Committee Report on Sport and Recreation Budget

Sports, Arts and Culture

20 April 2016
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Chairperson expressed her severe disappointment at ANC Members who had not arrived on time at the meeting. An ANC Member pointed out that the re-scheduling of this meeting from Tuesday to Wednesday might have caused some problems, but the Chairperson called for a report explaining the absence of relevant Members.

The Committee Content Adviser outlined some changes made to the draft Report on the Department of Sports and Recreation 2016 Annual Performance Plan (APP) and budget, since the last meeting. He highlighted additional information obtained from the Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA). He noted that the Golden Games and other events were not cancelled entirely but postponed. Recommendations on training, filling of vacancies in Boxing SA, and comments on the budget for the Administration Programme had been included, and clarity was provided on the Ministerial travel budget. The difference of R1.9 million between the figures provided by the Department and National Treasury, for Boxing SA, would be covered by the amount of revenue that boxing had expected to raise during the financial year. The Committee was merely expressing its concern on the differing medal expectations between SASCOC and the SRSA. The strategic outcomes of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) had been revised and the observation to have more clearly defined programmes in the APP had been noted.

A DA Member asked for an adjustment of wording for the schools championships, where increased budget had been allocated yet the numbers of participants remained the same. Members discussed the recommendation in relation to the medals and it was finally noted that the Committee would comment on the discrepancy in targets, but not support one or the other figure. The point was made that the Committee wanted to try to bring about greater synergy between SASCOC and the SRSA, part of which would be done by ensuring that representatives of both organisations would be present at all meetings. Another Member made the point that the Committee must interrogate the Eminent Persons Group report seriously to ensure that sporting codes are held to account.

The Report was adopted by the majority of Members, with amendments.

The Committee adopted the minutes of 12 April 2016, with amendments.

 

Meeting report

Draft Committee Report on Budget vote 40: Department of Sports and Recreation SA: Deliberations and adoption
The Chairperson expressed her severe disappointment at ANC Members who had not arrived on time at the meeting, which meant that other Members would have to be asked to come in from another meeting to adopt the Draft Committee Report.

Mr M Malatsi (DA), supported the statements of the Chairperson, saying that he would fully support any action that the Chairperson felt had to be taken to ensure that Members did attend meetings. Despite the fact that he had another meeting to attend, his colleague Mr Bergman (DA) had been present for this meeting to assist where necessary. He reassured the Chairperson of the DA@s firm role and primary focus on this Committee.

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) said that the Portfolio Committee had normally met on a Tuesday and so, despite having had agreed to meet on a Wednesday, the Members might have had difficulty re-arranging their schedules. He also apologised on behalf of Mr S Mmusi (ANC) who was running late, and Ms B Abrahams (ANC) who was attending another Committee meeting.

The Chairperson acknowledged the explanation given by Mr Ralegoma, but asked for a full report on those Members not present at the meeting.

She asked the Committee Content Adviser to take the Committee through the Draft Report of the Committee (the Report) to ensure that all the suggested changes had been included.

The Content Advisor mentioned that some additional information had been received from the Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA or the Department), and some came from the submitted Annual Performance Plan (APP).

The first concern that Members had raised at a previous meeting was in relation to the cancellation of the Golden Games and funding that was associated with this line item. The Content Advisor had sought further information on the 25 events to be held by SRSA,  and it was then discovered that the omitted events would not be cancelled completely, but had just been put off for the current financial year, due to budget cuts.

The Committee had also expressed concern about the two vacancies in Boxing SA, and Members had wanted a recommendation that these vacancies must be filled by the end of the current financial year.

A concern had been raised about the reduction of the number of persons to be trained, from about 120 to 60. The administration budget had been further scrutinised to figure out how the budget fitted in  with the APP. The programme on administration had been allocated R132 million which had been 98% of the budget. Training was not included in the administration budget, which was responsible for maintaining major programmes within the Department, but instead fell under the operating activities funded by the remaining 2%. The funds from the reduced training resources would be redirected to other programmes.

Clarity had been provided on how the budget would be used effectively during the current economic crisis, in line with the Department’s APP, to fund the Minister’s travel expenses. This included  decisions about who the Minister was able to travel with, in line with the national travel policy. He mentioned that only after the Minister’s travel had been approved by the Presidency, would the Department then be able to decide on the accommodation and travel expenses, as payment would come from the Department.

