Petition from Orlando East residents; Gender Transformation in South African Football: Commission for Gender Equality hearing report; Committee Oversight Visit Reports

Sports, Arts and Culture

08 September 2015
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Mr T W Mhlongo briefed the Committee on a Petition from residents of Orlando East, submitted in terms of Rule 312.

The petition highlighted that:

  • The housing development project that the community of Orlando East was petitioning the Committee’s assistance on was to be built on an old rugby field that the community was still using for sport and recreation. The site was also of heritage significance to the residents of Orlando.
  • The petition had been sent to the City of Johannesburg, the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, neither had responded by the time of the briefing; and the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) that responded, saying that it was still consulting on the matter.
  • The project had stopped since the petition and the community discovered that the project was not part of the City’s five year Infrastructure Development Plans (IDPs), or its IDP review.

The Committee wanted to know whether the mentioned consultation was by the JDA and the City or was the JDA consulting on its own?

Was there any other site around Orlando where the housing project could be put?

The Commission for Gender for Equality (CGE) said that although there were comments from other sporting bodies as to why the CGE did not do a similar investigation across the board in the sport sector, the Commission was responding to a specific complaint.

The road traveled in completing the investigation was difficult as the South African Football Association (SAFA) was willing and unwilling to provide information to the CGE from time to time. The unresponsiveness of SAFA had been from the previous leadership to the current one; as checking on how far the body had gone in implementing the recommendations by the CGE still posed a challenge.

The CGE had threatened SAFA with a subpoena to get it to honour its presence at the hearing after it had been postponed once before.

Salary parity between Banyana Banyana and Bafana Bafana remained an issue post the submission of the report in 2012 whereby in 2015, the CGE's Western Cape office had received a complaint in that regard.

The CGE was currently considering subpoenaing SAFA as a way to get a response out of the body as it had not responded to written and telephonic communication regarding the recommendations of the report.

The Committee wanted to know:

  • What had transpired since 2012 in SAFA and why was the report only coming to the Committee on in 2015?
  • Had SAFA actually developed an Employment Equity Plan (EEP) since the publication of the report?
  • Who did SAWFA represent as Banyana Banyana was under SAFA?
  • Did it want to be recognised as an affiliate under SAFA or as a separate entity?
  • Why did the CGE only focus on soccer?
  • How was the CGE going to enforce compliance from SAFA going forward?
  • The Chairperson asked for clarification neither arm of Government had responded by the time of the briefing as to whether SAWFA existed or not. 

Meeting report

Briefing by T W Mhlongo and deliberation on Petition from residents of Orlando East, submitted in terms of Rule 312
Mr Tshepo Mhlongo said he was always in support of community development, however, all that had to be in line with public participation and be mandated clearly.
He then summarised the petition for the Committee, highlighting:

  • The housing development project which the community of Orlando East was petitioning the Committee’s assistance on was to be based on an old rugby field that the community was still using for sport. The site was of heritage significance to the residents of Orlando, over and above the fact of being used for recreation.
  • The petition had been sent to the City of Johannesburg, the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, neither of which responded, and the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) that responded saying it was still consulting on the matter.
  • The project had stopped since the petition and the community had discovered that the project was not part of the City’s five year Infrastructure Development Plans (IDPs), or its IDP review.

The rezoning application had also not been done.

Discussion
Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) said that given that the JDA had responded and there was consultation it would be prudent to wait for all the processes that the community had embarked on, before the Committee considered the petition.

Mr S Malatsi (DA) asked for clarity as to whether the mentioned consultation was by the JDA and the City or was the JDA consulting on its own?

Ms D Manana (ANC) was concerned over the matter of the project having not been in any of the City's IDPs. She was also worried over the processes followed with the submission of the petition.

Mr L Ntshayisa (AIC) asked whether there was any other site around Orlando where the housing project could be built.

Mr Mhlongo replied there was no clear indication as to who would be benefiting from the project, as it was rental stock development. As part of the housing Committee in section 79 of the City the land between Orlando and Diepkloof had been earmarked for housing development. He was not aware how far the plans concerning that development had progressed.

The residents had submitted a petition to the province but they had not received a response let alone an acknowledgement that the Legislature had received it.

The JDA was wholly owned by the City and the issue of consultation was mostly about the fact that as a state owned development entity it had been allocated a budget: as a development agency it had to get the community's buy-in to utilise the budget.  The community had bought-in that the approximate R25 million budget could be used as long as the JDA would not be building mixed-housing where the first phase was securing the number 1 ground to build on.

The Chairperson was concerned that if the project was not even a part of any IDP, there was the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), if the city and the province were not responsive because the Committee’s mandate was to oversee Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA).

