Preparation and performance at Commonwealth Games, Developments in Athletics SA, Update on SAFA & Annual Report: SASCOC briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

04 November 2014
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was briefed by SASCOC on the South African team’s preparations for the Commonwealth Games, developments at Athletics SA, and progress with regard to the SA Football Association and its annual report.

As preparation for the Commonwealth Games, SASCOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each federation so as to delineate what SASCOC was responsible for, and what the federations were responsible for. Of the 15 qualifying teams, only ten had brought back medals. SASCOC was currently engaging the federations responsible for preparation of those teams as to what had gone wrong, and how the body could assist looking ahead to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

SASCOC said that the Ukraine would be assisting Athletics SA (ASA) in terms of field events like javelin, discus throw, shot put and hammer throwing. SASCOC was now at a point where after interacting with the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), it had held ASA elections. A bigger challenge was the appointment of an individual to coordinate all the country’s athletes at the ASA office, so that there could never be athletes outside SASCOC’s preparations for big tournaments. Funding would be the next challenge. SASCOC predicted that at least four medals would come from athletics in Rio in 2016, combined with another three from swimming, and then the country would be well on its way.

Towards the end of the previous SAFA president’s reign, it had become apparent that the federation’s finances were not in a good state. SAFA had then reported that it was in the red by about R80-R90 million. SASCOC had asked SAFA to develop a turn-around strategy to remedy that situation. Investigations into anonymous allegations of wrongdoing had floundered, as there seemed to be no real substance as to what could be investigated. Mr Danny Jordaan had been elected the new SAFA President, whereafter SAFA had developed a turn-around strategy. SASCOC felt that there had been considerable progress in turning SAFA around, even though Banyana had exited the African Women's Championship play-off.

The Committee asked whether SASCOC’s leadership was represented on the national lottery distribution board, which was its main source of finance. Would that not constitute a conflict of interest? Was there also conflict with SASCOC getting revenue through Phumelela? Had the release of players from soccer clubs for national duty been addressed with the appointment of the new coach? Was SASCOC satisfied with gender representivity and transformation, in terms of personnel leadership and athletes across federations?

SASCOC was bidding for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and so far everyone wanted to come to Durban. The only barrier was that Cabinet had not yet decided. The eThekwini metro was happy, the Directors General (DGs) had signed off, and only the Cabinet was yet to deliberate. Meanwhile, the competitor -- which was Canada -- had already launched its logo and their government had already signed off as well. The bid was also linked to the 2024 Olympic bid, because SASCOC believed that if the country could properly establish the infrastructure in Durban, it could also stage the Olympics.

Meeting report

Opening remarks by SASCOC President
The Chairperson greeted everyone and thanked SASCOC for sending briefing documents on time. She outlined the SASCOC agenda for the morning.

Mr Gideon Sam, SASCOC President, apologised for his absence at the previous meeting, where the Committee had invited SASCOC to present on the same agenda. He asked the Committee’s indulgence that he be allowed to contextualize the role of the President of SASCOC. The state had some years ago instituted the Phaahla commission of enquiry, which had concluded that presidents of SASCOC were not full-time officials. As non-full time officials, presidents had battled to honour all the obligations of SASCOC, even though they had tried to honour them. He then contextualized SASCOC’s appearance before the Committee, as outlined at the SA Sports Indaba in 2011. Sport structures in the provinces were lacking, and SASCOC was also charged with working to better those structures. To that extent, SASCOC was in constant contact with the Members of the Executive Councils (MECs) for sport, arts and culture in the provinces. SASCOC had to work with other stakeholders, including universities, academies and everyone who contributed towards sport in SA, to fulfil SASCOC’s mandate as outlined in the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP).

Internationally, SASCOC had recently had a development exchange sport strategy with Zambia, and would also be hosting Uganda on 14 of November, where a similar exchange would be taking place. Similar ongoing exchanges included Taiwan, China, Germany and the Ukraine.

The biggest complaint among athletes in SA was that SASCOC was not paying them, and Mr Sam commented that the body was not a bank for the athletes, since the body’s own administrative funding was from Olympic Solidarity. Thereafter, the National Lotteries Board (NLB) -- which was SASCOC’s largest funder -- assisted the body with funding for all its programmes. An allocation from Sports and Recreation SA (SRSA) and SASCOC’s own revenue generation assisted as well. Historically, SASCOC had also bought a stake in Phumelela, the horse racing regulator, which had ceded about R2.5 to R2.7 million in dividends to SASCOC. The dividends from Phumelela covered bursaries that SASCOC gave to its athletes for studies.

