The South African Football Association briefed the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation on the state of women’s football in South Africa and the continent. South Africa presently has 450 000 females playing football in all 52 regions, and a women’s league is in the process of being established in 2019. The Association has established a mass participation project called Dlala Ntombazana (play girl child), similar to the ‘live your goal’ that encourages more girls to play soccer. It was emphasised that all 26 universities in South Africa are now compelled to register a women’s team.
Members asked the difference between an associate and the special members of SA Football Association; and on the Association’s readiness to hold the elections on 24 March, considering that the Independent Electoral Commission has withdrawn from conducting the election? How then does it plan to deal with the situation?
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee presentation was centred on the preparation for the Commonwealth Games taking place in the Gold Coast of Australia on 4 April 2018. 107 males and 88 females are going to the Games and prior to the Games, all South African athletes have undergone medical screening using Periodic Health Evaluation protocol. Total expenditure for the games is projected to cost R 17.3m while the medal incentives for winning athletes is expected to cost R. 6m.
Members welcomed the openness regarding the incentives for athletes this time around. Others were more concerned about transformation in sports, especially gender balance. 88 women to 107 men athletes was not bad but the ideal balance should be 50/50. They also bemoaned the non-provision of a breakdown of rural athletes and the racial composition of the athletes chosen for the games.
The Department of Sports and Recreation South Africa also presented its annual third quarter report for the financial year 2017/18. It was a struggle to reach the annual target set the on the number of people actively participating in organised sport and active recreation events, a target of 1 million was set for the year. The Department relies on the provinces to attain these targets. Cumulatively only 272 818 of target has been reached, with a deficit of 443 779.
For the financial quarter ending 31 December 2017, supply chain management did not have any accruals to be reported on the financial statements, and all payments were done in time before month end. The Department has maintained a clean audit for five years running and the ministerial bursary programme, project management and risk and fraud management were all audited on time.
Members asked the Minister to refocus her Department’s activities on the rural communities because nothing is happening there, reiterating that the rural folks are passionate about sports but there is no support whatsoever from government. Others asked who was responsible for managing the sporting hubs in the communities.
The Chairperson welcomed the new Minister, Deputy Minister, South African Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC); South African Football Association (SAFA) and the entourage from the Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA), for availing themselves to attend the meeting. She proposed a change in the agenda by suggesting that the presentation should start with SAFA then SASCOC and finally the Department. The agenda was adopted with the requested amendments. The Chairperson clarified that the Ministerial committee of enquiry is about PSL but SAFA was free to speak about it according to the communication with them. She also read a letter from Mr Ace Ncobo informing the Committee of his unavailability to attend the meeting.
The Chairperson welcomed the new Minister Ms Thokozile Xasa, and hoped the Deputy Minister and the DG would have briefed her about this Department.
Committee Members discussed the letter written by Mr Ncobo; some suggested that its contents be dealt it much later, while others suggested the committee should steer clear of SAFA election matters and not be susceptible to any kind of lobbying.
SAFA President; Overview
Dr Danny Jordaan, President, thanked the Committee, Minister for Sports and Recreation, and the delegation from the Department and introduced the delegation from SAFA. SAFA can report that the Ministerial commission of enquiry is a matter for PSL.
South Africa is unique in World football because here, you have a professional League that is not under the direct control of the national association and this is not obtainable anywhere else in the world. This was an apartheid created circumstances. When the unification of South African football started, there were four national associations for football based on racial lines, and all had their various professional leagues.
Another issue to remember was that the National body of football was first suspended by Federation Internationale Football Association (FIFA) in 1966 after the Rivonia trial. In 1976 because of the uprising, FIFA then expelled South Africa, thus making South Africa neither a member of FIFA nor Confederation of African Football (CAF) even though it was a founding member of CAF in 1957. When unification started in 1985, those four professional leagues had a dominant position in South African football due to the absence of a national association and were not prepared to subject themselves under the control of the national body and were all managed by powerful individuals. As a result, a compromise was made in order to achieve unity because FIFA said South Africa could only be readmitted under two conditions. Firstly, that apartheid most cease in SA football and secondly there must be one controlling body for football in South Africa. But because of this prevailing problem, there was a compromise that the league be called a special member of SAFA and be allowed to run her own business such as its own fixtures, television rights, commercial rights, and to decide if it wants to release her own players to the national team. In a nutshell these were apartheid created situations. When people talk about addressing apartheid issues this should be one of them because this has subsisted for more than twenty years. So, this issue is not a SAFA matter and is peculiar to South African football. SAFA has given a submission to the enquiry but should the Committee need any more information, SAFA will cooperate but the Committee should remember the enquiry matters will be better dealt with PSL. Hopefully this situation has been made clearer to the Committee Members.
