The agenda of the meeting was a briefing by the Auditor General South Africa on capacity building session in preparation for the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report; a briefing by Athletics South Africa on their annual financial reports, governance and related matters; and consideration and adoption of outstanding minutes.
The Office of the Auditor General briefed the Committee on the sports infrastructure grant (Municipal Infrastructure Grant) legislated in the Division of Revenue Act. The Grant was supposed to fall under the Department of Sport and Recreation but however falls under the Ministry of Infrastructure. It is managed and overseen by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Municipalities use the Grant to improve sporting infrastructure. The Grant was first introduced in 2016 and in 2017 was allocated to 34 municipalities. In 2018/2019 the number of municipalities is yet to be determined, but it is important to note is that it was initially meant to be only a 3-year grant. Unless anything changes, at the end of 2018/19 the grant will cease to exist. R300 million is allocated per annum for a period of over 3 years for sporting infrastructure. The responsibility of the Department is to identify projects for the municipalities. The framework requires that transversal tenders must be awarded for the procurement of services relating to sport infrastructure. The framework has since changed and municipalities can now apply directly to the Department to employ their own service providers. Most municipalities actually want to hire their own service providers and do not want to make use of those provided by the Department. Municipalities must submit plans as part of the normal Municipal Infrastructure Grant planning process. A maximum of 5% of that allocation may be used for project management, to make sure that the bulk of that money goes to infrastructure. Municipalities must also incorporate them into their Integrated Development Plans and must monitor each project and ensure that the money is used for intended purposes. Municipalities must report monthly, quarterly and annually in the prescribed formats and timelines. However, because there is no budget allocation for this infrastructure in the Department, the only performance indicator is on the number of municipalities provided with technical and management support.
A Member asked what the role of the Office of the Auditor General was in the Municipal Infrastructure Grant and who had responsibility, because sometimes the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs said that the Department Sports and Recreation is supposed to take responsibility. Even the R300 million was only allocated after Members’ continuous pleas.
Another Member enquired whether the presentation had been made to the SA Local Government Association and if not, if it could, because when Members met with the Association it could not understand that the Department could appoint service providers.
Another Member engaged Members that Transverse Tender was cheaper and value for money than individual tenders. He suggested that rather than decentralising so much onto municipalities, to perhaps create sporting bodies with the competent know how on running these Municipal Infrastructure Grants? He argued that currently affluent schools with facilities are giving people like Kagiso Rabada whereas in the townships, there is nothing, and gave an example of the cricket team where all members come from affluent schools. Youngsters are now resorting to drugs and gangs because there are no facilities for them to utilise.
Another Member informed the Auditor General that the previous day the Committee had been informed that the Department constructs a sporting facility for R7 million compared to a municipal facility for R17 million, yet the Department’s built facilities are of superior quality and quantity. The Auditor General should ensure that people must account when they are taking money for infrastructure and not using it for that, and this includes Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and SA Local Government Association.
The Office of the Auditor General agreed that there was need to make the presentation to the SA Local Government Association and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. From the Auditor General has a further role to play rather than audit specific areas and that is to look at compliance with the various pieces of legislation. If the Committee desires changes in the legislation and changes in the formula, it knows the Auditor General has no role to play in that, but there should be engagements with National Treasury. Further there need to be engagements into the framework, for example make sure that only the Department Sports and Recreation can appoint service providers. So, there is need to have engagements between the Department and National Treasury. Instead of the Department just monitoring, the framework should be amended to include site visits and reports generated from them and that municipalities should allow the Department to do their work. The current legislation states that the national department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs can withhold funding of municipalities that do not comply with provisions of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant. As such the engagement should also consist of both the Portfolio Committee and national department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. If the Committee wants to change the formula or to make changes to the amount allocated, it will have to engage with National Treasury,
Athletics South Africa briefed the Committee on various issues of general, administrative and financial nature. SA had participated in various competitions during the financial year. Domestic competitions included Liquid Communications Athletics Competition series, Athletics SA Track and Field Championships, Masters Championships and others. Continental competitions included CAA Cross Country Championships in Algiers, CAA Senior Track and Field in Asaba Nigeria, amongst others. International competitions included Athletics World Cup in London, IAAF World Cup Race Walk Championships in China, and Commonwealth Games in Australia, among others. SA had performed well in all these events. Key to note was the recently concluded games in Asaba Nigeria where SA with 31 medals came second to Kenya, which had 19 medals but was in position 1 because it had 2 more gold medals. Caster Semenya was even inducted into the Hall of Fame in Nigeria.
There was an issue with SADC games COSASA held in Botswana where differences between the Department of Education and Department of Sport resulted in SA children not going to participate. At the African Union Awards in Johannesburg recently Caster Semenya was awarded Sportswoman of the Year and Luvo Manyonga as Sports Star of the year. Athletics SA will be in Cape Town on 23 September for the Gold Label Cape Town City Marathon. For the first time the City marathon will be hosted side by side with Athletics SA Marathon Championships 2018. It is going to be a remarkable event and athletes from outside SA will be participating.
South African Anne Ashworth won on the ladies’ side in the Comrades Marathon. From that a team has been selected to represent SA in the World 100 Kilometres Comrades Marathon. The women selected included Anne Ashworth but shortly afterwards Athletics SA received a letter via social media that the lady was not prepared to represent SA. She attacked Athletics SA administrators but Athletics SA did not respond. Athletics SA wrote a letter to Ms Ashworth pursuant to its code of conduct but she did not stop and even conducted interviews with different radio stations. Athletics SA was forced to use its Constitution which states that if one puts Athletics SA into disrepute they must be suspended. She was not suspended because athletes are emotional people and some have people behind them who push them to say things. Athletics SA has written to her and she has responded with her attorneys and Athletics SA’s attorneys are currently engaged with this. Other women have been chosen to represent the country.
There is also an issue with the International Association of Athletics Federations regulation 12 on female athletes which affected Caster Semenya. The regulation discriminated against Semenya and other women who had body attributes of high levels of testosterone. Athletics SA and Semenya were challenging this discrimination at the IAAF at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This regulation discriminates women and Caster Semenya in particular, while on the other hand, men like Usain Bolt who has similar but differentiated attributes, are allowed to perform whereas without these attributes they would not be running as fast as he does. There was also an issue of a Russian athlete who came to SA last year and won the Comrades Marathon but Athletics SA did not issue her a medal as when she came to SA when there was a ban imposed on all Russian athletes by the International Association of Athletics Federations. The entire Russian team has been suspended because of drugs. Russia subsequently did not allow World Anti-Doping Agency to do what they were supposed to do and as we speak right now, Russia is till suspended.