The Committee had to remember that SASCOC was coordinating about 70 to 74 independent federations, in the sense that they belonged to international bodies. With the regulations that governed those federations, it happened at times that SASCOC was conflicted. For instance, if SASCOC went too deep into the affairs of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Mr Sepp Blatter, President of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), tackled SASCOC as well as the SA Government, crying interference. Therefore, it had to be understood that SASCOC had limitations. For example, bodybuilding as a sport had challenges in the past, where the complaint had been that it was too white, and blacks had little access. SASCOC had intervened in that matter until it had decided to approach the international president of bodybuilding, as the infighting in SA had continued unabated. That president had simply replied that SASCOC should tell A, B and C to do that and that, after which bodybuilding no longer had challenges.

Athletics SA (ASA) also had issues, and only after Mr Sam had sat down with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president, Mr Lamine Diack, had there been a resolution of those issues.

From national federations (NFs), SASCOC went into the provinces where it had its confederation which oversaw provincial federations (PFs), followed by districts. In this regard, Mr Sam pleaded with the Committee to assist SASCOC with all the developments in sport at that level. SASCOC had 52 districts and metros at its last council meeting, and had instructed federations to go into districts. Those that could not access districts could tell SASCOC why that was so, so SASCOC could engage the MEC of that province to resolve such issues.

If coaching structures collapsed in SA, the Committee had every right to hold SASCOC accountable. He further reiterated the mandate of SASCOC, and what the Committee could hold the body accountable for.

SASCOC was in a process of signing an agreement with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) for the provision of facilities, so federations would no longer lament the issue of infrastructure in districts and metros.

The Chairperson reminded the Committee of the recent deaths of sportsmen, Senzo Meyiwa, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Phindile Mwelase, and asked for a moment of silence as the Committee stood. The following Bafana Bafana match would be a challenge for the nation and she prayed that God would assist in finding a replacement for Mr Meyiwa. Hopefully the SASCOC presentation would assist the Committee to understand better that body’s work in the transformation agenda of the state. She then allowed SASCOC to present.

Briefing by SASCOC

Ms Ezera Tshabangu, General Manager: High performance, SASCOC, outlined the structure of the presentation and then took the Committee through it.

Commonwealth Games preparation

Preparation Plans

Key to the delivery of each Commonwealth Games tournament, SASCOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each federation so as to delineate what the body was responsible for, and what a particular federation was responsible for.

Team South Africa - Qualified Participating Sports

Of the 15 qualifying teams, only had ten brought back medals and SASCOC was currently engaging those federations responsible for preparation of those teams as to what had gone wrong, and how the body could assist going to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Final results
Ms Tshabangu said that SASCOC had done a results analysis at their offices, prior to the Commonwealth Games, where it had concluded that Scotland would beat SA, as it was hosting and could field more athletes. Next would be India, since it focused more on shooting, where it hoarded a lot of the medals. SA would be following that trend going forward as well, with the various sporting codes it excelled in.

The Chairperson asked the Committee whether it would want to interrogate the briefing at this stage, or should SASCOC be allowed to finish the entire briefing so that discussion would follow afterwards.

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) said that SASCOC should be allowed to continue its presentation.

Ms D Manana (ANC) concurred with Mr Ralegoma.

The Chairperson allowed SASCOC to continue presenting.

Developments at Athletics SA (ASA)

Mr Sam continued with the ASA developments presentation.

He said that Mr Aleck Skhosana, the new ASA President, seemed very keen to get ASA back to its former glory. As he had noted earlier, the Ukraine would be assisting ASA in terms of field events like javelin, discus throw, shot put and hammer throwing.

SASCOC was now at a point where, after interacting with the IAAF, it had held ASA elections. The bigger challenge was the appointment of an individual to coordinate all the country’s athletes at the ASA office, so that there could never be athletes outside SASCOC’s preparations for big tournaments. Funding would be the next challenge.

