SRSA 1 Quarter 2016/17 performance; Committee Report on Free State oversight visit

Sports, Arts and Culture

18 October 2016
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Documents handed out:
Draft report on Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation on performance of SRSA budget vote 40 during first quarter of 2016-17 financial year.
Deliberation draft Free State Provincial oversight report (FOR MEMBERS ONLY)
[All Committee Reports available under Tabled Committee Reports once published]

The Committee met to deliberate and adopt the draft report on Sports and Recreation South Africa’s performance for the 2016-17 financial year.

The main concern with the Sport and Recreation SA report was with the use of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant and holding the Department to account for how the grant was used, as well as funding for the Sports Trust which in some ways served a crucial role in rural areas where the Department was not very present and provided training kits and equipment to sports facilities and clubs.

Deliberation on the draft Free State Provincial oversight report was not possible due to the document not being finalised. It was however made available for Committee members to note the progress. The report was not available for public consumption and it was not offered to the guests in attendance.

Minutes of 13 September 2016 and 11 October 2016 were adopted without amendment. Minutes of 14 September 2016 and 12 October 2016 had corrections and additions that needed to be included and would be adopted at the next Committee meeting to be held on 19 October 2016.

Meeting report

Opening remarks
The Chairperson welcomed back Mr D Bergman (DA) who was away representing the country in the past week.

Mr Teboho Thebehae, Content Adviser, Portfolio Committee on Sports and Recreation said consideration on the Free State report was not finalised and it was made available only for members to note the progress done. It was not available for public consumption.

SRSA first quarter 2016/17 performance
Mr Thebehae briefed the Committee.  The report on the performance of the Department of Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), was the report that SRSA gave a presentation to the Committee on 12 September 2016 on the financials of the Department within the first quarter. On the first page, National Treasury found that the Department had underspent their budget and the expenditure on goods and services was 19% of the total budget, which was less than the expected 25% use of the budget. The Department’s expenditure was projected to increase in the second and third quarter when departmental projects were being rolled out.

Provincial Departments’ failures to provide required documentation for receiving the conditional grant transfer payment resulted in SRSA withholding the funds to those provinces in line with the sector penalty schedule.

Of significance was the increase in traveling of staff to do monitoring and evaluation of existing projects such as the outdoor community gyms sport for social change, verification of facilities count and Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) site verification and stakeholder engagements resulted in a variance of R1 million over projected expenditure.

National Treasury had pointed out issues with the funds transferred to the Sports Trust since it was not a sports federation; and an increase in personnel spending. There was a 17% vacancy rate in SRSA.

SRSA had achieved 50% of its targets for the 2016-17 financial year in the first quarter alone. The issue of verification of targets was well overachieved by the Department. The target was 8766, and the Department had achieved 25807 learners participating in school sport tournaments at district level.  Under programme three of the Department, SRSA had five targets to achieve and was only able to achieve three of the targets. This was mostly caused by noncompliance of entities with the Department before they could transfer funds.

SRSA had reported that the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) incurred a lot of expenses due to the laboratory not being functional and drug tests being sent to Qatar added to transportation costs. The laboratory was projected to be functional by the end of the year and this would decrease the expenditure of SAIDS.

Committee Members had raised concerns with the report of SRSA and the majority of the concerns included underspending of SRSA in the first quarter in relation to service delivery; vacancy rate of 17%; SRSA not achieving any of its targets under programme one; some provinces struggle ling with facility count; transfers to provinces; low targets set by SRSA for programme two; and the high cost implications of the South African Doping Control Laboratory at the University of Free State, which resulted in SAIDS incurring a debt that they could not carry alone.

The Committee recommended that the Minister of Sport and Recreation prioritise filling strategically crucial posts such as posts in programme  five for the oversight of the MIG allocation for sports facilities; encourage cooperation of all role players in effecting and implementing the facilities audit; avoid underspending during the first quarter to ensure that the Department was able to spend effectively and efficiently; and to encourage speedy conclusion of the revised plan for implementing the national school sport championship in order to avoid overspending.

Ms D Manana (ANC) said she understood that Sport Trust was not a federation but when looking at the work of the federation in some of the provinces and rural areas, the federation was not doing everything they were tasked to do but was assisting in some of the schools by providing sporting kits, especially in rural areas.

Ms Manana said that when the monitoring and evaluation team travels to conduct oversight, they should look at using the Graphic Information System (GIS) in counting sports facilities.

Mr S Malatsi (DA) said there was no correlation between traveling been done by the oversight monitoring and evaluation team and the performance being reported.

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) said if the Department could not satisfactorily explain to National Treasury the issue of the Sports Trust, then it could become a problem when the Office of the Auditor General (AG) conducted an audit of the books. He also said that SRSA should set targets that they could be able to achieve per quarter.

The Chairperson said Sports Trust was doing more work to assist rural communities and she was in support of writing to the Department for an explanation on the low funds that Sports Trust was receiving.
On an oversight visit the Committee found equipment not being used in Limpopo and the purpose of oversight visits was to make sure that everything was being used for the purpose it was intended for.

Ms Manana said that SRSA should do a detailed breakdown of expenditure.

Mr Malatsi said that another issue was whether provincial sport academies were being used fully.

The Chairperson said that the Committee argued that the MIG was not being used, and two provinces had indicated that they were using MIG.  MIG would always be a sore point. The Committee could not reject the R300 million being given to the Department, but she questioned why the full budget could not be given.

