The Department of Sports and Recreation presented on the Fourth Quarter Performance Report for 2017/18 and First Quarter Performance Report for 2018/19.
The Department stated that the fourth quarter performance report had been given a clean bill of health. The Department had trained a number of people but there were delays in the training programme from the National School of Government. On percentages of invoices paid within 30 days, it has been the Departments’ second time in a row to achieve the payment of all invoices within 30 days. It is one of four departments that have achieved this doing it within 26.4 days.
There was supposed to be a National School Sport Championship, but the Department signed an MOU with the Department of Basic Education quite late and the time for the championship had passed. It has been agreed that the camp and the championship will be held in December. Some of these games might not be played, for example rugby which is played when it is cooler. The Minister is working on convening the BRICS Ministers of Sports Council which has been scheduled for October so as to sign the BRICS charter. The Minister is currently the Chair of BRICS as from the last summit of the heads of state of BRICS.
The Department has provided 57 municipalities with technical and management support for the roll-out of sports activities, and is also building quality courts for lesser amounts than what municipalities are spending on their sporting facilities. As per the Department’s budget analysis as at 30 June 2018, the overall spending was at R74,1 million which represents 6.8% of the total budget allocation out of a total budget of R1,1 billion. The Department is in the process of filling priority posts but has limited funding. The Department is working on a very tight rope so as to ensure that it does not overspend on compensation. It has advertised for several positions and will be filling them shortly. Transfers to Provinces and Municipalities would be made in the second quarter by July. Two Provinces that are yet to be transferred money to are North West and Eastern Cape as they have not yet met their targets, hence not complied. It was agreed with National Treasury that if a Province does not comply the money can be relocated to another. The Department will not transfer money to Provinces that are not playing ball. Transfers to Federations are scheduled from second to fourth quarter, but none have been made as no federation has yet submitted the documents the Department needs.
A Member questioned on what basis the target of 5000 had been reached and how the 5000 would be spread across the Provinces; and asked for clarity on the issue of not transferring funds to Provinces and what were the consequences if any, on them for their lack of compliance? Another Member wondered whether it was possible for the Department to partner with private companies such as Discovery as they can give research and data on the number of people who participate in sports and recreational activities going back for many years. At the end of the day it is not how we built our stadiums but how we enthuse people to come and support our sports especially in rural areas or areas where the government does not place importance in sports.
Members unanimously decried the lack of funding hindering their oversight role. Most other committees were going on oversight visits to other continents but when this Committee requested funding it was always informed there was no money.
Members were also of the view that even if the two Provinces had not complied people should not be allowed to suffer because of actions of someone else; wondered how in some areas like rural areas where there is scarcity of water, how the Department coped with the issue of swimming pools; and wanted the Department to explain more on the BRICS games. The Department had indicated that there was under spending on employment of staff and was asked whether there was any moratorium and if not, why there had been no advertisement. Penetration of urban areas had excellent impact and now there was need to focus on penetration of rural areas, which is much harder.
The Committee was also supposed to consider and adopt the draft reports on Sport and Recreation SA performance for the second and third quarter of the 2017/18 financial year. However, this was postponed due to a lack of quorum.
The Chairperson thanked Members and guests present. A number of apologies were received from Members who were still doing work with their constituencies. The agenda of the meeting was briefing by the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) on the fourth quarter performance report for 2017/18 financial year and first quarter for 2018/19 and consideration and adoption of draft reports on SRSA performance for second and third quarter of the 2017/18 financial year.
There was a matter of concern as the Committee had not received necessary permission to have a study tour to Juba, the reason being there were no funds. This would also affect other oversight visits within and outside Africa and it was foreseen that for the remainder of the term the Committee would not have any oversight visits. It was concerning to note that other Committees were going for oversight visits but whenever the Committee on Sport and Recreation requested funds, the same are not granted. There was need to send a delegation of Members to visit the interested departments on this issue.
At this stage the Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Gert Oosthuizen, arrived and was warmly welcomed.
