SA National Boxing Organisation briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

06 March 2018
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee received a briefing from the South African National Boxing Organisation on the ground work that the organisation had been involved with, ranging from all the projects and competitions to training. The President and Secretary General presented a very brief overview of the organisation, the constitution, the strategic plan and funding but provided details on competitions and training of coaches and referees. The organisation had been involved in two international competitions. The organisation felt that it was making its presence known in boxing circles. No funding details or figures were presented.

South African National Boxing Organisation’s constitution was aligned to that of the Republic and to both the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur. The South African National Boxing Organisation was hampered by a lack of funding but had held several tournaments and conducted fairly extensive training of coaches and referees. The organisation had not yet signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Departments of Sport and Recreation and the Department of Basic Education, so the organisation was not yet working ins schools.

The organisation was working hard on equity ratios and while the majority of boxers, coaches and referees were Black, a significant number were White, but Indians were not keen supporters of the sport. The numbers of Coloured participants could be improved.

The President stated said that SABANO had no sponsor, not because of lack of trying, but because sponsors opted for professional boxing to get more media exposure. Funding had been previously provided by the lottery fund, but the organisation had been requested to provide details and evidence of how the previously awarded funds were utilised before the organisation could access more funding from the lottery. The documentation on expenditure had been supplied.

SANABO indicated that the audited financial statements had been sent to the Committee Secretary. However, in the course of the meeting, it was found that the audited statement had not been sent and so Committee Members received the document when the meeting was almost concluded. The Committee had been calling for accountability and openness and stated that they needed to peruse and interrogate the financial statements so that Members could assess SANABO’s use of funds and so that SANABO could also account for the use of funds. The Chairperson noted it was a matter of urgency as the Committee was preparing for the Sport and Recreation Budget Vote and could not do so without engaging SANABO on its financial statements.

Committee Members asked about the organisation’s relationships with Boxing South Africa, Correctional Services and schools. Were there development centres and, if so, in which areas were they? What was the organisation’s strategy seeing that there are no female boxers? Members questioned the accountability and the openness of the presentation as the Department had not accounted for the finances. How was the R10 million start-up funding used? When were allocations made and where did the money go? The Chairperson asked about the process involved when boxers transitioned to becoming professionals. What was SANABO’s role in the process?

Meeting report

Opening remarks

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) opened the meeting by sharing his sentiments about the passing on of the African National Congress Member of Parliament, Ms Fezeka Loliwe. He said that all of the Members were affected by the situation and that the Chairperson, in particular, was upset as she had been quite close to the late Ms Loliwe. A moment of silence was observed in respect of the late Ms Loliwe. Mr Ralegoma also informed the Committee that Ms D Manana had been transferred to Mpumalanga Province.

The Chairperson apologised for being in a traumatised state but indicated that she would the Chairperson the meeting as best she could. She noted that although the Committee had invited the National Treasury to come and give answers where needed, the political timing could have been an issue and might explain their absence as Treasury had not even apologised for its absence.

The Chairperson invited the South African National Boxing Organization to present.

Briefing by South African National Boxing Organization

Mr Andile Mofu, President of the South African National Boxing Organization (SANABO), informed the Committee that he would present an overview of SANBO, the executive members of SANABO, the structure and governance of SANABO. He would hand over to Ms Pretty Tsotetsi, Secretary General for SANABO, to make the presentation on the Executive Report before he presented the document in greater detail.

Mr Mofu stated that SANABO’s strategic plan extended to 2020, as the current committee would be in office until then. SANABO’s constitution was aligned to that of the Republic and to both the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur (AIBA). SANABO needed to ensure that it had good governance arrangements in place and that those were cascaded to the provinces.

He said that SABANO had no sponsor, not for lack of trying, but because sponsors opted for professional boxing to get more media exposure. There would also be no funds from the Lotto for that Olympiad term. However, SANABO had submitted documentation for new funding from the Lotto. Sport and Recreation South Africa offered guaranteed funding for travel, accommodation, international affiliation fees and administrative funding. In addition, Sport and Recreation South Africa offered conditional funding dependent of the organisation meeting specific criteria such as good governance, transformation, performance and adherence to the criteria for prioritised national federations. He did not have any figures with him.

Regardless of the challenges the organisation faced, which included inadequate funding to achieve set priorities, facilities, sponsor and full-time personnel, SANABO had managed to attain their targets. They had managed to strengthen relationships with stakeholders, and the international performance of its athletes had improved.

