Boxing SA, SAIDS & Sport and Recreation Department 2018/19 Annual Performance Plan with Minister

Sports, Arts and Culture

17 April 2018
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was briefed by Boxing South Africa (BSA), the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) and the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) on their Annual Performance Plans (APP) for the 2018/19 financial year, in the presence of the Minister. The BSA presented its APP to the Committee where mention was made of highlights for the financial year, performance indicators, challenges and budgets/expenditure. The presentation also looked at the programmes of the entity in terms of expenditure over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

The Committee was concerned about the decline of sanctioned fights and boxing in general in the Eastern Cape – Members asked what the reason for this was especially as a recurring question where BSA seemed to have no concrete plans/answers. The Committee questioned the fining of boxers not meeting their weight category, decline in tournaments held in the current financial year, filling of vacancies and diversity in the BSA Board. Members were also interested in equity in boxing, between males and females, transformation in the sport, promotion/marketing of boxing in the provinces/rural areas, criteria for the issuing of licences and monitoring of the licences.  There was discussion on a boxing boo manual, sponsorship/donations received, other than from the Department, broadcasting of boxing matches and relationships with the SA National Boxing Association.

The Committee questioned SA having a standard laboratory, relationships between the entity and other sporting codes, assurance of a clean audit outcome and the lab in Bloemfontein losing its accreditation status. Other areas questioned included implications of losing Lottery funding, private entities muscling the SAIDS out of business and procurement compliance.

The Department then presented its 2018/19 APP to the Committee with a foreword provided by the Minister. The Minister commended the great job done by South African athletes at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. The Department’s presentation looked at the budget and MTEF estimates by economic classification, programme and sub programme. Members were also informed of under-achievements, challenges experienced in the 2017/18 financial year and areas the Department aimed to focus on in the medium term.

The Committee probed the recognition of car spinning, delays with the provinces, sports promotional buses and sponsorships. Members questioned community involvement, creation of sustainable jobs, impacts of budget cuts on administration, transfers to federations/provinces and filling of vacancies and what the Department was doing about the SA Football Association (SAFA) / Premier Soccer League (PSL) saga. Discussion was had on the impact of non-compliance by federations and provinces on the Department’s audit outcomes

Members asked if under motor car spinning is formally recognised as a sport in SA. Others wanted to know the impact the budget cuts has on administration and transfers to federations and provinces. On SAFA /PSL saga; there was a question on how the department and the committee could intervene to get things right in SA football.

Meeting report

The Chairperson recognised the presence of the Minister of Sports and Recreation. She hoped that the Committee’s aims and objectives would be achieved because the wish of the Committee is to leave a legacy behind.

She informed the Committee that Ms D Manana (ANC) was redeployed to Mpumalanga and replaced by Mr A Botes (ANC) who, in addition to being a Member of this Committee, also sits in the Social Services Cluster.

The Committee adopted its agenda for the day without amendment.

Boxing SA (BSA)

Mr Tsholofelo Lejaka, BSA CEO, apologised for the absence of the Chairperson of the BSA Board, Dr Peter Malefetsane Ngatane, who already informed the Committee of his inability to attend because of an international engagement in Kenya. Dr Ngatane however has requested that Mr Khulile Radu, a board member and head of the sanctions committee, lead the delegation today.

Mr Lejaka then presented highlights of the BSA’s 2018/19 Annual Performance Plan (APP). This included:

  • On 2 February, Boxing South Africa, in partnership with the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, hosted the South African Boxing Awards in Port Elizabeth
  • 78 Boxing tournaments were sanctioned during 2017/2018 up from 75 in 2016/2017
  • Boxing South Africa established a Medical Commission in November 2017
  • In April 2017, Zolani Tete won the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Bantamweight Title of the World becoming the only South African World Champion in the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF Rankings
  • In August 2017, four tournaments by female boxing promoters were held as part of the Women in Boxing program
  • During the past financial year, BSA moved to its own office premises as part of its program to strengthen internal capacity
  • Preparations for the inaugural Southern African Development Community (SADC) Professional Boxing Convention, to be held at the Birchwood Hotel from 23-27 May 2018, are already at an advanced stage
  • A total of 78 tournaments were sanctioned for the 2017/18 financial year with Gauteng leading the pack with 31 tournaments followed by the Eastern Cape which is a decline compared to previous years. North West had no sanctioned tournament for the financial year under review.

