The Committee met to consider minutes and matters arising from the same minutes. The discussion at one point centred on the Minister of Sports and Recreation absence from meetings when Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) was accounting before the committee. The Chairperson reminded the Committee that the decision to invite the Minister for specific business had been taken by itself.
The Committee also felt that the Department of Basic Education used budgetary constraints to shield itself from commitments it had made as per the Memorandum of Understanding it had with SRSA in terms of prioritising schools sport and physical education.
It also emerged that there were some members of the committee that had participated in the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day and had received medals. The committee decided that those achievements and oversight would be pronounced at the following meeting.
It was also decided that at the next meeting with the Minister the issue of having the Eminent Persons Group coming to brief the Committee on actual transformation in sports in South Africa would be raised.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone and explained why the agenda only spoke about minutes and no other business for the day. She apologised for this oversight as she felt it was not sufficient for the Committee to have been called to sit only for minutes on a particular day.
The Chairperson said there was no particular rule speaking to the absence of members of the Committee from meetings without apologies consecutively for three sittings. The Committee felt those absences however, but she was grateful for today’s attendance as the Committee was in full attendance.
The Chairperson commented that members would be busy with political party work leading up to the 2016 local government elections; however she asked them to plead with their parties to release them for the days set aside during the week for the Parliamentary Committee meetings. She allowed members an opportunity to add items on the agenda and then asked for the adoption of that agenda as was outlined.
Ms B Abrahams (ANC) moved for the adoption of the agenda.
Mr S Malatsi (DA) seconded the motion.
The agenda was adopted as was outlined.
The Committee then considered its minutes.
Committee Minutes dated 3 February 2015
The Chairperson asked the Committee whether there were any matters arising conccerning the minutes.
Mr K Sithole (IFP) noted that there probably would not be any arising matters during consideration of minutes.
The Chairperson replied that there could be such matters as - minutes writing had improved with actions taken also reported on as well.
Mr Malatsi noted that the minutes were detailed and seeing that this was the first time the support staff had prepared such detailed minutes, he hoped that future minutes would be equally substantive. He moved for the adoption of the minutes as drafted.
Mr Filtane seconded the motion with a qualification that matters arising would be entertained as a separate item.
The minutes were adopted without any amendments.
Matters arising from the minutes
Mr Filtane asked whether the Content Advisor (CA) had indeed identified pertinent matters for the Committee to put into action as was reported in the minutes.
Mr Teboho Thebehae, CA, replied that pertinent matters had been identified with an attendant document produced, he was just not certain about whether it had been circulated in the Committee.
The Chairperson said that indeed there was such a document and would be engaged if there were no other matters arising except those contained therein.
Update on actions taken post meetings
Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation reference minutes for the 21 October 2014
Mr D Manana (ANC) noted a typing error for correction.
Mr Filtane asked if the Minister of Sports and Recreation, Mr Fikile Mbalula, had been invited for any subsequent meetings with th eCommittee apart from that scheduled for 17 March 2015 and what had been his response in that regard.
The Chairperson replied that the Committee had deliberated and agreed that the Minister could not just pitch up for Committee business without having been invited to do so first. To her knowledge there was no proposal from the Committee to have the Minister to come and account for a particular matter before the Committee.
Mr Malatsi noted that there were two proposed actions that the Minister had to deal with for the meeting scheduled on 17 March. He added that the Minister also brief the Committee on the match fixing matter in SA soccer.
The Chairperson asked if the Committee agreed with Mr Malatsi’s proposal.
The Committee agreed with the proposal.
The Committee Secretary adressed Mr Filtane’s question. She explained that there was a draft letter that would be sent to the Minister. It needed to be populated with additional matters the Committee wanted the Minister to discuss and the Chairperson’s proofing and signature before it can be sent.
The Chairperson reiterated that the Committee’s directive and action was for her office to invite the Minister for 17 March 2015 with the specific brief outlined in the invite.She asked if the Committee was satisfied wit this.
Ms Manana needed clarity on whether the invitation had been prepared and issued.
The Chairperson replied that it had been prepared but that draft letter still had to be read by her so that she could sign it as well before the invitation was issued.
