Chess South Africa said its strategic objectives were to promote the game of chess, develop excellent participation levels, introduce chess to the masses – including taking the game to the rural areas -- as well as developing and training adults to facilitate chess professionally. The plan to facilitate chess professionally had been executed through training organised for the masses, which in return created jobs for unemployed coaches. Through its developmental programmes, Chess SA provided support to children who could not afford to attend the tournaments and play chess.
Chess SA took transformation seriously and radical changes would soon become visible in the country. Transformation would involve creating access to sports, ensuring equal demographics, a focus on performance, as well as enhancing the role of women. It included the physically challenged as part of its developmental programme, and Braille schools had been visited all over the country in a bid to reach children and adults with disability. A book on chess had been introduced for children to understand the game of chess, and had also been translated into isiXhosa. Chess SA was passionate about promoting sport in the rural areas.
Members raised issues pertaining to the method of organising chess tournaments in the rural areas; the need for Chess SA to kick-start transformation at lower levels instead of at the national level; the number of provinces where chess had been promoted so far; the gender imbalance in the constitution of Chess SA board of executive; and details of its failed audits and sponsorships.
University Sport South Africa (USSA) said it was currently faced with the challenge of incorporating further education and training (FET) and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions under it. Deliberations on this incorporation had commenced. An update was given on USSA’s membership of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), which was withdrawn in 2013 but restored in October 2015. Its alignment to the national sport and recreation plan in relation to the three pillars of active nation, winning nation and enabling environment were highlighted.
USSA’s approach to transformation was based on its achievements in ensuring improvement in the involvement of sport; the provision of equitable access; skills and capability profiles; performance in all areas; making a meaningful contribution; and overall, leveling the playing fields within university sports. A breakdown of USSA’s gender and demographic status at the executive level was highlighted.
It highlighted its various participation platforms which included the World Student Games, World University Championships, Confederation of University and Colleges Sports Associations (CUCSA) games, Federation of Africa University Sports (FASU) games and the USSA tournaments. It indicated the proposed targets for the coming year, and said the proposed targets for team management required institutions to identify persons with disability to participate in sports. In terms of performance goals, it admitted to the lack of systems to track performance in the past. The weakest links in the USSA structure were research and data management, as it had no system within its structure to correctly capture data and statistics. USSA requested for any form of guidance or assistance from the Committee in addressing this challenge.
Discussions focused on issues such as the use and explanation of the term ‘generic black’; details of how the R800 000 allocated to USSA by the Department, and the R6 million allocated by the national lottery was spent; the inability of some universities to maintain bursaries given to athletes up to the final year; challenges facing athletes in accessing bursaries; USSA’s relationship with Chess SA; the role of sports in enhancing social cohesion; details of its unqualified audit report; the split between former black universities and white universities in terms of access to sports; and the number of Africans positioned in key strategic areas.
USSA was commended on achieving the title of world champions for netball in 2016. The need for ensuring greater access to sports for Africans was emphasised. USSA was also urged to vocalise the challenges facing it in terms of data management.
Chess South Africa
Mr Eldo Smart, President of Chess South Africa (Chess SA) gave a brief overview of the status of chess in the country, and reported that Chess SA had had a debt of R2.6 million when he became president in 2014. The current president at that time had resigned, as the state of the organisation had looked gloomy. However, the present executive had been able to turn things around in the last two years. New people had been elected on to the executive, infrastructure had been put in place, and things had been put into perspective by going back to the basics.
The organisation had received a clean audit in December 2016 for the first time in many years, which was a big achievement. One-on-one bilateral negotiations had also been held with the Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA) in November 2016.
Mr Winston Dalpat, Vice-President 1: Chess SA, said its strategic plan covered the periods between 2014 and 2016, and was accompanied by five strategic objectives. These included promoting the game of chess; maximizing chess; developing excellent participation levels; introducing chess to the masses (taking chess to the rural areas); as well as developing and training adult persons to facilitate chess professionally. The strategic business plan of the organisation would be linked to the action plan.
The strategic objective to develop and train adult persons to facilitate chess professionally had been executed through training organisers for the masses, which in return had created jobs for unemployed coaches. Another strategic plan was to create and provide opportunities nationally and internationally for talented players to develop their potential in chess as a sport. Chess SA was participating in international tournaments. Through its developmental programmes, Chess SA provided support to children who could not afford to attend the tournaments and play chess.
The valued dimensions of the strategic plan had been broken into three phases:
- Sport itself: This involved the marketing of chess as a sport; marketing the benefits of chess in schools with a focus on the youth; using chess as a tool to help with the economic and educational sides of the sport; as well as developing participation of players in prestigious tournaments.
