SASCOC on progress of 2022 Durban Commonwealth Game and delivery plans

Sports, Arts and Culture

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

The South African Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) briefed the Committee on the current status and planning for the bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban, bid status and the plan to deliver the Games. The entity said that delivery of the games would cost R3.3 billion annually, over a seven year period starting in 2015. R1.6 billion from that amount would go to capital expenditure whereby R1.3 billion from the 1.6 would go towards human settlements and R300 million would be for the refurbishments of standing infrastructure. South Africa had decided to bid and its only competitor, Canada, had withdrawn at quite an early stage, leaving South Africa the only contendor. It was pointed out that Durban already had a lot of the infrastructure that would be needed. The legacy of these games would promote youth sport. Other African countries supported the bid.

SASCOC noted that it was continuing to work with the various sports federations, and had visited all the provinces except for the Western Cape (WC). In terms of sport development, some provinces were not doing well, especially in terms of infrastructure and funding for sport development. To that extent SASCOC was to meet with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) to talk to the infrastructure challenges at local Government level. One Federation - Athletics South Africa - seemed to be in constant distress. A point of concern was the recent weekend high schools rugby tournament, which showed that all high school rugby in the Western Cape was being played in previously advantaged schools.

SASCOC updated the Committee on preparations of high-performance teams, noting that it was meeting with federations, and had an international performance consultant. 73 athletes would sign with SASCOC, 28 in the Olympic and 33 on the paralympic programme. The National Academy Support Programme was supporting ten athletes. Funding remained a challenge, as funding support of R28.6 million had been requested, compared to a total allocation of around R15 million.

All Africa Games would be held from 4 to 19 September in Congo Brazzaville, and SASCOC insisted that the federation had to be represented in the top three spots in that particular code in the entire African continent and in the top five when the code was a team sport, to be represented, although it did make an exception for the women's football team. An under-18 youth team would attend the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa. South Africa was likely to participate in around 18 sports codes and 16 paralympic codes at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Members raised questions on the outcome of the ASA matters. One Member pointed out that it was not only in Western Cape where sport was not transformed. SASCOC said it had used Western Cape as an example because Parliament was based there. Members agreed that school sport was not transformed but the Chairperson had to appeal to them to not politicise the issues unduly. They asked how SA would be able to prevent the Commonwealth Games legacy being destroyed in the same way as the World Cup legacy, and one Member suggested that the Commonwealth Games could be used as an incentive to increase spending on athletic performance. They asked questions about National Lotteries funding, whether the ticket levy had been pursued, the revenue to SASCOC for hosting the Games and what had happened to former medallists, and the need to increase safety in some provinces. Finally, they adopted minutes of 19 May.  

Meeting report

2022 Durban Commonwealth Games: Progress and delivery plans briefing by SA Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)
Mr Gideon Sam, President, SA Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) introduced the SASCOC delegation to the Committee and made a few remarks before the actual briefing.

The request had been that SASCOC brief the Committee on the 2022 Games, but he wanted to outline a little more by way of background. SASCOC had continued to work with the various sports federations, and had completed visiting all the provinces except for the Western Cape (WC). In terms of sport development, some provinces were not doing well, especially in terms of infrastructure and funding for sport development. To that extent SASCOC was to meet with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) to talk to the infrastructure challenges at local Government level.

Currently the entity was battling with one federation in terms of disputes, and that was Athletics South Africa (ASA) which seemed to be in constant distress, although SASCOC was working continuously with it.

Mr Sam had been disturbed by the recent weekend high schools rugby outcomes, though the South African Rugby Union (SARU) was putting a concerted effort into transforming the sport of rugby. It was disturbing to see that high school rugby in the Western Cape was still being played by previously advantaged schools only, with no township schools included. As long as schools sport was not transforming, the status quo would remain and a lot of black talent would be left behind.

Update on preparations of high performance teams

Ms Ezera Tshabangu, General Manager: High Performance, SASCOC, said that since November 2014 SASCOC was still finalising contracts with athletes on the Operation Excellence (OPEX) programme where the entity was also having one-on-one meetings with the federations to which the athletes belonged. SASCOC had also secured an international performance consultant, Professor Frank Dick, who was assisting the entity with the process of extensively interrogating the plans prior to the qualifiers in 2015. 

73 athletes would be signing contracts with SASCOC. Of these, 28 were on the Olympic programme and 33 were on the Paralympics programme. SASCOC was also supporting Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson through special support.

SASCOC had revived the National Academy support programme since there were athletes that were outside OPEX but needed support, and there were currently ten athletes on this Academy programme.