The draft 2018/19 APP has 21 performance indicators, down from 31 in the 2017/18 APP. This revision has mostly been informed by the prior year’s audit findings and it is meant to ensure that the BSA APP is properly aligned to SMART Principles. 

Challenges included:

  • Insufficient funding vis-à-vis total mandate as per the Boxing Act
  • Inadequate and/or inconsistent boxing broadcast
  • Unaligned financial assistance by most municipalities and provincial departments when sponsoring boxing tournaments
  • Inadequate capacity at provincial and regional level (provincial managers)
  • A little pool of female boxers in most weight divisions
  • Little programmatic relations between BSA and the SA National Boxing Association (SANABO)
  • Disputes by some promoters associations in relation to sanction levies
  • Capacity building challenges among most BSA licensees

Mr Lejaka then turned to the budget noting the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) supported expenditure trends and estimates by sub-programme and economic classification in terms of Transfers and Subsidies. Hence, the average increase of the budget appropriated to Boxing SA over the three-year period has increased with 13.4 % from 2014/15 to 2017/18 while the average expenditure constitutes 6.8 % of the total expenditure of the sub-programme.  The average projected growth over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period 2017/18 – 2020/21 is expected to be 5.6% and the average projected expenditure will constitute 7.7% of total expenditure for the sub-programme

BSA expected medium-term expenditure estimates for 2018/18 financial year was R12 268 million, which equates to a growth rate of 5.6%.

SRSA grants constitute 81.70% of the BSA budget, followed by sanctioning fees at 14.01%. Interest earned accounts for 0.31% of the BSA budget while penalties and forfeits form 0.17% of the budget.

Turning to Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) for 2018, Mr Lejaka said BSA consists of three programmes:

  • Programme One: Governance and Administration
  • Programme Two: Boxing Development
  • Programme Three:  Boxing Promotion

Administration constituted 75.7% of the average total expenditure over the MTEF period of 2014/15 -2017/18 and it has increased on average with 5.7% over the same period. The estimated average increase for the MTEF period, 2017/18 - 2020/21, is projected at 6.1%, whilst the programme is expected to constitute 78.2% of the total estimated expenditure for the same period.

Boxing Promotion is projected to grow at an average percentage increase of 4.1% over the MTEF period, 2017/18 - 2020/21, whilst it projected to constitute an average of 10.9% as a percentage of total expenditure for the same period.

Boxing Development constituted 15.3% of the average total expenditure over the MTEF period of 2014/15 -2017/18 and it decreased on average with 19.8% over the same period. The estimated average increase for the MTEF period 2017/18 -2020/21 is projected at 4.1%, whilst the programme is expected to constitute 10.9% of the total estimated expenditure for the same period.

Compensation of Employees constituted 36.5% of the average total expenditure over the MTEF period of 2014/15 -2017/18 and it has marginally increased on average by 7.0% over the same period. The estimated average increase for the MTEF period 2017/18 -2020/21 is projected at 2.2%, whilst it is anticipated that compensation shall constitute 50.2% of the total estimated average expenditure for the same period.

Goods and Services constitute 63.1% of the average total expenditure over the MTEF period of 2014/15 -2017/18 and has increased on average by only 1.5% over the same period. The estimated average increase for the MTEF period 2017/18 -2020/21 is projected at 9.9%, whilst the programme is anticipated to constitute 49.6% of the total estimated expenditure for the same period

Depreciation and investment in capital expenditure has not been appropriately prioritised over the 2014/15 – 2017/18 MTEF period, however it constituted 0.4% of the average total expenditure during the same period. Depreciation is anticipated to constitute 0.2% of the average total cost of expenditure for the MTEF period 2017/18-2020/21.

Discussion

Mr L Ntshayisa (AIC) was concerned about the decline of sanctioned fights and boxing in general in the Eastern Cape – what could the reason for this be? What plans are in place to ensure that rural boxing is promoted? This is a recurring question and there seems to be no concrete answers/plans emanating from BSA. It was mentioned that a boxer who did not meet the weight criteria is fined, what then is the percentage that is taken from their purse money knowing that these are young people trying to earn an honest living.

