SA National Amateur Boxing Organisation briefing; Committee Reports on SRSA Quarter 2 & 3 performance

Sports, Arts and Culture

16 May 2017
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The South African National Boxing Association briefing

The South African National Amateur Boxing Organisation (SANABO) said the 2016/17 financial year has been very difficult for the organisation as it operated at a ‘zero budget’ and could not implement projects as per their year plan. The funding was received four months before the financial year ended and it was then too late to implement the programmes that were set out for the year. In the same financial year the organisation still had international and national competitions and also hosted training workshops.

Over the last two years SANABO has witnessed growth in all areas of the sport such as coaches, judges and referees as well as an increase in number of clubs. The organisation was looking into establishing growth pathways looking at the boxers, officials and coaches through education and development. SANABO did not have any fulltime personnel and was dependent on volunteers. The executive committee members are also volunteers. The organisation has a goal to strengthen its association to ensure they operated in a fit and modern manner to ensure a professional and national sporting body. SANABO aimed to maximize their funding and improve their financial standing by diversifying income streams and becoming more financially self-sufficient. The aim was also to retain financial assistance from stakeholders but also to identify new revenue streams to support the long-term development growth.

The grant that SANABO receives from the Department of Sport and Recreation was divided into two. The guaranteed tier funding was aimed at assisting the recipient with its administrative costs, such as stationery or printing, accommodation costs, travelling expenses and audit fees. The second was the conditional funding tier which was received conditionally upon the recipient’s demonstration of achievements and progress towards achievements of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) objectives. The organisations also received R5.6 Million from the Lottery Fund.

The biggest challenge for SANABO was that they are losing boxers to professional boxing. SANABO and the Boxing Association of South Africa BSA must come together to ensure that the heritage of boxing remained for both amateurs and professionals.

The Committee asked about the relationship between SANABO and BSA and cautioned against a ‘competitive’ instead of a complementing relationship. Members also wanted to know about relationships between SANABO and the Department of Education and the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Members wanted clarity on the funding and the “zero budget” mentioned and asked how SANABO sold its brand to the corporate sector. They also asked about the sporting equipment that was bot delivered to schools and asked what SANABO was doing to address this issue.

Committee Report on SRSA Quarter 2 and 3 performance

The Committee then went on to discuss the draft report on SRSA and members made some grammatical changes. The report was adopted with amendment, but the DA reserved its vote. 

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed Members and guests. She commented on the recent violence against women and children by saying that it was horrible and the images made her think of her own daughter and that she was at risk too. It can help if South Africans appreciated that sport can help curb drug abuse – it kept young children disciplined and out of trouble. She asked what have women done to men for them to experience such cruelty and whether other cultures still advised and taught boy initiates when they go to the mountains for circumcision as it was done before. She mentioned that in her culture women are not involved in circumcision acts and initiation processes regardless of whether the women are activists or not. She shared with the Committee that she was very emotional after seeing an image of a girl burnt to death earlier on the day.

The Chairperson got emotional and started crying and Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) took over as Acting Chairperson and asked for everyone present at the meeting to observe a moment of silence for all the women who have lost their lives by the hands of men. He will hand over to the Chairperson as soon as she recovered.

South African National Boxing Organisation (SANABO) briefing

Mr Andile Mofu, President, SANABO, introduced his recently elected executive and said SANABO was now 50/50 in terms of equal gender representation. SANABO operated throughout the whole country in all provinces and its vision was to be the continental and world leader in the sport of open boxing and enable South Arica to excel in the “sport of medal winning”.

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) raised a point of order and said he did not have the hard copy of the presentation and was struggling to follow.

The Acting Chairperson asked if Members could look at the overhead projector in the meantime while the presentations are being printed out.

Mr Mhlongo said that this was the second meeting where Members did not have a printout of the presentation and reading from the overhead projector was difficult for him as he could not see some of the words. The Committee should be taken seriously as they are doing their oversight work.

The Acting Chairperson said the concern has been noted.

