The Committee had a pre-briefing discussion with Boxing South Africa (BSA) on matters arising from ongoing work between BSA and the Committee. It noted that BSA had indicated earlier that its stay at SRSA offices would be temporary and it asked how long BSA would continue working from there. The Committee also asked what BSA had been doing in the three year interim period regarding the Premier Boxing League.
The South African Institute for Drug-free Sport (SAIDS) noted in its presentation that although its funding needs were increasing because it serviced the whole African continent, it was important for the Committee to understand the need for it to be seen as independent. As engaging federations for funding could make the public think of SAIDS as being a non-independent entity. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) had tested the Mr Simon Magakwe repeatedly and randomly such that his current suspension had been instituted by the international body based on its findings. The reason Mr Magakwe had refused to be tested could not be attributed to his level of education on doping as he had been tested numerous times by SAIDS as well.
The Committee asked how many full-time / part-time and disabled staff were in SAIDS structure; what systems had SAIDS put in place to remedy the supply chain management (SCM) concerns raised by the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) in the 2013/14 SAIDS financial year report; did SAIDS have a Bill in process that would in future compel the random testing of a learner that participated in sports at school; was the DoH draft Bill on Complementary Medicines and Nutraceuticals aligned to the work being done on the Draft Fitness Industry Authority Bill; was outreach planned regarding the unregulated traditional sports like bare fist fighting and stick fighting by SAIDS.
Boxing South Africa (BSA) lamented the constraining limitation within the South African Boxing Act where SA Boxing regulations were not properly aligned to the Act. Thus BSA was lobbying for review and amendment of the Act so that it could enforce compliance with all legislation. It was also looking at the need for education and the raising of awareness of boxers’ rights in relation to their promoters and managers.
The Committee asked what penalties would there be for non-compliant licensees considering the fact that many were still operating in their garages; what were the tangible interventions that BSA had instituted to ensure greater participation of women in boxing; what was the relationship like between BSA and the South African National Boxing Organisation (SANABO).
Matters arising from previous Boxing South Africa (BSA) briefing
Ms Muditambi Ravele, BSA Board Chairperson, reminded the Committee that at its previous meeting with the Committee, BSA had reported that part of the problem with their suspended Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was that he had also signed a new lease for office accommodation in Midrand without BSA board approval. Having moved into that expensive building, BSA had been burgled three times where it had lost a lot of computer hardware together with their files. BSA had then agreed with Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) to move into the Department’s offices temporarily whilst it was sorting some of its administration challenges. The arrangement was very beneficial for BSA as there was seconded staff from SRSA that were helping out the organisation seeing that it was currently understaffed.
The challenge with unhappy BSA staff was simply two staff members that had their independence curtailed by working under and with SRSA staff. That issue had been resolved.
On the payment of boxers, one challenge related to Mr Siphatho Handi, a promoter in the Eastern Cape. BSA had cancelled some of the fights in the Eastern Cape, whereafter the promoters in that province had taken BSA to court. The Committee would recall that BSA had indicated that a major problem in the Eastern Cape was that promoters did not pay purse money over to BSA before the fights and that was mainly a result of a loophole in the South African Boxing Act and regulations. The Act stated that promoters needed to pay purse money a day before the fight whereas the regulations said the money had to be paid 30 days in advance.
On the Handi issue, Mr Masilo Maake, BSA Senior Manager: Administration, had been called a day before the fight, by Mr Handi together with the secretary general of the Eastern Cape Promoters Association (ECPA) Andile Sidinile to indicate that Mr Handi had paid the purse money into BSA's account. On finding out that Mr Handi had paid for accommodation and everything else but not the purse and sanction money for World Boxing Organisation (WBO) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF), BSA had followed it up with him. Mr Handi had not given very clear answers as to when the money had been paid. That matter was negatively affecting BSA relations with the international bodies it was affiliated with as Mr Handi also owed money to those bodies. The BSA board had decided to formally notify its member associations together with BSA officials in provinces not to officiate unsanctioned fights or where purse money had not been paid.
On the Premier Boxing League (PBL) challenges, Ms Ravele reminded the Committee that BSA had indicated previously that it wanted to explore other ways of raising funds and marketing boxing. PBL had presented to BSA on its new league where it had committed to paying R60 000 per fight to a boxer so that at the end of the league its overall winner would receive a R1 million purse. BSA had approved the project on the basis of an alternative marketing tool for boxing, which would be televised by eTv and to also improve the standard of living of boxers in general. Unfortunately the league owner had not paid the R1 million and R200 000 in terms of the rules and the Act as he had promised. BSA had then cancelled the tournament. The owner took BSA to the Gauteng High Court on the Friday and the matter was postponed to Saturday for a ruling in favour of BSA. A separate court appeal in Port Elizabeth by the Eastern Cape Promoters Association (ECPA) together with PBL on the same Saturday had overturned the Gauteng High Court ruling. Since then BSA had the recurring challenge of being unable to regulate boxing because its licensees were now partnering with people to work against BSA. To date the R1 million purse winnings had never been paid to BSA by PBL so that boxers could be paid. At a recent board meeting BSA had resolved to go to court on the matter.