The Content Advisor also noted that there had been a concern raised about the inconsistent boxing budget. The Department had indicated a budget of R13 million for boxing, but the APP and the Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) showed that R11.1 million was allocated from National Treasury. The difference of R1.9 million would be covered by the amount of revenue that boxing had expected to raise during the financial year.

The Content Advisor added that the difference in the medal targets as expressed by the Olympic Committee SASCOC, and the Department, had been an area of concern. He said that due to the unknown outcome, recommendations could not be made on this issue but the Committee concerns had been noted.

Strategic outcomes of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) had been revised and the observation to have more clearly defined programmes in the APP had been noted. He also noted the changes made in relation to the boxing promoters (a wording change) and related matters.

He recommended that the Portfolio Committee ensure that each part or inconsistency was adequately addressed during APP reviews.

Discussion
The Chairperson asked Members to indicate whether they felt that the Report now fully reflected all discussions at the meeting.

Ms D Manana (ANC) said that she was happy with the corrected Report.

Mr Malatsi was concerned about the allocation of funds for the school championships, and their misalignment with APP targets. The APP indicated that there would be increased participation in the school championships yet the numbers were reduced. An indication had been given that funding cuts would reduce the number of participants, but he was more concerned about what that meant for the years to follow. He also asked about the circumstances that enabled the Committee to make recommendations; the Content Advisor had highlighted the difference between medal goals by the two organisations, but said that the figure was based on speculation. He asked what determined when recommendations could be made by the Committee. He pointed out that all the submissions had been based on a future plan of action as well, and asked for more clarity on the essential differences in these points.

The Chairperson asked Mr Malatsi to make a suggestion or a recommendation based on his observation during the meeting instead, if he was not happy with the Content Advisor's suggestion that the inconsistency be acknowledged or noted.

Mr Malatsi mentioned that had been seeking elaboration from the Content Advisor.

Mr Ralegoma commented on the targets relating to transformation. He thought the previous day’s engagements with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and the way it had presented its targets should be good pointer to how the Committee should deal with different levels or sporting codes to be signed with the Minister. He asked that the Portfolio Committee interrogate the EPG report seriously so that the Committee can ensure that sporting codes are held to account. He would like a recommendation that SASCOC and SRSA should perhaps sort out their inconsistent figures. He said that it would be safer for the Committee, however, merely to note this as an observation at this point. He emphasised that the Committee should not be seen supporting one or other of the two institutions as they were working separately. He said that the Committee would need to ensure that gap between the two institutions and the Committee was closed, when meeting with either one. Although SASCOC was a legal entity, even overseen by the Department, the Minister still had limitations in terms of what oversight could be exercised over SASCOC, and it would be  important to try to bring synergy between the two institutions.

The Chairperson noted both concerns. She reassured Members that the Report took into consideration the recommendations made about the lack of synergy between the two organisations SASCOC and SRSA. She emphasised that the Committee would in future refuse to have meetings with the Department without a SASCOC representative being present, and vice versa. It was unacceptable to have important organisations both functioning within one Department unable to achieve the same goal.

Mr Malatsi was happy to compromise and agreed with the view of his colleagues. He asked about the concern that had been made about the school championships, where the budget indicated an increase but the numbers were remaining the same.

The Content Advisor said that it had been a good observation and it would be added to the Report. He said that the concern expressed previously had related only to the number of participants remaining the same.

The Chairperson agreed to take note of that observation and asked that it be added to the Report.

The DA chose to reserve further comments on the draft Report, but it was adopted by the majority of the Members.

Committee minutes 12 April 2016
The Chairperson took members through each page of the Committee minutes.

Mr Malatsi highlighted that the proposal on the matter that lead to the resolution to invite SA Revenue Services (SARS) had been resolved. He asked that this be corrected, as the issue had been discussed and agreed. He also said that the statement on page 4 of the minutes had not been clear and was not a correct reflection of what had been said.

The Chairperson asked Members to remind her what document was referred to.

Mr Ralegoma said that the document could perhaps have been the Minister’s contract.

Mr Malatsi recalled that rather than an actual document, this was raised as a matter relating to SASCOC. The requirement was to add the issue that Ms Manana had raised on the allegations against SASCOC.

Members agreed to the amendment.

A personal issue was then discussed, which it was requested should not be disclosed.

The minutes were adopted.

The meeting was adjourned.
 

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