SA Football Association briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

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

SA Football Association briefed the Committee on financials, governance, transformation plan, development plan and implementation and related matters.

Dr Danny Jordaan, President, SA Football Association, said the Executive Members of the Association were employees and business persons outside of SA Football Association and were working voluntarily; therefore, they had to balance those interests.

There was no tax payers’ money in SAFA as it received no Government allocation but managed operations from funding from commercial partners such as sponsors, the Confederation of African Football and The Fédération Internationale de Football Association; broadcasting and gate revenue from national soccer games.

S A Football Association invited the Committee to see it’s Technical Centre close to SAFA House

The Association had already invested R85 million into the Technical Centre from the Legacy Trust which Fédération Internationale de Football Association had given for football development. The technical centre would have eleven football fields and a specific research medical centre. Additionally, it would retain the resort site which currently accommodated about 200 people. SA Football Association further planned to make the Centre a high-performance facility which would invite universities to conduct research there.

SA Football Association had in excess 3 million active footballers and had finalised a database where all said footballers would be registered. The database would ease the regulation of players as they went through the different leagues and enable better tracking of talent through the different ranks of soccer in SA. There were in excess of 10 000 clubs and 40 000 teams as generally each club was made up of 4 teams, which included a women’s team. The Association would exhibit why it currently had challenges in establishing women’s soccer teams and were pleading for support from the Committee in that regard. There were 343 local football associations from 32 regions associated with SA Football Association.

SA Football Association had asked all its 343 Local Football Associations  to change their constitutions to incorporate mandatory positions for women in their structures. Every Local Football Association in 2018 would have a woman vice President. Each regional associate would also be required to do the same.

SAFA had published all its financial reports on its website as a measure of financial transparency together with its activity reports dating as far as 25 years ago. 

On SA Football’s Talent Pipeline, the Association was planning establishing at least one football academy in each province and the Association did not have the resources to sustain such a commitment: therefore, the Association was pleading with the Committee to assist. However; from the 2010 Legacy Trust, SA Football Association in partnership with the eThekwini municipality and KwaZulu-Natal provincial Government had established and were running the KZN football academy which had produced players that were in the country’s under 20 national team.

Some legislative support is needed in rolling out soccer at high school level as significant blockages needed to be addressed. In 2015 SA Football Association congress resolved to approach the South African Schools Football Association  so that schools football could be integrated into SA Football Association structures.  The Schools Association had then been invited and were asked to integrate into the SA Football Association structures but the Schools Football Association had refused. SA Football Association had attempted a few more times to engage the Schools Football Association, who preferred to go to arbitration to maintain as a separate body from SA Football Association. SA Football Association then decided to integrate schools sport into its football structures without the SA Schools Football Association, where the estimate in 2015 was that the schools Association reached between 3000-6000 schools organising football; whereas SA Football Association wanted schools football across the 24 000 public schools. SA Schools Football Association had then taken SA Football Association to court, which matter had been set to be heard in August 2017. SA Football Association had been trying in the interim to engage SA Schools Football Association unsuccessfully.

SA Football Association’s ambition was to have a safe hub in every district (44 in total) and seven safe hubs in each metropolitan (56 in total) by 2030.

SA Football Association was actually four distinct entities: the football structure, the 2010 Legacy Trust, SAFA Development Agency which in collaboration with Amandla-EduFootball was building the Safe-Hub, a project cost at about R800 million.

The Committee asked:

  • How much was SA Football Association paying the current Bafana Bafana coach? What had been the delay in appointing Mr Stuart Baxter? Under what conditions had he been appointed?
  • Where were the emerging talent centres located? Did the Association allocate budgetary support to regions and Local Football Associations? What criteria were used to do the allocations?
  • When would Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State and the Eastern Cape be prioritised for Safe-Hub development?
  • What beneficiation did the SA Football Association have for people with disabilities? Was it wise for the Association to have employed a new national coach whilst it was still in arbitration with Mr Shakes Mashaba?
  • What did the expansion of the FIFA World Cup mean in real terms for a national team’s number of games required in that tournament.
  • Who was responsible for maintenance of Legacy stadiums in communities?

