The Minister of Sport and Recreation, Ms Thokozile Xasa and the Department informed the Select Committee on Education and Recreation on what they were able to achieve and what they were unable to achieve in the 2017/18 financial year. They informed the Committee that they had achieved approximately 91.4% of their performance targets with the use of 99.4% of their overall budget.
The Department informed the Committee on the challenges they had encountered in the financial year under review. One of them being the inability to pay for two invoices (creditor payment age). They argued that it had been an improvement from the previous year as they had three outstanding invoices in the 2016/17 financial year. Furthermore, the Department informed the Committee that they were able to achieve a clean audit, which was something they were extremely happy with.
The Department also informed the Committee on the projects and programmes they had been working on, specifically on how far they were with each project in the financial year. Some of the mentioned projects/programmes were; the National Sports and Recreation Amendment Bill; the bidding for the 2023 Netball World Cup; the construction of the National Training Centre; the delivery of buses to the provinces – particularly for the delivery of sporting equipment and attire; and SCORE – a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) that deals with the training of teachers to become coaches. The Department assured the Committee that they would update them on the progress of each one of these.
The Members raised concerns on the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) funding framework, specifically on how the Department was dealing with the issue of not being able to commence with the construction of sports facilities in various provinces. The Department suggested that issues regarding the MIG funding framework were beyond their control, and assured the Committee that they had brought the issue up to the Minister and thus confirmed that the Minister was still deliberating on the matter.
Members also raised concerns regarding Bafana Bafana’s lack of performance in the past couple of years. They wanted clarity on what the real problem was and how the Department was dealing with the matter The Director-General (DG) suggested that it was not a money issue but rather an attitude and mentality problem which they were currently working on with the team.
The Committee also raised concerns on the lack of female representation in the management of the Department. They stressed that they wanted to see more females filling management positions. The Department confirmed that they were currently filling up vacancies and that women were going to be prioritised and considered for such positions.
The Chairperson emphasized the importance of getting feedback from the Department. She stated that the Committee was eager to hear the report regarding the Department’s previous financial year, specifically on which targets the Department was able to achieve and those that they were unable to achieve in that year. In addition, the Committee also wanted to know the actions that the Department would initiate in order to correct the targets that were not met. The Chairperson also emphasized the importance of discussing the findings of the Auditor-General (AG) Purpose even though the Department had achieved a clean audit. The Chairperson also commended the Department for obtaining a clean audit. She then handed over to the Minister to give her political input, and suggested that the Director-General (DG) should present the report to the Committee thereafter.
The Chairperson said she would be leaving early due to other commitments she has to attend to.
The Minister of Sport and Recreation Ms Thokozile Xasa thanked the Chairperson and the Members of the Select Committee for their acknowledgement on the request made by the Department. She said that the Department had been faced with a challenging week as they were currently running the Sport’s Week Programme. The Minister informed the Committee that the Department handed over cars and buses to the nine provinces. Furthermore, she informed the Committee that the Department was almost at the final step of handing-over the piece of land where the National Training Centre would be built. The Minister then highlighted the benefits of having the training centre. Amongst the benefits was the fact that other countries would be able to utilise the facilities provided in this training centre when they are in South Africa. The Minster informed the Committee that the team had been working tirelessly on the matter. She also informed the Committee about the Sports Awards where they honoured Ms Caster Semenya as the Sports Star of Year in 2018.
Another matter that the Minister mentioned was the National Sports and Recreation Amendment Bill which was now a tabled requirement. She said that the Department intended to brief the Portfolio Committee on the Bill in the coming week. The Bill has tagged section 76. Its essence was the main reason why they had to meet deadlines, and them hoping that the Committee would prioritise it was based on the series of data where the authority of the Minister had to be challenged when doing Ministerial inquiries. Thus, the Bill will assist in such and it will also deal with some of the issues that the Department had picked up regarding governance which was noted in their federations. The Minister also mentioned that a lot of what the Department had prioritised to incorporate within the Amendment Bill was around the gaps that had given rise to other proposed Bills. Furthermore, due to lack of time, the Department decided to infuse what can be infused in the Amendments. The Minister suggested that they would rely more on the Committee to assist them with pushing the Bill forward.