Ms D Manana (ANC) asked whether BSA did not think that legal fees were more of a cost for the organisation seeing that some of its provincial licensees were working with people that were damaging BSA’s image.
Mr M Malatsi (DA) commented that BSA had indicated earlier that its stay at SRSA offices would be temporary therefore he needed a projection of how long BSA though it would continue working from there? Had it started at looking for alternative office accommodation or was that being blocked by the ongoing non-finalised court case BSA had with its suspended CEO.
Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) was concerned about the ongoing governance challenges at BSA even with SRSA assistance, because the organisation had to exist independent of SRSA at some point n the future. Challenges with promoters needed a concrete plan of action (POA) since the BSA Strategic Plan (SP) and Annual Performance Plan (APP) currently were not directly speaking to that.
The Chairperson asked what BSA had been doing in the three year interim period regarding PBL and Mr Ngqula, if the entity was only going to court in 2015?
Ms Ravele replied that whenever BSA had issues with promoters, it was taken to court. It had eventually put systems in place such as disciplinary codes together with a conditions-for-licensing document that promoters had to sign before being licensed. Hopefully the enforcement of both documents would curtail the litigation actions against BSA.
Concerning BSA’s stay at SRSA and governance challenges, the entity reminded members that it had indicated that its CEO had been suspended together with the Director of Operations (DOO). The CFO had also been suspended after which the DOO had resigned. The court case of the CEO had been delayed because he had not appeared before the court on 30 April 2015. The court had extended the date to 6 May 2015 where BSA hoped that it would be finalised. As soon as that was finalised together with the CFO’s case report from the Disciplinary Committee (DC), the BSA board had approved the advertising of those posts and others. BSA’s length of stay at SRSA would be determined by the staff support resolution and the finding of accommodation for the entity.
BSA had held a promoter / stakeholder workshop in 2014 where it had emerged that promoters from the Eastern Cape were the ones giving the entity serious challenges. Various meetings had been held with those promoters after the workshop where a way forward had been agreed upon but then, the ECPA backtracked on the agreed upon timeline for sanctioning and purse fees - which BSA had proposed to be 14 days. The ECPA wanted that timeline to remain a day before the fight. The Minister, Member of the Executive (MEC) for Sport and the Head of Department (HOD) for Sport, together with BSA, had gone to the ECPA in December 2014 to consult. The agreement from the meeting was to set up a task team to resolve the issues they had with BSA. The team was currently putting together a report on how the two bodies, BSA and the ECPA, could move forward.
Ms Ravele reiterated her statement in response to the Chairperson’s concerns regarding Mr Ngqula.
Ms Manana commented that in Mpumalanga there were promoters that had issues with each other, so much so that at a recent boxing championship, Mpumalanga was the only province that had not been represented. She believed that Mr Paul Tshehla had either an expired licence or had never had one before as a promoter but he continued to coordinate boxing events in Mpumalanga. This troubled her as injury to the boxers would land BSA in trouble or its affiliate in that province. Therefore she was alerting BSA about the challenges in Mpumalanga.
Ms Abrahams asked what happened after a promoter’s licence had been suspended for a year and what were the general queries which led to a suspension of a licence. Was such a record kept by BSA and what were the positives and negatives of such a suspension?
Mr Malatsi asked for clarity on the original reasons behind the non-payment of boxers after fights had been concluded. Had there been an attempt to close the loophole in enforcement of the regulations so that promoters paid purse money in advance – besides the Boxing Act being under review for Ngqula amendment. What would be the best actions going forward in the interim since the Combat Sports Bill had not been passed and a code of conditions for violations was not in place?
Ms Ravele replied that BSA was not aware about the challenges in Mpumalanga as they had never been reported but the entity would follow up on Ms Manana’s concerns. The only other province with challenges had been Limpopo where BSA had been forced to almost cancel a tournament.
She said that Mr Handi had also been instructed to pay the costs of the hearing and the record of a promoter that had transgressed was kept so that, should he/she repeat the offence, the old record could be used as a reference to either suspend the licence or to take it away completely.