SA Football Association had suspended at least six officials for match-fixing in the ABC Motsepe League; how far was the inquiry? Could the names of said officials be made available?

It also said that the Association also had to strengthen its regulations on the purchase of foreign players by Premier Soccer League teams as that had an adverse effect on the development of local football.  

The Committee wanted to know what the relationship between SA Football Association and the Premier Soccer League was like to date.

Was there a view or intent from the Association to limit national football formats similarly like the rugby sevens or T20 Cricket for youth including prioritising indoor soccer, 6-a-side soccer which would require less in maintenance? 

Members also asked whether there had been any transfer from the Legacy Trust to the Master Legends at any stage; if not, was there a possibility that at some stage the Master Legends could apply for funding as there was always controversy surrounding that kind of support.

Ultimately the Committee wanted to know whether the SA Football Association regions followed geopolitical alignment as demarcated by the Municipal Demarcation Board
.

Meeting report

Opening remarks

The Chairperson welcomed all present and spoke to the issue of Committee Members making an issue about apologies forwarded by associations and unions of sport; to the extent that meetings had to be rescheduled because a particular leader of an association would not be present. As she normally accepted apologies from Members the same courtesy had to be extended to leaders of other bodies that were non- political.

Opening remarks; SAFA President

Dr Danny Jordaan, President, SAFA, said the Executive Members of SAFA were employees and business persons outside of SAFA and were working for SAFA voluntarily; therefore, they had to balance those interests. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SAFA had attended the Labour Court matter between Mr Shakes Mashaba and SAFA earlier. There was no intentional disrespect by SAFA in apologising for absence and he was thankful that the Committee understood.

There was no tax payer’s money in SAFA as it received no Government allocation but managed operations from funding from commercial partners such as sponsors, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA); broadcasting and gate revenue from national soccer games.

SA Football Association (SAFA) briefing on financials, governance, transformation plan, development plan and implementation and related matters

Mr Dennis Mumble, CEO, SAFA, played the Committee a video of SAFA activities for the 2015/16 financial years (FY).

 

Dr Jordaan invited the Committee to see SAFA’s Technical Centre close to SAFA House. SAFA had already invested R85 million into the Technical Centre from the Legacy Trust which FIFA had given to SAFA for football development.

Mr Mumble said the technical centre would have eleven football fields and a specific research medical centre. Additionally, it would retain the resort site which currently accommodated about 200 people. SAFA further planned to make the Centre a high-performance facility which would invite universities to conduct research there.

He then took the Committee through SAFA’s presentation.

He would skim over information that SAFA had presented to the Committee before. SAFA had in excess 3 million active footballers where it had finalised a database where all said footballers would be registered. The database would ease the regulation of players as they went through the different leagues and enable better tracking of talent through the different ranks of soccer in SA. There were in excess of 10 000 clubs and 40 000 teams as generally each club was made up of 4 teams, which included a women’s team. SAFA would exhibit why it currently had challenges in establishing women’s soccer teams and were pleading for support from the Committee in that regard. There were 343 local football associations from 32 regions associated with SAFA.

SAFA had done quite well in the previous 3 years in strengthening its provincial associates through re-establishing the provincial colours and inter-provincial tournaments.

Of the nine national teams; one team was currently on tour in South Korea. 

There were 16 clubs in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the National First Division (NFD); there were 144 clubs in the second division (ABC Motsepe League) and 610 clubs in the SAB League. There was also the women’s provincial league consisting of 144 teams with a regional league consisting of 624 women’s football clubs spread about in the 52 SAFA regions.       

Amongst the 10 associate SAFA members here the SA Deaf Football Association, SA Defence Force Football, SA Police Services Football Associations respectively; who generally ran their own football seasons and programmes.

SAFA had restructured its governance principles to increase transparency and developed a culture of good governance. 

On principles of participation, SAFA had asked all its 343 Local Football Associations (LFAs) to change their constitutions to incorporate mandatory positions for women in their structures. Every LFA in 2018 would have a woman vice President. Each regional associate would also be required to do the same.