The Chairperson continued that It was the happy Women Month and Members were enjoying it. Please women must be handled with care; everyone present must contribute on this case of rapists. Over the weekend there was a burial of another young girl student which was disturbing, and again on the news this is continued. As women we are appealing to those who know we are mothers and our kids are going to be tomorrow’s mothers. However, we must not also forget the boy child who nowadays is being sodomised. When we talk of gender it means both sexes (Members nodded in agreement). When she was the Chairperson of the multiparty caucus she brought school kids who were running away from Ukuthwala. She led a delegation of Parliament to the Eastern Cape, going to rural areas to say that our kids must be left alone and instead Ukuthwala us (Members and guests canvassed in laughter). Why do people want our kids whereas here we are and we are beautiful we lost our husband 30 years ago? Why are you not Ukuthwalaring us? (Members and guests laughed even more).
Mr D Bergman (ANC) joked that he would talk to his uncle (Members and guests shared in laughter).
The Chairperson invited the Deputy Minister to take over.
Deputy Minister’s Remarks
The Deputy Minister of Sports and Recreation, Mr Gert Oosthuizen, apologised for arriving late, his watch seemed to be behind by a minute. The Minister had sent her apologies and regards to the Chairperson. However, the Director General and the Chief Financial Officer were present. The Ministry is pleased to resume its work with the Committee after the recent break of Parliament. We are here to table our fourth quarter performance report for 2017/18 financial year and first quarter for 2018/2019. The fourth quarter has been overtaken by events. It has been tabled for purposes of compliance. The importance to note is the audit on this report has been done by the Office of the Auditor General (AG)and the Auditor General has verified that all is in place. The Ministry is pleased to announce that it has finished its work extremely well with 89% achievement of set targets. The Auditor General has given the Ministry a clean bill of health for the second year in a row. We have also tabled the first quarter report of the current financial year. The Director General would present the first quarter report while the Chief Financial Officer will present the budget and expenditure analysis.
Briefing by Department of Sports and Recreation
Mr Alec Moemi, Director General, Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), stated that indeed the fourth quarter performance report had been overtaken by events. The key indicator to look at is the fact that we finished the year with 89% targets achieved and expenditure was at 99.4%. That is our standard form of set up in terms of what SRSA achieves each year. The annual report will be tabled before the Committee after the AG gives final report but as the Deputy Minister indicated the Department achieved a clean bill of health for that year. As for the first quarter of 2018/2019, the current financial year, when the AG audited the report they also looked at what they called subsequent events that happened immediately after the financial year which is kind of like a pre-audit on the first quarter. In programme 1, 50% has been achieved so far. This is good as it helps the Ministry put mitigation strategies to be able to make up for the numbers.
On the issue of performance assessment, the annual target is 100%. It is not applicable for quarter one it will become active quite late in the fourth quarter. On 1.2 the SRSA is looking at an annual target of 60. In quarter 1 the preliminary target was 10 but we achieved 130. This is largely because in the last financial year, the Department had to train a number of people and we did indicate that there were delays in the training programme from the National School of Government. So, we are already above the annual target in quarter 1. SRSA will still be training more staff. In 1.3 the targets will only become applicable in quarter 3. On percentages of invoices paid within 30 days, it has been our second time in a row to achieve payment of all invoices within 30 days. We are one of the four departments that have achieved this. We achieved this in 26.4 days, which has reduced in comparison to the previous year where we had 16.3 days per month on average for payment of all invoices. In 1.5 it is the issue of ICT and SRSA has done that and implemented it.
In programme 2, at 2.1, the target of 1 has been achieved already with the Move for Health. In quarter 2, the Department will focus on Unite Campaign. As Members are aware in quarter 1 we still have Youth Camp, Big Walk and National Recreation Day and are confident that we will achieve all targets for the year. In 2.2, we have number of people actively participating in recreation activities and have for the first time ever achieved the first quarter target. In as far as 2.3 is concerned, the Department has achieved its target with the community outreach programme. On the number of people actively participating in sport promotion campaigns and events per year, we have achieved for the first time as well the targets for quarter 1. Cumulatively this programme targets 5136 active sports persons. There was supposed to be a National School Sport Championship, but the Department managed to sign an MOU with the Department of Basic Education quite late and the time for the championship had passed. It has been agreed that the camp and the championship will be held in December. Some of these games might not be played, for example rugby, which is played when it is cooler if we were to postpone it to summer we will be asking too much from these children. Otherwise we will have to reduce the amount of time they play in the sun and provide additional liquids.