In terms of team preparation for big tournaments, SASCOC normally stepped in to assist struggling federations. Mr Sam predicted that at least four medals would come from athletics in Rio in 2016, combined with another three from swimming, and then the country would be well on its way.

Even though Stephen Mokoka had performed well in the Shanghai Marathon, there was tough competition from the Ethiopians and Kenyans, but SASCOC would ensure all the support necessary for him.

Developments at SA Football Association
Mr Sam said that towards the end of Mr Kirsten Nematandani’s reign at SAFA, it had become apparent that that federation’s finances were not in a good state. SAFA had then reported that it was in the red by about R80-R90 million. SASCOC had asked SAFA to develop a turn-around strategy to remedy that situation. In the meantime, a dossier left anonymously at SASCOC house had alleged a lot of wrongdoings at SAFA’s house. Possibly in SASCOC’s haste, and its inability to deal with the contents of that dossier, it had asked for assistance from the South African Police Services (SAPS). That had ended up with SASCOC going round in circles. At one stage, together with SRSA, there had been a resolution to approach President Zuma to assist by instituting a judicial commission of enquiry. That also had floundered, as there seemed to be no real substance as to what could be investigated.

While all that was happening, Mr Danny Jordaan was elected the new SAFA President, whereafter SAFA developed the requested turn-around strategy. SASCOC felt that there had been considerable progress in turning SAFA around, even though Banyana had exited the African Women's Championship play-off.

The Chairperson interjected that the Committee would possibly want to discuss this matter, so that the annual report (AR) would be the last presentation. She then asked SASCOC to speak to the challenges facing Luvo Manyonga, the long jump champion. SASCOC could not say that it was not the bank for athletes, because some of the challenges facing athletes were social.

Mr Ralegoma said that the Committee’s strategic workshop had at least clarified what the Committee could judge SASCOC on. Indeed, the country would not be a winning nation if governance was not dealt with in the various federations. Could SASCOC really talk to its perspective around transformation, as there was the transformation charter and scorecard which all federations had ratified? Provincially, how were the federations working with SASCOC? Could SASCOC speak to the selection processes for competitions as well, since federations sometimes were at loggerheads with SASCOC on that issue?

Ms Manana asked whether SASCOC could comment on the 15% Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) which SALGA was struggling to manage, as there was simply no infrastructure in municipalities. From SASCOC’s leadership, who sat in the NLB distribution board? Was that not a conflict of interest? Was SASCOC asking that the Committee should also oversee athletes, together with SASCOC?

Ms B Abrahams (ANC) said the NLB had mentioned that it had spent R1 billion on SASCOC so far. Was it not a conflict situation, in that SASCOC was getting revenue through Phumelela? At what age did SASCOC propose to start focusing on special codes, and how would the country monitor those athletes?

Mr D Bergman (DA) asked what had happened with the underperformance of the SA youth team in Nanjing? With the logistics of the Commonwealth, had SASCOC paid for some of its management and administrative staff as well? Were the issues with SAFA and money sorted out? Had the challenges around the release of players from soccer clubs for national duty been addressed with the appointment of the new coach?

Mr M Malatsi (DA) asked if SASCOC was satisfied in terms of personnel leadership and athletes across federations, where gender representivity and transformation were concerned, especially at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and in the big three sporting codes of rugby, soccer and cricket. What had happened with the training programmes that SASCOC was supposed to have rolled out, together with SRSA, through the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA)? What role did SASCOC play at the Ekhaya hospitality centre in Glasgow?

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) wanted to know whether the NLB was the biggest funder of SASCOC. What role was SASCOC really playing in the establishment of netball leagues in districts? Could SASCOC provide a list of districts where netball was already being played? He was worried over the tendency of Mr Sam to rush to international federations’ leadership instead of them coming to SASCOC when there were problems at national federations. What autonomy or independence did SASCOC have in those instances? What was SASCOC’s predicted tally of medals at Rio in 2016? What was SASCOC’s stance when SRSA, which had already committed to the transformation agenda, found that certain sectors in federations were resisting the full implementation of that agenda? Could SASCOC also speak to the dismissal of Chief Mwelo Nonkonyane as vice president of SAFA?

Mr Sam replied that the problem with Luvo Manyonga was a social issue, rather than a sporting issue. After having been readmitted to long jump after his earlier suspension, he would be back at training and school in Johannesburg or Bloemfontein at the national training centre in early 2015, and all that remained was an issue of logistics and time.