She noted that funding for elite sport support was indeed a challenge since SASCOC had received a request for support which amounted to about R 28.6 million, whereas SASCOC's allocation for the Paralympics programme was only R7.9 million, and that of the Olympics was R7.3 million. 

Preparation for the all Africa Games

Ms Tshabangu said that the All Africa Games would be taking place from 4 to 19 September 2015, in Congo Brazzaville. As per agreement with federations, SASCOCs criteria was that a federation had to be represented in the top three spots in that particular code in the entire African continent and in the top five when the code was a team sport.

There was also an under-18 youth team going to the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa at that period of the year.

SASCOC anticipated that it would participate in about 18 sporting codes in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and 16 Paralympics sporting codes.

Commonwealth preparation report
Mr Sam said that the Committee needed to be aware that soon there would arguments reported on in the media between federations and SASCOC, over the qualification criteria to the Rio Games, even though there were ongoing one-on-one negotiations to make clear to the Presidents of Federations what the criteria were. He noted that athletes would have to abide by the agreements signed by the Presidents. The challenge possibly would come through Banyana Banyana’s qualification through continental qualifiers, and that was because FIFA allowed that, even if the ladies possibly would be ranked 160 in the world. For other team sports SASCOC would say the teams have to be ranked amongst the top five in the world.

Mr Sam prefaced the presentation on the Commonwealth bid with a brief history on how and when the country had decided to bid. He said that before the Glasgow Commonwealth Games of 2014, the SASCOC Board, in consultation with Minister Fikile Mbalula, decided that if there would be a bid opportunity offered for 2022, South Africa (SA) should put in a bid.

That opportunity was offered, and SA went ahead to bid, with one competitor, Canada. Canada pulled out of the race leaving SA as the only bidder. In bidding, SASCOC had also found that sport in SA as a whole would be contributing to the 2030 imperatives of the National Development Plan.

The 2022 games legacy would be focusing on youth and skills capacitation.

2022 Durban - Bid Process Update (see document)

Mr Mark Alexander, Bid Committee Chairperson, said that bidding had been part of the Sports Tourism Indaba resolutions and that in terms of comparisons between SA and Canada: Canada would have needed to build a lot of infrastructure to host the Games, whereas Durban already had some facilities anyway. He then took the Committee through the presentation (see attached document).

He said that the delivery of the games would take R3.3 billion annually, over a seven year period starting in 2015. R1.6 billion from that amount would go to capital expenditure, R1.3 billion from the R1.6 billion would go towards human settlements, and R300 million would be for the refurbishment of standing infrastructure.

He then played the Committee a video of the bidding process, which had taken place in London at Mansion House on the 2 March 2015.

Mr Sam noted that the final decision; as to who was to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games would be made in September 2015. 

Mr Tubby Reddy, Chief Executive Officer, SASCOC, said that though SASCOC was working together with the three spheres of Government regarding the bid, the securing of finances was always a challenge. SASCOC certainly would appreciate the Committee’s support in lobbying for the bid and delivery of the games.

Discussion

Mr D Bergman (DA) asked whether ASA had settled with Mr Jan Blignaut before its challenges with the South African Revenue Services (SARS).

He commented that it was certainly not only in the Western Cape that schools rugby was not transformed, but it was a country wide challenge. 

Mr Bergman said that the fact that the numbers from the properly calculated costing of hosting were not available was worrying.

Mr Bergman asked how the country could protect the Commonwealth Games legacy from being destroyed in a similar manner as that of the Soccer World Cup, 2010. 

Mr S Malatsi (DA) said that, given that the Games in 2022 would be held in SA that might well be an excellent an incentive to increase spending on athlete preparation.

Mr Malatsi asked that SASCOC speak to how it would link the games to the rest of Africa and showcasing the continent rather than just the country, seeing that they would be held in the Continent for the first time, should SA host in 2022.

Mr Malatsi asked what the projected allocations from the different spheres of Government to the total cost of hosting the games were. He also asked if there were any plans to also access the National Lotteries Board (NLB) funding as a backup for any unforeseen costs that could arise going to 2022.

Ms D Manana (ANC) said that Mr Sam’s statements on the still racist and untransformed systems of school rugby in the WC remained intact. Therefore, the Committee had to find out from the Western Cape Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Sport why the situation still remained unchanged.

Mr Bergman interjected that he had just alluded to the fact that transformation was a challenge in the entire country and therefore it was unfair for Ms Manana to target the Western Cape as the only province lacking in transformation.

The Chairperson intervened that Members should still give each other a chance to finish their statements and then challenge them afterwards.