On the number of participants in national school sport championships, the Department has set a target of 5000 cumulatively and should have had a portion of this achieved by autumn but will make it up in December. In as far as the improvement plan that has been done on this the Department has considered the status report and has started implementing some of the changes. This is for example on delinking indigenous games from this tournament and putting them under indigenous festival. 2.8 is another target that the Department managed to achieve for the first time in quarter 1. A target of 100,000 participants out of 600,000 cumulatively a year was set and is already at 200,990. On numbers of learners actively participating the department has achieved a target of 55,403. The District as well as the local festivals’ tournaments have already taken place. And some provinces even had provincial tournaments in preparation for this. In 2.11 the Department has achieved quite well at 597 with the cumulative target being 3600 but is confident that with the interventions these targets will be reached.
On the number of academies supported, the Department is of the view that it will achieve 35. Last year 53 was achieved and the 53 will not change, only the Dolphin Academy in Kwa-Zulu Natal has been added. In the table at 2.8, the Department is going province by province and what each must contribute according to their budget. This is the first time the Department is tracking provinces this way. In June, Limpopo dropped all the way to 1 and there is a story behind this. The Department has and will continue to insist that where there is stability and political leadership and the administration is sound, you will see results. But where there is instability this is what happens. Members of the Committee are familiar with the issue surrounding Limpopo with the resignation of the HOD, MEC. They have now been replaced and the Department has already met them and trying to get things back on track.
In programme 3 the Department has achieved 80% of the set targets. The MOU progress report with SASCOS has been achieved and this is being used as determinant for funding. The athletes supported through the Ministerial Sport Bursary Programme 18 have already being supported and the cumulative target of 60 will be achieved. On number of athletes supported through scientific support we have over-achieved on this target and largely because of the athletes in distress. In terms of support for anti-doping we have achieved our targets. On number of major international events receiving intra-governmental support, this has come to a halt because the Minister has requested the Department to evaluate all requests from all federations, in line with the government’s position that there is no money. The Department is evaluating federations that can hold their own from their resources, for example wrestling. We are however cautious as previously we have seen federations state that they have the money or a sponsor and then we grant permission then at the end of the tournament they have debts and state that the Department must come and help them.
In as far as sports tourism is concerned we held the BRICS games. On 31 August there will be the G-Sport awards to honour women in sports and the Minister is also hosting a breakfast on 23 August in partnership with Supersport with a view to discussing the draft policy of women and sports. The Department believes the policy will be finalised and approved by Cabinet latest December 2019.
On the number of sport and recreation bodies receiving financial and non-financial support in an effort to assist them in meeting their transformation targets per year so far, achieved was 1 out of target of 60. This is because the Department is allowing them time to be able to open up their accounts. On number of Sports Trust MOU progress reports evaluated, this will be achieved towards the end of the financial year. On the number of courts built, the allocation remains 12 and that is still the money the Department has in the budget from previous years. All 12 will be achieved as the Department has never failed on that one. The Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report is targeted as 1 but will come in the fourth quarter. On the issue of datasheets, CHESS SA had requested that there be extensions for them to finalise this by May though they have not met this deadline and only 1 did. They however have problems as the Committee is aware after their Chairperson passed away and there were squabbles within the interim committee set up. The Department has written to them asking that they provide reasons why they should not be placed under administration; their feedback has been received and it appears all is well now.
In as far as the number of bilateral agreements we already have three and are working on it. The Minister is working on convening the BRICS Ministers of Sports Council which has been scheduled for October so as to sign the BRICS charter. The Minister is currently the Chair of BRICS as from the last Summit of Heads of State of BRICS. Russian President Vladimir Putin sees the BRICS games as a pre-cursor to World games. Basically, he is trying to phase out the exclusive Olympics and Soccer World Cup games, which are suited for and advantages European Teams. Our proposal for the BRICS games is that there should be 10 compulsory courts, which are common to all of us and a further 15 courts, from which the host nation can choose 7. So, the programme for the BRICS games will be 17courts minimum. Age group will be junior as senior will only congest these games. As regarding multilateral engagements, we have already engaged the International Schools Federation (ISF) in preparation for sending a South African team for the first time in 17 years to the ISF competitions.
