coaching were the most vital aspects in delivering its promise of high performance and that after the Commonwealth games the organisation had reviewed its strategy. In that exercise the organisation decided to prioritise the support it gave national federations in exchange for retaining medals.

The Chairperson asked the delegation for an update on the South African Football Association (SAFA) governance and its financial report.

Ms Kajee said that at the last meeting with SAFA, the Minister of SRSA and SASCOC were presented with a comprehensive report on those matters and the President of SA had then decided that there would be no need for a Judicial Commission of enquiry into match fixing. At the SAFA Annual General Meeting (AGM) the executive had presented its financials whereupon SASCOC picked up matters that were concerning. There was then an agreement that SACOC would send a three member committee to SAFA House to look into those matters. That committee had not met yet because of the Commonwealth Games. SASCOC would be meeting with SAFA and Ernst & Young to discuss those challenges that SASCOC had picked up in due course. 

The Chairperson asked if that was all SASCOC would be saying in terms of the challenges SAFA was facing and the support that SASCOC was giving.

Ms Kajee replied that was as far as she was aware, that was where issues to do with SAFA were concerned.

The Chairperson stated that SASCOC seemed to have come unprepared to answer her question as the response Ms Kajee was giving was simply unsatisfactory. Moreover, the Committee wanted to check what SASCOCs role was, in managing athletes, their development and their personal challenges. Was SASCOC aware of the challenges that Mr Luvo Manyonga had been facing, disregarding the support the committee had decided to offer him?  If so what was the organisation going to do?

Ms Manana said that she had been expecting the SASCOC President, Mr Tubby Reddy and the presentation that had just been delivered was an insult to the Committee as it seemed to have been just prepared the day before and was very piecemeal. That presentation was not assisting the Committee at all. Did SASCOC go to rural areas when selecting for the Olympics? Since the prime mandate of the Committee was transformation, what transformation had been going on in SASCOC? She was not going to add any more contributions as she was doubtful of any satisfactory response.

Mr S Malatsi (DA) also concurred with Ms Manana that it was disrespectful for documents to be distributed to the Committee at the meeting, considering that the Committee had agreed to postpone an earlier meeting with SASCOC because of the Commonwealth. Moreover, that briefing was the shortest the committee had had since it was established. The presentation was not even substantive enough to warrant deliberation. Why had that three member committee not met, when it had been alluded to in the previous meeting with SASCOC? He therefore suggested that SASCOC should go back and prepare a proper briefing and then come back to the committee.

Mr Bergman said that his colleagues were being diplomatic because the meeting had started late because of SASCOC and half of its delegation was not there either. He had had interactions with multiple federations in the preceding weeks and the theme was that SASCOC was more a policing unit than a support structure for federations. That presentation indeed had just proven that SASCOC was acting like the police because even its previous business plan showed that there had been too many Indians and not enough Chiefs. Conversely, its new structure showed too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. If SASCOC was the umbrella body and it was policing instead of developing people, why would SAFA need SASCOC when Ernst & Young was there? What would that organisation offer SAFA if the three man team could not even see the urgency in assisting SAFA resolve its challenges. The Committee needed to be more firm with SASCOC and in setting out the agenda for that organisation, instead of the SASCOC dictating the agenda to the Committee.

Ms B Abrahams (ANC) said the even though that was a report back, she wanted to know what had happened with the Youth Olympics and what incentives there had been for those athletes.

Mr P Moteka (EFF) noted that SASCOCs presentation spoke to why transformation had been so slow in the country. It was troubling that there had been only one black gold medallist in the medals haul from the Commonwealth. SASCOC was not taking the country seriously where issues of transformation were concerned. He concurred with Mr Malatsi that SASCOC should go back and prepare better so that the committee could interrogate issues better, because transformation would not happen politely, it would be enforced.

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) concurred that the delegation before the Committee seemed unprepared. Ms Tshabangu had appeared before the Committee before and knew what it expected. SASCOC needed to just go back and prepare better because Ms Kajee did not even know why SASCOC needed to meet SAFA.

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) said that the delegation should be given an opportunity to go back and prepare, because using on the transformation charter was not a satisfactory response to the question of transformation. What would follow the charter afterwards? The Committee would want to see the targets that had been set in the charter. An example would be the gender demographics in the presentation, seeing that there was still a large gap in terms of representation: even among officials as well. The Committee just wanted to know whether SASCOC was achieving those transformation targets from the charter. He applauded the fact that the delegation was all female but the Committee needed content from SASCOC. By 2014, SASCOC should have set up academies across all nine provinces, even if it was just one in each.

The Chairperson said she thought she was the only one who had noticed the ill-preparation of the presentation. Moreover, the issue of transformation was a key point in the mandate of the Committee. She asked the delegation to not respond to the questions that had been asked but to just note them, so that when it returned, better prepared, it would only then respond.

The meeting was then adjourned.

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