On finances, Athletics SA declared a surplus of R1,399,800 for the 2017 financial year, due to the fact that license numbers were only printed and paid during January 2018. VAT had been settled of the historic court case which saw the trade and other payables decrease to R1,746,215 from R4,126,887. Athletics SA had received a grant of R11,400,000 earmarked for specific projects during January to April 2018. Legal representation in the historic court case cost R1,190,966. As custodian of Athletics, Athletics SA declares all income received and reflects all ring-fenced money for its associate members to the amount of R2,000,000. Tax clearance certificate was issued to Athletics SA for the year under review. All VAT submission is paid and up to date with SARS. Athletics SA is compliant with Black Economic Empowerment Status requirements. The property of Athletics SA is paid in full and bond free. Honoraria or salaries are not paid to any of the Athletics SA Board members.
A Member stated that a lot of emotional things were said, like the Soweto Marathon and a lot of questions were asked around Anne Ashworth, who she felt was not being treated in a professional manner. This was because she had raised concerns and Athletics SA had chosen to ignore them until she denounced the flag. What was shocking was that she had even reported that she was receiving death threats There is a sense that sponsors are being made to pay some fee to Athletics SA, what is the need of this fee and why is it being charged?
Another Member questioned the issue of legal court battles and wondered how much money was used and whether there was value for money as compared to mediation. The Member also asked why Athletics SA had changed the face of its logo especially by making names of sponsors’ very small. The Member also raised the concern that there had been complaints that when athletes are in the country they receive top of the bench treatment but when they go out they receive poor treatment.
Another Member decried the issue that athletes are increasingly ready to denounce the country and pointed out that it was not the first time that athletes are speaking to the media and they say whatever they want to say.
Another Member commended Athletics SA for their efforts, especially regarding the issue of Caster Semenya. Another Member wondered how SA children had missed a golden opportunity to participate in COSASA SADC games in Botswana and wondered who was to account for such. Another Member asked when Athletics SA were going to appoint a permanent CEO and why corporate clubs were being charged exorbitant affiliation fees.
The Chairperson thanked Members and guests present. It was good and encouraging to see that Athletics SA (ASA) had come wearing their uniform. In the old days, students going for games used to be dressed accordingly in game kits and tracksuits and they used to receive a lot of praise wherever they went especially from spectators who came watch games. In the recently concluded games in Nigeria seeing South Africans very smart in their uniforms and flag representing the country brought these childhood memories. There were some games somewhere where kids went adorned not in tracksuits but khakis but however the media did not report it. It was equally encouraging to see that ASA were taking their job seriously as all officials were wearing their tracksuit uniform.
The agenda of the meeting was a briefing by the AGSA on capacity building session in preparation for budgetary review and recommendation report; briefing by ASA on their annual financial reports, governance and related matters; and consideration and adoption of outstanding minutes. AGSA were invited to start their presentation.
Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) – Capacity building session: AGSA presentation
Mr Lourens Van Vuuren, Business Executive, AGSA, briefed the Committee on a capacity building session in preparation for the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR). Last year during the session with this Committee, it was noticed that there was need to have a discussion around facilities especially with regard to the sports infrastructure grant (municipal infrastructure grant (MIG)). This is due to the dynamics involved with the MIG as there are a number of role players. When one looks at the audit outcomes, it is important to understand each of the stakeholders’ roles is to the MIG. This is to enable one to contextualise that in respect to the audit. The capacity building report is only around this Grant and it has outlined the roles of each of the role players. The Grant is legislated in the Division of Revenue Act (DoRA) which gives provisions on management of the Grant. The presentation would also showcase allocations in order to understand how much they are, and the roles and responsibilities of the role players in terms of the DoRA.
The Grant falls under schedule 5B of the DoRA. The DoRA contains various schedules where each contains very specific legislative requirements. The Grant was supposed to fall under the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) but however falls under the Ministry of Infrastructure. The other role player is the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA). The Grant was first introduced in 2016 where it was being allocated to 30 municipalities then 2017 when it was allocated to 34 municipalities. In 2018/2019 the number of municipalities is yet to be determined, but what is important to note is that it had initially been meant to be only a 3-year grant. So, unless anything changes, at the end of 2018/19 the grant will cease to exist. The focus of CoGTA is on integrated services and to manage and oversight the MIG. The Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) derives its’ legal mandate from the National Sport and Recreation Act, which requires it to oversee the development and management of sport and recreation in South Africa and with a specific objective to ensure that sport and physical education contribute to social cohesion and making legislation specifically to oversee sport infrastructure. The last role player is municipalities as MIG is given directly to municipalities. Municipalities use the Grant to improve sporting infrastructure.
On allocations, it is CoGTA as there is no allocation to sports infrastructure itself to the DSR. It is regulated by the DoRA and more specifically schedule 5B allocation. Next is the allocation formula which there is no need to go into detail as it is legislated and which determines how much money is allocated to each. What is important to note is that outside the P-component of the formula, R300 million is allocated per annum for a period of over 3 years for sporting infrastructure. As to the flow of funds, the DSR is responsible for allocation of MIG sport infrastructure grant to selected municipalities. The selected municipalities submit their project plans to DSR for review and approval of spending 33% of their P component allocation as per DoRA MIG. Voted funds from National Treasury (NT) to CoGTA earmarked for the 34 municipalities/stadiums get transferred to the municipalities. The 34 selected municipalities implement their projects under guidance of CoGTA and DSR. Finally, municipalities report back to NT, CoGTA and DSR through their provincial sport department. In terms of oversight the Portfolio Committee on CoGTA have an important role to play on these facilities.
Looking further at the roles and responsibilities, CoGTA is responsible for administering and coordinating all activities of the MIG. The Act specifically mandates the AG to look at financial and non-financial performance. The provincial department of CoGTA also have specific roles to play. They must coordinate overall programme and implementation. The responsibility of DSR is to identify projects for the municipalities. A requirement in terms of the framework says they must award transversal tenders for the procurement of services relating to sport infrastructure. The framework has since changed and municipalities can now apply directly to the DSR to employ their own service providers. Most municipalities actually want to hire their own service providers and do not want to make use of the service provider provided by the DSR. The DoRA provides that the DSR must support municipalities with planning and implementation of municipal sport and recreation facilities and most importantly performance and compliance with conditions which are applicable to this sector.
Under the DoRA, municipalities have specific responsibilities and key among them is that once money has been allocated to them that money must be used for sporting infrastructure. As indicated earlier, municipalities must make use of the appointed service provider unless they appoint their own. Municipalities must submit plans as part of the sport infrastructure P-component and must submit as part of the normal MIG planning process. A maximum of 5% of that allocation may be used to project management. This is to make sure that the bulk of that money goes to infrastructure. Municipalities must also ensure that appropriate programme and project planning and implementation must take place. This must also go to the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) of the various municipalities. Municipalities must monitor each project and ensure that the money is used for intended purposes. Municipalities must report monthly, quarterly and annually in the prescribed formats and timelines.
