Department of Sport and Recreation on their 2014/15 annual report

NCOP Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture

25 November 2015
Chairperson: Ms L Zwane (ANC, KwaZulu-Natal)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) took the Committee through its Annual Report 2014/15. It was pleased to note that it had again achieved a clean audit in respect of performance and financial information, had attained 21 of its 23 targets, had 99.63% spending, by spending R966.8 million of the allocated R970 million, and had managed to coordinate activities and initiatives to maximise impact across all three spheres of government. It had 163 staff members at present but was looking to increase the staff numbers. SRSA described its challenges, which included under-funding of the National Sport & Recreation Plan, slower work than expected on the organisational structure, which then affected the staffing, and lack of capacity to effectively monitor the implementation of the Mass Participation and Sport Development Conditional Grant by SRSA and Provinces. It was also reported that there were still problems in regard to school sport, on which there had to be agreement with the Department of Basic Education. The SRSA also did not have control over the building of sport and recreation facilities at municipal level to meet the existing needs. Boxing SA still faced governance challenges, although some of the key vacancies were being filled. Legislation would need to be amended to support the Department's strategy. The financial figures and statistics were presented, with notes of where the underspending occurred. The post of Director of Finance remained vacant and there were some gaps in the internal control systems, despite the fact that there had been some improvements. Other noteworthy achievements related to reduction of the Auditor-General's findings, payment of suppliers within 30 days.

Members were appreciative of the report and the work done by the SRSA. Some of the questions were answered in the meeting but others would be answered in writing. Members were still concerned about the challenges between the departments dealing with sport and those dealing with basic education and agreed that it would be useful to have a joint meeting to try to find a solution to the problem that many teachers were refusing to accept that sport should be compulsory. Linked to this was a concern about regression of school sports, particularly in KwaZulu Natal. Members welcomed the exchange programme with Jamaica, and suggested more engagements with Kenya and Malawi. They wanted to know what the situation was with a particular stadium in Eastern Cape, and asked if any money was owed to municipalities. They were concerned that more Multi-Purpose Centres were needed, as there was a high demand, and this should be specifically built into the budget. Members asked how and why certain names for teams were chosen. They explored the bursaries available, asking about the numbers, period and criteria for award. They wanted to know about the time frames for increasing staff numbers. Questions were given, and updates, on Caster Semenya, the coaching being done by Natalie du Toit and Elana Meyer. Members asked if the SRSA was holding activities for the 16 Days of Activism and heard what activities it was engaging in and how the sporting champions were assisting. They asked if the Department explored Lotto funding and a description was given of what it supported. Members were also interested in hearing how transformation efforts were going and the SRSA conceded that much money had been wasted and it was recognised that this had to be an organic process, and a voluntary agreement had been reached between federations and the SRSA. Members were very pleased to hear about the re-prioritisation of resources to accommodate much needed rural involvement in sport and noted that a Rural Sport Improvement Programme was going to be launched on 8 December 2015 in Mthatha. Whilst Members were pleased to see that vacancies were being filled they commented that across all of government, more had to be done to try to make use of the skilled and degreed graduates without jobs. They asked about sports coaching and heard about the outreach programme (SCORE), who had finally received accreditation from the SETA. 

Meeting report

Department of Sport and Recreation Annual Report 2014/2015 

Mr Alec Moemi, Director-General, Department of Sport and Recreation, said that the Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA or the Department) covered the delivery of sport and recreation in three different spheres of government, and all the actions and initiatives within SRSA’s mandate were coordinated to maximise impact.