The Committee Secretary explained that Ms Gazelle Magerman was the young female athlete that had won the only gold medal at the Youth Olympics in China, 2014. Ms Magerman had petitioned the Committee on Basic Education which had referred the petition to the Portfolio Committee on Sports and Recreation. Because of the urgency of the petition the staff had immediately sent it to the Deputy Minister of Sports and Recreation. The Ministry had attended to that petition.
The Chairperson noted that it was news to her that Ms Magerman had petitioned the Committee. Did the Committee have to say anything in that regard?
Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) said that he recalled that the staff had brought a list of petitions in 2014 to the Committee. The petitions possibly was amongst those that had been tabled, though he had raised the issue of dealing with petitions in a particular way at the Management Committee (MANCO) as petitions could be not tabled individually. Though it was the prerogative of the Committee, he agreed with the action of the staff of tabling and taking action on urgent petitions.
Mr Malatsi concurred that petitions were tabled but he did not recall individually dealing with them so that action could be taken. On the urgency of some petitions he agreed with the actions of the support staff but as Mr Ralegoma had said the prerogative was for the Committee that after urgent petitions had been compiled the Committee had to deal with those itself rather than having them dealt with in an ad hoc manner.
Ms Abrahams felt that communication between the Chairperson and the support staff needed to be stepped up as it was not satisfactory that the Chairperson heard about matters for her attention during meetings no matter how successful the task had been.
The Chairperson replied that the staff had informed her that that particular petition had not been addressed to the Committee which was why it had not been presented to the Committee.
Mr Thebehae said that the urgency of the listed petitions was such that as the Committee had indicated at the petitions meeting that if staff could determine the urgency and processing of petitions then it was the staff’s prerogative to do so, keeping in mind to inform the Chairperson whilst doing so.
Mr P Moteka (EFF) said that the permeating issue for that day was communication and management of Committee business between support staff and the Chairperson. As far as the work of the Committee was concerned the Chairperson had to know everything so that there could no matters of confusion and misunderstanding during Committee meetings.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee had overemphasised the issue of communication and that the staff, the MANCO and her office had apologised in that regard and the confusion would certainly not be repeated.
Mr Thebehae reminded the Committee that the oversight trip had to be cut short because of budgetary constraints and because certain aspects of the planned trip had to be removed. The redrafting of that trip and its approval were only completed the Thursday before the oversight was undertaken. A pre-visit could not therefore have been undertaken by the Committee researcher because of those reasons.
The Chairperson reminded the Committee that it had discussed a separate but related issue of Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) not notifying and inviting the Committee to the SRSA Indigenous Games event in 2014 whilst it had been attending the National Lotteries Board Indaba in 2014. This concerned her because SRSA seemed to be picking and choosing which events to invite the Committee to and alternatively the Committee itself was inconsistent in requesting those invites. How did the Committee want to work with SRSA because budgetary constraints could not be a stumbling block to attending to matters of sport because Parliament had processes where Committees could apply for monies after they had exhausted their budgets? The Committee’s inconsistency certainly could lead stakeholders and SRSA to have the perception that the Committee was also being selective about which events to attend and which it would not.
Mr Thebehae said that it was an anomaly indeed that the Committee was not invited to the Indigenous Games but the support staff was hopeful that the MANCO would assist the Committee in that regard, because it was the Committee’s responsibility to oversee the flagship events of SRSA. The support staff had been informed in 2014 that the budget system of Parliament was a flat allocation so that in 2015 after Strategic Plan(s) [Strat Plans] had been submitted and Annual Performance Plan(s) [APPs] were completed, those could in turn determine how much budget Committees would need to fulfil their mandates. Hopefully such a budget system would allow the Committee to attend to all its priorities.
Mr Malatsi recalled when the budget issue had arisen and proposed that the Committee would possibly have to prioritise not only SRSA event invites but also prioritise oversight over federation events. The content advisor and researcher would then have to identify and recommend to the Committee based on federation objectives which events to prioritise. He reiterated the Chairperson’s sentiments in terms of the flat budget allocation in 2014 and suggested that in future the Committee would have to address the issue of delegation sizes it wanted to stretch itself across events and that a possible model would have to be conceived.