- Chess SA was working towards achieving the above-mentioned goals in all provinces.
- People: The focus was to develop people; create a conducive environment for training; to identify players, administration arbiters and managers. Coaches would be sent to train arbiters to become chess experts. This dimension also focused on volunteers and administrators, as well as performance of goal setting and evaluation processes.
In terms of governance, Chess SA had constitutions in all Provinces, and these constitutions were in line with the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (SASCOC’s) constitution. The organisation operated in the national and provincial sectors, and was SASCOC compliant. Chess SA held annual general meetings (AGMs) where transparent interactions took place with all government frameworks. It was also working in harmony with the World Chess Federation (FIDE), the Chess SA council, and national government. Another aim of Chess SA was to achieve self-sustainability.
The growth proposition of Chess SA was highlighted. 17 000 players already had ratings in 2013/14.
Another aim of the organisation was to title players, as was the custom in FIDE. Chess SA had 103 registered coaches.
Mr Smart said that he and Mr Joe Mahomole, Vice-President 2: Chess SA, chaired the Transformation Committee of Chess SA together. Chess SA took transformation very seriously. There would be radical changes throughout the country, in all provinces and regions. Transformation in this sense was about the creation of access, demographics, performance, as well as enhancing women in the sport. Mr Mahomole and two other transformation committee members had visited six provinces so far, together with the provincial, regional and district executives. These executives had then been informed of what was expected of them in terms of transformation. The provinces yet to be visited were Gauteng, Western Cape and Eastern Cape. Huge success had been recorded from the visit to KwaZulu-Natal, as it was the only province with full representation. However, difficulties had been experienced in pushing the transformation agenda in Gauteng.
In terms of the demographic dimension, Chess SA was targeting 50 black people in management structures at national and provincial levels. It had also targeted 50 female managers at national and provincial levels. It had been observed in three or four provinces that the colour structure had shifted from a previous predominance of white people to black and coloured people. This was because Chess SA was promoting and training people of colour to serve in these structures. It had also been observed that players of colour automatically performed well, due to the good training programmes and level of exposure.
The meeting of Chess SA with the Director General (DG) in November 2016 had focused on the growth of chess clubs in the communities, in order to create social cohesion. Chess SA was growing the previously disadvantaged individuals (PDI) sector, and was investing heavily into it. A bursary fund had been created and bursaries had been given to a number of people. There was a 20% target for the percentage of female junior players and teams taking part in major national championships.
The skill and capacity development dimension referred to the equipping of players and officials. Chess SA had embarked on the creation of courses for arbiters. In Mpumalanga and Kimberley, teachers had been trained on how to adjudicate the game of chess in the school sector. This was one of the continuing courses that Chess SA was administering throughout the country, and had invested heavily into.
Chess SA was investing heavily in adult players (senior top players). Coaching had been arranged for them in preparation for upcoming tournaments. Top players’ performance plans had been created and some top players had been identified for the organisation to invest in, and in return win medals for the country.
Chess SA emphasised good governance during organised road shows. This entailed having a constitution, conducting regular elections, and having financial statements. Each province had to comply with these requirements before becoming a member of Chess SA. The road shows were aimed at educating people on the transformation agenda, and also monitoring the achievement of targets. For instance, Chess SA had made progress in its Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report, and more progression was expected in future.
Chess SA was in a building phase as far as the schools’ programme was concerned. Schools had an obligation to comply with the requirement to hold elections within themselves before qualifying for the national elections. The executives of Chess SA had taken a decision to expand the SRSA schools tournament that took place in KZN by creating a pathway into the African schools championship. This was actualised for the first time in December 2016, where some of the children who qualified in the schools’ tournament had gone to Zambia and Russia to play in the schools events.
It was noted that some provinces did not submit data promptly. Data was collected by the vice-president.
With regard to access, Chess SA’s target was to have players represented from team selection and from PDIs.
Mr Dalpat said that Chess SA focused on the physically challenged as part of its developmental programme. It visited Braille schools all over the country in order to reach children with disability, as well as special adults who were physically challenged. Chess was a brilliant tool for enhancing social cohesion, and the only sport where a physically challenged person could compete with someone without disability. In Gauteng for instance, the children competed in normal tournaments.
A book on chess had been introduced for children to understand the game of chess. The book was previously written in English only, but had since been translated into isiXhosa. Chess boards were also distributed as part of the development programme of the organisation in the rural areas.
Mr Dalpat also highlighted the development of chess in the Northern Cape Province. Chess SA was passionate about promoting the sport in the rural areas of the Northern Cape and KZN. Pictures from the KZN area were referred to show the development of chess in that area.