Mr Malatsi suggested the Committee could write a letter to National Treasury for an indication as to why the MIG had not spent all its budget and what the recourse was.

Mr Malatsi said it would be sensible for the Committee to have an indication of where the 30 projects for which the R300 million from MIG were situated and how money was being spent.

Ms Manana asked what made National Treasurer transfer money to municipalities if they did not account for use.

Mr P Moteka (EFF) said for programme five, SRSA needed to provide the Committee with a list of sites they had monitored and evaluated.
The Committee should not insist on MIG going to the Department without making the Department account for what monies had been used on.
If SRSA could not account, then the Committee needed to write a letter to National Treasury so the Committee was provided with a list of how monies were used.

Mr Thebehae said that the Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Department said their hands were tied with regard to the finances they received from National Treasury. Sports Trust had the mandate of providing sports kits to schools in rural areas and ensuring the building of facilities and allocating resources to many communities. The Department was there to assist Sports Trust with their mandate.

There needed to be a specification of the classification of what purposes monies were given to Sports Trust for.

A breakdown per classification of how much was spent per programme was only available in the annual report of the Department and not in the quarterly report. Quarterly reports included broader amounts.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) was the accounting officer of the MIG and not SRSA. SRSA only had a say in how the money from the MIG was to be used.

The AG also issued a report on the spending of municipal funding and specific areas of concern for the Committee could be made available.

The Committee’s oversight was conducted according to the information they had collected and then looked at facilities that SRSA had built and engaged with municipalities on the expenditure of municipal funds.

Mr Mphumzi Mdekazi, Committee Researcher, said the information being provided to the Committee was inconsistent with what was happening on the ground at the level of the municipality and he was asking the Committee on how best he could politely engage with municipalities.

The Chairperson said that perhaps the Committee could wait for the meeting on 23 November 2016 with South African Local Government Association (SALGA) before writing a letter to seek for clarity and breakdowns.

Mr Moteka said the letter the Committee would be writing was not just to push for a breakdown of expenditure, but also to punish the incorrect use of monies.

The Chairperson reiterated that SALGA would be present before the Committee on 23 November 2016 and they should rather wait for that meeting to raise any and all issues with them before a letter is written.

The Chairperson asked Mr Thebehae if the Committee could adopt the report as amended or to correct everything that the Committee had raised with the report and then it would be adopted.

Mr Thebehae, as well as the Committee Members, was in agreement of the latter suggestion to amend the report before it was adopted.

Draft Free State provincial oversight report
The Chairperson said Ms S Pauw, Committee Secretary, and Mr Thebehae, were still busy with the report and just needed to finalise and edit the report before it could be made available for adoption by the Committee. The Chairperson had however asked Ms Pauw to make the report available to Committee Members to see that there was progress made on the report before it was presented and adopted.

Committee Members agreed that the Secretary and Content Adviser should be given time to perfect the report and present when it was ready.

Adoption of Minutes
Minutes of Committee meeting dated 13 September 2016 were adopted with amendments.

Minutes 14 September 2016

Mr Ralegoma said that the Committee had the responsibility to conduct public hearings on any matter, and according to his recollection the Committee did not adopt a resolution that they were conducting public hearings on all matters including transformation since transformation had a commission that was serving that function.

Mr Bergman said that the meeting occurred over a month ago and it was still fresh in his memory but the Committee Adviser and Secretary were not in agreement on what they had typed out as draft minutes ready for adoption.

Mr Bergman had suggested at that particular meeting that only those officials or entities who had the finances to fly to down to Parliament for a briefing or presentation do so, and those who could not would then be requested to give written submissions to the Committee.

Mr Ralegoma said Mr Thebehae should assist the Committee in making sure that the main points that came out at that meeting were not lost in the wording used in the minutes.

Mr Malatsi said that the Mr Thebehae should use his diplomatic skills to ensure that the wording used in the minutes reflected the main points that Committee members were making at the meeting.

The Chairperson said that where public hearings were needed, she said that Mr Thebehae, Ms Pauw, and Mr Mdekazi should perhaps find out exactly how public hearings were conducted.

Mr Thebehae said that in the Committee's engagement with federations, they needed to request transformation achievements and challenges along with performance achievements.

Mr Ralegoma asked how Mr Thebehae would assist the Committee on how recommendations would be conducted.

Ms Abrahams said that Mr Thebehae should clean up the minutes and remove the highlights.

Minutes of 11 October 2016:
Minutes of 11 October 2016 were adopted.

Minutes of 12 October 2016:
Mr Malatsi said that some comments that Mr G SAM, SASCOC president had made during the meeting that were not accepted by the Committee were not presented in the minutes. And he asked if only the reflection of the discussion gets added in the minutes.

Mr Thebehae said that only a reflection of the discussion was presented in the minutes.

The Chairperson said that she had indeed called Mr Sam on the manner in which he was addressing the Committee in his responses and this was not represented in the minutes and she wanted that a fair representation of when members are out of order and also when delegates are out of order to be fairly represented in the minutes.

Mr Malatsi said that the minutes needed to reflect that the president of SASCOC had been reprimanded for his patronizing comments to the Committee.

Mr Moteka said that after the Chairperson had left the Committee, he had personally advised Mr Sam that he needed not to get emotional when engaging with Committee Members because it did not help the work of the Committee.

The Chairperson said that the minutes would be adopted on 19 October 2016 after they had been corrected by the Committee Secretary.

The meeting was adjourned.



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