Mr Mofu explained that the organisation focused on open boxing and has moved from the term ‘amateur boxing’. The International Federation felt that using the term ‘amateur’ implied that the work being done was unprofessional and it might chase sponsors away. The Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA), which is SANABO’s international federation, assisted them in changing their name from ‘amateur boxing’ to ‘open boxing’.

Ms Pretty Soletsi, Secretary General, SANABO said that her job was to look at organisational matters. The 2016/17 financial year has been very difficult compared to 2015/16 as it operated at a zero budget and could not implement projects as per their year plan. The funding was received four months before the financial year ended and it was then too late to implement the programmes that were set out for the year. In the same financial year the organisation still had international and national competitions and also hosted training workshops.

The Acting Chairperson asked why the Committee did not have the 2015/16 presentation that was being mentioned.

Ms Soletsi had no response. She continued and said SANABO had hosted national junior championships which were held in Pretoria in March 2015 with adequate representation. Elite championships which were for boxers between the ages 19 and 40 years were held in Grahamstown in 2015 where all provinces participated. Provinces needed to work harder on recruiting female boxers as there was poor representation. This was needed to comply with the constitutional mandate of the country regarding gender equality. There were provinces such as Limpopo and North West that did not have any female representation throughout the event and the organisation has been working on improving the women representation in their teams. In February 2016 the organisation had another national junior championship which was held at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) where all nine provinces where well represented and players showed significant improvement.

In 2015 South Africa hosted a tournament called the Zone 4 Games, where six countries participated, namely Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland, Namibia, South Africa and Angola. Eight male and two females from South Africa participated in the championship and the boxers performed extremely well achieving second position in the tournament. SANABO participated in the All Africa Games in Congo where there were five males and one female and one bronze and one silver medal was achieved. In March 2016 in SANBO attended the Olympic qualifiers in Cameroon where seven males and one female represented South Africa, one male had to go back because of ill health. One gold medal and two bronze medals were won.

A women development workshop was held in January 2016 in Welkom where two delegates per province were invited including the National Women’s Commission. The objective of the workshop was to strategise on issues pertaining to women and a plan of action was developed which included the talent identification programme held in Limpopo. The organisation had three international coaches that took an international coach course which they all passed.

2016/17 Report

Mr Mofu said the 2015/2016 financial year was a remarkable year for SANABO as they were able to achieve all of their targeted goals while 2016/2017 has been rather difficult and targeted goals could not be achieved due to financial constraints, but the organisation soldiered on. The first Nelson Mandela Cup was held in 2016/2017 which was an international tournament which will be held annually where all AIBA member countries will be invited to attend.

Over the last two years SANABO has witnessed growth in all areas of the sport such as coaches, judges and referees as well as an increase in number of clubs. The organisation was looking into establishing growth pathways looking at the boxers, officials and coaches through education and development. SANABO did not have any fulltime personnel and was dependent on volunteers. The executive committee members are also volunteers. The organisation has a goal to strengthen its association to ensure they operated in a fit and modern manner to ensure a professional and national sporting body. SANABO aimed to maximize their funding and improve their financial standing by diversifying income streams and becoming more financially self-sufficient. The aim was also to retain financial assistance from stakeholders but also to identify new revenue streams to support the long-term development growth.

The term governance in as far as SANABO was concerned described the process of running SANABO, making decisions and ensuring proper accountability. To be an effective and accountable organisation SANABO must make sure that good governance arrangements are in place. The basic principles of governance in the SANABO context included accountability, openness, integrity and appropriate communication channels. SANABO has 52 districts and 705 clubs with nine African presidents, one being a person living with a disability. The organisation has no sponsor and this was not because the organisation has not tried to source funding but potential sponsors believed they get more television exposure from professional boxing. The organisation was not entirely covered by SABC except for pay television where national tournaments are concerned. SANABO was at a distinct disadvantage when compared to the Boxing Association of South Africa (BSA) that receives copious amounts of funding annually.