The biggest challenge with the concept of a winning nation and governance occurs when members find an all-white team in national colours at the airport, and the team had raised its own funds to go to Japan for a karate tournament. That immediately barred SASCOC from doing anything, because if the parents of those athletes had paid for that trip from their own pockets, SASCOC was hamstrung. This was one of the issues for which Mr Sam had been repeatedly reprimanded by Mr Nhlanhla Nene, Minister of Finance -- that SRSA and SASCOC had cost the National Sport and Recreation Plan about R10 billion. Therefore if the country wanted to deal with sporting challenges, R1 billion was simply not enough. If governance issues in a particular federation were not to SASCOC’s satisfaction, resistance to transformation and the NSRP came easily if people could question how much SASCOC or SRSA had given to that particular federation. At a recent conference in Mexico, national confederations had agreed that the autonomy of a federation within a country did not supersede the laws of that country. Therefore federations could throw a tantrum, but the state was in charge, even if the intervention by state or SASCOC was limited. There was, of course, a governance commission within SASCOC that dealt with reports of governance challenges in federations. It was certainly not as if SASCOC was powerless, because matters had reached a point where many federations were taking the body to court over its interventions, and the body had resolved to use the legal department of SRSA to deal with those federations. Beyond that, SASCOC took federations to the sport court of arbitration in France.

Regarding transformation, there had been a resolution at the Indaba that federations would be engaged, where SASCOC then asked how fast a particular federation could get to a satisfactory point, as per the resolutions. SASCOC would then make up the scorecard, as per the written transformation agreement with that federation, which was why the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) had been appointed, which reported to SRSA and SASCOC on the progress being made regarding transformation. SASCOC still went to its council meetings afterwards to find out how it could assist federations on not retreating from their agreements. To that extent, it was going to the districts so that the scorecard could be more easily achieved, and the quicker the transformation. In a sport like ring-ball, where the federation had asked for assistance voluntarily, it showed that there were people working towards transforming with goodwill.

Provincial structures were not all well-oiled. Mr Sam appealed to the Committee to assist with Limpopo, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape, where the issues ranged from not enough funding to funding being received from the MEC, and recognition by the provincial government. Moreover, though there were 72 national federations, there was not an equal number of provincial federations, so SASCOC was currently pushing the national federations to have provincial federations as well.

With the funding that the national federations received from SRSA, SASCOC and the NLB, SASCOC was now requiring audited financial statements as part of the accountability.

The agreement with SALGA was over why it was not handing over to SASCOC the facilities that were already standing, and were being vandalised. For instance in Butterworth, all the facilities that had been built had been razed to the ground. In Mount Ayliff, the municipal officials did not know where the facility’s keys were. In the Free State, there was a district where a swimming pool had been turned into a car wash. Municipalities were quick to say that their funding did not allow money for maintenance of those facilities. SASCOC was again appealing to the Committee to follow that issue up as well, because in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape (EC), for example, the municipality had built a brand new facility for boxing. Before the hand over, as there had been misunderstandings, the facility had become a shack dwelling, and the structural materials had been removed and the facility burned down before even one boxing match had ever taken place there.

There currently were no SASCOC members on the NLB distribution board, as there had been too many complaints of conflict of interest.

The NLB was indeed SASCOCs biggest funder and gave substantially to the all the operations of the body. To that extent, Mr Sam appealed to the Committee that this “golden goose” should never be slaughtered, as that would be seriously detrimental to the coordination of sport in the country. There was also a new trend, where sponsors in SA only sponsored soccer, rugby and cricket.

Phumelela was the only regulatory horse racing body in SA, and SASCOC did not feel conflicted as it had inherited that stake from the National Sports Council (NSC).

Mr Sam agreed that Nanjing had indeed been a big disappointment, and SASCOC was currently investigating what had happened to that youth team. The only redeeming athlete was Giselle Magerman, who won a gold medal in the 400m hurdles event.

If the issue of no alcohol advertising in sport went through, the Committee had to know that that would be the end of sport. The banning of tobacco advertising had been accepted during the time of Ms Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma’s tenure as Health Minister. That revenue gap had never been filled and even though Minister Aaron Motsoaledi was serious about the alcohol ban, so was SASCOC in its lobbying that the ban would seriously cripple sports sponsorship. The lobby group from the sporting fraternity was simply not making headway, as Minister Motsoaledi seemed to have concluded that alcohol would be banned, but SASCOC was appealing to the Committee to assist in that regard.