During the period under review, the Department had 23 targets, of which it achieved 21 (91%). In addition, the Department obtained a clean audit opinion on performance & financial information. The achievements were reached through 163 staff members working as members of ordinary functional units and in task teams. It had spent R966.8 million of the allocated R970 million (99.63% spending).
The challenges faced by the SRSA in this financial period included the following:
- The implementation of the National Sport & Recreation Plan (NSRP) was not fully funded.
- The consultation process towards finalisation of the organisational structure took longer than anticipated, thus impacting on staffing of the Department.
- There was lack of capacity to effectively monitor the implementation of the Mass Participation and Sport Development Conditional Grant by SRSA and Provinces.
- The Agreement with Department of Basic Education towards implementation of School Sport remains problematic. For school sport to function successfully, a sound foundation was needed; and DBE operated in the foundation of intra-school, inter school sports and and so forth
- There was lack of control over the building of sport and recreation facilities at municipal level to meet the existing needs. Discussions around the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) were ongoing
- Although there was an improvement,there were still governance challenges relating to Boxing South Africa (BSA). There was, however, some progress towards filling the vacancies in critical positions that had caused the entity’s lack of efficient and effective leadership
- The legislation in place did not fully support the Department’s strategy, and had to be reviewed. The National Sport and Recreation Act, the Boxing Act (to be repealed and replaced by a new Combat Sport Act) and the SA Institute for Drug Free Sport legislation all needed review.

The Department operated under five programmes:

  1. Administration;
  2. Active Nation;
  3. Winning Nation;
  4. Sport Support Services
  5. Infrastructure

Mr Lisedi Mere, Chief Financial Officer, SRSA, said that revenue for the Department was mainly made up of the annual appropriation received from the National Revenue Fund. The SRSA was appropriated an amount of R970.4 million for the financial year under review, a decrease of 9.6% from the previous year allocation of R1.073 billion. It had generated an amount of R107 000 from recovery of telephone expenses from staff interest on bank accounts and sale of motor vehicles.

The Department spent almost all funds allocated in this financial year, spending 99.63%, or R966 million. The R3.5 million underspent related mainly to compensation of employees at R1.8 million and Goods and Services, with an amount of R1.7 million.

The spending on compensation to employees was 97.8% for the year under review, and spending on Goods and Services was 98.8%, capital assets spent 97.3% of budget and transfers and subsidies was fully spent at R699 million.

The financial challenges in this Department were that the post of Director: Finance had not yet been filled. There were still some gaps in the departmental internal control Systems, even though a lot of improvement had been experienced.

He summarised the main achievements as the following:

  • Maintenance of a clean audit;
  • Reduction of the Auditor General (AG) findings;
  • Payment of suppliers within 30 days;
  • Unqualified opinion from AG for consecutive years;
  • No emphasis of matters reported by the AG on financial statements;
  • No emphasis of matters reported by the AG on performance information
  • Reduction in the number of issues raised by the AG


The Chairperson recognised that the Director General had another meeting to attend after this one and said that if necessary questions could be answered in writing.

Mr D Stock (ANC Northern Cape) welcomed the presentation and said that he was pleased that the Department had received a clean audit and that 21 out of the 23 targets set were achieved. There was an outstanding issue from the challenges regarding the agreement that was signed between the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Department of Basic Education. This had to do with the issue that sport and recreation was not included in the curriculum and many schools were still without facilities for sport. He asked the Department to speak to this issue. 

Mr Moemi replied that the departments were in agreement about the coordination of the higher tiers were concerned. In truth, sport all over the world was driven by teachers and South Africa (SA) was no different. People outside of schools should not be implementing school sport. Teachers had to take responsibility. This could be seen to operate well in private schools and former model C schools. In schools where the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) predominated or was in charge, the teachers refused to participate, because one of the biggest mistakes made from 1994 to 1996 and when the Schools Act was passed was that sport was optional, no longer compulsory, and was regarded as an extra-mural activity. eachers therefore claimed that it was not core or part of their responsibilities and demanded overtime to take sport. Another challenge was that the Department of Basic Education insisted that there was nothing wrong with the curriculum, and argued that it did not want anyone else to tamper with the curriculum, but preferred to stick with what it had. As a result Physical Education was not a standalone subject; it was part of Life Orientation. It had been agreed with SADTU that a dedicated period of four hours a week of Life Orientation should be geared towards Physical Education. In practice this did not take place. Life Orientation was actually driven by the Eisteddfod and choirs because they were cheap and easy and that was usually the teacher's choice. It would be useful to amend the Schools Act and make physical education a stand alone subject.  This should be discussed with the Department of Basic Education. Mr Moemi appealed to the Committee to call a joint meeting with the Department of Basic Education and SRSA to address this matter.