The grant that SANABO receives from the Department of Sport and Recreation was divided into two. The guaranteed tier funding was aimed at assisting the recipient with its administrative costs, such as stationery or printing, accommodation costs, travelling expenses and audit fees. The second was the conditional funding tier which was received conditionally upon the recipient’s demonstration of achievements and progress towards achievements of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) objectives. The organisations also received R5.6 Million from the Lottery Fund. The former Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Fikile Mbalula has made a commitment to assist in the development of open boxing in South Africa. SANABO was awarded the sporting code of the year. SANABO thanked the Committee for the assistance with the organisation.

Mr Mofu said that unlike BSA, SANABO can never have boxing awards because of the budget which was very little compared to BSA. The biggest challenge for SANABO was that they are losing boxers to professional boxing. SANABO and BSA must come together to ensure that the heritage of boxing remained for both amateurs and professionals. In terms of looking at growth pathways for boxers and other officials, SANABO has a memorandum of understanding with Swaziland that focused on coach development, referees and judges’ development, tournaments across the continent, women in boxing development as well as health and wellness.

Discussion

The Chairperson thanked SANABO for the presentation and apologised to the Committee and guests for crying earlier. She asked if it was a problem with having SANABO boxers move to professional boxing because she was under the impression that SANABO was grooming the boxers so that they can join BSA.

Mr Mhlongo said he was not pleased with the presentation as some reports were missing and their slides are disappointing and unprofessional and this shows that they are still amateurs. He asked when SANABO started to call the organisation an ‘open boxing organisation. He also wanted to know what the “zero budget” meant and what year it was. He asked how many women per province have been identified in the women in boxing talent outreach held in Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga. He also wanted to know how long it took to recruit female boxers.  SANABO’s meeting minutes showed that it was reported that some schools have not received boxing equipment. He asked what the reason for this failure was and how it was sorted out. It was not clear what SANABO was saying about funding because at some stage they said they did not get funding and then they say they did. He asked what relationship SANABO had with SABC and if there was any contractual obligation with any broadcasting network. He wanted to know how SANABO came up with the names for each province and what informed the decision that provinces must change their names.

The Chairperson asked the Committee to try and be constructive and fair when criticizing.

Ms B Abrahams (ANC) addressed the Chairperson and said when someone goes through any pain as a mother or sister, they all go through it and there was no need for her to apologise and it was sometimes good to let emotions out. She asked what sparked the change from amateur boxing to open boxing and what exactly does open boxing mean? She added that the only problem that she found with the presentation was that there was no numbering and apart from that it was good. She wanted to know what the relationship was between BSA and SANABO and what the A in AIBA stood for.

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) asked why the provinces did not use any African names when they were renaming. As an example, he referred to the Eastern Cape “Scorpions” and said surely there is a name for scorpions in IsiXhosa. How will SANABO work on being financially sufficient and w hat was the reason for not being registered as a public benefit organisation?

Ms D Manana (ANC) welcomed the new executive and said she did not expect the executive to hide behind the fact that they are still new if the performance was unsatisfactory.  She asked for clarity on the 2016/17 APP talking on governance compliance percentages.  She asked what SANABO was doing to ensure that there was female representation in the elite boxing group.

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) said he appreciates the presentation and SANABO was the only boxing federation that ensured that the country has boxers and that South Africa can be represented at the Olympics. He asked what the reason was for the lack of South African representation at the Rio Olympics. BSA was responsible for regulating professional boxing and was not SANABO’s competitor. With professional boxing you have promoters that just want to make money and exploit boxers at the tail end.  BSA was not a federation but also looks into the exploitation of professionals. He asked SANABO not to see BSA as their competitor and said that the Committee has appealed with BSA to meet with SANABO so that they could be able to complement each other. In BSA there is no open boxing and if SANABO can think big and begin putting themselves at the level of Cricket SA they can be successful since it is also a federation and this might lead to an increase in funding. He appealed for SANABO to think big and to go to the Department for assistance and to concretise the relationship with BSA.

The Chairperson asked if SANABO has been contacted to be part of the new Sports Bill because SANABO did form part of contact sport. What is the relationship between SANABO and the Department of Education in terms of promoting sports in school as well as the relationship with municipalities with regards to hosting games? How does SANABO sell its brand to the corporate sector?