The second part is about women football. SAFA has just returned from a football symposium held in Morocco and made significant contributions in dealing with issues relating to women football in the African continent. SAFA is happy with the progress made overall because of the readiness of men to support women football. In South Africa two women are presidents or regional heads, which means they control every issue relating to football in those regions. The striking thing is that it is in the rural areas where men have accepted the leadership of women in football unlike in the big urban areas of Cape Town and Johannesburg. It is also written in the SAFA constitution that wherever a man is voted in as the president a woman should be his Vice; so, in all the fifty regions there are women vice presidents. In the national executive there are four women vice presidents. SAFA have agreed that in the forthcoming election on 24 March one vice president must be a woman.
On the membership side, there are more than 450 thousand Women footballers in South Africa and the target is 1 million. A National League for women’s football is in the offing in 2019 and it will be the first professional women’s football league in the continent of Africa. On the field our most successful team is women’s football. SA under 17 girls’ team has just qualified for the World Cup taking place in Uruguay later in the year. The under- 20 football team just missed qualification for the World Cup after they were beaten by Nigeria. Banyana Banyana has qualified for two consecutive Olympics and consecutive African Cup of Nations (AFCON). It is hoped they will qualify for this coming AFCON and for the World Cup in France in 2019.
Ms Ria Ledwaba, NEC member of SAFA, said South Africa’s football is under the leadership of Dr Jordaan, who has a passion for women’s football. SAFA currently has 450 000 female players in all 52 regions and a women’s leagues is in the process of being established in 2019. SAFA has established a mass participation project called Dlala Ntombazana (play girl child) similar to the ‘live your goal’ that encourages more girls to play soccer. All 26 universities in South Africa are now compelled to register a women’s team and currently 32 teams are participating.
With regard to the current global status of woman’s football, there are 30 million women and girls playing football globally, with Africa having 1.2 million women playing football. Some of the challenges bedevilling women’s football globally include; cultural barriers, teenage pregnancy and the lack of adequate representation of women in football roles amongst others. Some ways to expand women’s football mentioned in the presentation includes; for women’s football to be played at school level, the establishment of women’s football academies, partnering with governments and inaugurating an intercontinental competition similar to the champion leagues for men.
Mr L Ntshayisa (AIC) asked about the difference between associate and the special members. He suggested ladies’ teams could be formed starting from the B teams. He noted that it could be confusing to have so many presidents; could some titles not be changed to a chairperson?
Mr M Mabika (NFP) questioned the readiness of SAFA to hold the elections on 24 March, taking into consideration the fact that the IEC has withdrawn from conducting the election. How does SAFA plan to deal with the situation? How many of SAFA’s fifty regions are ready? Reports of the postponement of elections in many regions are rife, how then is SAFA handling all these issues? How is the distribution of the Legacy Trust funds especially in the rural regions? There is a very serious crisis regarding refereeing in PSL games; what are the plans to get us out of this quagmire?
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) welcomed the presentation and asked SAFA to share with the Committee the Congress schedule. What is in place to ensure that a proper free and fair election takes place on 24 March? What is the turnaround time and criteria to appoint a match commissioner? What is the handbook of security? What is the relationship between PSL that is a special member with SAFA? Do the two have monthly or quarterly meetings? Is there an MOU that exists between SAFA and PSL on events? This is because no mention is made of safety in sporting events. How many members of PSL are there as special members of SAFA; and what is the composition of those members if any?
Mr P Moteka (EFF) welcomed the new Minister on board and asked why the SAFA President did not bring a copy of the presentation for Members because this constitutes the core of Committee Member’s engagement with SAFA’s delegate.
On the issue of the elections on 24 March, the president indicated that a woman vice president will be elected; this constitutes lobbying the Committee. This Committee is a neutral platform and should not be abused. Football in South Africa has a big problem. For two years this Committee suggested that the best way to enhance women’s football is for the regional committees to adopt netball and all other sporting codes so that the leagues can develop. Transformation in sports is not only about skin colour but poor rural kids who have very limited opportunities compared to their urban counterparts. This is not happening, should we then go to the equality Court to enforce it?