Mr M Khawula (IFP KwaZulu Natal) said that there seemed to be a regression with regard to school sports, especially in the province of KwaZulu Natal.

Mr Khawula said that he was glad that the Department had done something with the exchange programme with Jamaica and therefore something was happening at a national level.

Ms P Mququ (ANC Eastern Cape) addressed the Committee in Xhosa, commenting that she was pleased with the clean audit. She was particularly concerned about the situation with sport in the Eastern Cape and cited problems with a stadium

Mr Moemi replied that the Department had been to that stadium and had even reported the matter to the police. It was clear that money had been embezzled and misused. The Department had been struggling for three years to build a boxing gymnasium in Buffalo City. The Department had the money, but had had to call for rollovers for three years until at last the Department sent Senior Managers to go and tell the Municipal Manager that if the zoning was not done by December, the project would have to be called off. The Department even requested that the National Treasury ring-fence the money so that it could finish the stadium. Action had been taken and a criminal case has been opened. The money had now been ring fenced and given to a different municipality.

Ms L Dlamini (ANC Mpumalanga) appreciated the performance of the Department and the clean audit. She asked if money was owed to municipalities and if so, asked how much it and whether the money was repaid.

Mr Moemi replied that no money was owed to municipalities. It should be noted that sport was a concurrent function, in terms of the Constitution, and facilities thus had to be delivered by provinces and municipalities. The National Treasury did not give money in those instances, and it stated that the only money the Department could have was, firstly, to enhance oversight, such as checking whether the norms and standards had been complied with; and secondly to do pilots for demonstration models. The Department was therefore not allowed to deliver facilities itself. It had only a meagre budget of R10 million.

Ms Dlamini expressed concern about Multi-Purpose Centres (MPCs) and said there were none in Mpumalanga. There was a higher demand for these and it should be linked to the budget for infrastructure. If there were no facilities then communities would not be able to perform sport. The Department had more money for operations, and less money for facilities, which might meant that it was widening the gap. The Department had more projects or programmes for those who already had facilities, but it should be the other way round. The 15% grant for municipalities was good and should be for sport. The municipalities were under strain as they still had other challenges, like the lack of water. Ms Dlamini appealed to the Department to prioritise sport facilities.

Ms Dlamini also asked about the criteria used for the naming of teams. Why were they not all named in siSwati? If the names used related to flora and fauna then this should be maintained. The names used should be something that everyone could appreciate.

Mr Moemi replied that the Department did not name teams, the federations named the teams and then the Department adopted the names as the federations had set them.

Ms Dlamini agreed with other Members about matters related to relations with Jamaica. The relationship was positive, but it should not only concentrate on coaches, so athletics should also be considered. The relations with Kenya and Malawi were also good and should be strengthened.

Ms Dlamini expressed interest in the Minister’s bursaries and the codes related to these bursaries. She asked what sporting codes there were. This was not enough and if the Department had other bursaries this would be good as well.

Mr Moemi replied that the Ministry’s sport bursaries were not sufficient, but this was all that the Department had to spend on such matters. It was now carrying 54 bursaries, which was about R540 000 per year. At the current championships it was intended to select 16 more bursary recipients. The Department carried them over a longer period now – 5 years – and would see them through. It was dealing with effectively with whatever money it did have. There were other bursaries as well for the postgraduate programme, where the Department offered bursaries to 20 Masters students and 10 PhD students per year, to do research in sport science. Internally, the Department was funding 36 staff members to study for degrees.

Ms Dlamini expressed concern about sports development, especially in Gauteng. She noted that if one were to look only at the big teams, the money would be lost, and it was supposed to be used for sports development, starting with small teams. 