Mr Smart said that the chess book was a first of its kind. Some abbreviations and words had been adopted into the isiXhosa language. The book would be provided for all Committee Members at a later date.
He highlighted the events and achievements of the youths in 2016 through pictures. The President of South Africa was doing a lot to promote chess in the rural areas. He had assisted a physically challenged child and his father, who had spent all the money they had to attend the chess tournament in KZN in July 2016. He had ensured that the child and his father took a flight back home, and then created a bursary to cater for the educational needs of the child up to university level. As many as 300 children participated in such tournaments, and they were fed, clothed and provided with other essentials.
He concluded the presentation by apologizing for the organisation’s inability to attend the previous Committee meeting to which it had been invited.
Mr L Ntshayisa (AIC) wanted to know how chess tournaments were organised in the rural areas, especially because he had never heard or seen any chess tournament being organized in his area.
Ms D Manana (ANC) remarked that the transformation programme of Chess SA in schools should start at a lower level, instead of at the national level, as had been referred to in the presentations. She asked for details on the transformation programme in other provinces and schools apart from Gauteng. In terms of the youth commission, she wanted to know the number of provinces that chess had been promoted in so far. She referred to the transformation report that spoke about expected attendees from two regions of Mpumalanga, and asked which two regions were being referred to, and why the road show had not been well attended.
She said that the organisation was doing well at the national level by achieving 70% in the EPG report. She urged the organization, however, to concentrate on boosting the regional and provincial levels, as the level for the rural areas was below the national target. The 23 240 chess players, who amounted to 72% in the rural areas, were more than the annual target. Chess SA was asked to report back to the Committee with a breakdown of the 16 733 chess players in the rural areas. However, she expressed satisfaction at the way Chess SA had admitted the gaps within its documents; and dissatisfaction at the attendance of only two board members of the organisation at the Committee meeting.
Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) also appreciated the presentation by Chess SA. However, he expressed his disappointment in the constitution of the board, which had only two females out of ten members. He also mentioned the fact that the Committee had visited seven provinces, and there was no mention of chess in any of those provinces. It was only schools in some of these provinces that testified to playing chess as a sport. It was important for Chess SA to really go into provinces and districts to promote the sport of chess, especially because this was one of the EPG targets. He asked if Chess SA received direct subsidy from SRSA to organize tournaments. Chess SA was also asked to provide details on how it was increasing access to chess through schools.
Chess SA was advised to interact with LoveLife to assist with programmes in support of HIV and AIDS awareness.
Ms B Dlomo (ANC) asked for the number of coaches Chess SA had in every region; the five schools in Soweto that participated in the chess tournaments; the reason behind Chess SA’s failure to audit previous financial years; why the supplementary schedule for the 2016 financial year was not audited; the turnaround time to reach out to the two or three remaining provinces yet to be reached in terms of Chess SA’s transformation programme; what Chess SA’s financial year end was; details of the donors of the organisation; and a projection on the continuity of Chess SA.
Mr S Mmusi (ANC) reflected on the references to KZN and Northern Cape in the presentation. He said that going through the rural areas in Northern Cape gave him an idea that Chess SA’s submission on its impact in the rural areas was correct. He therefore commended the organisation on that ground. He wanted to know if Chess SA discriminated against physically challenged people, however. He also commended the production of the chess book in isiXhosa and urged Chess SA to produce the book in other South African languages. He wanted to know what factors contributed to the difficulty in achieving transformation in Gauteng. He also asked if Chess SA had a number of schools that had been registered nationally to participate in chess.
Ms B Abrahams (ANC) said she was looking forward to oversight visits where the Committee would have the opportunity to see chess being played and also to participate in the sport. In terms of transformation, 70% was very good. She was also impressed by the submission of the organisation on the involvement and participation of physically challenged people in chess. She asked for the method with which Chess SA accessed schools and made the teachers participate. She had noted that chess had been promoted in her constituency in Gauteng. She commended Chess SA’s efforts in that regard, and also commended the organisation on the book. The Committee looked forward to having the book produced in other South African languages. On a lighter note, Chess SA was asked to provide training for Parliamentarians.
The Chairperson also thanked Chess SA for its presentation. The role of the Committee was to conduct oversight on the Department and provinces. She asked Chess SA to elaborate on school sports and what it entailed in relation to chess. She expressed dissatisfaction on the constitution of the executive board members of Chess SA, and pointed out that women were not properly represented. In terms of the transformation agenda, the Committee would like to see both black and white people, but more particularly, disadvantaged blacks, Indians and coloureds. She commended the book written in isiXhosa and emphasised the need to promote South African languages. Chess SA was asked to provide details on how much the Department allotted to it and how such money was spent, as the financial statements presented did not speak to this.