Regarding the release of players by clubs for national duty, the Springbok rugby coach, Mr Heyneke Meyer, could field his first team regulars up to a certain point, and because whatever then remained of matches would be outside the International Rugby Board (IRB) grace period, some of those regulars would not be playing. It was similar with international football, but when it came to the national teams in SA, it seemed that this was an issue that SAFA and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) had to thrash out. Would Shakes Mashaba be denied the best players in SA because the domestic league was more important than national duty?

The gender representivity breakdown as part of transformation needed to be debated differently. Mr Sam said in his travels around the country, when he arrived at a school in some communities on a Wednesday, he found that there was no sport -- and not even on a Saturday. What the country was creating currently was a situation where all those learners that were privileged to go the previous model C schools were the ones who were benefiting. If the situation as to why there was no school sport was not addressed, then the transformation challenges would sit with the government and the country for the next 20 to 30 years. SRSA had agreed with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) that school sport had to be prioritised seriously, as there was simply no way a child on the other side of Qumbu, who did no sporting activities for at least two days in a week, could be part of transformation. Therefore federations could not be forced to transform, as international sport regulations worked on qualification times for athletes to be eligible to partake in tournaments. That was why SASCOC was saying there should be school sport with coaches that would do a proper job at least twice a week with learners. Quotas had been an unnatural way of achieving transformation, as they had very limited results.

Mr Sam said that he was surprised by the statement on training programmes for coaches, which alleged that SASCOC had failed with CATHSSETA because of non-cooperation to deliver, and he would want to investigate it. One had only to look at the number of training programmes led by SASCOC, where federations were currently joining up as well, because of a coaching framework which was internationally recognised. That framework was currently being taken to region five of the Southern African Democratic Community (SADEC) to help Lesotho, Swaziland and all the others to start using that framework, as it had been licensed by international bodies. Indeed, SASCOC had gone to CATHSSETA where it had received funding, which had then gone into improving the coaching talent. 60% of those coaches had completed the programme which had been run by the Da Vinci Institute in Midrand, Johannesburg.

In the historical days of the National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) and maybe the South African Commonwealth Games Association (SACGA), there had been a plea that the parents of the athletes competing wanted to come over to the Games and be entertained, and this was where Ekhaya the concept had started. Ekhaya Glasgow was the responsibility of SRSA, but SASCOC had cooperated with the Department, as the two institutions generally cooperated on many other ventures. Ekhaya had assisted with many meetings with countries that SASCOC hoped to have future exchanges with, and which the country could use as lobby partners for bids like the Olympics in future. SASCOC could certainly supply the Committee with a full report on Ekhaya Glasgow.

On district netball, Mr Sam was appealing to the Committee to check which sports were being played in their districts and report to SASCOC so that it could follow up with federations on why certain sports were not being played. For instance, what was needed for there to be cross country racing in the villages surrounding Mthatha, where the children were running between the hills as if they were walking? What was needed was the encouragement from SASCOC and the Committee to ask one benefactor to donate half a sheep once a month so that those children could compete and start cross country clubs in those districts. As it was, Mdantsane schools had portable pools that fitted into classrooms so that learners could start swimming, and those with potential could then be nurtured further.

The SASCOC president in SA had very limited powers, as all he could do was according to the SASCOC constitution and the SA Sports Act. SASCOC was a coordinating body only. Proof of this was in the length of time it had taken to remove the SA flag from under the Protea emblem on the cricket jersey of the national team. As it was, SASCOC presidents were volunteers and that was why, when SASCOC intervened in federations and if the matter took time to resolve, the body would elevate the matter to the SRSA.

Mr Sam then speculated that SA teams would bring at least ten medals home from Rio in 2016. He then outlined which sporting codes would bring back those medals.

Those Committee members that had gone to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of SAFA had seen the outcome. SAFA had asked Chief Nonkonyane to do certain things, and when he had refused, the issue was put to the vote. Even regions from the EC had not supported him.