Ms Tsotesti said that although the SANABO executive had only been in office for ten months, it was old in the game. She said that there were three Championships: the Elite National Championship, which consisted of boxers aged between 19 and 40 years, the Juniors and the Youth National Championship. The Open Boxing League was for the elite boxers, both men and women. SANABO had another program, Year of Africa, which had been designed to uplift the standard of boxing in Africa. On the International front, Ms Tsotetsi stated that, since SANABO was new, the organisation had been involved in only two international competitions. As part of their preparations for the Region 5 Youth Games, a Mandela Centenary Tournament had been held in February that year and had involved participants from Swaziland and Lesotho.

As Training and Development was one of the pillars of SANABO, it had trained a number of officials, including 60 national level referees and judges, and 12 one-star coaches and 14 two-star coaches at an international level.

SANABO also had a ‘Train the trainer course,’ that sought to ensure that it had well equipped trainers or facilitators who were able to train other officials in their respective provinces.


Mr T Mhlongo (DA) asked if SANABO had any relationship with Correctional Services. He was asking because that could be a good strategy to ensure the utilization of Correctional Services where up-and-coming amateur boxers could be exposed to development. He appreciated SANABO’s sharing of its Constitutional Amendment and Corporate Governance Strategy but said that policies were lacking. He asked where the criteria of selection were covered. What criteria was SANABO using for the upcoming Region 5 games? What was the reason for Mpumalanga, Free State and Limpopo not attending the championship? He said the presentation spoke about good governance and openness but nowhere was the R 1.2 million mentioned. He questioned the accountability and the openness of the presentation. He said the Department had to be able to account for the finances. How was the R 10 million start-up funding used? What staff capacity did SANABO have, and were volunteers financially subsidised?

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) asked for a clear distinction between SANABO and Boxing South Africa (BSA). He wanted to know how SANABO consulted with BSA because he had heard of problems. When were allocations made and where did the money go? He asked about the process of awarding medals in boxing. He also sought clarity as to how a silver medallist qualified in boxing. How was it done in boxing? How did a boxer end up with a silver medal?

Ms B Abrahams (ANC) appreciated the presentation and SANABO’s patience with volunteerism. She asked why Lotto did not fund them. How many coaches SANABO had developed in the provinces? Were there development centres and, if so, in which areas were they? She asked about open boxing between school boys and girls. She sought clarity on how SANABO went into schools to get them to participate. Which areas was SANABO involved with? She was interested in getting her community involved in the programs.

Mr Ralegoma appreciated the presentation. However, no financials had been shown and even if the Department gave very little funding, the Committee still wanted to know how much had been utilized, and how. He said that it was important that the Committee received the financials so that it could interrogate them. He informed the Committee that the difference between SANABO and BSA was that SANABO was a federation of amateur boxing whereas BSA was a professional organisation. However, there was a need for some kind of interaction between SANABO and BSA.

Mr Ralegoma stated that the intention of the start-up R10 million had been to resuscitate boxing in South Africa, and to unlock the potential which the country had in terms of boxing. Therefore, it was important to understand the value of the money. Had the intention been achieved? He asked if SANABO remembered that the last time the Committee had complained that there was no representative for the Olympiad? He noted that they were beginning to have representatives for Region 5 and so on. SANABO needed to create that fire and interest in the country. SANABO needed to be responsible for all of that, so that when the Committee assisted, it assisted knowing that there was a plan. He said that SANABO was responsible for boxing in South Africa as a country and not just in the provinces.

The Chairperson asked about the process involved when boxers transitioned to becoming professionals. What was SANABO’s role in the process as SANABO would have developed the boxers.

SANABO’s response

Mr Mofu said that the financial statement had been sent through with the documents and he did not know why it had not been received. SANABO had an audited financial statement which had been approved by their constituency and which actually outlined some of the questions that had been asked. He apologised for it not being part of the pack.

The Chairperson was informed by the Committee Secretary that the financial statements had not been sent to the Committee but that they had been requested as a matter of urgency.

SANABO had a relationship with the Correctional Services and, in the past, inmates had participated in their national championships. The issue was the difficulty of selection because various laws prevented SANABO from selecting someone to represent the country when that person was in prison.

SANABO did have policies in place which had had been signed with SASCOC in as far as all the major competitions were concerned. When it came to SANABO, the understanding with provinces was that when a boxer went to a national championship, SANABO would use the National Championship as step number one in the selection of teams in the sense that, once a boxer was amongst the four medallists, that is, Gold, Silver and two Bronze medals, the boxer stood a chance of being selected. To ensure that SANABO had quality boxers, it normally held trials after the National championship and included five wild cards so as not to leave out anybody with potential. He stated that SANABO had a very good relationship with BSA and he phoned the CEO of BSA regularly.

