South African Boxing Bill: hearings

Sports, Arts and Culture

20 September 2000
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Meeting report

SOUTH AFRICAN BOXING BILL: PUBLIC HEARINGS

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
20 September 2000
SOUTH AFRICAN BOXING BILL: PUBLIC HEARINGS

Relevant documents:
Women and Sport South Africa submission
SABC submission
SABC slide presentation [if required, e-mail info@pmg.org.za]
South African Boxing Bill

SUMMARY

Women and Sport South African (WASSA), Mr Josh Cloete, SABC and Khayalagunya Holdings made submissions to the Committee. WASSA's main concern was the change of the word 'women' to 'female' wherever reference is made to male and female (and not male and woman). Mr Cloete focussed on the enhancement of women in boxing. Both WASSA and Mr Cloete supported the Bill's inclusion of women in boxing.

SABC's main concern was about the broadcasting rights of tournaments, which they believe, should not be included in the Bill.

Khayalagunya commented that the Bill should make provision for the funding of black sports organisations so as to develop sports in Black areas.

MINUTES
Women and Sport South Africa (WASSA)
President of WASSA, Ntombi Ravele, said that the organisation consisted of a national steering council, representing all provinces. She said that she was happy that the Bill was making allowance for women to participate in boxing, unlike the 1954 Act, which excluded them totally. However she requested that consideration be given to certain sections of the Bill:
Objects of Act: Clause 2 should make provision for boxing facilities, which accommodate women boxers.

Interpretation of Act: The word "women" should change to "female" in s3(c), so that it would read "...male and female boxing".

Powers of Boxing SA: In subsection 7 (j) (i), WASSA suggested that a period of 30 days be granted to women for agreements to be entered into and not the seven-day period, as this would give women sufficient time to undergo pregnancy tests if need be.

Composition of Boxing SA: In subsection 9(c) WASSA requested that the word "women" be changed to "female" for consistency throughout the bill.

Staffing of Boxing SA: In s16 (2) WASSA referred to "officials in the public service" and asked whether these conditions of service also included an equity plan. The presenter felt that this equity plan would accommodate women.

Development plan: WASSA suggested in s21 that there should be a special focus on female development.

Composition of local office, tenure of office, vacancies and meetings: In s27 WASSA was unhappy that within the provincial structure, there were no women representatives.

Accreditation of legal firm, medical doctor and agencies or auditor: There was concern in S43 (d) as to what prescribed standard would be used in relation to scientific testing, as standards differed between women and men. She wanted clarity on this standard.

Regulations: WASSA requested that attire in S47 (h) be given further consideration or be revisited. The presenter suggested that this should be an issue that needed to be dealt with in the workshop.

Discussion
Ms Southgate (ACDP): What are your thoughts on the question of women parading or marching in the ring half-naked.
Ms Ravele: We did not actually look at this issue yet. We are only concentrating on the issues in the Bill.

Mr Morkel (NNP): On the question of prescribed standards, do you have any prescribed standards in mind.
The presenter suggested that this could be dealt with at the workshop.

Q: You said in your presentation that the Bill is quiet about women in the structure. To my knowledge there are only two provinces involved in women boxing, which shows me that there is inactiveness on the part of women in this sport. What is your suggestion with regard to the inactiveness of women in boxing?
A: Sport and Recreation has the policy that sports should focus on bridging the gap between male and female and this would be in line with government policy.

Q: Could you elaborate on the question of weight.
A: This issue will also be discussed at the workshop. Weight between men and women is obviously different. The measurement and kind of weight required should not be the same for men and women.

Mr Chauke (ANC): The composition of Boxing SA in Clause 9 seem to be a serious concern for many presenters, what are your feelings about that section?
A: In 9(c), where reference is made to "person representing women boxing", WASSA had been trying to figure out whether this "person" was specifically a woman or any person. WASSA concluded that this representative should be a female representative.

Mr Josh Cloete
Mr Cloete noted that he had not had enough time to prepare a presentation document as he found out about the hearings very late. Mr Cloete said that he has been involved with women boxers for about six years but the 1954 Act prohibited the hosting of women boxing tournaments. He is grateful that the Bill makes provision for women boxers.

He referred to the Definitions in Clause 1 where the word "boxer" had not been defined. Also would it be referring to male or female or both? He pointed out that the Regulations (Clause 47) surrounding women boxing should be stipulated within the Bill or as an annexure to the Bill, because he feared that the various provinces might have different stipulations. He concluded by reiterating that his only problem with the Bill is about the regulations and the inclusion of the definition "boxer".

Discussion:
Mr Chauke (ANC) pointed out that female boxing is presently illegal in South Africa. He asked Mr Cloete what his association is with female boxing.
Mr Cloete: The boxing I am talking about is kick-boxing which is not exactly the same as boxing but pretty much the same.