In terms of SAFA’s Governance Instrument, SAFA had published all its financial reports on its website as a measure of financial transparency together with its activity reports dating as far as 25 years ago.  

Referring to the SAFA National Development Framework, Talent identification, Mr Mumble would report to the Committee when SAFA returned about what currently had been happening in higher education schools football as SAFA had prioritised that system for strengthening.

On SA Football’s Talent Pipeline, SAFA were planning establishing at least one football academy in each province and the association did not have the resources to sustain such a commitment: therefore, SAFA were pleading with the Committee to assist. However; from the 2010 Legacy Trust, SAFA in partnership with the eThekwini municipality and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) provincial Government had established and were running the KZN football academy which had produced players that were in the country’s under 20 national team.

On Schools Sport, Mr Mumble said SAFA probably need some legislative support in rolling out soccer at high school level as there were significant blockages that needed to be addressed. Though SAFA had indicated two years ago already that it would need help from the portfolio Committees on Sports and Recreation and Basic Education the association maintained the need for legislated intervention. SAFA however; had rolled-out the school soccer programme together with Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE). SAFA had also mandated all its 343 LFAs to integrate school soccer into their structures.

Inn 2015 SAFAs congress resolved to approach the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) so that schools football could be integrated into SAFA structures.  SASFA had then been invited and were asked to integrate into the SAFA structures but SASFA had refused. SAFA had attempted a few more times to engage SASFA who preferred to go to arbitration to maintain as a separate body from SAFA. SAFA had then decided to integrate schools sport into its football structures without SASFA where the estimate in 2015 was that SASFA reached between 3000-6000 schools organising football; whereas SAFA wanted schools football across the 24 000 public schools. SASFA had then taken SAFA to court which matter had been set to be heard in August 2017. SAFA had been trying in the interim to engage SASFA unsuccessfully.

Whilst awaiting the court matter SAFA had gone ahead with rolling out schools’ football.

Safe-Hub: SAFAs ambition was to have a safe hub in every district (44 in total) and seven safe hubs in each metropolitan (56 in total) by 2030.

Dr Jordaan said SAFA was actually four distinct entities: the football structure, the 2010 Legacy Trust, SAFA Development Agency which in collaboration with Amandla-EduFootball was building the Safe-Hub a project costed at about R800 million. Finally, it was the National Technical Centre which all had senior staff leadership.

Discussion

The Chairperson said the Committee had not seen anything about SAFAs financial statements.

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) agreed with the Chairperson that a copy of the previous financial year’s financial statements would have been useful. How much was SAFA paying the current Bafana Bafana coach? What had been the delay in appointing Mr Stuart Baxter? Under what conditions had he been appointed?

SAFA had suspended at least six officials for match-fixing in the ABC Motsepe League; how far was the inquiry? Could the names of said officials be made available?

Where were the emerging talent centres located? Did SAFA allocate budgetary support to regions and LFAs? What criteria were used to do the allocations? What had stopped the roll-out of Mega Cups competitions that used to be run in Soweto, Johannesburg? How far was SAFA in implementation of some of the recommendations from the Centre for Gender Equity (CGE) report?

Ms D Manana (ANC) said the SAFA leadership before the Committee remained all male though she also acknowledged the fact that SAFA executive was constituted of volunteers. 

There was a stadium in uMkhanyakude municipality in KZN which had been privatised where the community could not access it.

She wanted SAFA to intervene through its LFAs on mayoral and other individual cup tournaments that were run mostly in deep rural municipalities as that was where young talent could be identified.

SAFA also had to strengthen its regulations on the purchase of foreign players by PSL teams as that had an adverse effect on the development of local football.   

When would Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State and the Eastern Cape be prioritized for Safe-Hub development?

Mr G Mmusi (ANC) said he needed Dr Jordaan to explain what he had meant that there was no Government funding in SAFA. The work SAFA had done so far in terms of inclusion of women in soccer was commendable. What beneficiation did SAFA have for people with disabilities? Was it wise for SAFA to have employed a new national coach whilst it was still in arbitration with Mr Mashaba?

