Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation & International Study Tour Proposal APP; Committee Report on Sport and Recreation Budget

Sports, Arts and Culture

12 May 2015
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee content advisor said that Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) had been able to align its Strategic Plan (SP) for 2015-2020 to the achievement of some of the priorities of the National Development Plan (NDP), where the emphasis on social cohesion had been translated into its programme. Within that programme, the emphasis had been on streamlining the implementation of the schools sport programme and the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP).

Though the implementation of the new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code required a review of the organisational structure of the SA Institute for Drug-free sport (SAIDS), requiring it to have an investigative arm, its 2015/16 annual performance plan (APP) had no provision to amend the organisational structure. This was putting the entity in a predicament in terms of implementing the code. The entity would fulfil this function with the assistance of other state Departments and security institutions.

SRSA’s aim was to ensure athletes achieved international success, but it had not been specific in its own targets on how the Committee would be able to determine whether athletes had achieved, improved, or had remained the same where success in sport was concerned. As one of the strategic priorities was to use sport and recreation as a strategic tool to support government and global priorities, it would be important for the Committee to request a briefing with SRSA on its reports to the various global organisations to which it reported and was affiliated with.

Members said that there was a mismatch between the NSRP and SRSAs objectives. Apart from the fact that there was not enough funding for SRSA to implement its full plan, the 46% achievement of NSRP goals was way below average. There was concern that sport was under siege in SA because the Department of Health (DoH) was determined to ban alcohol advertising in one way or another. If that were to happen, there would be no sport and that needed serious attention from the Committee. The continued funding of self-sufficient federations at the expense of needy federations was a challenge. There was a need for a trilateral meeting between the Committee Chairpersons of Sport and Recreation, Human Settlements and Cooperative Government, to coordinate funding for community sports infrastructure.

The Committee discussed its proposed local oversight visits and overseas study tour. A Member said a recent oversight visit to Limpopo had been “an eye opener,” and said these visits had far more value than listening to reports in Parliament. Cuba had been proposed as the overseas destination, and this was supported by a Member who said that it started its sports development in early childhood, and since SA wanted to do youth development in a similar manner, she was in favour of Cuba as a destination. The other alternatives were Australia and Germany, and the Committee researcher described a number of factors to take into account in making a final decision. The proposals for the destination had been done, though they had been done separately. It was agreed that the proposal would be refined, including researching all three destinations and putting them into one presentation. The Committee agreed that the Chairperson should table a study tour proposal to the House Chairperson.

The Committee adopted its Annual Performance Plan, SRSA’s budget vote 40 and its International Study Tour Proposal.

Meeting report

Budget Vote 40: Sport and Recreation

Mr Teboho Thebehae, Committee content advisor, said that Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) had been able to align its Strategic Plan (SP) for 2015-2020 to the achievement of some of the priorities of the National Development Plan (NDP), where the emphasis on social cohesion had been translated into its programme. Within that programme, the emphasis had been on streamlining the implementation of the schools sport programme and the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP).

Overview of 2015-16 APP

Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA)

The Deputy Minister of SRSA had indicated at the end of the 2013/14 financial year that SRSA had managed to implement only 44% of the NSRP targets. A small budget of R9.7 million had been allocated to sport infrastructure development, which showed that SRSA was not in a position to provide facilities, even though the Committee had recommended that the Department should not make a U-turn on the priority to provide facilities in rural and township communities. Towards that end, the Ministry had found innovate ways of providing those facilities, such as by allocating an additional R5.1 million towards multipurpose sports courts.

South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS)

Though the implementation of the new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code required a review of the organisational structure of SAIDS, its 2015/16 APP had no provision to amend the organisational structure. This was, of course, putting the entity in a predicament in terms of implementing the code. The new WADA code required SAIDS to have an investigative arm. This was a function that the entity would complete with the assistance of other state Departments and security institutions.

Strategic priority 3: Athletes’ international success

Mr Thebehae said that though SRSA’s aim was to ensure athletes achieved international success, it had not been specific in its own targets on how the Committee would be able to determine whether athletes had achieved, improved, or had remained the same where success in sport was concerned.

Strategic Goal 4: Enabling mechanisms to support delivery

Two provinces had completed the facility count last year. Up to strategic goal 4, the Committee could see where SRSA’s priorities were in terms of the implementation of the NSRP. However, there were other priorities being considered and pursued, pending the availability of resources. One was the establishment of a Sports House, where all federations would be housed.