Chess SA’s response
Mr Smart responded on the issue of funding, and said that Chess SA had not received funding from SRSA in 2014 because of the audited financial statements. Instead, it had worked on a shoe-string budget and raised money on its own, without support from SRSA. The last money received had been in January 2014, and this explained why no money was reflected in the financial statement. However, Chess SA had received money from the Department in August 2016, after submitting a budget of R2 million from the Lottery, which would reflect in the new financial statement.
One of the issues discussed in the engagement of Chess SA with the DG was to make funding available to the organisation after complying with the requirements. Chess SA had complied with all requirements, and would now receive R1.8 million, out of which R800 000 had been allocated for schools only, while the remaining R1 million would be for the federation-- R200 000 for administration and R800 000 for the provinces that had been identified. The money should be paid into the organisation’s account this week or the coming week.
Responding to the issue raised on the lack of an audit for the previous financial years, Mr Smart recollected that when the current executive took over, there had been a R900 000 suspense account, which meant that money was not allocated to the various programmes. Chess SA had then employed a bookkeeper to work on all the bank statements and invoices from 2012, and begin allocating the money from the suspense account to various programmes, after which the information gathered was presented to the auditors. It took the organisation several months to get rid of the suspense account.
The financial year end of Chess SA was at the end of September, but the organisation was trying to shift it to the end of February so that it could tally with SRSA’s financial year end and help with the timeframe within which allocated money had to be spent.
Regarding the turnaround time for road shows organised in the provinces, Mr Smart reiterated the fact that six provinces had already being visited while the remaining three provinces would be visited in March and April. Chess SA had already liaised with the provinces that had cancelled the previous visits, one of which was Gauteng. The current executive in Gauteng was predominantly white. There was tension between Chess SA and the current executive in Gauteng, but this would be resolved.
With regard to the observation of Mr Ntshayisa about chess not being a visible sport in some rural areas of provinces, Chess SA had provincial and regional executives in every province and district. It also had a school structure in every district. The problem, however, was the visibility and awareness by members of the community. For this reason, Chess SA had engaged a public relations (PR) and marketing company in December 2016 to assist with exposure and the proper marketing of the sport. This was because chess as a sport lacked the necessary exposure it needed. Chess SA was busy with negotiations with the PR company to make chess visible on television, newspapers, billboards, and especially in the rural areas. Reports on where training had been organised and implemented would be submitted to the Committee.
Mr Dalpat responded to Mr Ntshayisa’s observation by reiterating Mr Smart’s response about the existence of chess in the regions. Chess SA reached the masses through schools and teachers. Mr Michael Khoza was in charge of the Alfred Nzo1.34.01 area. The money received from SRSA in 2012 was used to purchase chess sets and chess boards, which were distributed to schools.
In accessing schools, Chess SA approached corporate people and trained people to become coaches. It also ensured that coaches went into schools to coach the children after school hours. Schools were willing to allow children to participate and learn the sport. Stipends were provided for these coaches occasionally.
Chess SA was committed to addressing the gender imbalance in the constitution of its board members, by notifying the Council.
Mr Smart noted that the Western Cape, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape were strong provinces when referring to adult chess players. However, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape were lacking in this area. Junior players were strong in all provinces, but Chess SA was working towards getting more adult players to participate in the leagues. Detailed figures on provinces could be accessed on Chess SA’s database.
With regard to the physically challenged, Chess SA had a commission established specially for this within its structure. Chess SA would be sending a Braille team overseas in August to compete in the Braille Olympiad. The organisation ensured that money was spent on disabled people in the same way it was spent on able bodied people. The executive was committed to ensuring that every province complied with the requirement to spend as much money on disabled people.
He confirmed the continuity of Chess SA, even in his absence. He owed this to the good leadership of the organisation. He noted, however, that although his term would come to an end in December, he had the option to be re-elected for another two years, which he would exercise. The two vice-presidents had the choice to make in terms of who would succeed him. He then went on to outline the names of members of executives of Chess SA.
Ms Dlomo reminded Chess SA of her question on why the supplementary schedule for the current financial year had not been audited.
Mr Smart replied that the financial year without an audit was the one in which documentation on the financial statements were incomplete.
The Chairperson said that enquiry would be made on the R900 000 suspense account from the Department. The Committee would like to know what had been done to the previous structure. The financial year of the organisation was also confusing, but the Department would be asked to explain why this was peculiar to Chess SA.