In programme 5, the Department has achieved 100% of its targets. The Department has provided 57 municipalities with technical and management support for the roll-out of sports activities. The Department is also building quality courts for lesser amounts than what municipalities are spending on their sporting facilities. A facility that a municipality says cost R17 million with a pavilion like a bus-stop compared to what the Department has built for R7 million will be seen that the facility by the Department is built with hardy quality materials that will last even more than 50 years. There is absolute value of money unlike what the municipalities are doing. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will now present the budget and expenditure analysis as at 30 June 2018.
Mr Lesedi Mere, CFO, SRSA, reported that the overall spending is at R74,1 million which represents 6.8% of the total budget allocation out of R1,1 billion. Spending on Compensation of employees is at 21.3% totaling R23,8 million out of a budget of R111,5 million. Under spending of 3.7% is due to vacancies in the Department. The Department is in the process of filling priority posts. The issue is with funding as there are many vacant posts as compared to the limited funding. The Department is working on a very tight rope so as to ensure that it does not overspend on compensation. Several positions have been advertised and will be filled shortly. Expenditure on Goods and services is at 18.5% totaling R31,0 million out of a budget of R167,0 million. Expenditure is expected to increase in the third and fourth quarter when most of the departmental projects will be rolled out. Transfer payments’ spending is at 2.3% totaling R18,6 million out of a budget of R809,8 million. Most transfers are scheduled from second to fourth quarter hence the 22.7% under spending. Payment for Capital Assets expenditure is at 31.1% totaling R741 Thousand out of a budget of R2.4 million. Overspending of 6.1% is due to payment on sport buses.
In terms of transfers to Provinces and Municipalities, those transfers will be made in the second quarter by July. Two Provinces are yet to be transferred money, North West and Eastern Cape, as they have not yet met their targets and hence not complied. It was agreed with Treasury that if a Province does not comply the money can be relocated to another. The Department will not transfer money to Provinces that are not playing ball. First quarter DoRA Transfer payments were transferred in the second quarter (July 2018). Under spending on Households is due to bursary claims that are less than the maximum amount of R100 thousand per learner. Transfers to Federations are scheduled from second to fourth quarter. But none have been made as no federation has yet submitted the documents that the Department needs.
The Chairperson welcomed comments on the presentation from the Members.
Ms B Abrahams (ANC) thanked the Chairperson and the Department for its presentation. Her question was in regard to the target of participants in National School Championships and which had been stated to be 5000 and was wondering how the 5000 would be spread across the Provinces. Besides not transferring funds to Provinces, are there any consequences on them for their lack of compliance? And how do they function without the money? She commended the Department on the sporting facilities it had built stating that it was doing a marvellous job and asked them to share their successes. Lastly, she expressed concern about monies not being transferred to federations.
Mr D Bergman (DA) engaged the Department that just like the DG had stated, for the last 3 years they have done a great job and should be patted on the back. However, on the issue of targets it needs to be more quantified. This is because if for example you set a target of 5000 and measure 4999, what is the basis for comparison and why the 5000 vis-à-vis the population involved? A lot of statistics have now been proven by private companies such as Discovery as they can give you data on the number of people who participate going back for many years. This includes what time or day or the month gets people there and also when is the perfect time to hold such races.
It was concerning to note that the Committee on International Relations on which he sits as an alternate, he goes on more oversight trips with them as compared to this Committee.
In Namibia it was easy to sense how the government was committed in succeeding in sports. If you go to stadiums there on Saturday morning you will find children practicing, but the children are not the issue you will find people there in large numbers just coming to support the training of the children. Here it is hard to get people to come to Provincial and even National stadiums. At the end of the day it is not how we built our stadiums but how we enthuse people to come and support our sports especially in rural areas or areas where the government does not place importance in sports.
This Committee is called Sports and Recreation and whereas it seems that it focuses more on sports rather than recreation. It is imperative to work with rural areas so as to start building momentum to warrant more competition. People used to play golf, until it became expensive, then they started riding bicycles. Now you have to make roads for cyclists because people are getting enthused to sports they would never have considered. There is need to enthuse rural people to urbanised sports.
