Annual Report: Discussion; Adjustments Appropriation Bill; Conference on Sports Event Strategy; Repriorisation of Government Fun

Sports, Arts and Culture

12 November 2002
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Meeting report

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
12 November 2002
ANNUAL REPORT: DISCUSSION; ADJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL; CONFERENCE ON SPORTS EVENT STRATEGY; REPRIORISATION OF GOVERNMENT FUNDING TO SPORT; BRIEFING

Chairperson:
Ms N Bhengu (ANC)

Documents Handed Out:
Briefing on SRSA Vote 19
Adjustments Appropriation Bill B66-2002
A Major Sports Events Strategy for South Africa
Criteria for the Reprioritisation of National Government Funding to Sport (document will be available here shortly)

SUMMARY
The adoption of the Committee's annual report was deferred until the necessary corrections could be made and Members had time to read the report.

The Committee had not made any pronouncements on the United Cricket Board's report on transformation. The Committee felt that they should invite the UCB to another meeting and request a briefing from Minister Balfour to update them before independently making a decision on the issue.

The Department of Sport and Recreation briefed the Committee on the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, a planning conference to devise a strategy for hosting international sporting events and the prioritisation of sport.

Study Tours
The planned Western Cape study was agreed. The proposed study tour to Kenya was cancelled on the advice of the South African High Commissioner in Kenya due to the forthcoming elections in that country. Zambia was then identified and a motivation has been submitted to parliament for approval.

Annual Report
The Chairperson explained that the report she had received had a number of gaps and incorrect information that needed to be rectified by the Committee secretary. Copies of the report had not been distributed to Members before hand. She proposed that Members go through the report so that it could be adopted in their next meeting.

Discussion
The Chair reminded the Committee of the stance they took not to pronounce on the United Cricket Board's transformation report because the Minister Balfour had commissioned an investigation around the same issue. When the report was subsequently released by the Minister the Committee wrote to the UCB to request a meeting with them. Mr Gerald Majola (UCB) acknowledged receiving the letter and pointed out the they had a general council meeting of the UCB on 30 November 2002 and a meeting between the UCB's Executive Committee and the Minister followed 15 November 2002. The Chair said the meeting with the UCB could be deferred until early next year.

Mr Chauke (ANC) urged the Committee to discuss the report with the Minister first, saying that this would enable the Committee to make a meaningful contribution to what the Minister had already started. The Committee could act independently on its decision. He strongly felt that issues of transformation could no longer be negotiated, but it was time for delivery. People now wanted to see the squad they were promised four years ago, a squad that reflects the demographics of the country.

Mr Lee (DP) said he held a different position. On the field there should be the best team on the squad irrespective of the player's race if South Africa wanted to win the World Cup.

The Chairperson pointed out that the presentation of the UCB to the Committee was around their position and reasons for the scraping of the quota system; of course the yardstick of measurement for the country would be the representivity of the squad. On the conflicting reports from the UCB and the Ministerial committee the Portfolio Committee had to acknowledge that there were differences but find a way to move forward with a common goal. Members needed to apply their minds because they had been charged with the responsibility of affording all South Africans equal opportunities. A tentative date had been set for a meeting with the UCB for 28 January 2003.

Mr Chauke persisted that a briefing from the Minister was essential before the Committee's meeting with the UCB, not to caucus on the report of his commission but to be updated in order to decide how they would proceed as a Committee.

Mr Lee requested that the Committee discuss Minister Balfour's "utterances" as reported by the media.

Members felt that that unless Mr Lee had substantial proof or a copy of the minutes taken when the Minister is said to have made these utterances, the Committee would not stoop to discussing mere hearsay or rumours.

Mr Lee pointed out that the Minister did not deny these utterances but claimed to have been quoted out of context. This gives the impression that the Minister is not rallying behind the whole team.

Mr Louw (ANC) cautioned Mr Lee against gripping at straws.

The Chairperson said that this was not the way she wanted the Committee to conduct itself with respect to issues of controversy and conflict. To say that the Minister is not rallying behind the whole team was Mr Lee's judgement and unless the Member was able to provide the Committee with facts they would not be able to engage him in discussion.

Mr Lee (DP) was unable to comply with the Chair's requirement on this issue, so the Chair closed the matter.

Briefing on Adjustments Appropriation Bill, Vote 19
Mr Greg Fredricks, leading the delegation from the Department of Sport and Recreation, handed over to Ms Elsie Coetze who conducted the presentation on the Adjustments Appropriations Bill. She outlined the adjustments estimate as follows. The main appropriation was R160 327 000; the adjusted appropriation was R175 902 000, with the increase being R15 575 000. The increase is comprised of roll-overs and other adjustments. Please refer to the attached presentation on Vote 19.

The Committee expressed their commendation on the presentation and were particularly pleased that the roll over was so low.

Briefing on Major Sports Events Strategy
In his presentation Mr Fredricks noted that South Africa has no strategy for hosting international sporting events. Major events are hosted with no prior feasibility studies or business plans and government then often has to come to the rescue of the Federations hosting the event. A planning conference is being held in February 2003 to determine such a strategy for South Africa. The expected outcomes include the development of a clear plan for hosting strategic international events. Stakeholders include national and provincial government Departments, the private sector, associations and the media.
(Please see the attached presentation)

Briefing on the reprioritisation of National Government funding to Sport
The Department also briefed the Committee on criteria for the reprioritisation of national government funding to sport. New criteria were drafted by the Sports Forum. Sporting federations were informed about the new criteria and they have had to benchmark themselves against scores already finalised. (Please refer to the attached document for the full presentation).

The Chair commended the team on their excellent work and their presentation. She highlighted the immense amount of work involved in bidding to host sports events and actually hosting them.

The meeting was adjourned.

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