The Chairperson commented that she was hoping that, as Mr Cloete had been involved for about six years with women boxers, the Committee was going to learn a lot from him. They wanted to find out about issues such as safety measures that could be put in place for women boxers, testing and weight, etc.
Mr Cloete responded that this could be discussed at the workshop.

One member of the committee suggested that Mr Cloete needed to put his comments on paper.

Mr Ferreira (IFP) asked if he knew any female trainers?
Mr Cloete said that he did not. The WASSA representative commented that there are female trainers.

The Chairperson said that she was disappointed that Mr Cloete did not discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the involvement of women in boxing.
Mr Morkel said that at the previous committee meeting at which Mr Cloete had been present, he had spoken about the advantages and disadvantages of women in boxing and about possible safety measures.

South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)
Representing the SABC were Mr Tango Lamani: Acting Senior General Manager, Mr Oupa Mahlangu: Manager of Radio Sport and Advocate Ronnie Lennox: Chief Legal Adviser.

Mr Mahlangu gave a slide presentation about the background on covering sport as a broadcasting organisation and about the SABC's objectives and challenges in this regard.

Advocate Lennox spoke on how the Bill is going to impact on the obligations of the SABC as a public broadcaster to televise sport of a national interest and the fact that they viewed the Bill as unconstitutional. The Broadcasting Act stipulates that the SABC should broadcast sports of national interest. The Bill limits the promoters capacity to conclude long-term agreements with the SABC. He pointed out that there are already long-term agreements which have been concluded between the SABC and promoters. It makes no legal or business sense to entitle Boxing SA to remove the broadcasting rights from the promoter. He stated that the SABC accepted other aspects of the Bill, particularly Clause 5, which would establish Boxing SA as an independent body but it had difficulty with Clause 29, Broadcasting rights of tournaments, Clause 17, Finances of Boxing SA and the provisions of Clause 2.

Discussion:
Mr Chauke: The SABC seems to put their focus only on S29 of the Bill, is it only S29 that is unconstitutional or the Bill in its entirety.
A: No, it is not the whole Bill that is unconstitutional, only S29.

Q: If you want S29 to be removed, what would your suggestion be?
A: If this section continues as it stands, the effect will impact on promoters.

Q: Mr Morkel asked the SABC what should be done about its proposal of Boxing SA granting broadcasting rights to itself.
A: There should be a written set of criteria stating clearly how one can obtain these rights. It should also be shown when the concerned person (promoter) did not fulfill the criteria and therefore the rights will be taken away on those grounds.

Q: If S29 is removed, would the SABC still have problems with S17 as it stands?
A: No

The Chairperson asked whether the SABC would accept S29 if the period of 30 days, as provided in the section, would be extended.
A: No

Mr Ferreira: There is a perspective about SABC Topsport that it has its priorities wrong, i.e. millions of rands were spent on Grand Prix racing, which is not an appealing sport to the majority of South Africa. What are your comments about that?
A: As we are responsible to the people, we must try and accommodate all people in South Africa.

Q: Are you suggesting that this perspective is right, that the SABC has its priorities wrong?
A: No, what I am saying is that we must accommodate all people equally, as far as is possible. To add to that, the SABC and the Grand Prix promoter had a long-term contract. We also realised that this sport is not watched by the majority of the people. At a certain stage we wanted to terminate it because of such reasons. We could not as we were bound by the terms of the contract. The termination of contract with them would have resulted in a loss of a lot of money for us.

On the question of agreements with promoters, he said that there is no signed agreement, only a working relationship.

Mr Morkel (NNP): It is believed that the SABC has a vertical relationship of competition with other broadcasters. Does the SABC think that this can be addressed and, if so, how?
A: It is true that this does exist. I think it would be unfair of the SABC to tell other broadcasters how they should operate. Rather the Broadcasting Act should regulate this.

Q: Does the SABC think that competition between broadcasters (one broadcaster makes an offer to a client and another one makes a better offer) should be regulated by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Council.
Advocate Lennox: This is a question of ethics and therefore there would be a problem regulating ethics. This depended on the credibility of the person.

Q: There is a perception that the SABC is assisting Gauteng to have a monopoly over sport, are you aware of this?
A: We have a body that consists of representatives from all provinces. Most of them are promoters and this body meets at least once a month. What I want to say is that we are ensuring fights rotate to all provinces.

Khayalagunya Sport Recreation and Sport Trust
Even though Mr Mokhatla Mosia was not listed on the programme, he asked the Chairperson if he could make a presentation to the committee. He informed the committee that this organisation assisted with sport in Khayalitsha, Guguletu and Langa area. He requested that in the next Bill there should be provisions that provide for the development of sport in Black townships. He stressed the point that the major trend in the socio-political sphere with which this Bill will have to come to terms with is the trend towards empowering the poorest of the poor and the disadvantaged. He suggested to the Committee that, in the next draft of the Bill, it should mark a major financial input via a five member Committee consisting of an African, Coloured, Indian, White and Muslim. No questions were put to Mr Mosia. Members of the Portfolio Committee applauded him for being bold.

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