On Finance it is good to note that the Department will not give money to Provinces that do not comply. The only issue is oversight because if the Committee does not have the means of going for oversight visits, how does it confirm if Provinces are spending their money appropriately? This is because previously most Provinces used to have very uneconomical or unrealistic ways of spending. There was a time when a city manager used to always praise how lovely a stadium they had built on presentation but when later the members paid a visit there was no levelled field even or nothing at all, just a chuck of land, with grass, no stand and one locked toilet with broken windows. And this was for 5 years continuously. There is need for oversight visits. Germany as a place to visit is not only far and expensive but there are countries closer that the members could visit for example Kenya. Nothing can take the place of oversight.
The Chairperson also added on the issue of funding for oversight visits noting that even an oversight visit within the country cannot be more expensive than trips that other Committees are undertaking outside the country. She found it hard to believe that there was no money.
Mr S Mmusi (ANC) asked the Department what was the repercussion of continuously declining to report. People should not be allowed to suffer because of actions of someone else. One cannot proportion blame but these problems began by including the Department of Basic Education. This thing has been recurring and Members have spoken on it and it looks like nothing is happening. Members should go and even engage with Premiers on this. Even if that is not part of the Committee’s competency, it had an oversight mandate on problems of this nature. On the issue that the DG mentioned on new facilities being built, what about facilities that some areas did not have before such as swimming pools. Does it mean that these facilities will not be built?
The Chairperson added that Members knew that Mr Mmusi was very passionate on this issue of swimming pools. In some areas like rural areas where there is scarcity of water, how does the Department go with this issue of swimming pools?
Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) said his interest was in the 35 facilities that the Department had taken over from local governments. A matter of concern is on municipalities and SALGA on intervention as it came out quite clearly when Members had a meeting with key stakeholders around the intervention. Are they appreciating the impact, quality and difference that the Department is making? In the meeting they stated that they were doing better than the Department. It appears from the lack of funding that we are becoming big brothers just to observe without oversight. Further, the Department should give members the reports of SASCO as the same has not been received.
On the issue of Ministers intervention in terms of the bursary, a target has been indicated but progress on it has not been outlined. This intervention would be good for bringing people like Kagiso Rabada on board, which was the initial intention of bringing talented people on board. Does withholding of funds from Provinces improve their reporting? Further, will the Department not be blamed for not allocating money to Provinces?
The Chairperson stated that Members would like more information on the BRICS games. Also, the CFO mentioned that there was under spending on employment of staff. Was there any moratorium or why there was no advertisement, or what was the reason? The report is also appreciated particularly on the facilities. Members would love to at least oversight some before the end of the term as it seemed they would not be going to Africa and the world. It was a struggle getting money for this but finally we got it and now we need to be given additional funding to ensure that the money we received was well utilised. There is also concern on the two provinces. Initially a report was saying that even with the budget in Provinces, only Eastern Cape and Western Cape were utilising their budgets optimally. The Department has taken a decision to relocate the funds but there are people suffering. There was need to liaise with the NCOP to come and have a meeting regarding this issue. There was a meeting that was held sometime back and the same Provinces were not represented because they did not account. We as oversight Committee need to assist the Department and government at large.
The DG responded that the target for school sports is spread in both ways. There are those that are in team sports in a manner that is equitable because if in under-17 in a football team there will only be 11 athletes playing. Only 4 would be allocated regardless of the teams and agents. It is on pro-rata as well as equitable basis and that’s how that target was arrived at. That is why all the time Northern Cape is the least in number of targets as opposed to the three great Provinces. In terms of the sporting facilities the Department will be tabling a progress report. The Department has increased its monitoring activities. As the Committee is aware, the only restraint that the Department is going through is lack of adequate personnel. Our technical teams and engineering departments are out in the field checking up on progress of what the municipalities are claiming.