The Committee was reminded that the non-payment of boxers had originated during the time of Mr Loyiso Mtya, BSA suspended CEO, where he was allowing fights to go on without purse payments being made to BSA. It was immediately after his suspension and the election of the new board, that in trying to enforce compliance by promoters, BSA had faced an avalanche of litigation proceedings. Over and above the conditions for licensing agreement, BSA had set up disciplinary and arbitration processes where licensees had been made aware across all provinces, of how those would work. Moreover BSA was working on assisting all its licensees to form associations such as boxer, manager and promoter associations, both at national and provincial levels. It was also looking at training programmes for promoters.
The Chairperson appreciated the update from Ms Ravele noting that the Director General of SRSA, Mr Alec Moemi, had alerted the Committee to some of the challenges BSA faced, especially with boxers that waived their rights by signing agreements with promoters that ended up disadvantaging boxers more.
South African Institute for Drug-free Sport (SAIDS) Presentation
Mr Khalid Galant, CEO SAIDS, took the Committee through the entity’s presentation. He said that SAIDS’ budget was integrated into the larger SRSA budget. A key performance area for SAIDS would be the review of existing drug-free legislation to bring it in line with the new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code. On its sources of funding, sales revenue of SAIDS only accounted for about 5% of its income which came from its work on the African continent as SA was the only country to have a drug testing accredited laboratory. On the 2015 Approved Budget (Grant + Lottery, the cost of administration at SAIDS had increased in the last four years due to job creation where formerly part-time and outsourced jobs had become permanent positions. That had also resulted in the increase in expenditure at the entity.
Mr Malatsi noted that a large portion of the doping control budget would probably go into the work that would have to be done during organised professional sport and competitions. He asked for comment on the long term approach that SAIDS would be using regarding the level of supplement use at an amateur level.
Mr Malatsi referred to the coordinated processes between the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and SAIDS and the lack of enforcement regulation in the absence of an Act which would allow SAIDS to do random testing of learners. Was any work in the pipeline regarding engagement with School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and teacher unions so that by the time an Act was passed, the implementation would not be resisted by some of those stakeholders?
Ms Abrahams asked which provinces would be covered in the planned anti-doping outreach programmes and seminars, and what type of projects would those be? Where were sports academies to be found in SA? How many full-time, part-time and disabled workers were there in SAIDS structure?
Ms Manana asked what systems SAIDS had put in place to remedy the supply chain management (SCM) concerns raised by the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) in the 2013/14 SAIDS financial year report. Did SAIDS do doping tests at the municipal intergovernmental games at local government? Was SAIDS going to still appoint educational officers in the 2015/16 for North West and Mpumalanga provinces?
Mr Ralegoma wanted clarity on the current suspension of Mr Simon Magakwe, the SA 100 and 200 metre athlete. Could SAIDS also speak to the sustainability of its operations in terms of the bigger, well-funded federations as its work increasingly had to cater for Africa as well?
Mr Graham Abrahams, SAIDS Board Member, agreed with Mr Ralegoma that funding by government for SAIDS would never be enough as its operations were growing yearly. However, it was important for the Committee to understand the need for SAIDS to be seen to be independent because engaging federations for funding could make the public think of SAIDS as being non-independent. There was nothing wrong though with federations approaching SAIDS directly to assist with education in a similar manner as the South African Football Association (SAFA) Trust where SAIDS served as an education service provider for SAFA.
There were a lot of pharmaceutical companies that probably would want to put money into SAIDS to augment its Bloemfontein laboratory operations, but again the entity valued its independence and reputation, which was why it had established a dedicated marketing department to work on making SAIDS relevant.
SAIDS had the dual role of educating in terms of supplement use but to also act as a monitoring agency against the abuse of substances by athletes. The supplements market was a minefield since it was a growing area in SA, where there was no regulation around contamination. Therefore the education aspect of SAIDS work was around healthy living where those lifestyles did not have to necessarily be complemented by the use of supplements over the counter. SAIDS therefore did not endorse supplementary products.
Regarding enforcement regulation, random testing was voluntary where SAIDS had to engage the SGBs. It was schools that initially approached SAIDS to test in certain sporting codes. SAIDS preferred prevention through its education programmes rather than being called to actually go and test.
In terms of the staff complement, SAIDS had decided that it currently needed a full-time senior financial manager to address some of the SCM issues as well as maintaining a clean audit. Moreover it was considering increasing its legal department personnel as well. Whilst SAIDS would be minimally testing at local government games, more education around doping could be invested in there.