Strategic Goal 5: Supporting global priorities

This goal aimed at Sport and Recreation being used as a strategic tool to support government and global priorities. It would be important for the Committee to request a briefing with SRSA on SA’s reports to the various global organisations to which it reported and was affiliated with, in terms of global priorities.

2015-16 SRSA Budget Analysis

Mr Thebehae commented that though the revised estimate for infrastructure support was an initial R9. 4 million, which had increased to R9.7 million in the medium term, this did not mean the additional amount was part of the original budgeted allocation. (See document)  

Discussion

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) moved the adoption of the draft report on budget vote 40 of the Committee on Sport and Recreation.

Ms D Manana (ANC) was concerned about the 60 proposed federations to be assisted by SRSA, asking what would happen with the 16 federations that were not part of that proposal.

Mr M Malatsi (DA) was concerned that SRSA was having a significant increase in its allocation for office accommodation, though it had expressed unhappiness with its current offices earlier, and asked for clarification on the issue. There was a mismatch between the NSRP and SRSA’s objectives, apart from the fact that there was not enough funding to implement the full plan. What were SRSA’s austerity measures to redirect its expenditure towards areas of priority, like infrastructure support? Boxing SA (BSA) had no clear timelines as to when it was planning to achieve its targets. There was also no clear plan as to when it planned to resolve its accommodation situation.

Mr D Bergman (DA) said that SRSA always said what it was going to do with its budget, and afterwards there would be a box-ticking exercise to say it had done x, y and z without ever addressing how well x, y and z had been done. That had been why he had suggested at an earlier meeting with SRSA to emphasise that it should be moving towards quality box-ticking, rather than quantity box-ticking.

Mr Ralegoma said that the Committee had a lot of oversight to do to satisfy itself on SRSA’s programme implementation. A challenge for the Committee, however, was that it was not even keeping up with its own programme to be briefed by its entities and federations. Therefore the Committee had to use all channels to improve its oversight on SRSA so that service delivery could be enhanced.

The Chairperson commented that it was a good thing for the Members to re-emphasize issues as that was the only way to get the message across to SRSA and its entities on the unhappiness the Committee had with the delays in service delivery.

Mr Thebehae said that though he would not be responding, there were a few observations he would be speaking to:

  • On Ms Manana’s concern on the 16 federations not included in the list for assistance by SRSA, he had observed that SRSA would set a target of 60 federations annually, but would actually assist up to 68 instead. Moreover, there were recognised federations that were not fully funded or established because they possibly did not meet the funding criteria of the NSRP, which required federations to have at least three districts in a province. An example was the equestrian federation, which would lose its recognition status because of not meeting the new criteria.
  • The increase in allocation for office accommodation was 29.7%.
  • The 44% target achievement of the NSRP by SRSA was because the majority of targets which SRSA could not achieve were not really dependent on SRSA. An example was the establishment of the Sports House for federations, which required development of new infrastructure with the attendant financial burden. The ability of federations to meet their own targets, including those of transformation, depended on the supporting agents of SRSA as well. Therefore while 44% seemed insufficient, there were “give and take” factors that had to be considered regarding the available resources.

The Chairperson reminded the Committee that the NSRP was an unfunded mandate and it was the Committee’s duty to persuade National Treasury (NT) to prioritise SRSA in the same way education was prioritised, so that it could fund the NSRP.

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) concurred with the Chairperson that expediting transformation in sport depended on getting the NSRP funded. Sport was under siege in SA because the Department of Health (DoH) was determined to ban alcohol advertising one way or the other. If that were to happen there would be no sport, and that needed serious attention from the Committee. The Committee also needed to find ways of getting the Department of Basic Education (DBE) committed to sports in schools.

Mr Mphumzi Mdekazi, Committee researcher, said that President Jacob Zuma had signed service level agreements with all the Ministers in 2010. He had requested from Minister Fikile Mbalula that sports in SA should start transforming. The NSRP had also been adopted two years later, so the Committee had to understand the extent to which social cohesion was considered dependent on SRSA.

Moving forward to the 2013/14 State of the Nation Address (SONA) and the budget speech of that year, there had been a common denominator in both speeches, which was the construction of infrastructure. In the recent Human Settlements budget vote, Minister Lindiwe Sisulu had committed a portion of the Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) for sport facilities. With the shortage of facilities in townships, the Committee had to ask itself how it could get local government to roll out those facilities. One way was to get the Portfolio Committee Chairperson of Sport and Recreation to speak to her counterparts at the Human Settlements and Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Committees, so that a trilateral meeting could be held on the USDG and the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG).