Ms T Mpambo-Sibhukwana (DA, Western Cape) said that today marked the 16 Days of Activism Campaign, yet the Department had not budgeted for this. She asked what the Department had put in place in terms of strategies in all nine provinces to respond to the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for women, children and people with disabilities.

Ms Sumayya Khan, Deputy Director-General and Chief Operations Officer (COO), SRSA, responded that the Department of Sports and Recreation worked closely with the Department of Women on this project. Firstly, it was using celebrity sports people as ambassadors to give out the message of 16 Days of Activism. All of the country’s athletic codes had ambassadors for the programme. The Department had asked all of the federations to read out the messages regarding 16 Days of Activism before their events. She noted that one of the most significant points had to do with infrastructure and Mr Moemi had spoken about outdoor gyms or community outreach gyms and play parks. The Department of Women had identified a site each year, in areas where there had been identified abuse and violence against women and children. Specific people were to be identified and then provided with a basket of services in terms of community gardens and programmes – and here, sport would be brought on board in a significant way. Last year the Department went to Welkom to a build an outdoor gym and put in a children’s play park and had seen phenomenal results that showed a great impact on the community. The Department has worked with the municipalities to see where to build sports amenities. Many of the programmes added ‘no violence’ to create awareness; and acknowledged women specifically. In addition, the Department worked with a programme called G Sports for Women, where women were acknowledged in various sports. The biggest programme for women was where the Department had a Netball Premier League, in which each province came with its team and participated. The Premier League took place over two months. The positive results of this event were evident already. The Department was working on refining a policy for women in sport.

Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana expressed concern that gender issues had not been unpacked by the Department strategically. There was no evidence on the empowerment of women in the Department’s ministerial structures. She asked for some information in this regard.

Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana asked for more information regarding the gender parity aspect in the Department’s allocation of ministerial bursaries, asking who decided on the distribution and how was distribution divided between the provinces.

Mr Moemi replied that there were girls in the teams, and the sole criteria for bursaries was a display of talent. At the last national championship, girls constituted 53% of all participants; and 22% of all participants were persons with disabilities. The Department made sure it implemented mainstreaming, as it had to accommodate everyone and so, in its planning, it made sure to include girls and disabled youth.

Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana asked how the Department was reaching out to other race groups, pointing out that it was not only black people who could afford things.

Ms Dlamini asked about the time frames needed for arriving at the staff numbers of 240 staff.

Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana commented on the Department’s 43% underspending and also asked about the time frames attached to the figure of 240 staff members. She also asked what the Department was targeting with regard to the time frames.

Mr Moemi replied that the Department envisioned three years as the time frame, starting from April 2016, to work towards the target of 240 staff members. 240 staff members represented what the Department could afford to have, in order to implement the sports plan. The new organogram had to have about 719 employees if it wanted to cover the whole sports plan.

Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana asked the Department for an update on Castor Semenya and Natalie du Toit. She asked further if the skills of Natalie du Toit were being rotated and if she was getting to provinces other than Gauteng. The positive aspects could serve as a lesson to redirect youth away from crime.

Mr Moemi replied that Castor Semenya was now making a comeback. She had been married and had lost interest for some time in sport, had not trained and did not qualify for major tournaments or the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee's (SASCOC) Operation Excellence (Opex) programme. The Department then placed her on its internal programme and paid for her to compete. After the Diamond League, she had qualified. This brought her back into Opex, and the Department handed her back to SASCOC. She was now back running, and clocking good times.

Mr Moemi reported that Natalie du Toit was now in retirement, and the Department had agreed with her that she would run coaching clinics through SASCOC. She had been doing this, but had said that she preferred to work in Gauteng. The Department was working with her and providing support, It was similarly working with Elana Meyer. 

Mr Khawula pointed out that nothing had been said about the transformation agenda and asked for a briefing in this regard.                   

The Chairperson asked to what extent the Department was involved in ensuring the transformation of sport. 