Mr Galant said that SAIDS had developed a position statement in 2009 and 2013 regarding supplements use in sports. It would be updated again soon. The Department of Health (DoH) had a draft Bill on Complementary Medicines and Nutraceuticals and SAIDS had been asked for comment on the supplements section. Mr Galant was uncertain about where it was in the legislative process.
In February 2015 SAIDS had been invited by DBE to present on steroid use in schools at its annual stakeholder conference which included, trade unions, principal associations and other teacher associations.
On the anti-doping outreach projects and anti-doping workshops/seminars to provincial sports federations/sports academies, SAIDS completed those as part of sports programmes, like Craven week and together with provincial departments of SRSA, Basic Education and Arts and Culture. Of course SAIDS had good contacts that allowed it access to rural areas in Limpopo and Mpumalanga for its outreach projects.
In terms of the sports academies, SAIDS used the existing provincial academy structure to access academies together with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) Coaching Commission.
Currently there were ten full-time staff members at SAIDS with a projected increase of five additional staff by the end of 2015. There were 80 doping control part-time contracted officers, 16 education officers, 16 professional tribunal officers spread across the country.
In terms of testing at local government games, if those games were not recognised by a national federation or SASCOC, then SAIDS could not test there as that was not part of its jurisdiction but it did its educational outreach on the dangers of substance abuse in sport.
In North West, SAIDS had not recruited an education officer there since northern Gauteng generally serviced that province and in Mpumalanga there were two officers that had been appointed to that province.
Concerning Mr Magakwe, SAIDS and the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) had tested the athlete repeatedly where his current suspension had been instituted by the IAAF. The reason that Mr Magakwe had refused to be tested could not be attributed to his level of education on doping as he had been tested numerous times.
Mr Mmusi said that given the vastness and the rural nature of North West, there certainly was a need for an education officer there. Did SAIDS have a Bill in process that would in future compel the random testing of a learner that participated in sports at school? What form of deterrent was SAIDS using to stop the abuse of substances in sports? Where was Dr Victor Ramathesele and was he still a part of SAIDS?
Ms Abrahams noted that she required a response on whether there were any disabled staff members at SAIDS.
Mr Malatsi asked if the DoH draft Bill on Complementary Medicines and Nutraceuticals was aligned to the work being done on the Draft Fitness Industry Authority Bill because there were fitness lifestyle centres that were doing considerable marketing with established brands. Was there scope for SAIDS to do education outreach with the fitness industry to ensure that the general public was not offered harmful substances? Was outreach planned for unregulated traditional sports like bare fist fighting and stick fighting by SAIDS?
Mr Abrahams replied that Dr Ramathesele had been a chairperson of the board at SAIDS but had resigned in 2014. There were currently two vacancies on the board that needed to be filled which SAIDS had requested SRSA to assist with.
Mr Galant replied that though there were no disabled persons on SAIDS staff, the entity did do testing on SA Paralympians. SAIDS would be recruiting disabled personnel for the testing of disabled persons.
In terms of the legal definition of random testing, it was illegal to do that in schools. Any drug testing had to be directed and initiated by the headmaster of a school. This was allowed by the Schools Act. SAIDS had worked with DBE to rectify that situation where the Minister of Basic Education would have to write a letter to give effect to the mechanism of testing and not really the randomness of the test. Therefore the randomness was only being catered for through the review of the current legislation on anti-doping in SA. Concerning deterrents, testing itself was the deterrent as it was done with no prior notice and anywhere. Moreover the ban for those caught doping had been increased to four years from the original two years globally.
SAIDS had received the draft bill on the fitness industry authority two weeks ago and its comment and review would be based on the lifestyle centres and their relationships with pharmaceuticals. SAIDS had been doing year round training at Virgin Active SA on doping and how it could be recognised at its centres. SAIDS normally had outreach programmes annually in November with traditional sports stakeholders, but did no testing there.
Ms Manana asked whether SAIDS had black African staff managing its SCM.
Mr Galant said part of the National Treasury requirements for any procurement over R2000 was that there had to be a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) certificate together with a tax clearance certificate. For an entity of SAIDS size and resources, to comply with those requirements where there was no SCM unit, the entity used the Tradeworld Supplier Database for that function.
Boxing South Africa (BSA) Strategic Plan and APP 2015/16
Ms Ravele presented BSAs Strategic Plan (SP) and Annual Performance Plan (APP) 2015/16 to the Committee (see document). It included addressing the need for education and the raising of awareness on boxers rights in relation to their promoters and managers. On the matter of risk management, there was a constraining limitation within the South African Boxing Act where SA Boxing regulations were not properly aligned to the Act. In that regard BSA was lobbying for review and amendment of the Act so that it could enforce compliance with all legislation. Part of its APP deliverables included boxing development. BSA was to visit licensees and boxing facilities across the country to check the level of compliance with regulations.