The Sporting facility at Katlehong was also brought into sharp focus, it is overgrown with weeds because no one is looking after it and the new Minister was asked to look into this matter. He also lamented the lack of sporting facilities at township schools where the apartheid government did not care to build any stadium; so far this democracy has not built any, especially in rural areas.
Mr Mmusi (ANC) also reiterated the difficulties faced by people living in deep rural communities of the country. He narrated an incident where an arrangement was made with Supersport to cover a sports activity in the rural areas and Supersport staffers immediately left when they discovered how rural the community was. Things are bad for the black man in the world but worse in the rural areas.
Was the Sports and Safety at Recreation Act (SASREA) applied to the FNB saga? He also lamented the lack of footprint in terms of sporting facilities in the Eastern Cape when most of the sports ministers post-apartheid came from that Province.
Bafana Bafana is not doing well, it has failed to qualify for major tournaments and this is a national problem. Could SAFA advance any reasons for this? The indictment of South Africa which the Americans accused of bribing the Caribbean countries to the tune of 10 million dollars; how is that Issue going?
On the relationship between SAFA and PSL why is it that the Nedbank Cup which is an equivalent to the FA Cup in England is not run by SAFA here?
On the bank balance of SAFA and PSL, which of them has more money?
Ms B Abrahams (ANC) asked how successful SAFA is in promoting soccer in schools? How does SAFA intend to resolve the PSL special membership to the point that it conforms to SAFA constitution? What sanctions are in place for the PSL teams if they fail to release players for national duty?
Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) also requested that the PSL vs SAFA issues should be resolved as it is also a transformation issue. The DG should be involved so that the issue could be put to rest. The Committee should also stamp its authority towards finding a lasting solution to the problem.
Dr Jordaan admitted that there was an artificial pitch at Ukana Kudiye and an effort is being made to support the region. There is also a woman coach there who is coaching SAB B-Team. SAFA also supported that elections there should be postponed indefinitely because of a threat to the life of the president there which is very unfortunate, and because of the threat to the life of members. The person that is supposed to oversee the election at Harry Gwala escaped death by a whisker, probably it was an intervention from God that he did not die. The would-be hitman was there waiting and looking for him and as we speak he is still in hiding. This shows the level of desperation in this election. No election is worth the life of any of our members. It is unfortunate that when people in KZN promise to kill you they are very honourable and they will carry it out.
SAFA is determined to carry out the election on 24 March without fail. On the question whether SAFA is ready for the elections, the present officials were elected in 2013 and according to the constitution, they serve a four-year term that has now expired in September 2017. Presently they are out of term. What happened was that the members said that should we qualify for the World Cup the present SAFA officials would be given grace of extension until the end of the World Cup. This was not a constitutional amendment but just a decision of the members. But as SA failed to qualify they said the executives must now go. And the congress which is the highest decision-making body of SAFA has decided that this election must be held on 24 March 2018. No individual in this country can overrule the decision of the congress. FIFA and CAF have been invited and they will be here in the country to oversee the election. This Committee is also invited if they had the time so they can speak to the members directly.
Regarding the IEC, they were appointed in 2013 and have not given any reasons for withdrawing. It is a shame that the IEC, which is an independent body, is influenced by interests in football. This country must never allow elections in this country to be disrupted by legal means, by hit men and by other ways improper because this is not the democracy that was fought for.
On the Legacy Trust, they have given bursaries and two members have MBA degrees and other staff that started as cleaners now have Masters Degrees. A good number of female soccer players are studying in the US in the Masters level. SAFA have always emphasised that in football, education is very important. Most the member’s studies were funded by the Legacy Trust and he went on to name some of the trustees who are FIFA officials. The trust is controlled by the accounting firm, Ernest and Young. Members should not believe everything they read in the papers during elections because some articles are placed to cause confusion. The Legacy Trust is well run and there is no iota of truth in the allegations of improper dealings floated during elections.
He agreed that SAFA can do more in the rural areas because SA’s best players come from the rural areas.
On the relationship between SAFA and PSL; it is a necessary compromise and so it was in the SAFA constitution and other institutions after apartheid and SAFA was part of it too. If there is the necessity for a review, SAFA too will lend her weight to it. On the release of football players for national duties, perhaps the Committee could look at the Spanish model, where it is law for any player called to the national team it becomes a national duty just like the army calling a person to defend the country. No one declines that call or else the person will go to jail. Maybe SA legislators could look at the model. As for the Bafana team, there are always changes to players honouring the call because their parent team has the option to release them or not and the coaches are complaining.
