The Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) briefed the Committee on its organisational and financial performance in the fourth quarter of the 2015-16 financial year, the report of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on sport transformation monitoring and evaluation, and the development of the African Union Sports Council (AUSC).
The SRSA reported that the preliminary fourth quarter report had been submitted to the Audit Committee, the National Treasury and the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), as prescribed. Although at the time of briefing the Committee, the report was certified as correct, the achievement recorded might change slightly after completion of the audit by the Internal Auditors. An overview of the fourth quarter of the 2015-16 financial year indicated that there were 34 targets scheduled to be achieved, and 27 had been achieved. Targets not achieved included school support, provincial sport support and coordination, and intra-governmental support.
SRSA provided a brief overview of the ‘Barometer System’ used to monitor the country’s transformation in sport status. The process to change SA sport on the basis of the Transformation Charter had been focussed largely on the transformation status of the sports federations. In terms of the Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) entered into by SRSA and the federations, federations were mandated to furnish the SRSA with individual barometers clearly spelling out transformation targets to be achieved for five years. Each financial year, federations had to provide a report on their transformation targets. In this regard, the federations’ understanding of the audit process was improving and the quality and reliability of data was improving. The EPG’s audit-related data bases were evolving as part of ‘business’ intelligence systems in more and more codes. The quality of the larger federations’ data submissions, notably cricket and rugby, were increasingly reliable. They had assigned dedicated resources to manage the transformation and data collection processes. Resource constraints were preventing smaller federations from establishing matching processes.
On the developments regarding the African Union Sports Council (AUSC), the SRSA reported that the Committee required a background to the AUSC Region 5 and the details and implications of South Africa’s participation in this regional structure, as this was the first time that the SRSA had been requested to present on this topic. It provided feedback on the actions arising from Angola meeting of December 2015, and the resolutions taken by the Council of Ministers.
Members felt that the SRSA was not doing enough to bring about the desired sport transformation. In order to facilitate transformation, SRSA should focus on supporting schools and encouraging learners to participate in all sports. Members welcomed the report on the AUSC, and sought clarity on the financial implications should the Council become fully operational.
Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA): 2015/16 fourth quarter performance
Mr Alec Moemi, Director-General: SRSA said that the fourth quarter report reflected progress made to date against the key strategic objectives and annual performance indicators, as reflected in the annual performance plan (APP). The preliminary fourth quarter report had been submitted to the Audit Committee, National Treasury and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) for performance monitoring purposes as prescribed. Although at the time of briefing the Committee the report had been certified as correct, the achievement recorded might change slightly after completion of the audit by the internal auditors. By the end of May 2016, the consolidation of the year’s performance report would be submitted to the Auditor General (AG). The annual report would reflect the final audited performance status of the Department.
The brief focused on the summarised main achievements in terms of administration, the “active nation, winning nation” development strategy, sport support and infrastructure support programmes. It stated that 34 targets had been scheduled for achievement, and 27 had been achieved. Targets not achieved included school support, provincial sport support and coordination, and intra-governmental support.
Mr Lesedi Mere, Chief Financial Officer: SRSA reported that the overall spending as at 31 March 2016 was R979.9 million, against a total budget allocation of R980.8 (99.9%). Spending on compensation of employees was at 99% -- R93.7 million out of a budget of R94.3 million. There was a 1% under-spending due to vacant posts, such as the Director: Facilities. Other vacancies for junior and middle management positions, as well as for lower level posts, also contributed to the under-spending. The SRSA would be filling some critical vacant posts in the 2016/17 financial year, as the organisational review process had been completed. Generally, the SRSA’s financial performance had drastically improved compared to the 3% under-spending of the previous financial year.
Mr D Bergman (DA) remarked that transformation was a big a topic but as indicated by Director General, the SRSA had performed poorly with respect to supporting schools. For the realisation of transformation in sport, it was essential to promote and improve sporting participation at the school level. He felt that the effort and responsibility of schools ought to be encouraged. Schools should therefore be held responsible if they were not cooperating in promoting transformation.
Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) felt that despite the SRSA’s poor performance in the context of school sports transformation, its efforts ought to be acknowledged.