Mr Filtane said that the Committee did not need to be apologetic about the fact that deliberations were so exhaustive in the minutes. He was grateful to the support staff for bringing up all those matters as there had been so much left behind by the Committee. In terms of insufficient attendance of events by Committee members there was something individually affecting himself which was not happening; the Minister of SRSA was keeping a large distance between the Committee and the Ministry such that there was no opportunity to engage with the Minister. If the terms of interaction were strictly that the Minister would come per invitation, the gap between him and the Committee would not help the development of sport in SA. Certainly if the Minister’s programme could be to routinely come of his own vocation once a term before the Committee that would certainly have an impact on the relations between him, sport in the country and the Committee. He was not comfortable with dealing with administration from SRSA all the time. That gap had the effect of making members wonder whether the Minister would recognise them at sporting events.
The Chairperson said that she was confused as to what Mr Filtane’s complaint was about as it was known to all Members of Parliament (MPs) as to how the executive of the country was supposed to interact with Parliament. She reiterated the Committee’s decision to invite the Minister for particular business and to not come voluntarily as that was not satisfactory to her. She asked Mr Filtane why he required the Minister’s presence since even Directors General (DGs) did not sit in on Committee meetings voluntarily without briefs.
Ms Abrahams asked for clarity on MPs mandate as she felt that Committees were not dependent on Ministers to go on with their work. Indeed when required Minister’s had to attend Committee meetings.
Mr Ralegoma spoke to the issue of events that the Committee had to prioritise and said that the Committee was in control of its budget through the Strategic plan and that would be supported by the APP. The Committee would then choose those events to attend but budgetary constraints would always be present in terms of reaching all the Committee’s objectives regarding events. The only way to compete with SRSA in that regard would be for the Committee to be innovative as Mr Malatsi had suggested.
The Chairperson said that she had thought that Mr Ralegoma would address Mr Filtane’s concern but of course the input was taken and welcomed.
Mr Malatsi said the Committee had to have a discussion on when it was appropriate to have the Minister come before it and off the top of his head his proposal was to invite the Minister to deal with pressing matters that emerged from time to time. Essentially as well, it was important to discuss the effectiveness of having the Minister when SRSA was briefing the Committee on its finances and management thereof. Possibly the root cause of Mr Filtane’s sentiment could be that the Minister was not present when SRSA presented its Annual report certainly the Committee had to decide on the standard things that the Minister had to account for and what arising matters he could be called for as was the case with match fixing.
The Chairperson reiterated that there was agreement that the Minister would be invited as per brief because the Committee did not need to be babysat by the Minister.
Mr Sithole said that the Minister was an MP before being a Minister and therefore a member the Committee in that regard. Alternatively though, it was the Committee’s obligation to invite the Minister because the DG was the head of SRSA and thus was the accounting officer in that regard.
Mr S Mmusi (ANC) agreed with the Chairperson’s judgement about the Minister’s presence in the Committee. Alternatively he understood Mr Filtane’s frustration as he had seen an embarrassing experience when a Minister did not know members of the Committee which oversaw his own Department.
Mr Moteka recalled that the Minister had come before the Committee at the Committee’s request. Certainly if every member of the Committee engaged the Minister when he was present everyone would be known to the Minister.
Mr Filtane compared the performance of SRSA Minister with his counterparts at the Departments of Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry and Rural Development and Land Reform. He had seen the Ministers of the two other Departments once every month and not necessarily by invitation whereby they felt it their duty to come and account before their respective Committees without awaiting invitations. That was the kind of rapport he was speaking to in terms of the interactions between the Minister and the Committee. If it was regulated that Ministers only came to Committees as per invitation why then where the other Ministers he had referred, to coming to Parliament without such invitations.
The Chairperson interjected by raising a concern that it was not fair to compare the Committee with other Committees as the reasons behind the differences were not obvious for everyone.
Mr Filtane continued that he would like the Minister of SRSA to be present when the Committee was discussing issues of policy of particular sporting codes. He had heard via the digital media that the Minister had said that rugby would be significantly transformed only by 2019 and that was worrying for him.
The Chairperson said that was exactly what she had meant earlier that he needed to be specific as to what he required of the Minister.
Mr L Ntshayisa (AIC) said that the Committee had deliberated at length on some of the matters being discussed, could the Committee go on with the agenda.
The Chairperson commented that the problem of today’s agenda was that there was no specific topic which then left any business of the Committee to be tabled by members at any specific point of the meeting.
Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation reference minutes for the 23 October 2014
The Committee Secretary explained that at a meeting with the German Delegation the Committee had requested that delegation to share their School Sport Curriculum. The Germans had obliged but the copy of their curriculum was in German language. Of course the document had been circulated to members.
The Chairperson said that was the same as not having received the document at all; if the support staff had not ensured translation of that document. Therefore the request was for the support staff to have the document translated.
Mr Thebehae explained that the German delegation on the 23 October 2014 had requested the Committee members to bring forward any sports projects that members would like Germany’s assistance with and the German embassy would liaise with those members on how to further proceed.
Ms Abrahams said that Ms Manana had instructed her to add to the Committee’s events that there had been members that had participated in the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day and had received medals.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would appreciate being informed on who those members were so that that could be pronounced at the next meeting.
Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation reference minutes for the 28 October 2014
In terms of including the testing of school children for doping within the amendment of the Schools Act, the Chairperson said that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) had complained that testing was currently expensive.
Mr Thebehae reminded the Committee that at the joint meeting there had been a call that testing kits be incorporated in schools as a provision that would be included in the amendment of the Schools Act so that doping could be avoided amongst school age learners. The Deputy Minister had indicated that in future consultation between DBE and SRSA that doping aspect would be considered. Even though the Committee was not mandated to know how far the process of amending the Schools Act was, at the following joint meeting the Committee could possibly find out about such progress.
Mr Malatsi asked whether it was accurate that Members of the Executive Council (MECs) of SRSA and DBE would be developing a plan that would deliver the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two Departments, instead of the Ministers.
Additionally it could be useful to find out from the National Treasury (NT) through a briefing as to which other avenues there were to getting an increase in investment, towards sport and recreation. That could assist the Committee to understand the challenge that government was facing in allocating more funding for the development of sport in the country as that challenge was also becoming an obstacle to the full implementation of the National Sports and Recreation Plan (NSRP).
The Chairperson agreed with Mr Malatsi’s proposal that there was that unfunded NSRP which needed to be funded somehow. Since each Minister as part of the Executive had received a response from NT over why it would not fund a particular mandate, Minister Mbalula could be invited to brief the Committee on those reasons from the NT, so that the Committee could proceed from that point onwards.
Mr Malatsi asked if the Chairperson was saying that the Committee should afford the Minister an opportunity to first brief it on what the interactions between NT and SRSA had been so far.
He was then satisfied at the affirmation from the Chairperson that that was exactly what she meant.
The Chairperson expressed concern that a particular member of the Committee was not engaging the business of the day at all.
Mr S Mabika (NFP) replied that he was not feeling very well which was why he was not as active as he normally was.
Mr Mmusi asked for clarity on an SRSA and DBE joint presentation at a quarterly meeting with district directors from DBE.
The Chairperson interjected that she would like to be excused as a family crisis was suddenly emerging. She asked the Committee to accept Mr Ralegoma as an Acting-Chairperson.
Acting-Chairperson Ralegoma asked if there were any outstanding matters
Mr Sithole asked whether there had been a timeframe set for the setting up of a steering team between DBE and SRSA for the implementation of their MoU.
The Committee Secretary said that matter had been highlighted by the Deputy Minister of DBE whereby he had said that that was a personal undertaking of his. She then read that proposal and said that it had not been a formally motioned proposal at the joint meeting.
Mr Ralegoma suggested that the Committee confine itself to its business because it was now going to matters arising from a joint meeting between the Committee on DBE and that on SRSA. In that regard even timeframes could prove difficult because they were dependent on the two Departments, SRSA and DBE. His caution was based on the fact that the Committee would take action on minutes that affected another Committee and burdening itself as such.
Mr Malatsi suggested that on items from that joint meeting that directly affected SRSA the Committee could direct its actions too SRSA so that it took the lead on such items. That way, the Committee could rest easy knowing that it had initiated a process. On such issues SRSA could periodically update the Committee.
Mr Thebehae said that steering Committee setting up would have been first preceded by the meeting of the DGs from DBE and SRSA with the district directors. From the outcome of that meeting the steering Committee was the proposed vehicle to take forward any other matters. Initiating of such a process and wanting an update would have to be preceded by the afore-mentioned meeting between DGs and district directors. The update on the steering Committee could have been blocked by that meeting between DGs and district directors not having taken place, alternatively outside of that whole process: in the structures of the schools sport set up there were districts coordinating Committees. There were Provincial and National coordinating Committees as well, where both DBE and SRSA usually met. Therefore that setting up of a steering Committee and its relevance also depended on a clarified role between those Committees and that proposed steering Committee.