Ms Manana asked if SASCOC had lobbied fellow African countries that were part of the Commonwealth to vote in SA’s favour during the September General Council meeting?

Mr G Mmusi (ANC) reiterated that Mr Sam had alluded to transformation challenges "in the Western Cape" and therefore the Committee would limit itself to that. To that extent, she asked where would a school in Khayelitsha start playing rugby, if there was probably no land on which to construct the sports field. She suggested that Committee Members need not feel offended if any other Member was raising a point of concern about transformation anywhere in the country. She asked to know what exactly SASCOC was doing about the challenges of transformation in school sport, as this was a topic particularly important to the Committee.
 

Mr Mmusi asked for an indication of what had happened to the former SA Olympic medallists?

Mr Mmusi wanted to know how much revenue SASCOC would receive by hosting the Games in 2022.

Ms Abrahams asked how far SASCOC was in lobbying for an amendment for the tourism levy, in terms of bidding and hosting of a major sporting event. The National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) spoke to that.

Mr Mmusi said that the recent mugging of foreign African delegates attending the Africa Day celebration was not a one-off incident and therefore the normalised criminal elements around Durban beaches had to be attended to. The Cape beaches seemed to be safer than those in Durban.

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) anticipated that there would be a lot of unforeseen expenditure, and to that extent he suggested that SASCOC should try and push to make the hosting of the games an eThekwini Municipality event.

Mr Sam wanted to clarify that he had cited a Western Cape example only because Parliament was in the Western Cape. There were schools - which he named - in the Eastern Cape (EC) and KwaZulu Natal (KZN) that exemplified the same challenge with schools rugby. In general, the country as a whole was not giving black children a chance to participate.

The Chairperson reprimanded the Committee Members that she would not tolerate unruly interjections, however offended members from opposing political parties were at whatever was being said.

Mr Sam continued that SASCO was encouraging its member federations to get into schools sport development whilst awaiting a better dispensation than what had been happening. There was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

Mr Sam answered the question on the ASA outcomes. ASA had been ordered to  pay the injured Mr Blignaut R10 million, which it had failed to do. Mr Blignaut’s lawyers had then attached Athletics House but before it could be sold, ASA had convinced Mr Blignaut to halt the sale, by settling part of the amount. Thereafter SARS found that ASA still owed tax and that was being addressed now also.

Mr Sam reported that the 18 African countries forming part of the Commonwealth were in full support of the 2022 Games bid. Over and above that, SASCOC was proposing that youngsters from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries should be part of the 25 000 to 30 000 youths who would benefit from up skilling and jobs creation.

Mr Alexander said that hosting of the Games was projected to cost around R6 billion but the National Treasury was still determining how it would be broken down amongst the three spheres of Government. Stakeholder Departments of Government had given guarantees already, together with the President of SA, Mr Jacob Zuma.

He clarified that SASCOC was not going to get any revenue from hosting, except that for team preparation for the games in 2022.

Mr Alexander also wanted to make some input into the debate on transformation at school level. In terms of transformation in schools rugby, the ‘haves’ were the ones reported on in the newspapers, and it could also be noted that in many cases the successful schools were private. Many government schools were still not playing organised sports.

Mr Reddy said that SASCOC was engaging the NLB regularly as to what percentage it could request to assist in preparing Team SA for the Games.

Mr Reddy said that the security plan would include all the normal checks in all the facilities that would be used for the Games, including during transportation of athletes and dignitaries.

In terms of the tourism levy, the sports industry was talking about a ticket levy during events, but that work was mainly being driven by Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula and the Director General of the Department of Sport (SRSA).

Mr Bergman said that the Committee had been tasked with working on transformation in sport and showing leadership in eradicating racism therein. No Committee interactions should degenerate into finger pointing exercises.

Mr Malatsi noted that the National Treasury was still working out a model of what allocations would come from which sphere of Government. He suggested that the SASCOC should either cover this in a future briefing on the Games, or perhaps attend another meeting to set out an outline of the costing model, or even bring National Treasury in to explain it to the Committee.

Ms Abrahams asked what would happen to the current occupants of the Cornubia residence should SA be given permission to host.

Mr Ralegoma said that interactions would deteriorate into heated arguments if Members continued to bring information from print media without first clarifying their queries with the responsible officials.

The Chairperson said that the Committee slogan of transforming sports was not a lament pointing to an individual or an entity, but 21 years after democracy in SA there was sadly very little transformation in sport across the board.

Minutes of the Portfolio Committee on Sports and Recreation

The Committee then adopted its minutes of the 19 May 2015 with amendments

The meeting was then adjourned.

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