Ms Manana reiterated the Chairperson’s sentiment that investigating allegations made against the JDA was outside the Committee’s mandate.

Mr Ralegoma said that having listened to the petition, the Committee would then recommend to the Speaker of the House to refer it to the Provincial Legislature of Gauteng so that it could then report to Parliament after considering it.

Mr Malatsi said that whatever action the Committee would agree on it had to remember that there had been no response from the Legislature, which was why the petition had been brought before the Committee. The suggested recommendation would certainly add some weight in getting the Legislature to respond.

Mr D Bergman (DA) reminded the Committee that its mandate was both sports and recreation, and indeed Mr Ralegoma's recommendation and the Committee’s resolution had to be targeted at getting either the City or the province to respond.

Mr P Moteka (EFF) concurred with referring the matter to the Legislature but to follow it up afterwards.

The Chairperson said the recommendation would be submitted back to the Speaker as resolved by the Committee.

Commission for Gender for Equality: Public Hearing Report on Gender Transformation in South African Football-28 June 2012
Mr Mfanozelwe Shozi, Chairperson, Commission for Gender for Equality (CGE), introduced his delegation and read through the background of the presentation.
Although there were comments from other sporting bodies as to why the CGE did not do a similar investigation across the board in the sport sector, the Commission was responding to a specific complaint.

The road travelled in completing the investigation was difficult as the South African Football Association (SAFA) was willing and unwilling to provide information to the CGE from time to time. The unresponsiveness of SAFA had been from the previous leadership to the current one; and checking on how far the body had gone in implementing the recommendations by the CGE still posed a challenge.

The CGE had also submitted the report and recommendations to SRSA to keep the Ministry abreast of developments and assist in the matter.

Ms Keketso Maema, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), CGE, took the Committee through the remainder of the report.
 
Hearing Process
Ms Maema said that the CGE had had to threaten SAFA with a subpoena to get it to honour its presence at the hearing after it had been postponed once before.

Salary parity between Banyana Banyana and Bafana Bafana remained an issue post the submission of the report in 2012 whereby in 2015, the CGE's Western Cape office had received a complaint in that regard.

Follow up
The CGE was currently considering subpoenaing SAFA as a way to get a response out of the body, as it had not responded to written and telephonic communication regarding the recommendations of the report.

Discussion
Ms B Abrahams (ANC) was concerned as to what had transpired since 2012 in SAFA, and why the report only came to the Committee in 2015?

Regarding the contradiction in the report where SAFA had alleged that the South African Women’s Football Association (SAWFA) had been disbanded but the CGE hearing finding that it had been resurrected; would any other sporting body be in communication with a dissolved body?

Had SAFA actually developed an Employment Equity Plan (EEP) since the publication of the report?

Ms Manana lamented the visibility challenge of the CGE in rural areas, as it was known to be an urban-based institution. Moreover, the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) was responsible for transformation in sports, including gender equity.

Did SAFA ever respond to the questionnaire sent by the CGE?

Who did SAWFA represent as Banyana Banyana was under SAFA? Did it want to be recognised as an affiliate under SAFA or as a separate entity?

Why did the CGE only focus on soccer?

Mr G Mmusi (ANC) said he was always disappointed to find that even state institutions ignored recommendations, especially the one meant to cater for at least having a 2% staff capacity component for the disabled because sometimes that would be interpreted as having two persons with disability. It was embarrassing that SAFA's board had only three females to date. 

He was encouraged to see that even SRSA had been given recommendations because at local level or grassroots one could find girls talented in soccer having to join men's clubs. One would find that those girls would be subjected to discrimination and ridiculed as too masculine, therefore SRSA had to come in at that level. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) had to acknowledge and support girls’ football in schools. 

How was the CGE going to enforce compliance from SAFA going forward?

Mr Moteka said it could not be avoided that women were marginalised across the board in South Africa (SA). Looking at the budget allocation for development between men and women's football as reported, how then was women's football expected to flourish?

What tools were SAFA and the SRSA using to measure their performance in terms of gender transformation?

The CGE had to deal with the anti-women authorities as aggressively and as legally allowable as possible.

Could the CGE give an average salary differential between Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana?

Mr Malatsi said the report went to the root of institutional sexism and patriarchy, which was evident in the attitude of being non-responsive and reticent when approached for information by SAFA. Addressing gender inequality would never be complete until those institutional issues were tackled. Parliament therefore had a responsibility to support institutions like the CGE.

Senior managerial female representativity was more of a challenge in provincial structures and much worse in grassroots soccer development.