Ms B Abrahams (ANC) stressed that transformation was necessarily important.
Mr Moemi appreciated the comments and inputs of Members. He agreed with their remarks, especially those made by Mr Bergman. The SRSA was trying to intervene to ensure that participation in organised sport and active recreation events was improved and that equipment and/or attire were provided. Members should recall that schools were governed by teachers and not by the SRSA. Teachers’ governance was a challenge, as it had an implication on the work of the SRSA. Given that the governance of the schools was under teachers, they had a major role to play in assisting the SRSA to ensure transformation, as well as to promote sport and recreation. Sport and recreation were dependent on conditional grants. Account should also be given to parents who were reluctant to pay for fees needed for their children to engage in sport and recreation activities.
Eminent Persons’ Group on transformation status
Mr Moemi provided a brief overview of the ‘Barometer System,’ which had recently been introduced. He said that the process to change the SA sport system on the basis of the Transformation Charter had been focussed largely on the transformation status of the sport federations. In terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into by SRSA and the federations, federations were mandated to furnish the SRSA with individual barometers clearly spelling out the transformation targets to be achieved for five years. Each financial year, federations provided reports on transformation targets. In this regard, he reported that the federations’ understanding of the audit process was improving, and the quality and reliability of data was improving. The Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) audit-related data bases were evolving as part of ‘business’ intelligence systems in more and more codes. The quality of larger federation data submissions, notably cricket and rugby, were increasingly reliable. They had assigned dedicated resources to manage transformation and data collection processes. Resource constraints were preventing smaller federations from establishing matching processes.
Mr Moemi said that there was a growing consensus that a focus on ‘black’ (as in African, Coloured and Indian) demographic representation targets over the last 20-plus years, might have been flawed and not without consequences. Proceeding on this vein, he pointed out that 84% of the country’s under-18 year age group in South Africa was black African, whereas only 16% was either white, Coloured or Indian. Since 1990, the 0-24 year age group for black Africans had increased by 11%, whereas the white under 24 year age group had decreased by 15%!
With regard to the demographic profiles of senior male national teams representing 19 codes, Mr Moemi said that six codes -- basketball, volleyball, table tennis, football, amateur boxing and gymnastics -- had exceeded the set 60% charter target for generic black Africans (Coloured, Indian and black African). Black Africans represented above 60% in basketball, football, and amateur boxing. Eleven codes which had white representation larger than 50% included jukskei, bowls, baseball (all 100%), swimming (87%), hockey (83%), rowing (81%), netball (61%), and rugby (58%). Volleyball, table tennis, cricket and chess were reported to have relatively large Coloured/Indian representation, whereas black Africans in football were closest to the national demographic profile of 80%.
Mr Moemi said that the actual barometer of performance was measured as the percentage of the number of forecast performances achieved in two Transformation Charter dimensions and their respective sub-categories. The federations’ barometer performance had been: football (51), netball (32), athletics (43), cricket (28) and rugby (37).
Ms D Manana (ANC) reminded the Director General that the EPG had to ensure the SRSA received adequate information on transformation, and remarked that all federations should provide such information about all levels and all spheres of their sports.
Mr M Filtane (UDM) expressed disappointment with regard to the cricket team, where transformation seemed to be a challenge. He sought clarity on whether the EPG had conducted a risk assessment aimed at determining whether federations were implementing the Transformation Charter.
Mr M Malatsi (DA) sought clarity on demographic profiles and non-compliance, and at what level the engagement was between the federations’ executive leadership and the SRSA. It was his hope that the legislation would bring change, but based on the history, transformation was a challenge. One of the challenges of transformation was the absence of coaches.
Mr Bergman, referring to transformation mandate, remarked that any analysis should be based on truth in order to be realistic. In his view, the majority of blacks were supporters of soccer and many players came from the Eastern Cape. Having an interest in a particular sport should be regarded as the major factor to be taken into consideration for the promotion of participation. The government ought be clear on transformation, because people could not be pushed into playing a particular game in which they had no interest. The fundamental question was what the Rugby Union and the government should do to ensure a sustainable transformation in rugby. More fundamentally, transformation should focus on the creation of jobs and on holding people accountable.