The Minister also spoke about the bidding that would be taking place for the 2023 Netball World Cup. She informed the Committee that in the following week the Department would be in Singapore to place their bid before the global body. She stated that the Netball Cup served as a tool to reform and empower young women to play sports in the country as well as to create role models for young girls through the use of the World Cup. Furthermore, she suggested that the World Cup was used as a catalyst for the development of sports in the country. Thus, the Minister argued that the Netball World Cup would be a sizable event which would likely have no economic impact on the country. She assured the Committee that National Treasury (NT) would ensure that the budget was allocated accordingly. She also mentioned that their bidding opponent was New Zealand.
The Minister raised the issue of dispute between South African Football Associations (SAFA) and South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) regarding broadcasting rights. She said that the DG had been appointed to be a facilitator between SAFA and SABC, and thus the DG was required to find a soluble solution to the issue of broadcasting rights. She also mentioned that SAFA and SABC had no common ground, which was the reason for the appointment of the DG as the facilitator.
The Minister also raised a point about the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) requiring a report. She assured the Committee that the report was ready and that the Department was ready to present it to them and share with the public in the next two weeks.
The Minister mentioned how proud the Department was of their achievements in the year under review. She stated that the Department had achieved approximately 91.4% of their performance targets and had spent 99.4% of their allocated budget. She also said that the Department was able to do a lot more with their budget. The Minister informed the Committee that the Department had achieved a clean audit in the 2017/18 financial year.
The Chairperson thanked the Minister and handed over to Mr Alec Moemi, DG, Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) to present the report to the Committee.
Briefing by the Department
Mr Moemi informed the Committee that he will only be focusing on the targets that the Department was unable to achieve, and the remedial steps that they were going to take in order to meet these targets. He mentioned that the Committee was fully convinced with the Department’s Annual Performance Plan (APP) and their programmes at this last stage of the term. They were quite familiar with the Department’s programmes and rationale.
The Chairperson intervened and suggested that the Committee was always eager to hear about the Department’s achievements and not just what they were unable to achieve, therefore she urged the DG to consider that.
Mr Moemi stated that the Department’s mandate remained the same and that there were still only two entities. The Department was now led by Ms Thokozile Xasa as Minister, and Mr Gert Oosthuizen was still serving as Deputy Minister. Mr Moemi stated that the Department has maintained some stability with the Directors, Chief Operating Officers (COO) and Chief Financial Officers (CFO) throughout the year under review. Furthermore, the Department’s vision had also remained the same – an active and winning nation – which was a cornerstone of the work done by the Department. Their mission remained the same and they similarly captioned it their plane of line. He emphasised on what the Minister had said about the Department’s achievements in the year under review, thus suggesting that the overview of the Department’s performance will follow that order.
Mr Moemi stated that they were unable to achieve the first target (programme one) because of the issue of creditor payment age, where the Department was supposed to pay all invoices without fail within in a period of 30 days. In the year under review, the number of invoices that were paid beyond the 30-day period were three. With all the unpaid invoices the Department had encountered issues with the suppliers. Looking at the totality of the creditor payment age in 2017, the average days were 16.4 and 27.4 in 2018 as confirmed by the AG, thus suggesting that the number of days in which the payments were made had increased. With that said, Mr Moemi stated that the Department had submitted their corrective action plan to their internal audit committee which then directed their internal audit to review their system of the correction and payment of invoices. Mr Moemi confirmed that since then the audit committee had certified that the Department’s system was a bit robust and effective. Therefore, the Department was looking at alternative ways of avoiding to deal with invoices that could be potentially disputed. He stated that as of that moment, the system involved that immediately on the arrival of an invoice even before the evaluation process on the date of arrival, time was of the essence. If the Department discovered an error in the invoice, they could not pay it. Therefore, they would have to engage with the suppliers themselves. He also said that, by the time the Department and the supplier reach a conclusion, everything rests on the costs as they are already beyond the 30-day period.