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) welcomed the Report but complained about the quality of the presentation thereof. He wanted to know what quality in terms of tournaments held meant and why there was a decline from 80 to 78 in tournaments held in the current financial year. There are provinces that had no tournaments staged at all - what are the challenges in North West and Northern Cape and why were they not mentioned in the presentation? When does BSA envisage filling the driver vacancy? On diversity in the Board structure, the Committee expects a breakdown of male/female/ race and age representation. What is the percentage envisioned in boxing development and administration? On the eight challenges mentioned, what are the remedies foreseen? These challenges were there in the previous year and are a carry over. How many women licensees does BSA have? A female boxer in a recent interview stated that she was earning way less than her male counterparts - what are the earning differentials between male and female boxers? Equity must be maintained in boxing. What mechanisms are in place to ensure that transformation takes place in boxing? It would be a good idea to have amateur boxers accompany BSA to one of the Committee sittings so that Members can hear their challenges directly.

Ms B Abrahams (ANC) also wanted to know why the Northern Cape, having zero tournaments, was not mentioned in the presentation. What is afoot towards assisting provinces with low tournament figures? How is boxing promoted in these provinces? In programme two, under performance indicators, six policies or procedures were viewed and approved – did this refer to policies or procedures or both? 1 000 licences were issued in the current financial year - what were the criteria used for issuance of the said licences? How are those issued with licences monitored to ensure they utilise the licences? What is the marketing strategy of BSA in rural and township areas? Is there any skills development programme in place? Why is there no boxing book manual published by BSA? Besides the grants received from the Department, is there any other sponsorship or donations BSA receives from other bodies or corporates?

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) appreciated the presentation although he found the financials a bit confusing. Is the boxing decline in some of the provinces due to restructuring that took place? Another concern is the reliance on provinces and municipalities to stage tournaments - this should not be the responsibility of provinces and municipalities. The fact that some provinces had zero tournament staged could be a reflection of the fact that they do not see boxing as a priority. The right thing to do is to unearth promoters who have the capacity to stage tournaments across the country. The demographic of promoters should be looked into because as is currently organised, it is dominated by white males. Other races should be encouraged to take up promotion of fights. More work needs to be done to change the slot allocated to boxing on TV by the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) - that could be the singular reason boxing is not making any inroads. There should also be some kind of structured programmatic relationships fostered with SANABO, who is in charge of amateur boxing. This will be mutually beneficial and will ensure that amateur boxers are channelled to the professional boxing sphere. The Boxing Act also specifies that such a relationship should exist.

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) noted that BSA indicated it has secured two sponsors - is two sponsors good enough to improve boxing in SA? There is a correlation between tournaments and the existence of boxing in provinces - the fact that there are no tournaments taking place in some provinces means that less boxing is happening there. Why is nothing happening in North West and Northern Cape? Is it because these provinces are weak and afraid? An explanation is needed for this state of affairs. He asked that the Committee salute the South African athletes who performed exceptionally well in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Australia -he hope this standard was maintained in bigger events.

The Chairperson confirmed that she has already sent a congratulatory letter to Team SA on behalf of the Committee.

Mr Lejaka apologised for the difficulty that the presentation caused to the Committee and promised it will not recur.  On the Northern Cape situation, it has to be noted there were no licensees in that province in the 2016/17 financial year and that led BSA to create a special dispensation to recruit licensees there. The province now has 11 licensees. The current licensees circle will close on 26 May so BSA will be able to account for the number of licenses granted for the 2018/19 financial year. As for the total of licensees in the data base, BSA has a total 1 208 across the country, 108 of which are female. In August 2017, a special dispensation was created to recruit more female licensees. Statistically it might be a small number but it is evolving and progress is consistently being made and the number will continue to grow.

On the dwindling number of tournament activity in the Eastern Cape, there is an array of factors. The province still leads in the number of boxers. Part of the problem is the conduct of promoters many of whom do not respect the rules and compliance requirements – this resulted in two cases, in the 2015/16 financial year where purse money of boxers was not paid. This also led to the suspension of two promoters.  Last year, a female promoter was also suspended because of the falsification of compliance requirements. To deliver a tournament, BSA is the custodian of the Boxing Act and regulations. BSA depends on promoters to initiate that process.  31 days before a tournament, the promoter will apply to host a tournament with proposed bills. These bills have to state the number of fights in that tournament with the male and female supporting bouts, as the case may be. It also has to be accompanied with some set of compliance documents. All of this is expressly stated in compliance regulations. If the promoter may not be able to pay purse money on time, the regulation states that he/she must give a compelling reason for not being able to do so. In this case, if the reasons are not compelling enough, BSA has the right not to sanction such a fight. Other issues in the Eastern Cape are capacity-related. What sustains Gauteng is sponsorship – this is absent in the Eastern Cape and the province depends on government assistance.