Mr S Mmusi (ANC) said it should be noted that some people had been born and grown up in the apartheid era, and this category understood the real meaning of the concept transformation and what it meant when transformation was claimed. Real transformation would be possible if it took its roots in the schools. He sought clarity on what arguments had been advanced by the federations for not meeting targets.
Mr Ralegoma said the problem of transformation did not lie with a federation itself, but was all about the historical background. All federations knew about the penal measures that had been established. They should know that they should be involved in the transformation processes by meeting targets. Members should know that the playing fields were not level because the needs of schools varied to a great extent. Some schools did not have cricket or rugby fields, for example. Allocating money to schools would not bring changes -- other considerations, such as technical staff, were needed. When one went to township schools, it would be difficult to find playing fields there. The same applied to schools in rural areas. Transformation was hard to realise, but could be realised as time progressed.
The Chairperson informed the Director General it was clear that Members fully supported sport transformation and were fully behind the Minister. It was a fact that federations had signed the targets that they would meet, but Members could see that transformation was not taking place. The SRSA should do everything in its power to see that transformation was taking place.
Mr Moemi responded by re-assuring Members that the SRSA was taking transformation very seriously. There would be dire consequences for a federation which did not comply. However, the SRSA was bound by law. The legal tool available to impose sanctions was provided for under the Transformation Charter. The Charter provided penal measures that could be taken and these measures were applied uniformly to all federations. The concerns were not about the efforts made by an organisation toward transformation, but about targets set by a federation being achieved. The SRSA was not failing, because federations were asked to design targets in accordance with their budgets. Members should understand that transformation was a process, or a journey. Transformation could not happen overnight.
Briefing: African Union Sports Council (AUSC)
Mr Moemi said that the Committee required a background to the AUSC Region 5, and the details and implications of South Africa’s participation in this regional structure to date, as this was the first time that SRSA had been requested to present on this topic.
He reported on the actions arising from the Angola meeting of December 2015, at which the following was decided:
- The national broadcasters to be informed of buying rights as per the rate card provided in the file for the 2016 Region 5 games.
- A list of people to be conferred with ten-year service awards at the next council meeting had been established and the Council of Ministers would confer the blazers to recipients in their respective countries.
- There was a need to accelerate the regional programme in South Africa. Forty athletes would be sent to Mozambique in 2016 to participate in the next Africa and Olympics Day to celebrate Africanness and Olympism.
- Support would be increased for the empowerment and capacity development of women in sport and for people with disabilities.
- Inputs into the draft of new Constitution ought to be made by 31 March 2016, and South Africa had to lead the review process.
- Payment of AUSC Region 5 and AU Yaounde subscription ought to be made by 31 March 2016.
The Council of Ministers had resolved that the AU should expedite the appointment of the AUSC Executive Secretary and the establishment of the AUSC office in Yaounde, Cameroun, by 30 June 2016. The AUSC regions would be aligned by 31 July 2016.
Among the recommendations of the Council of Ministers, it had been stated that South Africa should prepare to host and support the regional awards in June 2016, the issues of anti-doping in sport should be taken seriously, and that South Africa should continue to lobby vigorously for the establishment of Regional Anti-Doping Organisations (RADOs).
The Chairperson remarked that it was evident that the region could not do well at the international level without South Africa. South Africa should use its economic and political influence to mobilise the regional state to support its resolutions.
Ms Manana welcomed the presentation and commented that it was not the first time she had heard about the AUSC. She sought clarity on who championed for the AUSC, and what the financial implications of having an operational AUSC were.
Mr Moemi responded that each region would pay admission fees, and the AU itself would cover the cost of the chairmanship of the Council. It was an international obligation that South Africa should provide financial support to neighbouring countries hosting international sports events. There was a tendency that every time there was in international event, regional countries would claim that they were not ready to host those events. According to experience, some events cost South Africa and, in order to mitigate costs, it was better that when these sports events were hosted by other countries, South Africa could intervene with financial and technical support.
Adoption of minutes
The minutes of 19 April were adopted without amendment.
The meeting was adjourned.
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