On performance indicators, because there is no budget allocation for this infrastructure in the DSR, the only indicator is on the number of municipalities provided with technical and management support. Important to note is that the DoRA has provisions for unspent conditional allocations but it is only the CoGTA that can exercise any form of control of as it is the transferring officer. Section 18 of DoRA provides CoGTA may withhold the transfer for a period not exceeding 30 days if the municipalities do not comply with any provision of the DoRA, if municipality does not spend roll-overs of conditional allocations. Municipalities may request a roll-over of a conditional allocation if the unspent funds are committed to identifiable projects. CoGTA can also withhold funds for 30 days if a non-satisfactory explanation is given for under expenditure. As there are differences to the national financial year and the municipal financial year sometimes municipalities use this as an excuse for their under or overspending. However, from a financial management point of view, planning entails you consider those differences in the financial year and more so because the Grant is legislated so the municipalities know when it released.
The Chairperson asked what the AGSAs’ role was in the MIG as the Department and Members had found that the MIG was not doing what it was supposed to. Who had responsibility? Because sometimes the Portfolio Committee on CoGTA says the DSR is supposed to take responsibility. Even the R300 million never used to be there until Members continuously pleaded until it was allocated. The CoGTA department are supposed to monitor and manage but they themselves state that it is the DSR who is supposed to do it. Who is supposed to be the big brother over these two departments?
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) asked whether the presentation had been made to SALGA and if not, if it could. When Members met them, they could not understand that the DSR could appoint service providers. Regarding the flow of funds, if a municipality starts the process of the MIG sporting facility but there is no IDP in place, what then? Because in South Africa it is said 60% of municipalities are not functional. And also, what happens if a municipality does not understand the procedures and processes involved but they know there is a need for a sporting facility which they must implement? What is the way forward?
In the presentation, what is the P-component? Or what is the formula. Even if it is legislated members need to understand the meaning of the formula. This is important as sports can unite South Africans.
Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) engaged Members that to contextualise, the 3-year pilot program did not exist until the Committee intervened. The P-component was there but was not doing as it was expected to be doing. Further, the 15% P-component is not just sports only as indicated in the presentation. Members’ practical experience after having gone to more than seven provinces most municipalities do not spend the 15% component on sports. They would rather prioritise something else. That is the context that everyone should understand. The intervention of the Department led to this pilot which had to be gazetted by DoRA as an amendment that there should be a R300 million allocation. We have had interactions with SALGA, CoGTA, NT as well as the DSR. It is this Committee’s intervention because there was need to have more competition through sports to increase cohesion and the challenge then had been lack of facilities. There is therefore need to find ways so that Members can go to pilot programmes to oversight and find out what has been done.
Also, on the Transverse Tender, it is cheaper and value for money than tendering individual tenders. But from the impression Members had from SALGA, they think that the Department wants to take their power. We have to make sure there is infrastructure and facilities provided as cheaply as possible. Rather than decentralise so much onto municipalities, is it not better to create sporting bodies with the competent know how on running these MIGs? These will help us have regional sporting hubs and increase our competitiveness. At the moment affluent schools with facilities are the ones assisting the country by giving it people like Kagiso Rabada. On the contrast, in the townships, there is nothing. No facilities whatsoever. For example, the cricket team, all members come from affluent schools. So, the issue really is how to increase competitiveness. Youngsters are now resulting to drugs and gangs because there are no facilities to utilise. This also talks about issues of health that were in discussed yesterday.
The Chairperson informed the AGSA that the DSR had informed Members the previous day that a sporting facility that it constructs at R7 million compared to a municipal facility for R17 million one will notice a lot of differences, the DSR built facilities are strong in terms of quality and quantity. It was also concerning that the Committee had not been issued funds whereas it was clear that there was need for oversight visits to make sure that money is being spent accordingly. Members are happy that in the cities and urban areas something was going on there but with locations and rural areas there was nothing at all. The AGSA must do something. People must account if they are taking money for infrastructure and not using it for that. This includes CoGTA and SALGA.
Mr Van Vuuren engaged members’ questions and responded that he agreed that there was need to make the presentation to SALGA. There will also be communication to the relevant people involved in the Portfolio Committee on CoGTA so as to make a presentation to them. The Committee appreciates that there are difficulties in this particular grant. It is regulated by DoRA and from the AG point of view, they have a further role to play rather than audit specific areas and that is to look at compliance with the various pieces of legislation. If the Committee desires changes in the legislation and changes in the formula, it knows the AGSA has no role to play in that. But there should be engagements with NT. Further there need to be engagements into the framework, for example make sure that only the DSR can appoint service providers. So, there is need to have engagements between the department and NT. Further, instead of just DSR monitoring, the framework should be amended to include site visits and reports generated from them and further that municipalities should allow the DSR to do their work. The current legislation states that the national department of CoGTA can withhold funding of municipalities that do not comply with provisions of the MIG. As such the engagement should also consist of both the portfolio committee and national department of CoGTA. If the Committee wants the formula to change they will have to engage with the NT or if they want to make changes into what amount is allocated.
Further, all these entities can have their own valuable inputs on how the framework can be amended to make it more efficient in terms of service delivery. There is need to oversight these pilot programmes so as to investigate and decide which programme and what model worked, under what budget and value for money so as to enhance the engagements around the framework. This will enable Members to understand where the exact issue is. Is it a planning issue? Is it a supply chain management issue? If it turns out that it is the municipalities which do not have the capacity to implement those projects, there will be need to question what arrangements need to be put in place for compliance and responsibility for that actual project to be completed. In such a case, the national service provider should be utilised rather than the grant left to the municipality.
The Chairperson thanked the AGSA and informed them that the Committee would contact NT and also the Portfolio Committee on CoGTA and see how they would handle all this. SALGA are a bit difficult. But the good thing is that every now and then their leadership changes and as such there is hope that there will one day be a leadership that is agreeable to engagements.
The AGSA team thanked the Chairperson and Members and left the meeting.
The Chairperson stated that now they had come to the most important part of the meeting (Members nodded in agreement). ASA were welcomed to the Committee and invited to take Members through their presentation.
Athletics SA (ASA) Presentation
Mr Aleck Skhosana, President ASA, said Women’s’ Month had to be acknowledged so called upon Mrs Keikabile Motlatsin, ASA Board Member, to introduce the ASA delegation.
Mr Skhosana said the delegation representing the Board was grateful to having being invited to the highest accountability entity which was this Committee. The purpose of the presentation was to inform Members what and how ASA has been doing in the last financial year. There was an initial meeting with the Committee in March but the ASA were preparing for the Commonwealth Games. He thanked Members for the letters that they had sent congratulating ASA on their achievements. Also, when the issue of Caster Semenya erupted Members played an important role by giving a statement. Mr Jacobs was asked to give Members a review of audited financial statements of ASA.