On boxing promotion, BSA had managed to secure Supersport to broadcast some of its bouts going forward.
Mr Ralegoma reiterated his earlier concerns regarding BSA.
Ms Manana noted that it probably would require more than the set number of board meetings to resolve the leadership disputes at BSA.
Ms Abrahams wanted to know the number of critical vacancies and when they would be filled. How would BSA ensure realignment of its organogram to ensure that it achieved its full mandate? What penalties would there be for non-compliant licensees considering the fact that many were still operating in their garages. What plans were there to ensure the recommendations of Auditor General South Africa (AGSA) would be implemented?
Mr Malatsi asked what tangible interventions had BSA instituted, to ensure greater participation of women in boxing. Would it not be a challenge for BSA to move out of the shadow of SRSA seeing that some of its staff support was from SRSA? It would be prudent for BSA in its new performance agreement with whomever it appointed as CEO and CFO to have clear deliverables with real timelines so that any transgression or lack of effort to meet the deliverables from those officials could enable BSA to proactively deal with those internally.
In the event of the broadcasting challenges being resolved what would be the value proposition of the current board’s view in terms of having boxing back at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) or pursuing pay-tv as a broadcaster: what would be the best scenario regarding future broadcasting rights?
Mr Mmusi said that he wanted clarity on how BSA related to the South African National Boxing Organisation (SANABO). He believed the current process of getting the Combat Sports Bill through parliament would result in BSA dealing with recurring issues going forward, especially litigation against the entity.
Ms Ravele said indeed the board had realised that it would have to have more special board meetings in trying to resolve its leadership challenges. In the first special board meeting the board had agreed that the available critical posts needed to be advertised immediately. In terms of critical appointments the board had appointed a subcommittee on human resources and finance which had not been there previously.
BSA could only negotiate with municipalities and provincial governments to include boxing facilities in their sport integrated development plans (IDPs). Moreover BSA had resolved to consult its licensees especially trainers to find out what were the real shortcomings trainers were facing and where those were situated, so that those could be included in the recommendations with municipalities.
In complying with AGSA’s recommendations’ BSA had also resolved to start advertising the positions of provincial managers. Therefore there were those short term challenges that BSA could remedy but there were also those that would take longer, but all of that was work in progress.
In terms of women participation in boxing, BSA had sent a proposed plan to the National Lotteries Board (NLB) for the inclusion and recruitment of women into boxing. The NLB had replied that it would fund that planned programme.
Mr Ravele reiterated that the movement to SRSA offices was simply a matter of sourcing staff support for BSA from SRSA. BSA agreed with the suggestion for clear performance agreements which would be evaluated on a yearly basis for achievement of deliverables. BSA preferred the SABC since it was a public broadcaster available to most disadvantaged communities. BSA was planning to meet with eTv to cover some of its events where neither SABC nor Supersport would be able to.
Certainly BSA had not had a board to board meeting with SANABO though Ms Ravele had been consulting with SANABO’s President so that even when the two bodies were applying for funding from the NLB there was no crossing over of listed activities in their applications. There was a resolution from the BSA board to meet with SANABO’s board.
BSA had recently received a revised copy of the Combat Sports Draft Bill where SRSA had told the entity that it was asking comments, so that then it could take the document forward. BSA certainly agreed with the sentiment that there was an urgent need for the bill to be finalised as most of the litigation against BSA was due to the regulations not speaking to the Boxing Act
Mr Mmusi asked what BSA’s role was on the finalisation of the Combat Sports Bill as it sounded like it had nothing to with it.
Ms Ravele answered that BSA’s role was to give input on sections to do with boxing and possible challenges in that Bill.
The Chairperson thanked BSA and said the Committee would start putting pressure on Cabinet to prioritise the Combat Sports Bill amongst the legislation that needed urgent finalisation in terms of sports in SA.
The Committee adopted minutes of the 17, 24, 25 March 2015 and 21 April 2015
The Committee noted an invitation to the Chairperson to attend the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the five priority codes in SASCOC and SRSA on the Eminent Persons Group report on transformation, and the new targets barometer.
The Chairperson notified the Committee that when invited to attend an event by a Department, the Department would have to carry the cost of the invite. Moreover the House Chairperson still needed to approve such attendance if it clashed with the Committee's work.
The Committee agreed that the Chairperson would be released to attend the invitation, provided that all the concerns of the Chairperson would be taken care of.
The meeting was adjourned.
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