Before the presentation by the second group commenced, Ms Dlomo made an observation on the non-attendance of these meetings by representatives from the Department.
The Chairperson replied that such issues could be raised after receiving presentations from the invited entities, especially since the meeting was being coordinated according to the adopted agenda.
University Sport South Africa (USSA)
Ms Ilhaam Groenewald, first vice-president of USSA and chief director for sport, said the vision of USSA was to be an influential and strategic leader in university sport development, performance and excellence in South Africa. In this regard, it was noted that the University of Stellenbosch had won 65% of the South African medals at the Paralympics held in 2016. A number of students that were registered with universities continued to win medals.
The mission of USSA was about advancement, promotion and effective management to ensure provision of opportunities for participation at the regional, national and international levels. Provision for recreation and an active lifestyle was also part of the mission of the organisation. The values of USSA were focused on accountability, collaboration, reciprocity, efficiency and congruence.
Membership of USSA was granted to public and private universities, and especially for students registered at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 5. USSA currently had 31 member universities, 555 sports clubs and 32 active National University Sports Associations (NUSAs). NUSA was a combined arrangement, with its executive comprising both staff and students.
USSA was currently faced with the challenge of incorporating further education and training (FET) and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions under it. However, deliberations had commenced on this incorporation and one meeting had been held thus far.
USSA’s governance structure was made up of a national university sports executive committee; the national office, which was made up of students and staff members; a management committee; NUSA; and various provincial strictures and standing sub-committees. Member universities of USSA elected a national executive committee (NEC) every three years. The NEC comprised of a president (which was a freely contested position); first vice-president (which must be a senior staff member); second vice-president (which must be a senior student); chief finance and marketing officer; five assessors; and the secretary general or chief executive officer. The composition of NEC must be made up of a minimum of four students and a minimum of four managers and officials that were fully employed by a university. Every NEC member can serve a maximum of two consecutive terms, which would amount to six years.
An update was given on USSA’s membership with SASCOC. USSA had had a challenge in 2013 where SASCOC disallowed participation of a USSA athletics team from a competition in Russia. USSA had consulted with the Minister’s office and deemed SASCOC’s directive as an unfair request, and had therefore withdrawn its membership from SASCOC. Interestingly, the South African athletics team had emerged as second at the games held in Russia for that year. However, USSA submitted an application for readmission into SASCOC upon its return from the games held in Russia. It took SASCOC two years to readmit USSA back as a member, as membership was confirmed in October 2015. USSA had participated fully in SASCOC since its readmission as a member.
Ms Groenewald highlighted USSA’s alignment to the national sport and recreation plan in relation to three pillars of active nation, winning nation and enabling environment, but acknowledged a gap in terms of universities competing amongst each other. This would be worked on. With regard to the pillar of winning nation, USSA said that an estimated 25 000 students competed annually in the national university tournaments held in March, April, June, July, September and December. However, the ‘fees must fall’ situation had led to the consideration of a rearrangement of the calendar.
The alignment of USSA’s monitoring, evaluation and reporting with the three pillars of the national sport and recreation plan was also highlighted. It contributed to an enabling environment through its internal and external leadership roles and responsibilities.
Ms Luleka Haya, second vice-president of USSA, gave the presentation on transformation and development. Although transformation could be interpreted differently, USSA’s approach to transformation in its proposal to members at the NEC was based on its achievements in ensuring improvement in the involvement of sport; the provision of equitable access; skills and capability profiles; performance in all areas; making a meaningful contribution; and overall, leveling the playing fields within university sports.
Six strategic pillars were looked into -- good governance; developmental programmes; equitable allocation of resources; demographic representation of teams; empowerment and employment equity; and preferential procurement.
USSA was undertaking a process of standard setting in order to align itself properly to the national sport and recreation plan. This would also help institutions to put gender representation into consideration for their team selection. A working document had been prepared. During the last interaction with member institutions and heads of institutions on 11 November 2016, various challenges had been put forward in terms of institutions meeting specific targets that aligned with the national sport and recreation plan. The main challenges identified included the ‘fees must fall’ protests that had affected the meeting times of the organisation.
Regarding the way forward on achieving set targets, USSA highlighted its various participation platforms, which included the World Student Games, the World University Championships, the Confederation of Universities and College Sports Association (CUCSA) games, the Federation of Africa University Sports (FASU) games and the USSA tournaments. The proposed targets for the coming years were highlighted. The proposed targets for team management required institutions to identify persons with disability to participate in sports.