How would SAFA ensure that national teams would be able to sustain themselves so that SAFA could also avoid irregular expenditure?

Mr D Bergman (DA) wanted to know what the relationship between SAFA and the PSL was like to date.

Was there a view or intent from SAFA to limit national football formats similarly like the rugby sevens or T20 Cricket for youth including prioritizing indoor soccer, 6-a-side soccer which would require less in maintenance? 

Ms B Abrahams (ANC) asked whether there had been any transfer from the Legacy Trust to the Master Legends at any stage; if not, was there a possibility that at some stage the Master Legends could apply for funding as there was always controversy surrounding that kind of support. Who was responsible for maintenance of Legacy stadiums in communities?

Since the Golden Games had been innovative in accommodating the elderly and those with disabilities to participate; she was challenging SAFA to innovate on how it could accommodate those with disabilities.

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) said the issues around the uMkhanyakude municipality pitch concerned a dispute around the land. The artificial turf which had been used by the communities was currently regulated by the land owner as to when the community could access the artificial pitch, therefore the Committee thought it better if SAFA could simply buy the land upon which the pitch had been set.

SAFA had to guard its mandated custodianship of South African soccer against other associations that were former members of SAFA.

He was not clear whether SAFA had followed geopolitical boundaries guidelines as set out by the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP).

What did the expansion of the FIFA World Cup mean in real terms for a national team’s number of games required in that tournament.

The Chairperson wanted a list of SAFA sponsorship and also wanted a report on the successes of the Safe-Hub in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.      

What criteria had been used in appointing the current Bafana Bafana coach?

Dr Jordaan replied that SAFA had never considered hiring Mr Baxter’s son nor had Mr Baxter demanded such of SAFA. Mr Baxter was not receiving R1 million in salaries per month nor was he earning more than his predecessor all said report were media fabrications. Since Bafana Bafana would be playing only on 9 June 2017; no coach would have had players available from January until June. Therefore, all the final 3 coaches that SAFA had approached had existing contracts with their respective clubs and at the time Mr Baxter with his club had had hopes of winning the PSL therefore he would not have been released and if that would have occurred players were in the midst of the PSL. The delay in appointing Mr Baxter was an issue of logic in how it had been timed and also contractual and legal in when a reasonable time would come for his release by SuperSport United (SSU) to coach Bafana Bafana.

Mr Mashaba had approached a tribunal after his dismissal and he had appealed that ruling but SAFA would certainly prefer to brief the Committee in confidence about the matter.

When SAFA had launched the uMkhanyakude artificial pitch there had been agreement that the land upon which it sat would have been transferred; Dr Jordaan would follow-up the matter with the sitting Mayor of that District as to what could have gone wrong.

The ownership of the football stadia and other sports facilities had to be something the Committee looked into especially the rental charges for communities to be able to access them.

At the level of the PSL there had been agreement between PSL and SAFA that six players in a PSL team had to be local with five being foreign nationals. Other countries had a lesser ratio of outside players of 7+3+1 as in Saudi Arabia where the rule was that the goalkeeper had to be local as the position was a specialist one. The other challenge in managing the matter was; when SAFA raised the question of reducing the number of foreign nationals in the PSL, it was accused of xenophobia.   

SAFA could only ensure the improvement in the quality of local players produced through having effective development structures and SAFA had observed over the years that the average age of local players entering the PSL had decreased. Five years earlier the average age of local players in PSL clubs was 20-30 years whereas to date it sat at 22-24.

Most successful soccer nations had 10% of their nation playing football; therefore, SA had to have about 5 million soccer active citizens to compete internationally but already there were 3 million footballers. That also raised the question whether SA was a sporting nation when none of the other big federations had a membership of even 1 million. If SAFA reached a membership of 5 million it would have doubled the membership of all the other sporting codes combined.  SAFA observed that to get there it needed to get more women into football and also increase access to participation in school sport. The challenge with schools’ sport was when one researched the top 100 schools in SA from the web one would find that none of them offered football as a sporting code. Moreover, those schools were the best resourced schools. The Committee could research why those schools were not playing football.