In the current financial year, they had just completed their second quarter of processes and they had verified them. The Department had paid 718 invoices. However, amongst those invoices, only one was paid beyond the 30-day period as it had taken much longer to resolve the matter since the supplier threatened to go to court. Mr Moemi clarified that most invoices were paid within the first week of their arrival, but only when there was no dispute. Mr Moemi also mentioned that the AG had no issues with the payment of invoices and thus applauded the Department on the way they were handling the process of payments. He then assured the Committee that there had been an improvement from the previous year as they had had three outstanding invoices in the previous financial year.
Mr Moemi said that the Department was planning on keeping a clean record, and suggested that the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) being aware that the payment of invoices was a performance agreement that weighed roughly 20% of the entire scope had reduced the number of challenges.
The number of people actively participating in organised sport and recreation events was the second target that the Department failed to meet. This challenge had been ongoing from the previous financial year. The Department had been requesting the provinces to present portfolios of invoices required for claiming performances to the AG. Mr Moemi said that the Department had struggled with this right up until the end of the first quarter. The huge numbers that were required could not be met.
In the last week of the audit, files from provinces were still being presented, but the bulk of those files were not considered by the AG. However, when the Department counted the number of files that were not considered by the AG, they noticed that they would have been able to meet the set target had the files arrived on time. The Department noticed that provinces struggle with record-keeping, thus the Minister had taken it upon herself to raise the matter with MECs. The Department had also produced a dashboard for the Minister which they shared with the Committee to show them how far provinces are regarding their targets and achievements.
The Department had begun the analysis for 2018/19 which they would share with the Committee in the fourth quarter. Regarding programme three, the Department achieved all set targets. Then in programme four: Sport support, the Department encountered challenges regarding the construction of sports facilities, specifically the MIG Facilities due to issues with the municipalities as they insisted on appointing their own contractors and service providers. This then resulted in delays with processing, and some facilities that had to be completed within the 2017/18 financial year had to be carried over to the next financial year, 2018/19.
Mr Moemi confirmed that the Department had increased their interactions with the municipalities and have thus far visited every site in the programme at least twice. The Department was trying to assist the municipalities to move really quickly with their set targets. However, the engagement between the relevant Minister and the Department was still at a political level. In order for corrective action to be taken, the Department began engaging with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) on the agreement to initiate a forum to have a discussion with the municipalities on how quickly the facilities can be finalised. Mr Moemi stated that he would not take the Committee through the Department’s achievements but would rather take them through the dashboards in the report.
One of dashboards on slides 52 to 53 indicated the expenditure of each province and also showed that the analysis was not the same for all provinces. The dashboard was an indication of how much each province was paying in accordance to the grant given to them in order to achieve the set targets. The slides indicated the number of children/learners that are supported to participate in the National School Sport Championship that need to be brought forward by each province. The targets are determined by the budget each province has, and by its population size of school-going children. From there the Department will set targets for the provinces.
Looking at the number of children that each province ultimately delivers, the Department usually compares that to the budget allocated in order to determine the expenditure per capita and per learner in that specific province. Mr Moemi informed the Committee that they were conducting these analytics in order to force value for money as a way of stretching the rand further. Furthermore, this was also done to root out bad practices and wastefulness in the process whilst also improving efficiency. The Department calculated the median across all provinces based on levels of development. However, in some instances it may be difficult to do these calculations as each province is faced with different financial burdens and other impacting factors such as lack of education facilities and travelling distances.
Mr Moemi assured the Committee that the Department was drafting new conditions in the Grant Framework to compel provinces to be more effective and efficient in what they do. Additionally, the Department had also communicated with Heads of Departments (HOD) of Sporting Programmes to ensure that they were fully aware of these new conditions. He informed the Committee that the graphs were an indication of where each province’s norm should be, and where they currently are at that moment based on development.
On the number of supported sport tournaments in sport academics, one would note that where the sport academics are outsourced to private entities, the costs were clear within each province as indicated in the graph.
The Chairperson intervened to request clarity on the point made in the previous slide about the expenses that exceeded the budget according to the training of athletes.