Mr Mandla Gagayi, Director of Sports Administration, described the means by which USSA would achieve its set targets. It had focused on demographic representation, which referred to the means by which each member university would recruit team members. USSA could only encourage member institutions to adopt best practices in conducting recruitments, and not impose. It could, however, exercise control within its national teams and ensure compliance to set goals and targets. In terms of performance goals, there were no systems to track performance in the past. However, USSA had developed a board charter to ensure accountability through regular visits to the charter.
One of the critical successes recorded with member universities in terms of conducting social responsibility was the link with varsity cups and varsity sports that required member institutions to have a community outreach project that could be monitored and evaluated.
Critical success factors included the challenges faced due to the different mandates of member universities towards recruitment and the retention of athletes. USSA encouraged partnerships between member universities and clubs. Platforms had also been created for the purpose of having courageous conversations centered on transformation. There would be a need to impose sanctions for failure to meet transformation requirements.
With regard to monitoring and evaluation, annual general meetings were organised and executives were held accountable by members. Sport associations were also required to hold annual general meetings and conduct elections every second year. Best practices were shared among universities at the heads of the sports forum and student forum.
The weakest link within USSA’s structure was research. Research in sports was generally lacking in South Africa. Data management was another weak link, as the organisation had no system within its structure to correctly capture data and statistics. For instance, 75% of the medals at the recent Paralympics were won by students from the University of Stellenbosch, but this data was not documented in the USSA archive. USSA would appreciate any form of guidance or assistance from the Committee in addressing this challenge.
Mr Louis Nel, Secretary General: USSA said that under normal student sports circumstances, USSA organised 19 winter and 18 summer national championships and tournaments at various venues in South Africa. Normal student circumstances referred to circumstances devoid of the ‘fees must fall’ protests.
USSA tournaments served as qualifying platforms for participation in televised varsity sports and varsity cup competitions. An annual general meeting was organised every year for members, and was scheduled for April every year. One council meeting was organised every October. The next annual general meeting would be held on 8 April 2017 at the University of Stellenbosch.
USSA annually facilitated student forums and heads of sport workshops for member institutions, as well as sport leadership development workshops in provinces for student administrators. It had participated in world student games of universities in the uneven years, and world student championships in the even years, organised under the auspices of the International University Sports Federation (FISU). USSA also participated in the FASU games held every two years; and the all African region-5 CUCSA games held every two years. It also participated in annual university sports conferences in the FISU forum, as well as the FASU conference that coincided with the world university games.
In 2015, USSA had organised 25 national tournaments throughout South Africa, but unfortunately some tournaments had had to be cancelled or postponed due to the ‘fees must fall’ protests, which had resulted in the shift of academic calendars at most universities.
By the end of 2015, USSA had a delegation of 157 athletes and officials that represented South Africa at the 28th summer university games. The organisation returned with two gold medals and four bronze medals.
In 2016, USSA organised 21 national tournaments throughout South Africa. However, the student protests in December had had an impact on some of the tournaments, leading to the cancellation of 18 tournaments. Nevertheless, USSA had participated in the CUCSA games in August 2016, with a delegation of 120 athletes that represented South Africa in Zimbabwe. The USSA team won 31 medals, of which 16 were gold, seven were silver, and five were bronze. South Africa was the undisputed champion in the African region-5.
USSA had also participated in a number of world university championships in 2016, but not in as many as usual due to the student protests. However, the chess team was able to participate in Abu Dhabi. The golf team performed well when it participated at the world university golf championship in France, and finished in fourth place. The netball team won the gold medal at the championships in Miami, and in effect won the title of the world university netball champions for 2016 till 2018.
The financial management of USSA and the 31 member universities that made up NUSA was entrusted to the secretary general and chief finance and marketing officer of USSA. Because it was linked to the higher education and university programme, its financial year ran from 1 January till 31 December annually. USSA’s constitution, however, provided that audited financial statements should be prepared within six months of the financial year, and this requirement had been complied with all through USSA’s existence. Auditors also ratified these statements at AGMs.
At the 2016 AGM, USSA’s auditors presented their report on the financial statements. A few highlights of the financial statement included a change in the audit opinion from 2014, when it was qualified, to the financial year end in 2015, when it was unqualified. The books from the previous financial year that ended in December 2016 were currently with the auditors for auditing, after which the audited financial statements would be presented at the next AGM.
Many other non-profit organisations derived some of their revenue from donations, which by their nature, were not subject to complete audit verifications. This was usually applicable to cash collections and donations. However, USSA did not receive significant cash collections or donations and sponsorships. All fees were usually paid electronically into USSA’s bank account to make it easy for auditors to track, and all income was received or deposited directly into the account.