The issue on specialised swimming pools, the Department is providing those as the legal systems there are not being done. It was agreed with the municipalities that they have to maintain the facilities from their own MIT grants. The other requirement is that they must be part of Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). It is possible you might enter a locality that has no swimming pool and the Department will not impose a swimming pool. But there are also places where there have been difficulties like Lekwa Municipality in Mpumalanga they asked for a swimming pool but have no water. The Department came up with an innovative idea with a borehole, pressure pump and solar power to sustain that. It cost an additional million but it is important to do this.
The new Minister has rolled out a new approach for the municipalities in 2019/2020 municipal financial year. There is communication and negotiation with the federations and municipalities. The Minister says that each Federation has footprints and there is need to look at where the Federations are strongest. Each Province needs to identify which courts it is strongest in. There is no financial muscle to invest in all courts on an equal footing hence this approach. For example, softball has been invested in a local municipality in Limpopo after consultations with the Softball federation. The Peter Mokaba Precinct will now be the home of Softball South Africa and that is where the national teams will go. The project will however be done over a period of three financial years due to its size. Also, on the issue of new facilities there is no cause for alarm of old facilities that have not been built. The Department’s standards require that they both will be built in line with the IDPs of the municipality. The questions that we need to ask is for public participation within the IDPs, who decides what type of facility is being built and why that facility over another e.g. basketball over volleyball and in what physical location. There is poor decision making and at the end of the day it is left in the hands of Councillors. Arguably, they are capable being elected representatives but the model was designed to be agreed through public participation so that it benefits the people who utilise these facilities.
In terms of monitoring, as earlier stated the Department relies on its own reports not on reports by municipalities and it is able to provide prompt and accurate information regarding progress. All problematic facilities are fast-tracked through stationing of HODs. At first, we struggled, in our first year we were doomed for failure. National Treasury had not released funds and the municipal financial year was supposed to start by June. We had not employed any technical and engineering personnel. Therefore, it was like fixing a flying plane and we struggled in the first year.
On issue of the targets set, it is easy for the Committee to say that so and so funds should be used or set but we are concerned with value for money. In using local township lingua, the money can be spent rough but for what? Would you rather spend money able to buy a Rolls Royce to buy a Toyota Camry and buy within one week? Or would you rather get a BMW for the price of a BMW but it has taken me 6 months to get it. Would you rather build a swimming pool for R7 million or would you rather build it for R1 million and it will last longer? The Department looks at expenditure vis-à-vis impact.
In the same berth, Mr Bergman asked it is a target of 5000 against what. It is against the budget and expenditure and what percentage it will contribute to the GDP. The Department also looks at the targeted beneficiaries. Yes, it is easy for Discovery, or people in the middle class to come to those parks with their own gear, park there, pay participation fees on their own and run, which is okay. And they also have a following there which is also okay. Even gyms most of these people go to private gyms. So, when compared with other places, some places people would not want to leave their farms to come and participate or even remove part of their hard-earned money in these runs. It is important to have the target beneficiaries in mind. The value of sports from one community varies with another. It is more difficult to get someone from a rural area participating in what Discovery is doing. He personally would respect Discovery more if they started doing in the rural areas with vigour what they are doing now. Then you can compare them to us. When you look at what the Department is doing in townships and affluent areas, when we compare the Big Walk, we achieved more than what Discovery achieved. Yes, we spent more because the Department does not charge participation fees. If you look at Walk the Talk, managed by 702, it used to be the biggest walk in the country until we entered the market. The Department does it without advertisement, unlike 702 who pumps advertisements. It is important to compare like to like. So, in that aspect the government is doing much better as compared to the private sector. The Department is more impactful as it targets all areas including rural areas. An example is in Cricket where it is only dominated by 40 Schools. What about the other over 25,000 schools where there could be talent that is being lost?
On the issue of withholding money meant for Provinces, the Department is in the process of compelling them to perform by taking guidance and corrective measures. From the word go, it was common knowledge that the Department did not have constitutional power over provinces but nevertheless we stated that we will pursue this instrument as far as possible. National Treasury and the AG have begun seeing the wisdom in the approach the Department is taking and has approved reallocation of monies from one Province to the next. The Provinces are responding quite well in terms of improving in accounting as they know they will not get any money unless they do so. Initially the Department could only withhold the money for 90 days and thereafter either surrender it to the national government or give it to them. But there is always a danger of how far the Department can stretch it but on previous occasions the AG has overlooked the fact that the Department went over the 90 days. The 90 days are in place to allow a Province to take remedial steps.