Mr Jake Jacobs, ASA Board Member: Finance, briefed Members that ASA had declared a surplus of R1,399,800 for the 2017 financial year, due to the fact that license numbers were only printed and paid during January 2018. VAT had been settled of the historic court case which saw the trade and other payables decrease to R1,746,215 from R4,126,887. ASA had received a grant of R11,400,000 earmarked for specific projects during January to April 2018. Legal representation in the historic court case cost R1,190,966. ASA as custodian of Athletics declares all income received and reflects all ring-fenced money for its associate members to the amount of R2,000,000. All ASA incomes have been declared. Operating expenses were as listed. ASA declared that tax clearance certificate was issued to ASA for the year under review. All VAT submission is paid and up to date with SARS. ASA is compliant to BEE Status requirements. The property of ASA is paid in full and bond free. Honoraria or salaries are not paid to any of the ASA Board members. The next slide showed 2018 ASA reserves, risk management income and expensed, budget forecast.
Mr Skhosana dealt with the administrative and governance issues. Before the current Board took over the management of ASA, ASA was always in the media for all the wrong reasons. ASA had to work extra hard and smart to come out of that situation. Part of these was endeavouring to solve the problem of finances. We are still clearing all the debts that the Board found there. As for the administration, there is a very stable administrative team. Our hope is that when we leave ASA we leave it in better place in the years to come. The office is under the stewardship of an Acting CEO, Mr Richard Stander, assisted by staff compliment of 13 staff members. Under the guidance of IAAF, we have been able to increase membership, competition and technical and also team preparation. The ASA Board is a solid and stable team working hard to make sure that all tasks and responsibilities are handled. Staff who help the Board with the running of day to day operations. It is important to note that the Board members of ASA are not full time and none are paid.
On the 2 June 2018, ASA had an important meeting with all provincial presidents and Chairpersons of associates to deal with issues outside the formalities of the AGM and the council meeting procedures. This is because ASA is being innovative. It is not formal like AGMs thereby there are no formalities for example on time and engagements were adequate. It was very successful and actually the first that has been held in a period of over 10 years. The other issue of importance to inform Members is on South Africa School Athletics (SASA). Our engagements revealed that there were a lot of challenges on the ground. That is why there is need for oversight from this Committee and between the DSR and the Department of Basic Education (DBE). This is because when one thinks they have a good programme, DBE comes in and says no, this is our responsibility. If the two departments can work with each other ASA would achieve a lot. However, ASA were happy as a paper had been signed between the Minister of Sports and the Minister of Education which is meant to streamline operations and policies and all that. Further, the ASA met the DG DSR and DG DBE and was happy to report that they were now all speaking with one voice.
On the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report that was issued by the Minister, it shows some great improvements on the side of athletics. However, in some areas, things did not score the set targets. What is good about the EPG is that it is based on what ASA want to achieve. As ASA, we have set standards so high not merely to meet the requirements of the EPG, but to solve problems that will be fatal is not taken care of by ASA now. The statistics shows a major decline and increase in population of SA youth. 80% of the population is under 23 and if we do not spread our sporting participation there is a possibility that SA will not be sending athletes to represent it in 20 years. The black Africans as compared to white Africans are growing at a much faster rate. The white population in the next few years will constitute less than 5% of the SA population. As a consequence, there is need to expand sports to cover all townships and rural areas. On Sponsorship and partnerships, the ASA Board and administration has been successful in ensuring that the 2017/18 season get support from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), all tiers of Government, Broadcasting Rights Fees from SABC, Liquid Telecom and other small partners. ASA is delighted that its decision to appoint a marketing company last year to look for sponsors produced positive results.
When the Board came into ASA, it found several legal battles with some dating back over seven years. One was on technical officials who were injured during a Yellow Pages competition way back. ASA won this case hands down as the judge did not see why ASA should be held accountable. The other a marketing company that claimed they did a job during the 2016 CAA Senior Track and Field Championships in Durban. An estimated claim of over R11 million was set against ASA. ASA won this case too. The other issue was SASCOC versus ASA where the President of SASCOS had been kicked out of office which was a matter that had been referred to the Arbitration Foundation of SA which also ruled in favour of ASA and the President has since been restated. ASA is hosting a number of events in provinces this year. ASA is spreading the events across the country rather than having them only in the big metropolitans and have moved to provinces like Mpumalanga and North West. This helps stimulate interest to those participating in sports.
On the issue of athletics tracks infrastructure, ASA received a number of letters and requests from municipalities, some of them asking for information on tracks and others while others have committed a crime where they have spent money e.g. R15 million on a sport project but they do not have a track. The material used is not for track, some contractors claim to be able to do it but they built shoddy or not-quality tracks. ASA has disseminated information to as many municipalities as possible giving them accredited people who can give them what they want to required standards. ASA will be in Cape Town on 23 September for the Gold Label Cape Town City Marathon. For the first time the City marathon will be hosted side by side with ASA Marathon Championships 2018. It is going to be a remarkable event and athletes from outside SA will be participating.
There was also an issue which is very popular on social media. Anne Ashworth, a South African, won the Comrades Marathon on the ladies’ side. Overall SA emerged number 2. ASA congratulates all participants from SA especially women and men winners in various categories for flying the flag of the republic high. From that a team has been selected that will be representing SA in the World 100 Kilometres Comrades Marathon. This team is both male and female. In 2016 there was no female team only a male team so this is improvement. The women selected included Anne Ashworth but shortly afterwards ASA received a letter via social media communication that the lady was not prepared to represent SA. She began attacking ASA administrators but ASA did not respond. This is because when the Board took over in 2014 it vowed that it would do away with the system of the old Board that used to be in the media for all wrong reasons including calling people all manner of names. ASA wrote a letter to Ashworth pursuant to its code of conduct but she did not to stop and has conducted interviews with different radio stations. ASA was forced to use its Constitution which states that if one puts ASA into disrepute, ASA must suspend you. However, ASA did not suspend the lady because it knows that athletes are emotional people and some have people behind them who push them to say things. ASA has written to her and she has responded with her attorneys and ASA’s attorneys are currently engaged with this. As ASA we have an option of revoking her license, or disciplining her. She however ran away from disciplinary proceedings but now we wanted to revoke her licence, her lawyers wrote to ASA conceding to some of the things. ASA will give her a stern warning not to repeat what she did. As she is not prepared to represent the country, other women have been chosen.
The other issue is a Russian athlete who came to SA last year to run in the Comrades Marathon won the race but as ASA we did not issue her a medal as she came to SA when there was a ban imposed on all Russian athletes by IAAF. The entire Russian team has been suspended because of drugs. Russia subsequently did not allow World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to do what they were supposed to do and Russia is till suspended. However, in terms of the IAAF Constitution, there is what we call new trail athletes meaning that Russia can be suspended but if one Russian abides by the rules he or she can be allowed. Right now, there are 67 athletes in the whole of Russia junior and senior athlete teams who are allowed to compete internationally. ASA informed the lady that they would not issue her the prize unless she is cleared by the IAAF because if not cleared ASA would be risking the future of athletes in SA. This is because IAAF can use what they call the law of association to penalise SA athletes who train with Anne Ashworth because if an athlete is suspended for drugs he or she is not allowed to train with other athletes. This also became a big issue on social media with people claiming that she should be given at least some money but ASA stood firm. IAAF had a meeting in the last two weeks and stated that Russia might be completely expelled if they do not start by abiding to IAAF conditions. Further, IAAF even revoked a license of an athlete who had been allowed to compete as an individual.