Mr Lejaka said the plan to roll out boxing in rural communities and marketing strategies hinges on BSA’s financial incapacity and its inability to aggressively market boxing in the rural areas and embark on road shows. BSA is currently focused on increasing its pool of licensees. Even though BSA has 787 licensees, not all boxers have the opportunity to fight or participate in a tournament by year end. The focus is not to enrol more boxers but to assist those already in the system to get tournament opportunity. BSA requests that the Committee allow it to focus on this strategy for now.

On positions in the structure, the organisational structure has not been reviewed at the moment so the pressing need now is not to fill the vacancy of messenger and driver. A position in marketing and strategy will take precedence when the strategy is reviewed. On Board diversity, out of the seven Board members, two are female, five are male and one is White.

There are action plans in the eight challenges mentioned. There are still challenges in sorting out an inadequate broadcast slot from the SABC. The big problem is the instability at the SABC which is setting BSA backwards. The SABC issued a bid in August 2017 for promoters to roll out boxing on a monthly basis but later pulled out of the arrangement. This arrangement took a year’s constant brainstorming with the SABC and BSA. The SABC cited financial challenges as the reason for pulling out. This has now forced BSA to turn to Supersport and other broadcasters, such as Soweto and KZN TV.

On purse money, the minimum amount paid is R1 000 per round for both male and female boxers though other variables come into play such as the personality and the pull power of the boxer to draw a larger crowd. In such cases, the purse money commanded will be more and unregulated. 

On current litigation against BSA, the fives cases in court are all from dismissed officials of BSA who took the entity to court. BSA is ensuring that no new cases go to court.  The only exception was from a Philippine boxer who participated in a tournament in SA in 2015. This came about when the South African boxer’s purse money was paid and the Philippine was not - the practice is that a non-SA boxer normally gets paid through the agent and promoter, not directly from the BSA. When the Philippine boxer heard that the SA boxer was paid, he took BSA to court maintaining that the promoter did not pay him and BSA is partly responsible because it sanctioned the tournament.

There is no boxing publication at the moment though plans are in an advanced stage to issue one by December 2018.

Ms Cindy Nkomo, BSA Operations Manager, added that 20% of boxers were fined for not meeting their weight division – that was the percentage regardless of the stature of the tournament. Should it be an SA promoter hosting a tournament, the split is still 20% however a further 10% goes to the promoter that assists in covering some damages incurred. Boxers are assisted to ensure they meet weight requirements such as pre-medical weigh which takes place seven days before the tournament. The second phase comes 24 hours before the tournament in the form of a pre-tournament weigh in where a boxer is given a few hours to lose the weight should they still not meet the weight requirements.

Boxers being paid on time have greatly improved and BSA has ensured that no tournament takes place without the purse money ready. Requesting promoters pay 10% ahead of tournaments ensures that even in cases when tournaments do not take place, boxers are compensated.

BSA had 108 female licensees in the last financial year, 67 female boxers, 20 promoters and 16 officials with the rest being ring announcers, managers etc. In August 2017, a special privilege was accorded females only and this yielded some female managers, previously the domain of males. In its good wisdom, the Board also inaugurated women in the boxing committee to specifically look at challenges faced by female boxers.  

Mr Mhlongo, in a follow-up question, stated that the Board, comprising two females and one White, does not denote diversity. Diversity should included young people. How much was spent on the last boxing award? How much of that money came from the Department and sponsors?

Ms Abrahams wanted to know of the health risks faced by boxers if they were to lose a certain amount of weight within 24hours - what does it involve to lose weight within such a short time? This will certainly help many of those wanting to lose weight.

Mr Ralegoma stated that transformation, as understood by the Committee, was very clear. New criteria should not be added so as not to cause confusion because youth has never been considered as part of transformation. The present dispensation includes previously disadvantaged persons and it should remain so until it is reviewed.

Mr Lejaka responded that the Board does in fact have a young person - BSA will package it according to all the variables represented and send it to the Committee later. In human resources there is an approved and funded structures – this was presented to the Committee. There are also positions additional to the establishment which meant an interim position is created which is not in the approved and funded structure. BSA’s desire is not to mislead but to declare the approved and funded structures to the Committee which forms part of this APP. BSA has capacity building initiatives for its licensees that involves training programmes. This involves going into communities to train boxers to understand anti-doping dynamics, good nutrition, how to lose weight, investment for the future and how to brand themselves so as to attract sponsors and endorsements. These are all critical issues mandated by the Board to be addressed in the 2018/19 financial year.