The 2010 money disbursed to the Caribbean was a promise made by the SA government during the Mbeki era. SAFA has a claim against SA government because it was a promise made by the government to the Caribbean countries not by SAFA. They are also African, so when the idea of African legacy was mooted, the government made it clear that they are included. When FIFA announced $70m for African legacy, their understanding was that it was for the members of CAF. The people of the Caribbean said so they are no longer African because Africa has a World Cup? So, an agreement was reached between FIFA and SA government that $10m of that money be given to the Caribbean and the money was paid by FIFA directly to the Caribbean. So SAFA is asking for its money because that agreement was between SA government and FIFA.
On the FA cup question, the FA belongs to the football association. And SA is the only country on earth that does not have an FA cup and that speaks to the structure of financing of football in SA. SAFA gets 7% and must undertake to the development of 3.2m members, 42 regions, 340 football local associations and nine national teams; all with no resources. Therefore, the Legacy Trust is a key life resource for SAFA. The development of a super cup is being mooted that could be owned by SAFA. How then could the historical distortions of SA football be corrected? That is the key question for everyone. In Rugby and Cricket, there is no structure outside the national bodies and they control all revenue, that is why Rugby has R701m a year income, Cricket R800m income a year, PSL R1b a year income and SAFA R200m a year income yet this Committee demands more from SAFA than any of those entities. Income from SAFA has to deal with developing soccer in the poorest and most rural areas of the country.
Mr Xolile Nkompela, Vice President, SAFA, said he sensed there was a gap in information that Committee Members possessed and asked for SAFA to be called for a full presentation with all relevant documents on a later date so that Members can be well informed on football matters. Even SAFA constitution, election process and nominations are worth explaining to the members.
Ms Ledwaba, in her response, said that Banyana Banyana players are all graduates because of the special arrangements made for them to attend school and complete their degrees with bursaries from the Legacy Trust funds. Over the years, over R150m has been spent for this purpose. The constitution is already amended and that has ensured that all fifty regions has women vice presidents and this does not also preclude the women from aspiring to be presidents. There is also the need for female soccer to be played in schools across the rural regions and SAFA is looking at that.
Mr Dennis Mumble, SAFA CEO, explained the status of associate vs special members. Associate members specialise in special areas such as the SA Police service football association, SA medical football association and the SA football Coaches’ Association and they are not regionally or geographically based but cater to a particular community.
On election matters; process wise, members took a decision on 3 December 2013 to have an election this year. That kicked in the election process which includes that members must be given timelines and agenda notice of the venue sixty day in advance; thirty days before the election itself, members had to submit their nominations directly to the auditor and not through any SAFA structures who will then issue a report thirty days before the election proper. The report is then sent to the Electoral Committee. The congress in 2013 decided that SAFA Electoral Committee must be an independent body in compliance of FIFA regulation; so, IEC was chosen as a more trusted structure and the IEC has then served as SAFA’s electoral committee for the last five years and have assisted in organising SAFA’s elections in the regions as well.
Mr Alec Moemi, DG, SRSA, said there is an equitable formula that the state divides money; it considers the level of development. On the legacy trust fund the government stand is that the funds will run out very soon and that in the run up to elections merchandise was purchased for provincial structures which is tantamount to vote buying. Government also believes that schools sports should build a healthy outline of players and SRSA is happy that SAFA has heeded that call. The law gives the Minister of Sports and Recreation to recognise a particular sports body for a sports code. The demise of the school of excellence is not a good thing and the building of a football academy is now being considered. Football, unlike Rugby and Cricket, has no academy at the moment and SRSA’s stand is that SAFA has to be the organisation to nurture the next generation football talent and not the clubs. The PSL model is a flawed one because you cannot have the chairmen of clubs (board of governors) allocating money to themselves. They then go as chairmen of the clubs to receive that money. They also control who gets promoted and relegated at the same time but in NFD (second division) the chairmen of that board do not control what happens in that division. By rights, these things are supposed to be regulated by SAFA; and unless these fundamentals are addressed, SA football will go nowhere.