Mr Mofu informed the Committee that the Region 5 selection criteria were for the Youth Games. All boxers between the ages of 17 and 18, both male and female, stood a chance to represent the country in the Youth Games. Every year SANABO held the National Championships for Juniors and Youth during which selection took place.

He stated that the funding issue was one of the reasons why the Free State and Mpumalanga were not attending the Championships. However, SANABO was going to visit those provinces to find out what exactly was happening. In respect of a volunteer subsidy, SANABO paid for transport, accommodation, and meals for volunteers.

The difference between BSA and Open boxing was that SANABO was a national federation controlled by a constituency, and whose role it was to send boxers to the Olympics. BSA was controlled by an Act of Parliament and was responsible for assisting boxers who belonged to the various world organizations to become World Champions.

SANABO had no control over boxers. It lost boxers prematurely. SANABO did not have a constitutional right to hold them back because professional boxing was a source of income for families and once boxers turned professional, they started supporting their families. Unfortunately for SANABO, the organisation had no control over what was happening in various clubs.

Concerning the question about medals, the boxer who won a gold medal was the national champion, and a silver medallist meant that boxer was on standby in case anything happened to the Gold medallist. In the event of anything happening to the Silver medallist, then the two Bronze medallists would stand for the Silver medallist.

Mr Mofu stated that the organisation had previously received money from the Lotto, but it had to account for previous monies before it could get a new allocation. The Executive had submitted the documents that accounted for the money received.

In terms of transformation, Ms Tsotesti stated that she did not have all the information provinces had to give details of coaches. SANABO provided the Department with a complete breakdown of officials per province each year.

Mr Mofu noted that there were no development centres but SANABO took courses to the provinces to raise awareness. He said that at the time, SANABO was not involved with the schools, but was working with children outside of the schools. He knew that SANABO would need a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work in schools but the two Departments, Sports and Recreation and Basic Education, had not yet agreed on an MOU so SANABO held tournaments at the same time as the schools’ tournaments. He said the safety aspect inside the schools was an issue because parents felt it was unsafe for their children. SANABO did conduct recruitment drives when in the provinces.

Follow up questions

The Chairperson noted that there were a number of MOUs outstanding, but she assured SANABO that the Committee would take up the matter with the Department of Sports and Recreation. She asked about SANABO’s strategy when recruiting in the provinces. What was its strategy seeing that there are no female boxers? Why were there no female boxers?

Mr Mofu noted that he had spoken to the Department about the MoUs but there was always something that had to be discussed.

Ms Abrahams wanted to know what happened to female boxers like Melissa Miller. Were they in development programmes?

The Chairperson stated that the audited financial statements were being sent through to Parliament, but she did not know if the Committee would have time to go through the statements that day.

Mr Mhlongo said that Mr Mofu spoken about openness and accountability but had not addressed the financials. Mr Mhlongo had not wanted to touch on the R10 million as that was dealt with in the audited statement and, while he now had it, he could not go through in detail while in the meeting. He noted the R2.4 million shown as a negative sum on the financial statement. He said that SANABO was operating at a loss, but the presentation showed that things were okay.


Mr Mofu said that, as an organisation, SANABO really depended on the volunteers on the ground. He said it was unfortunate that SANABO did not have the capacity to go and do recruitment and promotions on the ground and that the only chance SANABO got to do that was when there were visits to the provinces.

Mr Mofu asked Ms Abrahams to provide more information about Melissa Muller as he did not know her.

Ms Abrahams replied that Melissa Muller was a young girl boxer who had been the Female Prospect of the Year in 2016.

Ms Tsotesti said that if Melissa Muller was a professional boxer, SANABO would not be working with her.

The Chairperson wanted more information on the financial status of SANABO. It was a weakness at the last meeting and was the reason why SANABO had been requested to appear again before the Committee.

The Committee needed the information urgently as they could not have the Sports and Recreation budget debate without that information. SANABO provided plenty of information on things that the organisation was doing well but the organisation did not provide the information on the financials. She did not want him to mislead the Committee. The Committee suspected that something was not right which was why the Members had not received the financials. She informed SANABO that the Committee checked with Treasury and the Auditor-General, so the Members knew how much money had been given to organisations and those organisations had to account to the Committee.

The Chairperson offered her apologies because she felt bad about how she was chairing but she was not feeling well, and the death of her friend had really upset.

Committee business

The Chairperson requested that Members go through the Minutes of 20 February 2018 as one of the Members had cautioned the Committee against delays in adopting the Minutes of meetings.

The meeting was adjourned.


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