Mr Alec Moemi, SRSA DG, added that it should be agreed that both SANABO and BSA should appear before the Committee sometime because some of the issues raised does not really lay at the domain of BSA in terms of the law – the BSA is simply a regulatory body and cannot be expected to do the work of the Federation. The expectation that BSA be allowed to organise tournaments is not allowed in law - the Act does not allow it to be a referee and a player at the same time. The BSA is only a referee who sanctions tournaments while others organised the tournaments. Organising is work of the promoters while the BSA licensed the promoters. Looking at the promoters licensed, there may not be more than five that merit to be called promoters in the true sense of the word. The serious question to be answered here is: can the state subsidise capital? The expectation is that government must fund promoters to promote tournaments while promotion is purely a business. All over the world promotion is driven by sponsorship and for that to happen, the essential things must be in place such as professionalism, the ability to package a proper proposal that is worthy to be sponsored and the ability of the promoter to convince corporate SA to invest in its concept. This also includes the quality of boxers and the entertainment value of the show that can compel spectators to buy a ticket to watch the match. How many promoters in SA are able to do that?  With all this at play, the appetite of provinces and municipalities to throw money into boxing has dissipated and BSA cannot be blamed for it.

SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport

Dr M’zwake Qobose, SAIDS Board member, apologised for the absence of the SAIDS CEO, Mr Khalid Galant, who had prior engagements. He highlighted some areas pertinent to the SAIDS, such as financial constraints. The SAIDS pledges to continue to maintain the integrity of sports in SA in spite of these challenges. He was glad to report of the good news received from the SRSA regarding the Bloemfontein laboratory - this will help alleviate financial limitations faced by the SAIDS. However, an envisaged, decreased funding from the Lottery Board will hamper some of SAIDS operations. SAIDS is striving to achieve a clean audit, not only because of the directive from the SRSA, but because it is one of the Board’s objectives. The Board notes the achievements of SA athletes, especially the junior athletes, and will strive to educate athletes and double its awareness campaigns to keep SA athletes clean from doping with emphasis on healthy living and playing fair. 

Mr Onke Ngwane, SAIDS CFO, held that the Strategic Plan is derived from the mandate emanating out of the Drug-Free Sport Act (Act No 14, 1997 and amended in 2005).  The core strategic objectives are reflected in the Act, namely, governance and finance, drug testing, anti-doping education, results management and international collaboration. Governance and finance objectives are shaped by compliance to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and King IV regulations. Drug testing, anti-doping education and results management are shaped by compliance to the World Anti-Doping Code and the National Anti-Doping Rules. International Collaboration is shaped by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Convention against Doping in Sport, to which the SA government is a signatory.

Looking at the performance environment of the 2018/19 APP, there were no substantive changes to the performance delivery environment as envisaged in the Strategic Plan. However, due to austerity measures and implementation of aspects of the SAIDS Risk Mitigation Plan, selected performance indicator values were reduced. Some envisaged challenges are:

-Loss of accredited national doping control laboratory

-Initiated risk mitigation plan

-Increased costs of testing and transportation costs

-”Smarter” and more efficient testing

-Testing allocated to high and medium risk sports

-Reduction in annual tests allocation

-Stagnant budget

-Work with what the entity has

In 2018/19, R30 million is expected to be given as the SRSA grant.

The operational programme divisions of the SAIDS were:

-Administration: International Relations, Finance and Compliance

-Doping Control, Results Management and Investigations

-Education, Research and Outreach

The management team of SAIDS is confident the entity has sufficient resources and human capital to implement the 2018/19 APP against the documented indicators..

Discussion

Mr Mhlongo welcomed the presentation and requested the Committee make an effort to visit the Bloemfontein laboratory for an oversight visit. He noted that Ethiopia is ahead of SA in testing and bemoaned the cost involved in sending test samples abroad. What mechanisms are in place to ensure that SA has a standard laboratory? What are the gaps that this Committee can assist with? Is it more resources?  How much exactly is needed? Is there a relationship, in the form of meetings, interactions and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), between the SAIDS and all other sporting codes? Is SAIDS assuring the Committee that it will get a clean audit come the next financial year?