On the issue of BRICS games, the country has taken a decision at Presidential level and the Summit of the Heads of States. Currently they happen annually and are hosted by the host nation as the BRICS Chairmanship rotates annually within members. The host nation chooses the courts that are to be played that is 10 compulsory courts and 7 optional courts making 17 in total. South Africa’s proposal is that these games should be made every 4 years and not annually as they are unsustainable in the format that they are and we must guard against our own domestic interests without President Putin’s’ and other governments interference. As members are aware, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to ban all Russian athletes which means that Caster Semenya who won silver in the Rio Olympics will now be awarded Gold on the books. Russia wanted us to vote in their favour but how do we do that against our own athletes? There will always be disputes. The CFO will answer issues of personnel and finance.
The CFO engaged Members’ concerns on under spending on personnel. The Department in 2015 did an analysis on required positions. However, just before advertising, there was a new Minister who came on board and halted the process so as to get familiar with it. The Department advertised for some positions before that Minister left. Minister Xasa came in and said wait, I want to do an analysis on compensation of employees. So, there are now new advertisements and we hope that we will be able to fill these positions. That has been one of the reasons. There is also an issue with the structure of the organisation where human resource was inter-moved and which we are dealing with.
The Chairperson thanked the Department for its answers and asked whether Members had anything to add or seek clarification of. The meeting’s progress was quite okay as it seemed that most issues had been tackled with. She had to leave early for medical reasons as had done previously in other meetings.
Mr Bergman stated that penetration of urban areas had excellent impact and now there was need to focus on penetration of rural areas which is much harder. The point earlier was that there is need to partner with Private Companies such as Discovery in order as to use their research and data. There is also need to start enthusing people from the start. We can even partner with hospitals so that they can be bringing people to the park even if at least once a month. Enthusing people into sport will help more people become healthier. Also, if you look at these schools that excel, some of these kids are discovered in rural areas and are awarded bursaries. There is a lot of talent out there and we need to find it before this talent is used in drugs or becoming gangsters. There is need for mass participation.
The DG said the Department agreed with Members on this. Also, there is need to focus more on recreations. In 2012, the Department was 90% sports and no recreation. The only form of recreation was indigenous games which were also dying as they had fewer participants. There were no such programmes as walks. But there has been improvement in these and progress has been made.
The Chairperson left the meeting as she had a medical appointment.
Mr Ralegoma took over as Acting Chairperson.
The DG continued that the Department was partnering with sponsors like Coke and Sanlam in setting up recreation activities like walks for example Big Walk. South Africa’s health standards are poor despite high spending in the GDP. The 4th biggest killer is hypertension, high blood pressure and obesity. This speaks to lack of exercise and bad diet. Our generation survived as even if we had poor diet e.g. pap and potatoes, we did hard labour and walked a lot and laboured which substituted exercise. But today with the emergence of black middle class, there is a combination of bad diet and lack of exercise. There is no substitute for exercise. There is need to invest on health prevention through building these sporting facilities. We have approached the Minister for Health and asked for 0.3% of the Health budget so as to help introduce a new concept of health promotion. The Minister has declined. It is important to note that that 0.3% which is R98 million is 10% of our budget. The Department is working together with private companies who are specialised and able to do some of these programmes better. There is also partnership with NGOs like SCORE who train coaches, teachers and talent scouts. The Minister is quite committed to programmes engaged with talent scouting and also increase in bursaries in case of increase in talent found.
The Acting Chairperson noted that as there were no other issues to be raised by Members, this brought an end to the meeting. As Members were only 4 in attendance with the Chairperson having left, they could not approve or adopt the reports that is the Fourth Quarter Performance Report for 2017/18 financial year and First Quarter for 2018/19; Budget and Expenditure Analysis Report as at 30 June 2016 Consideration and adoption of draft reports on SRSA performance for second and third quarter of the 2017/18 financial year. Those would be done during tomorrow’s meeting i.e. 15 August 2018. This included the Committee personal reports.
Every Member and guest were thanked for coming to the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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