With regard to the fees must fall campaign, some universities had approached the national office to hold some of the funds they had received for tournaments, and this had been established as a loan account. USSA had loan accounts for various universities at the moment.
The statement of comprehensive income reflected large movements from previous years, specifically in terms of income. This was because USSA received most of its income during the world university games that took place bi-annually. The organisation had received an average of R800 000 from the Department in the previous financial year, and had received a little over R6 million from the national lottery distribution trust fund.
Ms Dlomo commented on the use of the term ‘generic black’ in the presentation, and asked for clarity on its use. She asked about the R800 000 allocated to USSA by the Department and the R6 million allocated by the national lottery, seeking a detailed report on how the money was spent. She also requested a breakdown of the additional expenditure on FISU.
Ms Abrahams also commented on the use of the term ‘generic black’, and said that the Constitution did not recognise the use of such a term. She also wanted to know how USSA planned to achieve transformation if people were allowed to stay in their codes for as long as they wanted.
Mr Mmusi referred to a statement made during the presentation about the inability of some universities to maintain bursaries given to athletes up to the final year, and the challenges faced by such athletes in accessing the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) bursaries. He asked USSA to elaborate on this issue. He urged it to vocalize the challenges facing it in terms of data management. An explanation was requested on the role of assessors. He observed that Chess SA had not highlighted the role of USSA in any competition or tournament that had been embarked on. He emphasized the important role sports played in enhancing social cohesion and asked USSA if had plans to curb the attacks on foreign nationals and enhance social cohesion through the use of sport in universities. He sought clarity on the mobilisation of resources and asked if it would entail acquisition of sponsors.
Ms Manana commended USSA on becoming the world champions for netball in 2016. She asked for the reason behind USSA’s withdrawal from SASCOC. She also commended USSA on its gender representation at the executive level, and expressed the hope that the next president would be female.
The findings on the unqualified audit report, as well as clarification on the employee costs, were requested.
Mr Ralegoma asked for details on the deficit of 2014, which had contributed to the qualified audit opinion.
He referred to the split between former black universities and white universities in terms of access to sports. He cited an example of the split between former townships and advantaged areas, where former townships or rural areas predominantly played soccer only. There had been no deliberate move towards ensuring greater access to sports for Africans. It was therefore necessary for USSA to state how many Africans were positioned in key strategic areas. Equal access to sports should be given to Africans.
USSA was also asked to provide details of its turnaround with regard to trainees in universities, and whether such trainees ended up as participants in sports. It was also asked to define its geopolitical status.
The Chairperson appreciated USSA’s presentation for giving the Committee an insight into its programmes. She clarified what she had meant by saying USSA’s executive composition had no particular blacks. The EPG report explained the term ‘generic black’ to mean blacks, Indians and coloureds, and USSA’s use of the term was not the first of its kind. She reiterated the importance of clarifying the issues raised by other Members in relation to SASCOC, transformation and products from the primary universities.
Ms Haya responded to the issues around transformation, and said that consultations had been held with students of member institutions through the student forum; with NUSA through the platform of the chairperson’s forum; and with heads of sports in various institutions through the heads of sport forum.
USSA had consulted the EPG document and the national sports and recreation plan before making a decision on the term to use. At the student forum, it had been pointed out that the categorisation of black and white was used by coaches to exempt black students from sports while selecting coloured and white students under the excuse that coloured students were also categorised as blacks. It then became necessary to make the distinction between blacks and generic blacks. The idea was not to differentiate between people, but to be mindful of the fact that certain communities had been ignored based on the white and black classification, and were therefore deprived of access to sports.
Mr Nel responded on the financial issues. Details of the R800 000 allocation from SRSA would reflect in the new financial statement that was currently undergoing audits to be presented at the next AGM. However, USSA was one of the fortunate federations selected to be audited by the Auditor General (AG) in two consecutive years because of the funds received from SRSA, which amounted to more than R1 million. USSA had been visited by delegates from the office of the AG, who had crosschecked the accounts and were satisfied that the money received from SRSA had been spent for the purpose for which it had been assigned.
A part of the lottery funding had been saved. At the time when USSA went for the 2015 world university games, the Korean government that hosted the games had subsidised the cost of accommodation for all participating countries from the original cost of €60 per participant per day, to €10 per participant per day. This had led to an under-spending of the lottery fund to the tune of R1.6 million, which was redirected to the world university games project for 2017. The money would still be spent on international participation, as was originally intended. USSA’s audited financial statement would be circulated to Members after it had been received and approved by members of the executive at the upcoming AGM. The audited report of the report submitted to the national lottery commission would also be submitted to the Committee.