Mr Mmusi wanted to know when it is necessary to carry out a urine test. The issue of the Bloem lab was mentioned in the SAIDS’s previous appearance - could the Committee be refreshed as to the reasons the lab lost its accreditation?

Ms Abrahams asked how SAIDS envisions overcoming difficulties it will encounter if it loses the Lottery funding.

Mr Ralegoma asked if SAIDS is still making a difference in sports due to reduced testing as a result of losing its Bloem lab accreditation. The worry is that if that niche is not there anymore, other private entities might muscle the SAIDS out of business. Is SAIDS still a model in Africa and still attracting other African countries to test samples? With the change in the two year funding model of the Lottery, what is the expected impact on SAIDS operations? On issues of procurement compliance, can the Committee be assured that stability presently enjoyed by the SAIDS will continue so that it can get a clean audit?

Dr Qobose replied that the MOU with other sporting codes, the SAIDS does invite the codes to affiliate to it in terms of testing because only those affiliated to SAIDS are tested by it. In education programmes, SAIDS goes to all without the requirement of affiliation. On urine and blood testing, because of budget constraints, intelligent testing is carried out which is also dependent on the sport the athlete is undertaking. Different systems are used - for instance cyclists are tested differently to runners. A marathon runner, for example, would need more oxygen to perform over a long period. Blood tests are therefore only carried out on selected athletes.

Mr Ngwane stated that in terms of compliance, the SAIDS has ensure Treasury directives are followed. No irregular expenditure was identified so far in the last financial year. On the ability of SAIDS to continue to function if Lottery funding is not secured, the SAIDS in fact still has funding from the Lottery for the current financial year. Going forward there are plans in place to streamline expenses if that funding is no longer forthcoming.

Mr Graham Abrahams, SAIDS Board member, said that Members should be aware that it is not a SAIDS lab but a South Africa lab i.e. totally independent of the SAIDS. He hoped that the lab soon regained its accreditation. On plans to reduce doping in sports, SAIDS is bringing investigate capacity by collaborating with the Hawks and police because it makes no sense to only catch the doping athlete but the suppliers should be targeted too. The reduced number of testing therefore does not equate to less effectiveness. The SAIDS can boldly say that it is making a difference but certainly can do better. On the SAIDS creating a vacuum that could see other private businesses step in, fortunately there could be no other anti-doping body in SA - this is legislated and part of SA’s governance structure. The SAIDS is still a model in Africa but it will not rest on its laurels. The SAIDS cannot guarantee a clean audit but will take every measure to ensure that it is a possibility next year because controls and compliance mechanisms are already in place. On sustainability, the Board is already devising means to raise funds for the entity however, because of conflict of interest issues, the SAIDS will be careful on how it goes about doing that.

Mr Moemi stated that the lab lost its accreditation due to non-compliance in meeting standards and codes of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).  The lab is not a government institution but a WADA accredited lab and it prefers that governments, or national anti-doping agencies, are not involved in the operation of its labs. The lab is situated in the Free State University. In Africa, SA is the only country where the SAIDS lab has retained its accreditation – the other labs on the continent (Tunis and Cairo) have lost its accreditation. This is mainly because governments have lost appetite to put up resources needed to capacitate the labs.  The main reason other African countries are not interested in reviving its labs are because it is cheaper to send samples across the Mediterranean to Europe to test there. The whole of sub-Saharan Africa has no accredited lab except the one in SA. This is also as a result of SA disproving the Afro pessimism narrative that Africans south of the Sahara are incapable of running and maintaining anything. That is why SA will ensure that this lab does not close. This lab is therefore a matter of national and continental pride for SA. When the Bloem lab lost its accreditation, the SAIDS was forced to send its samples to Qatar which was the closest. When testing there, the issue of chain of custody became a serious challenge. When urine and blood comes from SA, other countries are not so happy to receive these samples because of fear of contamination. Cost also was another issue because the SAIDS struggled to carry the cost as it nearly wiped off all its cash flow taking into consideration the unfavourable Rand Dollar exchange rate. The lab has now regained accreditation for blood test only and work is underway to also regain that for urine. WADA is scheduled for an evaluation visit next month and it is confident it will regain urine test accreditation. The Minister is pushing two pieces of legislation in this session - one being amendment to the SAIDS Act on informed consent. If passed it will compel the SAIDS to test students where parents has given informed consent for the children to play sports in schools to automatically also consent for that child to be tested for drug use. Currently, the SAIDS have no such power to test in schools without the approval of the governing body and principal of the school. SA has terrible statistics of its youth, especially those playing rugby, using steroids and prohibited substances. Government invests so much money in schools sports only for these same people not to be eligible for selection because of doping. To protect this invest, these children have to be tested in schools. The SRSA expects that the predominantly White governing bodies will oppose the legislation but the SRSA will not back down.