The Chairperson said the Committee still maintained that the 15% MIG that SALGA was getting from the state needed to be returned to SRSA if SALGA could not build infrastructure or maintain stadiums. Certainly, the staff could provide SASCOC with the SRSA report addressing the coach training failure. The Committee would support SASCOC by checking on districts, as long as SASCOC also supplied a list of districts already playing sports as well.

Mr Bergman noted that since his questions had not been answered yet, and since Mr Sam was saying that federation constitutions were not beyond the country’s laws, what was SASCOC’s stance on the match-fixing scandal? What SRSA was saying in terms of not being able to investigate, since that could result in challenges with FIFA? Similarly the PSL and SAFA were having challenges that could result in a conflict in soccer, even though SRSA was supposed to have the power to intervene, according to what Mr Sam had just reported.

The Chairperson added that the Committee had instructed the Minister of Sport to follow up on the match fixing saga with FIFA. Minister Fikile Mbalula had not reported back to the Committee yet, but the efforts from SRSA to FIFA had been circulated among the Committee. The Chairperson was not blocking Mr Sam from responding, but the Committee was certainly aware of the current status of that issue.

Mr Malatsi asked for clarity on the statement in the SRSA report concerning the training of coaches, and whether SASCOC reckoned that the statement was false. His initial question on transformation was based on gender inequality, but he then wanted SASCOC’s view on whether the current match fees allocated for senior national teams in football, cricket and rugby were adequate for the female teams and individual athletes in those three codes.

The Chairperson noted that Mr Malatsi had taken the torch for gender representativity in sports from her, and even though SASCOC was saying it had assisted basketball and netball, she was still not satisfied with the amount of assistance given to netball specifically.

Mr Sam replied that gender equality in terms of sport was a phenomenon that needed the combined efforts of everyone involved and affected by sport, without any debate. Taking netball for example, and the efforts of SRSA to get those athletes semi-professional status, the ultimate truth was that that depended on how deep the pockets of the sponsors were to get the balance right, and it was certainly quite far from being adequate. Recalling his days at the NLB, Mr Sam said it had been really embarrassing looking at the amount of money Banyana had to pay for training at the University of Pretoria.

In terms of match fixing, the Minister was dealing with that issue and Mr Sam did not really want to be there to undermine the powers of FIFA, since sometimes the choice was whether the country was in or out. SA simply wanted to clear its name where match fixing was concerned. In the absence of FIFA’s final report on match fixing, the country was still far from concluding that issue.

Mr Sam reiterated that the SASCOC managers would find out where the coach training failure had crept in, as SASCOC worked well with both CATHSSETA and SRSA.

Ms Tshabangu said that SASCOC had covered coach training in terms of the annual report (AR), but what had occurred was that CATHSSETA, SASCOC and SRSA had met in 2012 to discuss the issue of capacity building in terms of teachers. While looking at the 16 priority sporting codes of SRSA, the issue of where the funding for that training would come from, and accessing the schools, the three bodies eventually decided to invite the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) to present to the federations on how the training would be rolled out. When that did not materialise, SASCOC had changed focus in terms of its key mandate of coaching development, and therefore it was still going to present on the coaching development programme, which still maintained the 16 priority codes of SRSA. SASCOC had actually managed to cover 11, the last of which was for athletics in KZN the previous week.

Mr Sam reiterated that he had covered the issue of SAFA and SASCOC, and that as late as the previous week he had been with Mr Jordaan looking at the structures of football,l and that the two bodies had no more axes to grind.

Ms Patience Shikwambana, General Manager, SASCOC, said that logistics and operations for the team to Glasgow had included SASCOC management, which was based on SASCOC’s internal procedures. The women’s national cricket team had finally been given contracts by Cricket SA (CSA), so there was movement, even though it was still not on a par.

SASCOC Annual Report
Ms Tshabangu took the Committee through the SASCOC annual report.

SASCOC had requested each provincial MEC to give at least R2 million to the high performance programme it was coordinating, where that money would be used for to support athletes like Giselle Magerman, or any other athlete from the provinces.

SASCOC had decided after realising that the country did not really perform well at the World Games, that it would set-up an Operation Excellence (OPEX) for those games’ codes.

Operation Excellence
SASCOC had spent about R12.4 million on OPEX alone to support 56 Olympians and 38 Paralympians. Even though SASCOC had moved away from ranking, it still used it as a yardstick for measurement, together with the performance history of an athlete and whether the athlete was consistent in his or her performances.