When the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) was held a few years ago in SA, former minister Mbalula called Bafana players a bunch of losers; but the coach only had five days with the players before the tournament started because clubs refused to release them to the national team whilst Zimbabwean footballers where already in camp in November for a tournament happening in January. How then could coaches perform miracles under those circumstances? Everyone feels powerless in this situation.
On the issue of the Caribbean, the money was sent to them and government owned up to it. In consultations with former present Mbeki, he conceded full knowledge that SAFA made an approach to do it because it was a government project. Government accepted because they had a policy of African Renaissance and that football programmes all over the continent and regions of the continent will be supported. There were various FIFA projects then such as one goal, winning Africa for Africa etc. There was also the issue of the buses for Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA). It was supposed to receive most of the buses that were bought to transport teams, players and dignitaries during the world cup. Government could not finalise the paper work for the transfer of the buses to the countries of the region and SARS raised a million reasons why it should not be done. The cost of taking the buses from here to Zambia for instance exceeded the cost for buying the buses themselves there; which made no sense. The Minister then decided to forget about it and just apologise to COSAFA for not getting the buses. Caribbean was chosen because in the whole African Diaspora, they had the highest concentration of people of African descent. Trinidad and Tobago were chosen because they had a centre of excellence and not because Jack Werner came from there. The ball is still in the court of the Americans because international law principles states that those who made allegations must prove. There was no improper conduct as alleged by the Americans by our officials by calling that donation a bribe just because the money passed through their jurisdiction to the Caribbean.
Mr Barry Hendricks, Vice President of SASCOC, said, on the issue of presidential commission of enquiry, that is not SASCOC’s mandate and the commission is still in progress; and no findings are put forward yet and the enquiry has to run its course before the findings could be discussed. A joint statement has been produced with the Department pledging SASCOC’s full cooperation with the Committee. In terms of staff members, six have made submissions and seven board members made representations.
Members wanted to engage on previous issues that were raised with SASCOC officials previously.
Mr Mhlongo reminded SASCOC of admitting having used R9m in the previous enquiry and wanted to have an update of how it is currently? Where the money came from? He also wanted to know about the CCMA and HR issues. He asked for details of an alleged package being arranged with an ex-employee that was reported in media.
Mr Bergman wanted to know on what legal basis SASCOC stood to interfere on sporting codes such as Aerobics, Bodybuilding and Karate? Does SRSA or even their own constitution permit them to do so? Ms Lain, who is a coach for ASA was suspended; for how long and why? Who else is suspended at SASCOC and for how long? Which members voted for the control of SASCOC money to be taken away from SASCOC control for the commonwealth bid? Has the money been returned?
Mr Hendricks responded that some of these issues have been placed before the judges in the enquiry and are being deliberated upon.
The Chairperson reminded SASCOC that the Committee has always maintained that they settle their differences out of court because of the cost of litigation, since they get very minimal funding from SRSA.
Mr Hendricks said with regard to court proceedings, on the issue of Mr Redding, Mr Vinish, Mr Maharaj and Ms Keddy, those were all HR matters but have now moved to CCMA. Two of the cases have gone through the process of conciliation and an offer has been put on the table with the intent to leave SASCOC. Mr Redding wants full arbitration. Another court case is with Athletic SA that has lodged arbitration with SASCOC and that is ongoing and might conclude by end of March.
On the issue of money, it came from Grite Investments and the Mpumelelo shares and SASCOC has spent R6m to date.
On the issue of Mr Redding, because of the seriousness of the charges, including that all three members were found guilty through investigative and disciplinary process, there is no way criminal charges can be dropped against them. That is out the hands of SASCOC now. The legal basis for becoming involved in sports matters lies with the Sports and Recreation Act and SASCOC constitution which allows SASCOC to become involved in members affairs if disputes are lodged. Three disputes are currently lodged, two based on the Commonwealth Games and another woman from Fencing that went to court to challenge election processes. Minute tampering will be left to the enquiry to ascertain if that took place.
Ms Lain’s Issue happened before his appointment and she also has gone to the enquiry to lodge submissions. It was not discussed in any board meeting that Grite investments irregularly spent money. A written submission will address that properly later. A final report was issued on the commonwealth bid and that report can be made available to the committee. No other federation is suspended at the moment. The matter with Karate was withdrawn and settlement sought.