Responses

Mr Mofu responded and said that SANABO groomed boxers for BSA and there was no bad blood between the two organisations. SANABO was happy to have their boxers turn professional. He added that SANABO was not in competition with BSA and SANABO had a role to play in as far as taking boxers in terms of the Olympics. The organisation was grateful to have the Committee meet with BSA on their behalf, but SANABO was not merely for grooming boxers, but had goals for their boxers such as receiving medals at the Olympics.

SANABO became open boxing in 2013. Previously the cut off age for boxers was 34 but has now become 40. In open boxing you can stay as long as you want and it was open to anyone wanting to join..

SANABO started off the 2015/16 financial with nothing in terms of funding and only received funding towards the end of the year and that it what they meant by zero funding. The issue with lack of clarity in this regard was a problem of semantics.

The lack of delivery of school equipment was an issue discussed in the AGM meeting and there was a need to report on the status quo and at this moment schools are in the process of receiving the equipment.

SANABO did not really regard the Lottery Fund as a sponsor and what he meant private sponsors when they spoke of not having sponsors. SANABO has funders such as the Lottery Fund and the Department of Sport and Recreation. SANABO has entered into an agreement with Title Sports who will be giving SANABO equipment that is meant for rural areas on a monthly basis and SANABO has informed all provinces to identify clubs, especially those in the rural areas that could benefit. This equipment included mouth guards, boxing gloves, bandages and boxing bags.

There was no working relationship with the SABC but they used to air the division of the championships that SANABO hosted during the ‘Boxing is Back’ campaign. SANABO met with the SABC but nothing came out of the meeting because it was no benefits. The Director-General’s office has been negotiating with the SABC to get SABC on board to showcase the SANABO Boxing League.  With SuperSport SANABO has an advantage because SuperSport has been part of the ‘Road to Rio’ programme and SANABO has been benefitting from that without a contract between both parties.

The A in AIBA stands for amateur.

The relationship between SANABO and the Department of Education was currently non-existent in the sense that boxing in schools has a safety connotation and this was a challenge that needed to be looked into.

The sentiments on building a relationship with BSA is appreciated and will be food for thought for SANABO and the words are appreciated.

SANABO was part of the negotiations with the new Sport Bill but the issue was what government was saying in terms of the Bill versus AIBA’s bylaws and regulations. Presently SANABO has not been in much contact with it and are not in a position to provide any more answers.

The Chairperson said she will not take any input from the Committee due to lack of time. She then asked Advocate Lwandiso Rwababana, the Vice President of SANABO to clarify whether they should call it amateur boxing or open boxing.  

Adv Rwababana replied that there was a need to teach people about the differences between amateur boxing and open boxing.

The Chairperson thanked everyone.

Adoption of Minutes

Minutes dated 9 May 2017 was adopted.

Committee Report on SRSA Quarter 2 and 3 performance

The Chairperson asked if Members could go through the recommendations and to check if the proposed suggestions have now been included in the report and allocated the Committee five minutes to read the report. After viewing the recommendations and observations on the report it was not possible to debate without saying anything about the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on transformation in sport and if the Committee did adopt the report, they should do it with emphasis on the scorecard for transformation.

Mr Ralegoma proposed grammatical amendments that he observed in the recommendations as well as observations. The Committee and the Minister should encourage innovation with the National Lottery with the view of generating additional revenue and not just for the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) but for sport in general. It should be put to the Minister that he needed to emphasise the need for the sport and recreation plan to be funded.

The Chairperson interrupted and asked if Members could adopt the document because some Members wanted to leave which meant there would be no quorum. The comments by Mr Ralegoma are on language and sentence construction.

Ms proposed for the adoption of the report with corrections and amendments and this was seconded by Mr L Ntsayisa (AIC).

Mr Mhlongo said he supported the amendments to the report but the DA reserved its vote.

The Chairperson thanked the Committee and said outstanding matters on the agenda will be deferred.

The meeting was adjourned. 

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