Mr Moemi responded that this was the engagement they had always had with the NT on how they calculate the targets. Thus, if the Department is supposed to deliver active recreation participants and set a target of R1,2 million, the real question would be what inferred that said amount, should they now have to consider the budget that the Department and provinces have, should the amount be R1.5 million or R900 000? Essentially, how do they come to the conclusion that the target should be R1.2 million? Thus, the NT and DP could not provide a clear answer as to how they arrive at such targets. Therefore, Mr Moemi suggests that the Department needs a scientific methodology to arrive at such targets. He then stated that the method used for setting targets is not perfect, but the instrument used for setting such targets is necessary and useful to some extent.
Furthermore, the Department had provided the actual figures on every target, specifically on what each province had presented to the Department. On the point of the MIG Facilities, the report showed which ones were to be carried over to the next financial year. Mr Moemi mentioned that the Committee suggested that the Department should structure their reports in such a way that information is provided per province. He informed the Committee that for their next meeting the Department would provide information pertaining to the 2018/19 financial year and on which provinces were sharing in terms of their contributions to actual targets.
The Chairperson wanted clarity on the median costs to provide equipment to a school where the median was R6 491 for certain provinces, and for Limpopo it was R14 624. She was seeking clarity as to why some provinces had the value of R6 491 whilst Limpopo had double the value, thus suggesting that it is an outlier.
Mr Moemi said that under those circumstances it is either the service providers are the ones duping into the money allocated to the province, or there may be something going on with the arrangement that the province may have with a particular school, or they simply do not know the logistics of the transportation of the goods.
The Chairperson agreed that the difference was too wide as the next page of the report suggests that Gauteng province was paying R159 for supported athletes whereas Mpumalanga was paying R15 296 for supported athletes. The Chairperson also made mention of the 400 people trained to deliver school sport in Gauteng, and requested for clarity on the points raised.
Mr C Hattingh (DA, North West) said that the graphic explanation was quite good and conveyed a good message. However, he wanted clarity on why the left hand column of the indicators read as number of athletes supported by the sports academies. He asked why it remained the same throughout the entire column, and why there was a target but they cannot see the amount that was achieved in the table.
Mr Moemi stated that the top part is the reality test and suggested that if the Members look at the column that came after the mentioned column, the round value they were talking about was the target in terms of the number of athletes that the province intends on supporting. Thus by looking at the very last column at the bottom, those are the actual achievements in that specific province.
Mr Lesedi Mere, CFO, SRSA gave the Committee feedback on the financial aspects of the Department. He stated that the first part of the annual financial statement dealt with the audit report for 2018. The Department had received a clean audit from the AG. Slide 44 of the report deals with the finances of the Department. The Department had spent 99.4% of the total budget allocated to the Department which was R1 066 564 000.00. Out of what was appropriated, the Department had spent R1 060 373 710.00, which was an underspent budget of R6.1 million.
Programme one (Administration) was allocated R127.8 million, and an amount of R7.1 million was vired out thus leaving the Department with an amount of R120.7 million. The actual expenditure was R118.7 million. They underspent by R1,9 million. For programme two (Active nation), 99.9% of the allocated budget was spent and there was an under-expenditure of R628 000.00. The actual expenditure was R716.2 million out of a budget of R716.8 million. For programme three (Winning nation), the allocated budget was R71.9 million at the beginning of the financial year. There was a virement amount of R6.1 million thus leaving the Department with R65.8 million. There was an expenditure amount of R64.1 million and an under-expenditure of R1.6 million which was 97.5% of the allocated budget.
Regarding programme four (Sport support), the allocated budget was R150.6 million and a virement amount of R1.4 million. The final appropriation was R152 million, making the actual expenditure R151.9 million. There was an under-expenditure of R81 000.00. For programme 5 (Sport infrastructure support), the allocated budget was R12 million and a virement amount of R1 million was made, leaving the Department with an amount of R11 million. There was also an expenditure of R1.8 million which totalled up to 83.3% of the allocated budget used. Overall, the Department spent 99.4% of its allocated budget.