There is also an issue with IAAF regulation 12 on female athletes which affected Caster Semenya. ASA convened a high-level panel including SASCOC to look into this issue. We also have the best of the best from the medical fraternity to look into this and we have received support from countries including Canada, Switzerland, UK and US. All are saying that the paper that IAAF is using to discriminate women like Caster is irregular as the paper does not contain scientific evidence. The evidence that if you have a high level of testosterone one performs better as a woman is questionable and not forth coming. ASA is also challenging those who sat in the original panel that came to this conclusion and also discriminated another Indian athlete but the court of arbitration ruled in her favour. This regulation discriminates women and Caster Semenya in particular. On the other hand, men like Usain Bolt who has similar but differentiated attributes are allowed to perform whereas without these attributes they would not be running as fast as he does. ASA has challenged this regulation because it goes far after Caster as there are women in the country in the youth athletics league who have similar body qualities as Caster and they too could be victims of this discrimination. The South African Government is in support of these. Further, if there indeed is need for it, all women should be tested and not particular women or particular tracks like 800 to 1600 metres. ASA will need the Committee’s support to rally the AU behind this as there are also other countries affected like Kenya, Burundi, and Ethiopia but they are keeping quiet and there is need to speak with one voice as Africans.
The other issue is on domestic competition. ASA has restricted domestic competition in the country from road-running, cross-country, track and field, trail running and mountain running in primary and secondary schools with the bulk of the concentration going to the schools so as to be able to identify talent from all corners of the republic especially townships and rural areas. ASA has even sent teams to represent SA on all these competitions. There is an innovation that has been brought which is the Masters Championships for athletes who are above the age of 35. We have also seen an increase in SAPS participation. Originally most athletes in here used to come from the defence forces but currently more and more young people have been joining which is encouraging. We have also started enthusing all athletes into the competition, including the disabled. The disabled have special competitions where they are categorised depending on the disability.
On continental competition, there was an issue with COSASA in Botswana. Our children were supposed to go to Botswana to represent the country but they did not due to issues between the DBE and DSR though the same are not known to us. There was also the CAA Southern Region Youth and Junior Championship. This was held in Boksburg, Central Gauteng. The municipality there is commended for refurbishing the sporting facility there to a level that it can hold international competitions. As a matter of fact, their blue and black track is better than anything we have seen anywhere else in the world. On 1 to 5 August, there was also the CAA Senior Track and Field Championship in Asaba Nigeria. Members know that there was an issue with transportation as there was only one plane to ferry athletes from all 53 African States and it was chaotic. On arrival there was some relief as we were booked into a good hotel. However, in Asaba getting accommodation was difficult and they say when you are in Rome, do as the romans do. Food was in abundance but accommodation was not. ASA does not expect Nigeria to be like SA as much as Nigeria expects SA to be like them. SA athletes came 2nd overall but won most medals to a total of 31. 1st position was taken by Kenya because they had more gold medals. The SA team who won will be part of the team representing the Africa Continent in Czech Republic on 8 and 9 September. There was also a cross country in Algiers where the SA team represented the country. There were also Africa Youth Olympic Games in Algiers and Argentina in July where SA was also represented but through a team sent by SASCOS and not ASA.
ASA also sent a team to various international competitions. This includes the IAAF World Junior Championships in Finland from 10-15 July, Athletics World Cup Race Walk Championships in China, and IAAF Trial Running Championships in Spain. South Africa is going up in terms on world rankings and is closer to Kenya and Jamaica. There were also Commonwealth Games held in Australia where our team performed quite well. In fact, this was the best performance at the games from SA from before and after its democratisation coming number 3 overall after Jamaica and India. Finally, there was the IAAF Global Run day 24.1 Mile in Johannesburg 6 June 2018 hosted by ASA, which was well attended and organised. The Central Gauteng Authority (CGA) is appreciated for having organised the run in a very busy market i.e. Mary Fitz Gerald market square. The metro police of Johannesburg were also instrumental in its success.
The focus of ASA is on athletes going forward. There have been outstanding achievements. No more than 33 ASA records have been broken with nine of these as old as more than 20 years. We have achieved this through emphasis on coaching. ASA believes that coaching is important and without coaches would not be able to achieve all these. By having coaches who understand athletes we are winning medals that less than two years ago we would not have won. Some of the coaches were world champions in the 2000’s so have necessary expertise. We are also training technical committees. There are also athletes’ representatives which is problematic. DoRA is not an athletes’ representative but rather an athlete’s Commission. Athletes’ representatives are the business people who go to IAAF. They are like soccer agents. There have been incidences where managers and tendencies are dictated by these ARs but we are dealing with this even IAAF has published new regulations governing this. ASA also has standing committees and their term has come to an end and there will be need to replace them. The ASA Board has also endorsed the first draft of its Development Strategy/Blueprint which is going to be ASA’s working document. The document is future looking and intends to take care of issues even long after athletes like Caster Semenya have retired.
There have been calls to demarcate athletes’ provinces from the current 17 down to 9 but the argument is still on-going and Members will be informed of its outcome. Currently, SA is preparing for the 2019 IAAF World Championships to be held in Doha and the 2020 Olympics Games to be held in Tokyo where ASA is supplying athletes to SASCOC who are involved in this. ASA also hopes that SA global ranking will improve. ASA wishes to congratulate two athletes for winning awards hosted by the AU in Johannesburg recently who include Caster Semenya as the Sportswoman of the year and Luvo Manyonga as Sportsman of the year. Caster Semenya in Nigeria was also indicted into the hall of fame when SA was in Asaba less than 2 weeks ago.
Mr Skhosana apologised to Members for taking such a long time to present but had to do so having a rare chance to come before the Committee and present and was not going to waste it.
The Chairperson thanked the Mr Skhosana for his presentation; ASA were doing a good job that had seen the country excel in the just concluded games in Asaba, Nigeria.
Mr D Bergman (DA) said the picture being painted by the ASA President was a good picture but was concerned with two officers of ASA who had not come to the meeting. These were Dr Stanley and another who were always recused when ASA was being recused therefore their absence had been noted. The reason being is indeed it is possible to resolve escalation internally, but there needs to be a broader arena in which people could express their views. There is need to look at what is being said versus what is being done and take away the emotional part of it. When Members started the DSR, there were a lot of emotional things being said with like the Soweto Marathon and a lot of questions were asked. There is a sense that sponsors are being made to pay some fee to ASA to sponsor. What is the need of this fee? And why is it there? Previously it has being said that it is in line with international practices but is it really necessary? Further on the issue of Soweto Marathon, there is a Mrs Anne Ashworth who had heard of the 100-kilometre run but could not participate due to lack of funds. She got a sponsor but the sponsor wrote numerous times to ASA but ASA never responded. ASA finally allowed her to participate but just before the race it informed her that she could not take part. This is not a very professional way to treat athletes. Then Members have been told by Mr Skhosana that she is not under disciplinary. This is contrary to a letter that had been earlier received investigating the allegation that she cheated in the Comrades Marathon.