The Committee could also have a meeting with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and perhaps the Department of Higher Education (DHE) to find out what exactly those Departments were committing to in terms of sports development. The most constraining thing in that regard was the provincial bottlenecks, where Heads of Departments (HODs) with budgets were sorely behind the planning of the Committee and SRSA.

There was also the issue of the Committee not knowing how much the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) from Germany was giving to SRSA for sports development and the fact that it had never done any oversight on the use of that money.

Going down to the federations, the Committee had to be curious as to what content went into the service level agreement the SRSA had signed with the federations on transformation, because there were federations that were seriously dragging their feet when it came to transformation.

Mr Mdekazi said that on the budget analysis, SRSA was compliant but he agreed with Mr Bergman that the quality of the compliance had to be investigated. For example, the challenge with office accommodation from 2014 onwards lay with the Department of Public Works (DPW), which had failed to provide SRSA with invoices on time. In a similar manner, the school championships programme was suffering because of a delay in supplying invoices on time. That issue had not been corrected.

Mr Malatsi said that the objectives of most provinces, federations and entities were not aligned with what the Committee wanted to achieve with SRSA. That misalignment created the challenges at local government level where sports development was concerned. Therefore he was suggesting that the HODs of all nine provinces had to be held accountable for provincial expenditure.

An added challenge was the continued funding of self-sufficient federations at the expense of needy federations. The Committee had to align its priorities with clear timelines for achievement by SRSA and all sporting bodies.

The Chairperson said she could not understand how the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), with section 76 Bills, did not see the problems that Members were raising.

Mr M Mabika (NFP) seconded the adoption of SRSA’s budget vote 40.

The report was adopted with amendments.

Mr Ralegoma then moved adoption of the SRSA 2015-2020 strategic plan.

Mr Malatsi seconded the motion.

The plan was adopted without amendments.

2015-16 APP of Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation

Mr Thebehae took the Committee through the presentation. He said a strategic goal was to enhance parliamentary engagement and cooperation, with the objective of expanding knowledge through international exposure and learning from developed and other developing countries. This could be achieved through international study tours, receiving visitors and also ensuring that agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed were properly monitored, which would expose the Committee to the work of other countries.

Proposed budget estimate

Mr Thebehae said that the 2014/15 oversight visits had cost the Committee R460 000 to visit two provinces over a six day period. The priority was to visit four provinces in 2015/16. Regarding expenditure on printing and advertising, he said advertising in one newspaper cost R120 000. Considering that the Committee was still conducting interviews for the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act (Sasrea) Appeal board, the names of the board members would have to be published after it had been established, which was why the total cost for printing and advertising was at R250 000.

Mr Thebehae said that the proposed budget was not the actual and final budget, but an approximation, since the Committee had exceeded its previous budget in the second half of 2014. The Chairperson would be required to go and present the APP for adoption by the House Chairperson the following week.

Mr Bergman said that though future projection was difficult, but was it possible that in the Committee’s strategy, oversight tours could be looked at again because some items did not have to cost so much, and there were many places the Committee could do oversight on by bus. A similar approach was needed with conferences and major sports events -- the Committee had to see how those events had been planned, what the projected outcomes had been and then to see what had happened in reality. From what Mr Thebehae had said, the Committee could reprioritise oversight to more provinces if parliamentary priorities changed, so that within the 2015/16 budget more oversight could be done. Therefore it would be important for the Committee to possibly have another strategic planning day to map out its priorities.

Mr Mabika was also concerned that though there was a limited budget, the Committee’s main priority had to be oversight. The Limpopo oversight tour had opened the Committee’s eyes to the need to do more tours like that, because having presentations all the time in Parliament was not as insightful as a tour. Concerning international tours, Cuba as a destination had simply appeared as a proposed destination without any Committee consultation and briefing on why Cuba was the better destination.

Mr Malatsi suggested that in terms of printing and Committee paperwork, the staff could possibly look at going paperless to save costs, because the hardcopy documents that Members received in meetings were documents that had been sent earlier electronically.

Mr Mmusi asked how many international trips Committees were allowed to take per term. On a number of oversight visits the Committee had undertaken in the previous term, Members of Executive Councils (MECs) for sports never accompanied the Committee. Could the Committee find a way of alerting them when it would be doing oversight visits so that the MECs had to be present when the National Committee was visiting their province?

The Chairperson reminded the Committee that the staff had presented a document on destinations for the international trip during a briefing. The Committee had then mandated the Management Committee (MANCO) to consider the presentation, after which it had decided that more research was needed on the destinations and what comparisons and similarities there were between SA and the destinations. Therefore the only issue the Committee had to decide on was whether it still needed more input from the staff on the trip. She then advocated for other African countries to be destinations for international trips as well.