As for the SAIDS not promising to get a clean audit, the Minister has prescribed and informed the new Board that it must obtain a clean audit in the 2018/19 financial year – this was an expectation and is a condition for the transfer of funds to the entity.

Comments by the Minister of Sport and Recreation

Minister Tokozile Xasa said the SRSA is starting on a high note by welcoming team SA back home after flying the SA flag very high in Australia for the Commonwealth Games. The athletes were happy and proud South Africans in the games. The business of sports is very critical in SA because it is a vehicle that contributes to nation building. At the time of flying the flag high at the Commonwealth Games, all South Africans were also celebrating the icon of the country that just passed away, Mam’Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Sports has opened opportunities for young people in SA to participate and be recognised in global platforms. It is a thing of pride that government uses sports to open such opportunities for its young citizens. More good things are expected from the Department in contributing to turn SA into a winning nation. This is a moment of hope for SA. As SRSA will be presenting its APP, it hopes to put forward a case for sports because the budget for SRSA has experienced many cuts due to the current financial situation. National federations would have to have a focused approach moving forward with a special emphasis on schools sports using the Department of Basic Education as a partner.

Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA)

Mr Moemi stated that the total budget and MTEF estimates for 2018/19 is R1 090.8 billion.  By economic classification, currents payments for the 2018/19 financial year is R278 million - compensation for employees amounts to R111 million while goods and services is R167 million. The bulk of transfers still went to transfers and subsidies with most of that money spent as conditional grants to the provinces. Allocations to the provinces form the bulk of payments at R587.4 million whilst the departmental accounts and agency stands at R36.7 million. Money given to Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) is R179 million – this is given equitably not equally. The capital and equipment budget is R8 million. The SRSA recapitalisation exercise is being affected.

Members were then taken through the budget per programme, sub programme and economic classification. Achievements of 2017/18 are being subjected to verification, followed by external auditing. However, conservatively, it is envisaged that achievement will be over 82%.

Areas of under-achievement may include:

-Number of people actively participating in organised sport and active recreation events

-Number of National Federations (NFs) submitting completed data sheets on transformation status

-Number of NFs entering into transformation barometer agreements with the Minister

Challenges experienced in the 2017/18 financial year included:

-Performance was negatively impacted upon by areas of dependencies. With delivery through provinces, there were challenges such as delayed reporting and duplication of participants’ lists

-The transformation indicators are dependent on full cooperation of national federations

-The Department was not able to fill its vacancies as per the new organisational structure because of financial constraints

Over the medium term, the Department intends to focus on:

-promoting participation in sport and recreation

-fostering transformation in sport and recreation

-developing talented athletes by providing them with opportunities to excel

-supporting high performing athletes to achieve success in the international sporting arena

-supporting delivery of sport infrastructure

However, following baseline reductions in December 2017, the Department was compelled to review targets planned over the MTEF as well as to reconsider project delivery modalities envisaged.  As the largest baseline reduction was taken from the Mass Participation and Sport Development Grant (R31 million), it would be expected that this is where the largest impact on targets would be experienced.  The large target of 1 000 000 people actively participating in organised sport and active recreation events will be reduced to 600 000 people for 2018/19. 

The SRSA is allocated R1 090 billion (0.07%) of the R1 483 066 trillion available in the Consolidated Government Expenditure (by function).  This is for a population count of 56.5 million (estimated by StatsSA in 2017).  Supporting 600 000 people to actively participate in organised sport and active recreation events during 2018/19 will amount to a reach of 1.06% of the population. 

Discussion

Mr Mhlongo welcomed the presentation and asked if under motor sport, car spinning is formally recognised in SA. He welcomed the ECD manual which will be implemented. Is the Department winning in dealing with delays in provinces sending lists to the Department? How many sports promotional buses are there in the country? Could the picture of the buses be shown to the Committee so Members can recognise them when they are seen?