The remaining schools were in townships where there currently were two organisations fighting for control over schools sport which was confusing when schools had to decide which competition they had to attend. SAFA had bemoaned the fact that was it was a disservice to the schools because the schools also already had equipment and facilities challenges. SASFA also had a challenge where it only provided competition to 3000 schools instead of all 24 000 public schools. SAFA had proposed that seeing that its structures reached everywhere schools sport competitions had to be started at schools, local level instead of national level. That eliminated the cost burden as schools competed per local, district, region and provincial championships without schools having to pull out midway because of transport costs to provincial matches only. SAFA had agreed with SASFA to have a Committee of five SASFA and five SAFA officials who were teachers who were to run schools sport. However; since then SASFA had suspended the lead official from its delegation.

SAFA would return to SASFA to convince the association of the need to roll-out schools’ sport across the board.

SAFA wanted the Committee to visit the Safe-Hub so that SAFA could discuss with the Committee that the finance management of the Hub could be consisting of an independent trust as the community were the beneficiary of the Safe-Hub. There were two possibilities; first was the National Treasury (NT) Fund for neighbourhood development and the National Development Plan (NDP) jobs funds fund where there were easily between 10-30 young people employed at the Safe-Hubs; where the above-mentioned funds could be employed in supporting the Hubs. The Committee could scrutinise how a plan could be developed in funding an independent trust to run the Safe-Hubs.   

The chairman of the PSL served as vice-President of SAFA, the CEO of the PSL was also a member of the Executive of SAFA together with two other PSL members on the SAFA Executive; therefore, the PSL/SAFA relationship was well managed. There was always a balance to be found between the interests of a club and the national teams across the world. Spain had legislated through Parliament that selection for any national team sporting code meant that the athlete had to go play and no club could refuse releasing a player.   

Mr Gay Mokoena, Chairperson-Finance & Procurement, SAFA, apologised for SAFA having overlooked bringing copies of financial statements to the briefing of the Committee but committed that going forward SAFA would furnish the Committee with the financial statement together with its activity report.

 

On financial support to regions and associate members; SAFA currently gave each region with full SAFA membership approximately R400 000 for operational costs per annum and gave R200 000 per annum to associate members.

 The TSB Selati Cup in Mpumalanga was a flagship tournament for a LFA as it was quite huge. When it was established it had been an open tournament with foreign national players from Mozambique and Swaziland. As the SAFA regional member the LFA had approached the organisers of the Selati Cup to introduce an element of women’s football as well as an under-17 competition. The tournament remained open but had acquired a development element through the introduction of women’s and under-17 soccer. Technical talent scouts sat for some of the matches that took place during the tournament.

SAFA’s revenue came from its 14 commercial partners and it ran a budget of approximately R300 million made from commercial partners such as SASOL, South African Breweries (SAB) and others. There was money from broadcasting rights, CAF and FIFA. There were specific projects that SAFA approached Government for funding for such as the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup (SWC). The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) also had assisted with Banyana Banyana.

The loss of R40 million in the 2015/16 FY football was a sport where there would be a lot of activities in one year and less the following. Expenditure would follow the activities and successes thereof for example, when new leadership at SAFA came in during 2013/14 FY the association had been technically insolvent to the tune of R4 million. That had been built to a reserve of R52 million in the 2014/15 FY such that in the 2015/16 FY SAFA reported a loss of about R42 million due to a number of junior national teams being quite successful in the competitions. The under-17 had attended their SWC in Chile; Banyana and the under-23 teams had attended the Rio Olympic Games. 

On funding of master legend activities; as an associate member, they were allocated R200 000 and certainly SAFA was working to get legends actively involved in coaching but certainly it was a matter of one positioning oneself properly and to ensure that whilst they played soccer the bigger contribution would be in mentoring and guiding young talent.

Mr Mumble said the salary of a coach was a contractual matter between SAFA and an incumbent bound also by a confidentiality clause.  