What we need to be asking as Members, because it is our mandate to ask these tough questions, but, how was it that an athlete raised concerns but then she gets letters that she is being investigated and under disciplinary? Then again Members are told she is not under disciplinary. That is one issue. The other is that since then she states that she has been getting death threats. What Members do not understand is after all these, why ASA preferred a court route rather than a mediation route. Why could it not be solved amicably? Our biggest asset in SA in terms of transformation is in athletics. This is because this is one area that people can get involved with a low point barrier to raise participation. It is desirable to get to a point where ASA is seen as the leading lot but we will not get there unless these questions are asked. We need to reach a place where money is used to advance sports and not to settle defamation cases.
The Chairperson commented that it seemed Mr Bergman had a lot of information concerning this. There was a lot of information circulating on social media and there was need for Mr Skhosana to explain what happened. This is because…
Mr Mhlongo raised a point of order stating that there was need to first listen to Mr Skhosana on this and from there on members could make judgments, claiming if the Chairperson commented it would be like pre-empting the outcome.
The Chairperson passionately declined to accept the point of order replying that her questions were important as there was nothing wrong that Mr Bergman had the information and her questions were necessary as they would guide Mr Skhosana when he was answering the questions. This is because during the presentation he did not inform members of the details.
Mr Mhlongo joked that the reason Mr Stanley was absent as Mr Bergman had mentioned was because of the land issue. He had thought that Members were going to discuss land issues and that is why he was afraid of coming before the Committee. He asked whether there was now an acting permanent CEO or was the position still vacant. If he is not permanent, when will ASA have a permanent CEO?
Can ASA also confirm on the R100,000 that clubs are paying, is it an admission fee? Or what is it. And where can it be seen in the finances. As for the upcoming Gold Label Cape Town Marathon he wanted to be invited stating that he was available.
On the issue of legal court battles, how much money was used and was there value for money as compared to mediation? Also, regarding consultation fees, why is it so high as compared to other years? And what is entailed in the consultation fee. Please also explain the issue regarding rent as is shown in the finances. What was the purpose of setting high EPG goals if they cannot be achieved and how do you measure progress with such high goals.
Regarding the Licence, it had changed and the logos and sponsor were now much smaller, what where the reasons for these changes. At the end of the day corporates will not want to sponsor because they are not getting exposure.
How many logos or companies are allowed on a vest?
Can ASA give an indication of how much they spend per athlete in preparation for the 2019 and 2020 games?
On the issue of Anne Ashworth, ASA stated that she ran away from disciplinary proceedings. Does that mean that there were proceedings which she appeared but ran away? There must be a clear disciplinary process including notices so there is need to be given an explanation as what is meant by running away.
In the presentation there was the issue of lack of accommodation. Was accommodation booked fairly and well in advance? Because there have been concerns that ASA does not plan logistics for SA athletes well. He was sure there are hotels in Nigeria which are equivalent to hotels in SA but you have indicated that you cannot compare the two countries hotels. And you cannot convince Members that all hotels were fully booked for one day. There have been complaints that when athletes are in the country they receive top of the bench treatment but when they go out they receive poor treatment.
The Chairperson was happy that even Mr Mhlongo was asking about the details and not just from information relied on from the media.
Mr Ralegoma engaged members and guests that usually there was no need for concern on who from the delegation was absent. The most important thing was that the President was there. He was afraid of the precedent that would be set if members started questioning why such and such a member was not present.
Mr Bergman raised a point of order stating that Members could not prevent pre-emption. This was because it was easy for example Cricket SA who would be coming before the Committee next week if they found out what they were going to be asked could choose to exclude some of the people coming. There was need to set this precedent as the Committee ought to be able to demand that certain people attend for purposes of accountability.
The Chairperson added that Members knew that even coming before the Committee the Board were using their own funds and therefore this was appreciated. That they were not well represented was not an issue really. As the Board had apologised for their absence then that was that. The point of order was politely declined.
Mr Ralegoma continued that there was need for Members to discuss this issue of sponsors wanting to represent the country. There is also need to discuss the issue that athletes are increasingly ready to denounce the country. It is not the first time that athletes are speaking to the media and they say whatever they want to say. As far as Members were concerned, ASA was responsible for athletes. There is need for details as explained by the Chair and Mr Mhlongo as Members and the public get many things from newspapers and social media. There is need to know who was responsible for all these. On the issue of SA Sport Awards (SASA) there are some federations stating that they can manage sports in schools better. What was ASA’s position on this and was SASA performing as it should be? On the issue of demarcation there is need to look into all challenges to make sure that these issues are sorted out.
Mr S Mmusi (ANC) thanked Mr Skhosana for his wonderful presentation. Thanked ASA for the efforts that they were doing especially towards athletes. Further, this also applied to the way ASA was proceeding with the issue of Caster Semenya. Members were also sympathetic of sometimes poor conditions that ASA received when they were out of the country. It is understandable why you cannot comment and maybe you are not privy to all the information that is in social media but Members asked because they want to understand and also confirm the real information.
Further, there is need to know whether ASA received a qualified or unqualified report on this issue and what are the reasons.
He questioned how ASA were preparing and training athletes’ years in advance for example training 16 years olds’ now aiming for future events. Lastly, if ASA has a list of the names of all participants who won they should share with Members.
The Chairperson stated that there was also need for a full report on the municipalities that had constructed these track and field facilities. it is this Committee that fought for these funds to be released to municipalities therefore it had every right. It is concerning that immediately the municipalities received the funds they ran ahead and wanted everything. She was pleased that a a great standard track had been built. However, there is a problem as the DSR reported to the Committee that most tracks and sporting facilities that are being built by municipalities they cost a lot of money and are of poor quality hence there is no value for money.
Mr Skhosana asked Mr Jacobs to first answer the questions on finance and audit.
Mr Jacobs stated that in 2014 ASA’s operating expenses were R10.5 million while in 2015, it was R17 million, in 2016 it was R33 million while in 2017 it was R39 million. All debts that we had have all being settled. Fees charged on licences are incorporated into income receivables and that is why they have not been indicated. All sources of incomes have been declared and are R39.1 million. The report that Mr Mmusi is asking about it is qualified.
Mr Skhosana engaged Members that the issue with municipalities is that they did not have the necessary information especially regarding tracks. Tracks are highly specialised areas and one needs designers and engineers. In order to produce a class 1 or class 2 track one needs to go to the international body to ensure that those municipalities need to know what they are doing. We have shared that information with this Committee and CoGTA and SALGA. However, there are doubts as to whether it got through to SALGA.
On the details of each of the participants who participated and won, the list is here and will be given to Members and even the medals are mentioned.