Ms Abrahams thanked the SRSA for a very informative presentation and asked about the influence on underage children playing netball sponsored by Brutal Fruit. How many sustainable jobs were created on infrastructure projects? How can the community be involved in maintenance and taking ownership of such projects?

Mr Ralegoma asked what impacts budget cuts has on administration and transfers to federations and provinces. How could the Department and Committee intervene to sort things out regarding the SA Football Association (SAFA) / Premier Soccer League (PSL) saga? The PSL is doing as it pleases and as a result, SA has no knowledge of the core of its national football team. Is a summit needed to review the present status quo? What is the impact of non-compliance by federations and provinces on the Department’s audit outcomes? Is there a way to shuffle the Department’s targets not to be overly concentrated on the third quarter?

The Chairperson asked about the impact of the SRSA’s admin budget cuts on its ability to fill existing vacancies. Is there room for legal action to be taken against SAFA and the PSL? It is stated in the media that the SRSA has withdrawn actions already taken regarding the stadium stampede - what is the correct situation?

Mr Moemi responded that car spinning approached the former Minister asking to be recognised as a sports body but the inclination all over the world is that they are recognised as a sub of motor sports and not as a stand-alone federation. As a motor car is the primary instrument used for the sports, it therefore has to be taken as a sub of motor sports and it has to seek recognition under that category. Motor sport was resisting for some time largely because spinning is mainly played by black males. Motor sport is relatively a small federation of motor and motorcycle enthusiasts and could be swamped and controlled by Blacks if they were admitted. When nudged by SRSA, a loophole was found in the constitution of the sport. The spinners were then told to have its own executives to be recognised as an associate member of motor sports, which they know have. That means that spinning now has partial recognition. This is a matter still receiving attention from the Department.

The Department is attending to the delayed reporting of provinces.

There are a total of 12 sports buses - three remains with SRSA nationally for the ministerial outreach programme while each province is allocated one bus each.

Currently, sponsorship for sports is terrible in SA. Submissions were made to the Davis Tax Committee to consider SRSA proposals to the Tax Act. The amendment of Section18 (A) of that Act will afford companies that sponsor sports a better tax rebate. Presently such rebates are removed from Schedule B. Companies that sponsor sports want a certificate that will allow them to claim that money as a tax rebate. Sports are not listed there, unlike charities and homes for children etc, and companies are more amenable presently towards sponsoring organisations that fall under that Schedule rather than sports.

On maintenance of sports infrastructures, an agreement is presently being signed with municipalities that facilities are handed over to.

Mr Moemi said this was the first time that the Department was cutting the budget of/transfer to the federations. This cut will target Category Three. In hindsight, sending a lone athlete to the Winter Olympics, and three others to support that athlete, was not a good idea and should not have been funded by government. This is especially so when everyone knew SA would not get a medal from those games. 

The SAFA/PSL matter needs decisive political action. The legal and administrative instruments are there but key political decision has to be made. This SAFA/PSL arrangement is perverse on many levels and there are ways to handle it. One option is the Nigerian style. Government took decisive action to interfere knowing the Super Eagles have not qualified for any major football tournaments because of the federations’ wrangles. Government entered to correct the mess. The period of suspension (three years) was taken to sort out the mess, develop the under-23 team and emerge to beat everybody in its group and the team now qualifies for the World Cup. Should SA take this route, there will be an outcry when government interferes in football. SA just has to ignore the noise and concentrate on redeeming its football. Alternatively, legislation is the other option. Spain, for instance, has a law that deals with national call ups which it calls “national duty”. When any player is selected to represent the country, that player, or his club, has no choice but to release the player for national duty. Refusal could lead to arrest. It is also possible to nationalise the team but that will require reprioritisation. Rugby and Cricket does it already in SA. At the beginning of the season, franchises know that before they sign up players, they must await South African Rugby Union (SARU) to make its decision on which players will be chosen first. SARU coaches choose and pick the best players to use for the year. Those players are then given contracts by SARU for the entire season. During this season, whether on or off form, the players are paid by the federation and are expected to work with the coach every day, as the case may be. The players only played for the clubs during the offseason of the international schedule. The only problem here is whether SAFA will have funds to sustain payment of salaries for the players for the whole year if this arrangement is chosen. The Department has invited SAFA to make proposals on this – these proposals are awaited. Budget cuts are affecting administration and filling of vacancies.

The meeting was adjourned.  

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