Ms Patience Shikwambana, Acting CEO, SASCOC, said SASCOC has developed a dispute mechanism document endorsed by members in a general assembly. The process is if there is a dispute from a federation; SASCOC first tells them to exhaust their internal processes. The non-functional commission now is the colour sports federation and this is because the Department is busy with amendments to its regulations.
On the bid process, maybe the DG could help out because she was not part of the organisation then.
On the foreign adviser question, after the 2012 Olympic games, SA brought home six medals, the board decided that to keep that momentum going in preparation for Rio, an adviser should be engaged to help the federations to perform better. Prof Dicks was brought in to have one-on-one sessions with the federations to guide them.
The Chairperson suggested that when the ministerial enquiry is concluded, SASCOC and the Department will be called to brief the Committee. That might be the right thing to do. The questions that were asked now a detailed answer cannot be provided because of the ongoing enquiry.
Mr Mhlongo said his questions were not related to the ongoing enquiry, that SASCOC came here and told the Committee about R2.9m that was spent on litigations and questions asked was just to follow-us. Today that cost has escalated to R6m. Right now, all the cases being pursued are not known. This is not about the ongoing commission. How many cases are ongoing, how many pending and how much was used per case? SASCOC complains of lack of funds yet waste so much money in pursuing cases that costs so much. It was mentioned that SASCOC is funded by Phumelela; who are the other funders? Is the Department getting value for money on the funds it allocates to SASCOC?
Mr Ralegoma suggested that the Committee seemed to be deviating from the issue at hand and that it might be better to demand SASCOC present its financials at a later date. The Committee seems to be all over the place and even bringing issues related to the enquiry in progress.
The Chairperson also agreed that the agenda is Team SA delivery to the Commonwealth Games next month. Maybe it would be better for these questions to be dealt with after enquiry is concluded.
Ms Shikwambana said on the financial issues; since the suspension of the CFO, all financial issues are handled by the chairperson of the finance committee together with the Acting CEO’s office. The financials in the report only speak to the Commonwealth Games. No information is available on the organisation’s finances with them now. A detailed report can be sent to the Committee later if that is acceptable. The invitation extended to SASCOC was based on the commission of enquiry and the Commonwealth Games. No information on the previous meetings was brought to this meeting. It is correct that the audited financial statement is not yet completed because after the suspension of the CEO and CFO, the auditors felt more tests were needed to put together a durable financial statement. They will present that report in the June’s AGM.
SASCOC is funded by the IOC for managing the organisation and Olympic solidarity. This money is for athlete’s preparation, technical meetings/workshops and for the Tokyo Olympics. International Paralympics Committee (IPC) receives funds from Toyota that is distributed to its members, including SASCOC. The Commonwealth Games federation also provides travel grants for the teams travelling for the games. SRSA also funds SASCOC and they have indicated that a separate account be opened to manage the funding mandate which is high performance and team delivery. The last funding from Lotto was in 2016 amounting to R70m. Lotto’s money has enabled SASCOC to deliver SA teams.
Mr Hendricks said that as a new person coming into SASCOC the whole process is all embarrassing but he is determined to turn things around. Corruption and mismanagement must be exposed and an organisational introspection must take place. Improper processes have all come to the fore by the commission and this is welcomed. All resources and information will be availed to the enquiry to make it work. The new officials in SASCOC commit itself to be transparent to this Committee as well any information requested will be forwarded, including the financials in its current form, because it has been sanctioned by the audit committee. The policies and structure of the organisation is being changed now to reflect its needs. As for value for money, that is far from being achieved and the R6m in litigation fees is a waste. Too much time is spent on disputes instead of focusing on the athletes which is SASCOC’s core mandate. At all times proper documents has been presented to this committee and that is a given.
Mr Hendricks, in his presentation, stated that the opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth games is on 4 April 2018, the selection policies were signed between April/May 2017 and some National Federations were delayed due to further discussions and one athlete has gone to court and one to arbitration. The number of athletes going to the games is 107 males and 88 females. Prior to the Games, all athletes underwent medical screening using Periodic Health Evaluation (PHE) protocol. All athletes were required to declare their injuries prior to the Games and injured athletes will be taken off the team. In terms of anti-doping measures, copies of the 2018 prohibited list and Anti-doping standard for the 2018 Games were provided to the code managers. SASCOC is working with SAIDS to ensure a clean team is sent to the Games, SAIDS conducted education sessions at training camps, where possible. Media policy for the games states that the official spokesperson is the President of SASCOC and during Games –Chef de Mission. The Medical (CMO) will comment on medical issues and the code Manager to only comment on their Sport. In terms of budget, the total expenditure is projected at R 17,3m while the medal incentive is expected to cost R1, 6m.