The mobilisation of resources included the acquisition of sponsors. USSA had a good relationship with the university sports company (USC), under which the varsity sports fell and which involved a number of big sponsors. USSA derived some of its revenue from those events, and such funds were used directly for the development of its sports. USC had further committed to support USSA with R1 million in 2017 for the team that would participate at the world university games in Taipei.
With regard to the issues raised on employment cost and UIS, USSA noted that it paid R16 000 in 2015 for workmen’s compensation but did not pay any amount for this purpose in 2014 because workmen’s compensation did not send back its return for that financial year. This resulted in payments of double the amount together with penalty fee in 2015. The audited financial statement for 2015 was completely unqualified but in 2014, there was a qualification in terms of cash received from participants that the auditors could not test.
Mr Gagayi responded to the issues around bursaries and their sustainability. Sport was generally treated as a secondary issue, and this contributed to the difficulty in accessing bursaries for athletes. Many universities had no sports bursaries, since sport was not treated as one of the pillars of these universities.
The challenge with publicizing achievements made by USSA could be linked to its lack of a proper system to capture data and track achievements. USSA had begun revamping its social media platforms only in 2017, as it was previously understaffed for three years. USSA had, however, appointed a person to deal directly with social media platforms for the organisation.
Regarding the role of assessors, he said that assessors were previously referred to as additional members, but USSA felt there was a need to restructure the term because of the limit it placed on the role of such additional members within the executive, which could result in passivity of such additional members. The organisation had therefore opted for the use of the term ‘assessors’ to enable such people to participate in sub-committees and make meaningful contributions to USSA. Assessors were also used in building the next layer of leadership. They were treated as the development level within the executive.
On the issue of USSA’s relationship with Chess SA, Mr Gagayi said that the relationship issue was broader than Chess SA. It extended to the relationship with the national federations in general. USSA had a long history of a poor relationships with national federations, because the same individuals were used as team members of both organisations. This often resulted in conflict, especially because the students were required to fulfill their bursary requirements for USSA bursaries. Another issue was the over-usage of the same athletes in a number of competitions, which led to the deprivation of time for such students to fulfill their academic responsibilities.
Mr Laka said that the club associations of USSA were associate members of different federations, including chess. USSA chess also attended general meetings organized by Chess SA. USSA asked the Chairperson to assist with enhancing USSA’s relationship with federations, as the federations viewed USSA as a problem as opposed to a resource that could be used for the benefit of athletes.
Ms Groenewald said that the withdrawal of USSA from SASCOC had been because of an Athletics South Africa (ASA) matter that had not been resolved at the time. USSA had rejected the decision of SASCOC to disallow some students from participating in the world student games. It anticipated receiving a feedback on the Committee’s engagement with SASCOC on the reasons for the delay in reinstating USSA. However, USSA was now fully equipped and resourced, and had taken up the responsibility of contributing towards the success of South African sport.
With regard to bringing people together, she said that USSA had various initiatives at campuses. It committed to inviting Members to attend some of its tournaments, as this would avail them the opportunity to experience what went on at the national university tournaments.
Regarding the split between white universities and the disadvantaged universities, Ms Groenewald said that it was high time resources were distributed to institutions that needed them the most, as this was a strategic responsibility. There were differences in some of the sports codes, such as rugby, cricket, and netball. In the case of rugby, the Varsity Cup had decided to extend the competition and focus on previously disadvantaged universities. USSA was considering the initiative of having white people in the football team. There were major challenges in swimming and water polo. It was for this reason that USSA had disallowed the swimming team from participating in international competitions because it was not representative. USSA had, however, reconsidered water polo in 2017 due to the amount of hard work that had been put in by the team.
Overall, some of the sports codes were balanced while some were imbalanced. USSA had, however, set a requirement for black participants in varsity cups and varsity sports. Failure to meet such requirements would deprive such institutions from participating in sports, and if such institutions continued to participate, points would be deducted by USSA.
An academic success rate was a major responsibility. Member universities had individually designed programmes to look into holistic student development.
Mr Gagayi responded to the comment made by the Chairperson on the possibility of having a female president at USSA. He said the next elections would be held on 8 April 2017 at Stellenbosch, and he assured the Committee that the next president would be a female, because both standing candidates were female.
The Chairperson said that the Committee usually preferred being approached by individual federations. It was only when gaps were noticeable between two federations that the Committee would invite both federations. The Committee would re-invite Chess SA and USSA to a joint meeting for further discussion.
She expressed dissatisfaction with the way USSA had under-spent R1 million, and emphasised the importance of accountability.
The meeting was adjourned.
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.