It was surprising to hear about a challenge for sponsorships for women's football as when SAFA received sponsorship; it was not gender-specific.  It was more refreshing to hear that CGE's recommendations in that regard were not speaking to taking from the men to support the women; all it was about, was the equitable distribution of resources.

Looking at referee attire for female referees, who were a component of SAFA, it was hard to come by gender-specific wear. 

It was an embarrassment that Bafana Bafana were paid R30 000 for a draw whilst Banyana Banyana received R5 000 for a win. To compound matters, women were playing in an unprofessional league and had to take unpaid leave from their day jobs as they generally exhausted their leave because of the obligations of the national team. Rewarding of performance had to be re-looked, as there was simply no parity between genders.

How was the country to enforce constitutional values upon state institutions that were neglecting them so irresponsibly?

Mr Ralegoma reiterated Ms Manana's question as to who was SAWFA seeing that SAFA was the regulatory body in charge of soccer. The Committee had to be cognisant that some sporting codes developed as male dominated first and that was important for the GE to also be aware of. 

The Committee had to be cautious about its involvement in a conflict within a particular sector of sport. 

He would not be judging SAFA as Mr Ralegoma because he felt that that judgement would be biased, as not all sporting codes had been investigated.

The Chairperson asked the CGE to clarify as to whether SAWFA existed or not.

Of the federations that had presented before the Committee; it was a recurrent refrain of the Committee as to the gender inequality in leadership structures of said federations.

Mr Ntshayisa said that he was finding a challenge with the 50/50 representativity call because he did not understand whether it meant genders had to play sports separately and whether that was acceptable discrimination between genders; and how sexism as a concept was different from the former.

Mr Shozi replied that gender equality spoke about gender vis-a-vie sex and how 50/50 applied therein.  Separation by gender certainly did not mean women were weak but gender equality spoke more to the socialisation of men and women.

On the issue of investigating SAFA only; Mr Shozi reiterated that CGE was responding to a complaint. The CGE appreciated that the SRSA had instruments like the EPG but maintained that the Committee had to ensure that the reports from such instruments had to be robust on issues of gender-equality and women empowerment as transformation was a very broad concept. 

On the visibility of the CGE, the entity's annual reports would indicate that it had nine provincial offices but it could not be everywhere which was why it worked with partners like the Houses of Traditional Leadership in certain provinces to reach rural areas as most of its complaints also came from those regions. It used radio stations and was also rolling-out a programme called the Legal clinic where it had already been to Ncera, Eastern Cape (EC) and would be going to Tzaneen, Limpopo (Limp).
Parallel to the Oscar Pistorius case, there had been a woman who had been shot ten times by her spouse and left for dead but had survived. The court case had been going on for seven years as the spouse could afford to keep it in court. Because of CGE’s intervention the case had been finalised with a guilty verdict for the victim.

Ms Thoko Mpumlwana, Deputy Chairperson, CGE, said t SAWFA was a collective of women playing and developing soccer at local Government level in townships and rural areas.  The organisation had been there long before the concept of Banyana Banyana. During the hearing CGE had found that SAFA was aware of SAWFA’s existence but because the collective had a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) presence the regulatory body had never taken the women seriously. It was not surprising that at some point the NGO would have ceased to be because it was funded through its participants with no sponsorships. There were agreements at the hearing between the two bodies as to how SAFA could assist with access to resources by clubs in townships and rural areas and transformation of professional structures to reflect equitable gender demographics. The disappointment with lack of responses from SAFA was exactly because of that, though it could also have had to do with the change of leadership at SAFA. The CGE had written to and called the new leadership with no responses.

Since SA was signatory to multiple gender-equality protocols it was incumbent on all state and private/public entities to ensure that 50/50 applied across the board as it was simply not satisfactory to have to speculate about there being only three women in SAFA’s board but because it was unresponsive the CGE, whilst trying to get something from SAFA, had come to brief the Committee.
It was a reality where resources were scarce the tendency to forget about transformation was prevalent, including the two percent threshold for the disabled to be catered for in entities. SAWFA existed before and during the complaint period but CGE would have to check if it still existed.

Ms Maema said the CGE had submitted the report in 2012 but it was for Parliament to decide when it required the CGE to come and probably that was what the current Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy (OISD) office were trying to speed-up.

One of the questions in the questionnaire had asked about an EEP, which SAFA did not have at all in 2012. The responses required from SAFA were to ascertain if it was ever developed and implemented. Of course the full report of CGE had the details thereof where it had further questions for SAFA with SAFA’s responses included therein.