Mr Ralegoma said that it was important to put more emphasis on the issues of inter-Ministerial cooperation and conducting oversight over the executive, as Mr Mmusi had alluded to earlier in reference to MECs. Regarding another strategic retreat, the work that the Committee had done then seemed to have been incorporated in the APP. The staff had to give input as to whether there was a need for another retreat for another planning session. Regarding the international trip, the Committee had to finalise the APP and adopt it so that the Chairperson could present it to the House Chairperson.

Mr Mmusi said that getting approval for an international trip was a tiresome process in Parliament, and if the Committee could not present a proposed destination in 2015 it would be that more difficult to get approval in 2016, until just after the local government elections.

Ms Manana said that she had done her own research on Cuba as a possible destination for the international trip. That country started its sports development in early childhood, and since SA wanted to do youth development in a similar manner, she was in favour of Cuba as a destination.

Mr Malatsi said he recognised there was a challenge of time in terms of presentation to the House Chairperson and the unclear mandate the Committee had given to the MANCO, so the Committee had to be provided with minutes of what had happened at the briefing where three possible destinations had been presented and discussed so as to deal with the uncertainty on the destinations prevalent at the meeting on the day.

The Chairperson said that if the Committee felt it was not prepared to decide on the trip, then the staff could provide the minutes where an open-ended mandate had been given to it by the Committee. There had to be a decision though.

Some Members of the Committee recalled the presentation, while others were still unclear.

Mr Mabika supported Ms Manana’s motion on Cuba to be the preferred destination, because he was against the Chairperson not presenting a proposed destination on the International trip to the House Chairperson.

Mr Malatsi suggested that the staff be given an opportunity to re-present the document on the three destinations on the spot.

Mr Thebehae said that the international study tour was included in the APP which, as per the agenda of the day, was the third item after the adoption of the APP. The study tour proposal had been guided by what the main priorities of the government in terms of sport were:

  • The NSRP.
  • The Committee’s mandate to the staff on the research on the three candidate countries.
  • What development had come about in those countries through the implementation of their sports systems?
  • Comparing South Africa to those developed systems, the Committee would see what priorities within the NSRP could be worked on -- schools sport, academies, the club model of SA.
  • Over and above that, one would have had to compare the ideological differences in the government and social structures of all these countries. A socialist Cuba, a democratic and federal Australia, or a Communist Germany, in comparison to SA.
  • The ability of each of those countries to implement its systems within the allocated budgets would then be the biggest differentiator when comparing SA to all those countries.

Mr Thebehae said he was in favour of the Chairperson’s proposal not to table a proposal for one destination, though that would then delay the application for approval for the study tour. He then reminded the Committee that all the proposals for the destination had been done, though that had been done separately.

The Chairperson agreed with Mr Thebehae that the staff could certainly go and refine the proposal, including researching all three destinations and putting them into one presentation. That effectively would mean she would not be presenting a study tour proposal to the House Chairperson, unless the Committee gave her a clear mandate on the matter.

Mr Malatsi voted for the suggestion made by Mr Thebehae on the study tour.

The Committee agreed that the Chairperson should table a study tour proposal.

Mr Mabika moved for adoption of the APP and the study tour proposal.

Mr Ralegoma seconded the proposal.

The APP and the international study tour proposal were adopted with amendments.

Other Matters

Mr Mdekazi notified the Committee that a soccer fan had died at a soccer match. In respect of the Safety and Sports and Recreational Events Act (SASREA), the Committee should check how well it had been implemented and who was responsible for doing so, because the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the South African Football Association (SAFA) were blaming each other.

Mr Bergman asked if it was parliamentary to ask Minister Mbalula, through parliamentary processes, to account for some of his twitter comments on the issues around his trip to watch the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, and what benefit it was for sport for the Minister to have gone to the match.

 

Mr Ralegoma concurred with Mr Mdekazi that SRSA would have to follow up that incident as the finalisation of the SASREA board set-up was an indictment on the Committee and the Department. On the issue of social media and Minister Mbalula, that would be encroaching on his private life.

Mr Mmusi explained that possibly why there had been a spat between the Minister and the journalist was that he may have felt violated in his personal capacity. Therefore the Committee should not involve itself in that.

The Chairperson said Members could ask the Minister directly as individuals, but it could not be a Committee mandate to ask the Minister about such issues.

Committee Minutes

The Committee adopted its minutes for 5 and 6 May 2015.

The meeting was adjourned.

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