Mr Mabika asked why athletes are taking SASCOC to court. What happens if an athlete gets injured when they touch down at Australia? How do you go about replacing them? On clothing, Bafana Bafana was wearing a no name kit at a certain time; what kind of kits do our athletes have this time around? How were the medal incentives numbers/figures worked out?
Mr Mhlongo welcomed the openness regarding the incentives for athletes. On procurement did the company named Sedca participate in any shape or form? Checking the numbers of athletes going, it is not diverse enough.
Mr Bergman, on the statement that no board member will go to the games, asked if the board members be going at their own expense? If none are going, it creates the impression that they only go when they get a free seat. The lady with a court case against SASCOC is not on the list, neither is the hockey athlete; it seems no lessons have been learnt. For these games the planned budget is R70m, who do SASCOC actually pay for to attend this games besides the athletes?
Mr Moteka was more concerned about transformation in sports, especially gender balance. 88 women to 107 men is not bad but the problem is with the balance in terms of officials. In Netball no single male official and no female official in athletics and the overall of 40 males to 16 female officials is impertinent and way below 50/50 ideal requirement. Next time a dedicated column should be created for highlighting rural athletes chosen for the games.
Mr Ralegoma also was critical that the makeup of the team in terms of racial composition was not highlighted because it shows how fr we have come in terms of transformation. The selection criteria should be made more transparent to avoid athletes taking the organisation to court.
Ms Shikwambana, on the issue of athletes taking the organisation to court, said they were all performance related and felt they should have been included in the team. SASCOC has a high-performance commission. After the federation has signed the selection criteria (which defers from each sporting code), they go through internal processes on how to arrive at giving SASCOC names of athletes that meets the criteria. When the names are sent, the high-performance commission then checks if they meet the criteria. The challenge is to ensure they meet the allocated number, for instance in gymnastics they have to choose two athletes and no more. Cycling did not even provide names of athletes to SASCOC yet failed to inform athletes as such.
If athletes get injured, there is a replacement policy in place from the pool of reserve athletes. Medal incentives were worked out anticipating of realising 15 gold, 10 silvers and 17 bronze, and the amount projected is already included in the budget. After 360 sponsorship fiasco, an Italian company (Blotto) were replaced as kit sponsors on a 60/40 basis. SASCOC will pay 60% of the cost while they cover 40% and a Cape Town based company will manufacture the clothing.
Racial representation is not what is expected because it is the same persons that went to the last Olympics that is representing the team, meaning new athletes are not being groomed and SASCOC is not happy about it.
On if SASCOC board members are going, we are not so sure, but Gideon Sam is going not as SASCOC president but as the Vice President of Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Nathalie de Toit as a member of athletes’ commission of CGF. No payments will be made for them. SASCOC will however pay for the athletes but not for their personal coaches. The racial composition of the team is as follows: 61.8% white, 38.2% black. Lotto were not ready to fund SASCOC but realised that the funding is not for the administrators but for the athletes, that is why they reconsidered.
SRSA 3RD Quarter operational performance
Minister Thokozile Xasa, the new minister for sports and Recreation South Africa, thanked all present and restated that it was a big learning curve appearing before the committee for the first time today. Listening to the Members articulate some of the issues relating to sports was a privilege and the deliberations will assist her to ask the relevant questions when briefed by the Department. She committed to work closely with the Committee to develop a relationship that will benefit sports in SA. She also holds the view that the work this portfolio Committee does is not appreciated by the wider in SA society. The mission today is to table the Department’s 3rd quarter performance for 2017/18 financial year. Since the financial year is not yet ended, some of the indicators will definitely change. The DG will give a narrative of how some the targets has been overtaken by latest developments. Current target updates will also be provided. The Department is confident of achieving most targets set as the financial year draws to a close and to work towards maintaining a clean audit that has been consistently achieved in the last five years.
Mr Alec Moemi, DG, SRSA, said the focus of the presentation will be on targets not achieved to save time.
On the number of client satisfaction surveys reports presented, the annual target of one was not achieved but this was done thirty days to the end of quarter and has been overtaken by most events. It has since been signed off and is now achieved.