Athlete Career Programme (ACP)
The key focus of this programme was for athletes to learn to be able to manage their dual careers as students or working individuals, as well as athletes. The programme was endorsed by the International Olympic Council (IOC) and the International Paralympic Council (IPC).

Alignment of existing Provincial Academies
The North West (NW) currently had an existing board as part of their previous dispensation, whereas SASCOC was saying there could be only one board accountable for sport in SA, and this was SASCOC. With their provincial structures, SASCOC was saying that provinces needed to work with the provincial sports confederation, as there could not be two parallel structures in one province, as that would create chaos. Therefore SASCOC had advised the NW to legally disband the board and to align its constitution to SASCOC’s and the sports confederation so as to make way for the new regulations. SRSA was finalising the provincial academy regulations which would have the ten member commissions that would then be appointed by SASCOC, the sports confederation and by the MECs of the provinces.

Monitoring and Evaluation
Ms Shikwambana said that SASCOC had already met with about 20 national federations to check on whether they were implementing the resolutions of the NSRP.

The Chairperson asked SASCOC if it was able to assist with amateur boxing.

Mr Ralegoma said that if the presentation was supposed to be an annual report, there should have been financial statements included, even though the main funder of SASCOC was the NLB.

Mr Mmusi said that his interest was the NW Academy, and whether there was a functioning provincial sports confederation for that province. Did it have board members, who were they and had the provincial SRSA been made aware of the challenges at that Academy? Who was responsible for running it, who funded it, and to whom did it account?

Ms Manana asked if the bursary recipients had had to submit their final results. Was the academy in Mpumalanga in Middleburg still functional, or was SASCOC focusing only on the one in Emakhazeni?

Ms Abrahams asked how the country could avoid the fly-by-night institutions issuing fake certificates.

Mr Malatsi asked who would be raising awareness about unaccredited academies, whether there would be punitive measures for academies, and whether SASCOC would clarify the accreditation process so that people could not plead ignorance on the side of SASCOC. How many bids, if there were any, by individual national federations were currently being supported by SASCOC for major sports events at that time? Could SASCOC comment on whether there was a bid for the Commonwealth Games or the Olympics?

Mr Sam said that there was an anomaly in boxing in SA. Promoters were professional business people, who tended to go to provincial governments to ask for money and those governments would give them that money, as they wanted to attract tourism. Where the wheels came off was after a profit had been made, and not even a percentage went to amateur boxing. The country had to get to a point where the agreement was that provinces could of course help promoters, provided that the promoters would leave some of their revenue for amateur boxing. SASCOC was engaging Boxing SA (BSA) and the Promoters Association to see how the Act could be used to resolve the amateur boxing issue.

The academy in NW was a historical problem from the days of the National Sports Council (NSC), when it had been based at the University of the NW. The issue was that the university started to service particular federations and closed the doors for others at will. When SASCOC intervened, the last debate had been with MEC Tebogo Modise, where SASCOC had lamented the situation where she gave the university public funds and the university would do with them as it pleased. The new regulations provided for the sport confederation in the NW to run the academy. Strangely, certain individuals were feeling a lot of pain with the new regulations, which allowed for all federations in the NW to utilise the academy.

In terms of fly-by-night academies, the SASCOC website said that academies had to be registered to get accreditation. In the early days of SASCOC, there were a lot of unregistered swimming academies. SASCOC had then said that if an academy had no Swimming SA (SSA) plaque accrediting such an academy then it would make the general public aware that if a parent took a child to such an academy, then it would be absolved of any responsibility. Thereafter those academies complied. There was going to come a time where SASCOC would demand accreditation certificates from academies, as the regulations would be published soon.

SASCOC was indeed bidding for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and so far everyone wanted to come to Durban. The only barrier was that Cabinet had not yet decided. The eThekwini metro was happy, the Directors General (DGs) had signed off, and only the Cabinet was yet to deliberate. Meanwhile, the competitor -- which was Canada -- had already launched its logo and their government had already signed off as well. The bid was also linked to the 2024 Olympic bid, because SASCOC believed that if the country could properly establish the infrastructure in Durban, it could also do the Olympics.