On the issue of training someone while still young, in most countries and in the IAAF, they talk of kid athletics. A person can participate in games from the age of 6. Our focus is on education of coaches for secondary and primary schools. This is what is lacking in this country as compare to the US, Russia, China and other who have these programs.
On Anne Ashworth, and why ASA did not respond, the Board came in at a time when the ASA was in every platform for all the wrong reasons. We decided that we did not want to have the same system. ASA is also mindful that there is an element of speech. There is what people are allowed to say but they need not go beyond board especially if they have signed the code of conduct as members of the organisation. One is allowed to say things as long as one is not antagonising people. ASA have also been reluctant to engage because she says this then says that so we are not sure which is which. Sometimes it is better to wait. This is because the ASAs communication no matter through what media will be official communication. ASA decided not to get involved in this.
On the issue of when in Rome do as the romans do, this is best illustrated by Tokyo where in your room they give you a bath in a round shape not like the ones that South Africans are used to and you cannot lie you can only bend your knees and shower. And one cannot say they will not bath because of that. Our athletes were complaining that they can’t bath. When asked if the issue is water they say no, the problem is there is no bathroom whereas that is the bathroom. This is what ASA means. It is very important to adapt to each environment.
He thanked Mr Mmusi for congratulating ASA on Caster Semenya. However, the battle was not over and ASA would need the Committees’ support.
On demarcation ASA will certainly align school athletics with SASA. Some of the federations might be affected. SASA has volunteered to help with this.
As ASA, the most important thing is the flag of South Africa. The other day in Algeria, the flag was raised and the national anthem played against the giants of the world. And this is only done for number ones and not two and threes. One feels goosebumps and tears rolling down one’s cheeks because one looks not just at oneself but that child who won and wonders what if her talent had never been discovered? If she or he is Africa champion, will she or he be World champion? So, ASA finds it weird that one athlete can say no they do not want to represent the flag of the country. There are processes and one is allowed to say no for example an athlete can state they are injured or not prepared to embarrass myself and my country. When one says they are injured, ASA requires a medical certificate and this is the normal process all over SA. This is done so as to make sure that people honour the country SA. ASA has nothing against this particular athlete. And normally ASA sends a show cause letter to athletes in such a situation. However, in this case ASA did not do the normal things that it normally does and which include calling one to an emergency disciplinary meeting or revoking one’s license or being suspended. The only thing that has been sent is a warning that she is putting ASA under disrepute. She responded to the show cause letter last Friday, which well be considered by the Board and then members will be informed.
On the issue of CEO in ASA raised by Mr Mhlongo, the Board has been trying to make sure the system is first cleaned up before any appointment of CEO. We need a seasoned person who knows how the system works and how to overcome its challenges. ASA would have appointed Richard as a full time CEO but decided not to because of other reasons. ASA wants a person who is younger and who is going to stay for a long time and who will be a resource for others to come.
The issue of R100,000 for corporate clubs, members need to know that there is an issue. This is because athletes are leaving their clubs to go and join one club. Athletes are coming all the way from Limpopo, Soweto and other places to join this club. But there are no rights that are observed whatsoever. Athletes are sleeping on cartons whereas they have joined the corporate clubs. They live like slaves and none of them have beds or proper food. This is because their money is taken by managers. What is worse is everyday these clubs are winning something. As ASA, to curb the mushrooming of clubs, the club that has Standard Bank as its back, one cannot expect Standard Bank to affiliate itself with R1000 in the township. So as ASA we are trying to intervene and make sure there is a level playing field. ASA is dealing with all this issue because it wants human rights to be respected. Athletes should be able to receive their money. There is no need for the athletes to relocate to countries like the US where they are soon forgotten (The President was very passionate about this).
On the audited finances, they are for the year ending 31 December. The R11 million case was concluded in March. Therefore, this will only reflect in next year’s statements or if the Committee allows the Board to come sooner than that.
On the EPG goals, we have set very high goals which we set based on the situation that the Board found at ASA. SA had been relegated to number 5 in Africa and yet with the Board now SA is ranked number one in the Youth, Junior and Senior games. This meant that the systems, developments and all other things are indicated. There was need to be realistic even if with possibilities of attracting criticism. ASA prefers to fail jumping the highest bar rather than succeed jumping something on the knee. Another thing on the EPG is that it was not set for this year but was set for the previous year. The secretariat of the EPG themselves used to wonder how ASA has moved miles on statistics. Even this year it was said that ASA is moving fast on the issue of women and women youth.
The logo is important to ASA. The Board wants to leave when everything is much better and these high EPGs’ help with that. On consultation fee, Mr Jacobs will answer that. However, it is important to note that athletes do not buy licenses from ASA they buy them from the clubs. It is the clubs who buy licenses from the ASA. The license fees go to the provinces. For example, last year KZN had 300,000 registered athletes and with the temporary licences they can run their offices even for one year. It is upon the provinces to decide whether they will sell the license for R115 or R150. Different provinces based on their different financial needs charge differently. The Board tried to regulate and make it uniform across the country but the Council which is the highest decision-making body said no.
On how many corporates are allowed on a vest, that is IAAF regulation. The IAAF advertisement rules govern this and they state where the name of the corporate should be and what size and where the name of the province should be and things like that. As ASA we have been pushing so that the clubs can have their corporate sponsor on the vest in their own designs. On development 2019/20, there is a myth out there that if one has money one will develop better. This is true if you look at UK sports budget. Preparing for last year they had 25 million pounds but UK found themselves behind SA. When they asked us how much we spend, they were surprised when we told them. ASA told them it’s not about the money but the systems and progress. The biggest developments we do for the athletes are training them and creating competition. Our programmes are structured in ways that come 2019/2020; our athletes will be at their peak.
Mr James Moloi, Chairperson, Track and Field, answered the question on how teams were chosen. Teams are chosen by him and his Committee. The team is chosen according to standards according to their time. 5 men and 5 women making a total have been chosen according to their time. The 10 will be going to Croatia to represent SA. There is also a manager and 3 coaches who will be accompanying them and they are all confirmed and their passports are ready.
Mr Skhosana added that usually there were a selection team that selected the team. Then if it is track and field for example, it goes through James Moloi and his Commission. Finally, it comes to the Board to confirm. Also, athletes are allowed an appeal period in case they feel aggrieved for not being chosen or for the choices made.
Mr Jacobs answered the question on how many registered permanent licence runners were there in the country and stated that they were currently 108,000.
Mr Skhosana also added that there were those athletes who chose to buy temporary licenses and those exceeded 500,000 and at times 700,000. ASA has been encouraging people to buy permanent licences which are cheaper because they are bought only once rather than temporary licences.