Above all though, there was nothing amiss in requesting a follow up on those matters.
Mr Ralegoma asked whether it was acceptable for the Committee to note that follow-up as needing to be done with SRSA.
The Committee agreed.
Mr Mabika said he had discerned that it felt like the Committee was imposing itself upon DBE and that DBE was not reciprocating the same concern the Committee had about sport. Concerning was that DBE always spoke about budgetary constraints in terms of prioritising sports in schools and would also allude to physical education which did not assist learners with playing sports. Physical education was grade and period specific, moreover it was a bunch of learners running around and that was not participating in sport. If there was any other way to engage DBE so as to make it realise the importance of sport and recreation in terms of schools sport Mr Mabika would welcome it because the Committee would repeatedly discuss the same matters and remain in the same place as far as school sport was concerned.
Mr Ralegoma concurred but emphasised that the imposition of the Committee upon DBE was one of the few ways to get it to do more in terms of its commitment to have sports in schools.
Ms Manana concurred with the acting Chairperson’s sentiments and added that since some teachers were still going to go for physical education training it had to be ensured that such teachers were those that were passionate about sports, because otherwise all of that training would have been in vain. The Committee also had to insist on working local school sports in terms of intra and inter schools competitions annually.
Mr Ralegoma said that the Committee had to ensure that SRSA continued to put pressure on DBE in terms of agreed upon matters and the MoU.
Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation reference minutes for the 4 November 2014
Mr Sithole asked whether the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) had reported on its provincial activities yet.
Mr Thebehae replied that SASCOC had indicated that it would provide the Committee with a report on its provincial activities, so the support staff had to follow-up by requesting that report on the Committee’s behalf.
Mr Ralegoma said that the Committee had to ensure that that follow-up was made formally.
Mr Sithole also asked for clarity on funding issue for sport in provinces that were to be followed-up at Ministers and Members of Executive Councils Meeting (MINMEC).
Mr Ralegoma said that the Committee would have to ensure that the matter was raised with the Minister when he was before the Committee and that after MINMEC the Minister would have to give feedback as well.
Mr Thebehae said that had been included in the brief to the Minister for 17 March 2015, but the limitation the Committee had to understand was that the equitable share that some provinces received from provincial NTs only covered administrative costs. Therefore they relied a lot on the conditional grants except for two provinces, Free State and the Western Cape which over and above the equitable share and conditional grants; they were able to further fund their provincial SRSA programmes. It was important therefore that that matter be raised with those issues in mind so that there could be a balanced allocation of the equitable share.
Mr Ralegoma said that during oversight the Committee would have to raise that matter with provincial SRSA’s.
Mr Mabika asked to be reminded of the intention where members had to report back on which sporting codes were played in their constituencies and the needs. Who would be addressing the needs that had to be identified?
Mr Thebehae said that request had been from SASCOC after members had complained that certain codes were not played in their constituencies. SASCOC had also indicated that not all codes would have presence at a local and district levels because of their nature. Furthermore SASCOC alluded to the fact that for sporting codes that were popular in constituencies it could assist by speaking to federations in that regard.
Mr Ralegoma agreed with Mr Mabika that possibly the Chairperson’s office could have one list of needs instead of individual members communicating with SASCOC directly as SASCOC had a particular mandate and communicated with SRSA.
Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation reference minutes for the 11 November 2014
Mr Malatsi said that there was a risk of overloading the agenda of the 17 March 2015 if anything more was added to the Ministers brief. Could the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) briefing be a stand-alone matter?
Mr Ralegoma said that because EPG was a Committee advising the Minister he was saying the Committee would raise the matter of inviting EPG to come before the Committee, with the Minister on the 17 March and not that EPG would be coming on that day as well.
He said that the Committee Secretary was noting that though there was agreement that the Committee meets one entity at a time the MANCO had processed meeting LoveLife and the Sports Trust on 3 March 2015. Moreover the meeting with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) had been rescheduled for the 24 March 2015.
He also reminded the support staff to make sure they informed the Chairperson of the announcements.
The Committee Secretary read a few more announcements.
The meeting was then adjourned.
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