Individual federations were given the go ahead to bid for major sporting events when they had given SASCOC enough information. This was because, among others, the South African Gymnastics Federation (SAGF) could not pay the R2.7 million accommodation bill to the Manhattan Hotel in Pretoria after the 12th African Gymnastics Championship. When that national federation had come to SASCOC, it had Algrodex as a sponsor that would pay the accommodation. However, the wheels had come off somewhere, and that issue would come to the Committee in future. A letter from the lawyers of the Manhattan to Minister Mbalula had said that it was giving the state time before it went public with the default in payment. SASCOC tried very hard to stop national federations from committing to hosting events without state guarantees and sponsorships, but unfortunately some slipped through. Recently there had been junior championships for both softball and judo in the Western Cape. Currently the international presidents of those national federations kept saying that SASCOC owed it money when they saw Mr Sam at conferences, and he would have to defend the country.  

The athletes who had been given bursaries had submitted their final year end results, and the pass rate was quite good.

The Emakhazeni academy would not be coming online anytime soon, and the Middleburg academy had collapsed. So far, the academy was currently housed at SRSA in Nelspruit, even though that was not ideal. SASCOC hoped that the Emakhazeni high performance centre (HPC) would benefit the entire country. The plan was to split centres of excellence across the country, so that the Free State would assist with the national training centre, altitude training could be done in Mpumalanga, and the when the HPC in NW would provide the best training grounds for throwing events, and so on. This was the way that China was doing it. The Committee could assist by speaking to the Premier of Mpumalanga to get Emakhazeni online.

The confederation in NW was battling, as it was almost the only one that never received money from its MEC, whereas the Free State’s former Sport MEC had given that confederation close to R15 million, and there was currently a South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) bus that travelled from district to district, testing the learners on the spot. SASCOCs only concern was the unevenness of what was happening in the provinces, with some MECs giving money, while others refused. However, there was a Ministers and Members of Executive Councils (MINMEC) discussion on finding a way of standardising the funding of sports confederations across the board.

Ms Tshabangu said that SASCOC’s revenue had been R125 million, with a surplus of R6.2 million. Private sponsorship amounted to only R2.9 million. From SRSA, SASCOC received R10.6 million, and the bulk of the funding came from the NLB. The SRSA allocation went into programmes like the Long Term Participant Development (LTPD). 57% of SASCOC’s funding went to high performance (HP) sport in terms of preparation and delivery, where SASCOC paid the salaries of coaches as well, including swimming.

Mr Sam interjected that he wanted to clarify something, as Minister Nene had also said that public officials should stop flying business class. When one saw him in business class on a flight, one had to remember that because of all the travels of athletes and for SASCOC, he received points. Therefore it was the points that allowed one to move to business class, and not that the ticket was specially bought. Similarly with car hire, there was a cumulative points system.

Going back to SASCOC’s administration, the Committee would see that it had been tightening its belt before Minister Nene’s austerity measures. Therefore as organs of state, they did need protection sometimes, since SASCOC had been established by an Act of Parliament.

The Chairperson concurred that even Members of Parliament had similar benefits on flights. Therefore the Committee chose to call officials to account before it when there were issues as part of its philosophy, and did not take media statements as truth. She asked why SASCOC had a surplus of R6 million.

Mr Sam replied that it was the way SASCOC was funded. Since there was a gap between the end of the financial year and the next allocation, that surplus carried the entity over to the following financial year.

The Chairperson thanked SASCOC for appearing, as that informed the Committee on its operations.

Committee announcements
The Chairperson asked the Committee’s view on the SAFA invitation to attend the first Bafana Bafana versus Sudan game post Senzo Meyiwa on 15 November at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban.

The Committee deliberated over the invitation, raising issues such as the limited Committee budget for oversight versus honouring such an invitation, and how many Members would be attending.

The final consensus was that for Members already in provinces where national teams were playing, those Members could use their entitlements to limit the costs of attending, so that the Chairperson would not be attending alone as representing the Committee. However, those Members who really wanted to attend and were from other provinces, there certainly was no barrier to such attendance.

The Chairperson said that Committee Members, when invited, needed to be seated in the presidential suites, as they were guests of federation presidents. She had raised the issue with Mr Jordaan the last time she had met him, and she believed the point had been taken.

The meeting was adjourned.


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