Mr Mhlongo said in speaking to transparency and accountability he failed to understand how then SAFA could not provide actual figures in reference to Mr Baxter’s salary whereas the figures had been divulged for Mr Mashaba. He reiterated that he wanted to know how much the national coach was earning monthly; his question about the six officials who had been suspended in the ABC Motsepe league had not been answered.  Again; where were the emerging talent centres located?

Ms Manana said the suspension of the six officials from the ABC Motsepe league was sub judice. She was concerned that there was no transformation and that SA coaches were not being supported as she felt that Mr Gavin Hunt was as gifted as Mr Baxter since he had won the PSL and her plea was that in future SAFA had to nurture the talent of SA coaches as well by giving them an opportunity. 

Mr Mmusi also lamented the fact that his questions had not been responded to.

Mr Ralegoma added that he also had not been responded to regarding whether the SAFA regions followed geopolitical alignment as demarcated by the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB).

Mr Mumble said SAFA had never published salaries of its staff including Bafana coaches. What had been published in newspapers were not figures from SAFA as it had never published those figures at any time as such matters became legal disputes.

SAFA had aligned itself completely around SA in terms of the MDB demarcations since 2006 but sometimes it lagged since the MDB made quite a lot of changes over short periods from time to time. In Gauteng and Soweto in particular SAFAs LFA was part of SAFA Johannesburg region which included 11 other LFAs. There were 1600 teams that currently participated in the Walter Sisulu Discovery tournament that was showcased in Soweto.

SAFA had the South African Intellectually Impaired Football Association (SAIIFA) which it provided with financial support and had as recent as April 2017 sent a whole SAIIFA delegation to Europe where it had participated in a world tournament. However; SAFA still had to develop together with SAIIFA a long-term plan for its programme. There was also the South African Deaf Football Association (SADFA) which SAFA supported in a similar manner as the regions and an associate member. However; physically disabled SAFA had engaged in other ways for example, when the 2010 SWC stadiums were designed the contractors had been mandated to ensure that access could accommodate physically challenged.

Mr Mhlongo said the issue of the suspended ABC Motsepe officials was an internal SAFA matter and not before a court and therefore was not sub judice. SAFA’s financial statements when reporting on compensation of employees had published three previous coaches’ salaries namely Mr Gordon Iggesund, Mr Pitso Mosimane and Mr Alberto Parreira therefore he still maintained that he needed a figure of how the current coaching incumbent was being remunerated.

Mr Gronie Hluyo, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), SAFA, replied that in all SAFA financial statements be it balance sheets or income statements staff members’ salaries were never reflected.    

Dr Jordaan said the reality was that in SA if an organisation published earnings of an individual there were people that went to said individual’s residence to look for reported earnings.  SAFA would not be disclosing Mr Baxter’s salary; if Mr Mhlongo was quite eager to know he was welcomed at SAFA House where he would be required to sign a confidentiality agreement before the salary was disclosed to him. He said SAFAs integrity officer could update the Committee on the matters to do with match-fixing in the ABC Motsepe league however; the 2004 Operation Dribble into match-fixing had been sabotaged because one could ask a witness something today. The following day the witness would change their story completely. Additionally, the investigation was actually being driven by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Hawks but not SAFA; therefore, SAFA also were cautious about running a commentary on an unfolding investigation.

The Chairperson said in SA there was The Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000) (PAIA) which allowed the media and any citizen to be provided with information but protected financial and commercial information of third parties. Certainly, Members could then invoke such legislation to access information.

Mr Bergman said often the Committee struggled to access information that the lay man could not find in a newspaper which was not sub judice but being interpreted as sub judice and he hoped the Chairperson’s elaboration would be welcomed by all in the Committee. He suggested that Members of the Committee requested information from visitors; as the Chairperson had ruled it was acceptable that they be provided with such.

Mr Mumble said the financial report going back was available on SAFA’s website for the Committee to peruse.

The Chairperson interjected that there already had been agreement that whatever the Committee required from SAFA, it would be provided without the Committee being referred to a website.

The Chairperson thanked SAFA for honouring the Committee’s invitation and the meeting was adjourned. 

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