Mr Moemi replied that transformation was a sensitive matter.  A lot of money and goodwill had been squandered between 1994 and 2012. The quota system was a single measure to see whether transformation was happening or not, by simply counting how many black faces there were on the field, and this had been quite counter productive. In 1992 there had been agreement on the 50:50 quota system where there had to be 50% black and 50% white persons in each sport genre. This did not necessarily represent the demographics of the country but it was thought to have been a good start. This only happened in 2013, and last year it was seen in junior teams in cricket and the very junior teams in rugby. Score cards were introduced and a new Transformation Charter was adopted. The Department had done a baseline study with five of the big sports federations – cricket, rugby, netball, athletics and soccer - and established a baseline and set a barometer which acted as a pilot to the process. The Department then used it to sign agreements with the five big federations to show where the targets were. The rugby federation and all its national teams had an obligation to reach a 50% target by 2019. This would be measured on an annual basis. The agreement was a voluntary one and it had been signed by each of the federations who had committed themselves to it. Questionnaires were sent out and the data was now being analysed. A report would be sent out by February. Since the drawing up of the Charter a lot had been done. The process had to be organic as it would not help to impose certain race groups to satisfy a quota.

The Chairperson was pleased that the report reflected a strengthening of the definition of grants sent to provinces, because the Committee had been worried about there perhaps being too strong a focus on the urban areas or semi-urban areas. She asked what was happening with outreach to rural areas.

Mr Moemi replied that he had good news. Although there were few resources, they were to be re-prioritised, because on 8 December 2015, the Rural Sport Improvement Programme was due to be launched in Mthatha. The Department was working with amakhosi in the provinces, as well as provincial and national Houses of Traditional Leaders, with COGTA and eight provincial leagues. Amakhosi were responsible for running the tournaments.

The Chairperson noted that the Department had reduced its rate of unemployment; however this was still a concern. Departments were moving slowly in this regard as there were still many people with degrees who were still unemployed.

The Chairperson asked if there were any coaching schools in the provinces.

Mr Moemi replied that there was no coaching school per se. The Department had initially decided to take Mr Pieter de Villiers to write modules on rugby coach development. He left after writing two chapters, and found a job at the University of the Western Cape. The Department was initially struggling to get modules accredited with the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA). Finally it found and started working with the Sport Coaches Outreach programme (SCORE). This was an NGO which used the FIFA B licenses to do training. It had just recently received its accreditation certificates from the SETA. The Department had given this NGO an 800% increase in its budget to start training coaches. The next 5 000 teachers would be trained next year. The Department could only manage to train 5 000 coaches per year. The aim was for every accredited coach to have 817 participants. 54 schools had been selected, with those teachers focussing only on sport.

The Chairperson said that Mr Moemi had reported that the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) was not fully funded. She asked if there were other sources of funding.

The Chairperson congratulated the Department on its clean audit and expressed continued support for its attempts at getting additional funding, because the Committee felt that the mandate the Department carried was very important. Nation building and social cohesion were very important but these could not be adequately fulfilled without an appropriate budget. She asked why nothing had been said about working with the Lotto.

Mr Moemi said that the Department had established working relations with the Lotto. There was not always agreement on all the priorities. Today there was also a national indaba of the Lotto, which was being attended by a Chief Director from SRSA, who would present the Department's priorities. The Lotto supported the School Sport Programme, the  Sport Awards and partially supported the National Mandela Sport and Culture Day. The Lotto also supported the provision of sport equipment, and currently provided equipment to 600 schools.

The Chairperson was very happy to note that the SRSA seemed to be well on top of its task, and it clearly had staff who understood and were clear on the policies.

She confirmed that the Committee would try to arrange a joint meeting at which the Department of Sport and Department of Basic Education were present, and it would be useful also to invite the Department of Arts and Culture to attend.

She commented that the Committee was very appreciative of the work that the SRSA was doing and the way the finances were handled, and particularly the spending and the way in which corruption was being addressed.

Committee Minutes 11 November 2015

Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana asked if an amendment could be made in the attendance register for the minutes of 11 November.  Mr H Groenewald was not present but Mr Chris Hattingh had been present.

Subject to this amendment the minutes of 11 November 2015 were adopted.

The meeting was adjourned.


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