On the question of bookings for SA teams before travelling, ASA does anything and everything. But there were instances where the host country states that teams’ responsibilities are only to fly into the country. Once there, everything will be taken care of and once at the airport you have to wait to be briefed by the local organising committee and take you to a hotel. If you do anything outside of that and suffer any consequences then you will be liable for them. Most international events happen this way where they allocate hotels based on the country and how large its team is. Normally there is no second choice so one has to do with what one gets. But in instances where ASA books for the teams they always get the best and equivalent to SA hotels. But usually for example with the 2019 Doha games, we will send team managers in advance to go and view preparations of everything including the hotels. However, in Nigeria the team that went was supposed to spend 2 days but instead spend 6 days and during that time they were not shown any papers detailing preparation or even the hotels. So really it also has to do with the host countries.
Mr Jacobs answered the question of consultation fees and stated that in 2016 ASA had appointed a HR company. This was the only consulting that ASA did.
Mr Skhosana added that to substantiate this, when the Board took over ASA staff had no job descriptions. There was a need to get an external person so that the people would be comfortable talking to when talking about the experiences and work detail and expectations. There was need to streamline the organisation so that it can be able to function.
Mr Mhlongo wanted to find out if there was a time frame for getting the CEO and cautioned ASA against stating that they were hunting for a CEO without telling members on the specific timeline. Also, regarding development, how many of the 108000 athletes that are there are developed for the future? Also, for planning for 2019/2020 how much is actually spent because there must be a cost implication. Also, there was the issue of running away of Anne Ashworth which was not explained. Also confirm the actual amount paid by corporate clubs. Is it R100,000?
Mr Skhosana replied that ASA was not charging people R100,000. There was an AGM is Gauteng where the corporate clubs were invited. There was a special Council meeting to discuss fees but which the clubs never honoured. The Council was angry that corporate clubs were not taking it seriously and stated that they would start imposing a R100,000 fee for not pitching. The next special Council meeting all the corporate clubs came and presented their case. The Council told them that they wanted to charge R100,000 because the corporate clubs were not taking the Council seriously. However, as they had all come, they would not pay R100,000 but would be charged R1000 and this is on record. Since then, the corporate clubs have been paying R1000.
Mr Moloi answered the question on spending for developing 108000 athletes. Because of the problem of obesity in SA, everyone wants to become an athlete. That is partly why there are a lot of athletes. In Gauteng alone, there are 56,000 registered athletes in 2018. For Soweto Marathon when we advertised, within 5 days, there was registration of 45000 people and we had to stop registering. This is because everybody nowadays wants to run because of health and lifestyle.
Mr Skhosana clarified that in the ASA Constitution, there was no such thing as corporate clubs. This name came when certain corporates decided to open clubs. However as far as ASA was concerned there were only clubs. There was originally a national club but it did not work. Clubs work through provinces and not the ASA. It was the provinces that were members of the ASA. Even on the issue of sponsors, they do not pay anything to the ASA. The only fee they pay is to the provinces is an affiliation fee. There is nothing that stops a sponsor from being affiliated to clubs. This is so as ASA wants clubs to have as many sponsors as possible.
The CEO will be appointed by June 2019 if the hunting goes well.
On the issue of death threats that Mr Bergman had raised, he was not sure there are death threats. In fact, I thought I was the only one receiving death threats! Maybe it was on social media and unfortunately, I have not heard it. What there is at ASA is that after Anne Ashworth took to the media, ASA has received so many letters from athletes and provinces saying that ASA must discipline this athlete and deal with her accordingly according to the Constitution.
Mr Moloi answered the issue of Anne Ashworth. Originally, Ashworth had opened her Club called Met or something of that name. When she did this she sought to register it and came before a Committee which a Joe Morrison was part of. After the meeting Morrison spoke with Ashworth and told her that instead of opening her club, Morrison had his own club and which if she wanted she could finance. She agreed and he gave her the bank accounts. She came and found out that the account belonged to a trust and not a club as had been claimed by Morrison and she refused to fund. So, when everything happened and she was called to the disciplinary committee, she refused to come thinking Morrison would be on that Committee when in-fact he was not. Up-to date, she has not come for the disciplinary committee meeting and that is the official position.
Mr Bergman stated that there was an issue of SA children missing out on a SADC sporting event in Botswana. What was the cause of this and why are children missing such important events. Was it lack of planning or who is responsible for this?
Mr Skhosana replied that this issue had to do with the DBE as sporting is part of curriculum. ASA had provided funds for everything included transport and accommodation for the COSACA games in Botswana. It was saddening that children missed out and this is the first time in many years that that has happened. These games are important because they are the stepping stones to international competitions.
The Chairperson noted that this had been a long meeting but it had been utilised by Members to the maximum. Members yesterday were informed of the BRICS games by the DSR but it does not so much concern the ASA. Information was given that the Russians had their own agenda concerning the games. But this is a matter to ask the DSR not the ASA. She thanked ASA for their very informative presentation. Members were very proud of ASA. This was because when the flag of the Republic is rising they always think of the ASA. Sport is very important to the country. There is need to teach kids the value of patriotism and loyalty to the flag. One would rather die holding a flag than throw it to the enemy. The questions Members have been asking is really to know about what has being going on. But all in all, ASA are doing a great job. Members appreciate ASA coming.
The ASA delegation thanked the Chairperson and Members for giving them audience. They then left the meeting.
The Chairperson stated that the last agenda of the meeting was adoption of minutes and programme. There were 5 minutes and 1 program. There was the issue of study visits of the Eastern Cape and North West which had been added. It was important for members to go for these study visits. Yesterday it had been agreed that a delegation comprising the Chairperson, Mr Ralegoma and Mr Bergman to see Honourable Froelich to deliberate on the Committee’s lack of funds for study visits.
Members were asked whether there was anything desirous of change in the programme.
Mr Bergman replied that there was the issue that had been emerging and it’s the differences between the department of education and department of sports that was affecting the effective operationalisation of sports in the country. There was need for the Content Advisor to draft a proposal on how to deal and engage with this issue which had negative effects like children missing out on games. Also, some of the study visits in the programme were too expensive. Next week the Committee would be meeting Cricket South Africa. There was need to call Supersport who have the broadcasting rights too as there was an issue between the two. There is information that this could be the reason of resignation of the CEO. There is a lot of money and there are a lot of accusations of corruption around it. Supersport is causing a stalemate between investors and Cricket South Africa. This could lead to a blotch in the Cricket event. It would be convenient to give Supersport and Cricket South Africa both an opportunity to come and air out their issues before the Committee.
The Chairperson had no problem with what Bergman was saying and the programme would be amended to call the two so long as there is ample notice. But there was a problem by saying that study visits are too expensive. There is no such thing. It is the spirit of the Committee and its mandate to go for study visits. Other Committees even have more trips and go very far. So, the issue of expense was no issue as such. The budget is there.
The programme was adopted.
Adoption of minutes
Several outstanding committee minutes were approved.
The Chairperson noted that all matters in the agenda had been covered. This Committee was a dynamic and vibrant Committee and there was need to keep the spirit. When Members do not see eye to eye there was a need to correct each other constructively.
She thanked members for coming for the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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