On the number of recreation promotional campaigns and events implemented per year, four targets were set all report has been finalised and a special management meeting will take place on Thursday to approve the reports. Most of the events take place at the 3rd quarter so it takes some time to finalise verifications.
On the number of people actively participating in recreation promotion campaign and events per year, 42 250 was the target set for the year. That target was not met because 67 minutes implementation of this programme was not actioned as originally planned and as a result, the number of participants targeted was reduced.
5 136 annual target was set on the number of people actively participating in sport promotion campaigns and events per year; verification is ongoing and so far 3 451 has been verified.
On the number of people actively participating in organised sport and active recreation events, 1m target was set for the year. So far it is a struggle to reach that target and is one of the targets that entirely reliant the provinces to attain. Cumulatively only 272 818 of the target has been reached and a deficit of 443 779. Provinces have been asked to submit their reports and the targets might be revised downwards because of the departmental budget cuts for three years in a row while the target remained the same.
On number of learners participating in school sport tournaments at district level, only the Eastern Cape set a target 5 000 and no report has been provided to SRSA so far while other provinces have set no targets at all.
SRSA financial performance as at 31 December 2017
Mr Moemi explained that the overall spending is at R671m, which represents 62.9% of total budget allocation of R1.067b. Spending on Compensation of employees is at 72% totalling R76.4m out of a budget of R106m. Expenditure on Goods and services is at 94.5% totalling R152.5m out of a budget of R161.5 million. This is consistent with the Department’s expenditure pattern because the bulk of expenditure is in the 3rd quarter. SA being a summer country, most sporting activities takes place at this time. Transfer payments’ spending is at 55.2% totalling R439.4m out of a budget of R796m. The Division of Revenue Act (DoRA) transfers were scheduled to be at 75% in the third quarter (20% Qrt1 and Qrt3, and 30% in Qrt2), However 7 of 9 provinces were penalised between 5% and 25% of their second transfer. Third Quarter transfers were not made yet thus, the under spending of 28%.
Mr Bergman held that he is a fan of the multi-purpose courts and if delays from provinces are affecting getting accurate figures another way to change the indicators is measuring the percentage of progress based on the outstanding deliveries taking place. The behaviour of the Minister in the Davis Cup game showed a lack of sportsmanship. It is good to protest but when one is the Minister of Sports and Recreation SA that person is an ambassador of sports. It could affect SA hosting that tournament in future.
In terms of the park run model that was advocated last time, it has not been interrogated enough. How come there are thousands of people every Saturday from 8-9am will get up and go for a park run? It costs nothing, and what can government do to facilitate that such activity is brought closer to all our all areas that will be free for parents and children? Something has to be done that brings children out to participate in sports. Scouts can then identify talents from there that could even be given bursaries to study.
Mr Moteka told the Minister to refocus her Department’s activities in the rural communities because nothing is happening there. People are passionate about sports but there is no support whatsoever from government.
Ms Abrahams asked who is responsible for managing the hubs in the communities. Can communities directly approach the hubs? Any M&E taking place? What are the consequences if policies are not adhered to?
Mr Moemi said that sports are a department of government and the diplomatic posture has to be followed. If SA government currently has relations with Israel and that relations has not been downgraded then there is no mandate to tell a South African team not to honour that tie. SA must not forget that when this country was shunned by the rest of the world, it was because it behaved as a pariah to its own people and as a bully to the rest of the region; something Israel is accused of today. SA does believe in unilateralism and the United Nations, a body which Israel as a member has passed several general body resolutions and that is what SA has to abide to. Unless the politicians change government postures, the administrators like the DG will have to follow government policy.
The Department has implemented the suggested policy that there must be days when municipalities must open their facilities for free for park runs. That is why the bulk of the park runs happen at government facilities such as parks but so far only in metros. Directives now have to be issued to the districts to that effect. The Department also advised the Minister to write to leaders of political parties for all of them in all municipalities they govern to yield to this proposal to open up recreational facilities for open days free to members of the public. For a start, it could be once a month.
There is no way SRSA could get a clean audit if the numbers do not correlate with the audit, in other words the numbers are good. The guidance is that 60% of the facilities should be located in the rural areas so the rural areas are not forgotten. The problem is that the municipalities that need the facilities the most are not spending their Municipal Infrastructure Grants (MIGs) on sports facilities. The hubs are community based and are managed by volunteers.
The meeting was adjourned.
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