The CGE was highly concerned to find that SAFA had not attempted to respond to issues of disability when put to them through the questionnaire.

The CGE could speculate that by the time of its briefing with the Committee there was evidence that Banyana received R5 000 per match played while Bafana received R60 000. But that was also the basis of the current complaint that had recently been submitted to the Commission in its Western Cape office. Because SAFA was not forthcoming the number had not been concretely confirmed but it was anecdotal to that extent.

SAWFA was in existence currently but at the hearing SAFA had been clear that there were specific criteria that SAWFA had to meet for recognition to be granted. CGE had been notified by SAWFA that it had submitted the required information, which was why CGE was trying to get SAFA to respond; so that it could understand what the issues were in withholding the recognition. Apart from that in1997 and 2000 at Sports Indabas commitments were made towards gender-equality already by SAFA. The investigation had had more impetus because of those commitments and the fact that after the investigation SAFA had not come forward to say what the real reasons were relating to the granting of recognition to SAWFA.

Mr Shozi reiterated that the complaint had been specific, which was why the investigation could not be broadened to include other federations.

Ms Maema said the CGE had reports on the Beijing Platform for Action which had specific important areas relating to institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women. CGE had submitted two reports on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to Parliament as well.

The Chairperson found it problematic that the CEO and the Deputy Chairperson of CGE were at odds in terms of whether SAWFA was still in existence. Could that be clarified?

Ms Maema confirmed that SAWFA did in fact exist and that it had sent CGE the information that SAFA had said it required granting recognition, which was why CGE wanted to know from SAFA whether the requirements were not met or the information was not complete.

Mr Ralegoma said the issue with regulation was that in other sporting codes there were already established regulatory bodies whereby others now wanted recognition outside of the established regulators. TIt had to be established first with SAFA whether the issue possibly could not be that SAWFA wanted a similar arrangement or it wanted recognition as an affiliate of SAFA.

Ms Manana said that it was the CGE’s work to also investigate whether SAWFA was an affiliate already because funding went to affiliates not individuals claiming to be representatives of collectives. From local right up to national level, sporting codes had confederations and CGE had to find out whether SAWFA was known at those levels because recognition went that way.

Mr Moteka said the Committee was losing the focus of the briefing because the legitimacy of SAWFA could be investigated separately. The bigger issue was the marginalisation of women in sport and therefore for the Committee to be told to exercise caution because transformation challenges affected other federations that were not complained about was obfuscation of issues; the briefing was about a complaint against SAFA only.

Mr Ralegoma said his point was that SAFA would have had to be present during the briefing for the matter to be deliberated on fairly.

Ms Manana said that the questioning of the legitimacy of SAWFA only sought to ensure that whatever support the Committee would give would be in line with regulations as affiliated bodies could be called to account by Parliament.

Mr Moteka maintained that because the complaint was against SAFA, members could not be cautioned against speaking a particular way about SAFA. SAFA would get a chance to respond when next it came to parliament.

Mr Malatsi said legitimacy of SAWFA was not the essence of the briefing for him as evidenced in the report. The findings and recommendations of the report were the bigger issue and the Committee’s way forward had to include what then would be done with the recommendations as given to SAFA. The Committee also had to be more concerned about what SAFA and CGE had done subsequent to the report from 2012 to 2015.

He certainly did not see how the Committee’s attitude towards gender-equality had changed because the body being spoken about was different; in fact the Committee had been consistent in holding all bodies that had come before accountable in terms of gender representativity.

The Chairperson said she had been just informed that the report had been tabled to Parliament previously however, since the Committee was seeing it for the first time it had to be allowed to consider it. She thanked CGE for coming before the Committee and released the Commission.

Consideration of Committee report on oversight visit to the Eastern Cape and Gauteng
Mr Ralegoma informed the Chairperson that the Committee had made certain amendments to the recommendations of the report to the Minister of SRSA. Consideration was just for the adoption.

Mr Teboho Thebehae, Content Advisor, asked that as the copy with amendments had not been circulated to Members, the adoption be deferred to another date.

The Committee agreed that be done, provided the report would be circulated before the 22 September 2015, when it would be adopted.

Consideration of Committee minutes; Matters arising from the minutes
The Committee adopted its minutes for the 25 August and the 1 September 2015 with technical amendments.

Announcements
The Committee then deliberated on its third term programme.

The Chairperson also notified the Committee that the South African Rugby Union (SARU) would supply the Committee with the new Springbok jersey so that the Committee would have Springbok Fridays throughout the Rugby World Cup 2015. She also reported on the trip to New Zealand for the Commonwealth Games 2022 announcement.

The meeting was adjourned.


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