The Chairperson made remakes on what the Minister had said about the proposed Amendments to the Bill. She suggested that the Committee would be looking forward to the presentation of the Bill Amendments. She stated that the progress on the Bill was highly dependent on the input of the Portfolio Committee. Regarding the Netball World Cup, the Chairperson expressed excitement on the bidding that will be taking place in Singapore and thus wished the Department all the best.
The Chairperson also expressed great concern regarding the dispute between SAFA and SABC and suggested that she had no idea what the dispute was about. Therefore, she requested for clarity from the DG. She asked what the main reason was for the two parties not reaching an agreement.
The Chairperson said that she hoped that the Department would succeed in convincing the affected parties because the country desperately wanted to watch games through live broadcasts. She suggested that, they needed to boost the morale and interest of those that were interested in the sporting codes, specifically the young people in the country. Furthermore, she informed the Department that as the Committee they were expecting to receive feedback on the SASCOC report the Minister had touched on in the beginning of the meeting.
Regarding the South African Training Complex, the Chairperson asked how the Department was planning on building it judging by the allocated budget of R12 million for the infrastructure. She then suggested that maybe the Department should re-evaluate the budgeting of such an infrastructure.
The Chairperson thanked the Department for the delivery of vehicles that were given to the provinces and thanked them for the work they had done in the financial year under review. Additionally, she also appreciated the work done by the Minister and showed appreciation for the support that the Minister received from her staff. She also expressed amazement at how the Department utilised its budget and the way they could stretch it further than what it already was in order to assist young people of the country.
The Chairperson informed the Committee that Ms L Dlamini (ANC, Mpumalanga) would be chairing the meeting as Acting Chairperson in her absence. She then opened the floor for comments, questions and suggestions to the Committee.
Mr D Stock (ANC, Northern Cape) applauded the Department for their comprehensive presentation and suggested that the Department be given credit for the work they have done. He then raised concerns on the implementation of sports in schools in the different provinces by stating that when the fifth Parliament had just begun its work, there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Sports and Recreation Department and was being reviewed. He then mentioned that some time in 2017 the Committee was informed that the MOU had been signed and yet again it was being reviewed. He then asked Mr Moemi to highlight the key aspects of the MOU and what has changed.
Mr Stock raised the issue of the MIG funding. He spoke about an issue regarding one of the schools in the Western Cape in Langeburg where it was grossly publicised on all platforms of media. He suggested that the Department had identified the school based on their objectives and establishment of facilities and argued that the school met the Department’s criteria. He stated that the Department had prioritised the school but when the MIG funding was supposed to be released, the department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) refused to release the money, stating that they could not spend money on the school and argued that the school did not meet the criteria. And based on that, there would be no benefits for the school. As a result, the Department was unable to spend the allocated amount which resulted in a lack of progress on the implementation of sports in schools. Mr Stock said he had asked a similar question in the previous year and that the Minister was quite responsive, and he anticipated that the Minister was looking forward to the meeting with the Minister of COGTA.
Mr Stock expressed great concern on the matter and argued that the reason why he brought it up again was due to COGTA’s unresponsiveness as Mr Moemi had stated that about two months ago the Department had tried communicating with COGTA, but they were unresponsive. Mr Stock insisted that the matter should be readdressed because of how it could affect the overall performance of the Department. He also said that he was raising this issue because Mr Moemi had stated that the Department was experiencing problems with the municipalities regarding the MIG funding. The unresponsiveness of COGTA is affecting the delivery of the programme. In the last Committee meeting, members had made a proposal to the Department for them to look at the possibilities and reasons why COGTA was not releasing the whole MIG funding for programme five in order for sports and recreation to be the overall custodian of the funds so that when the Department identified schools based on their objectives and priorities there would be no challenges down the line.
Mr Stock argued that the Committee’s criticism to the Department has always been on the evaluation of the Department itself. He reiterated the importance of having such an evaluation as there were many factors that posed a threat on performance.
Mr Stock said that he was aware that his home province, Northern Cape, was one of the provinces that was not budgeting for sports activities since they rely on the national department of Sports and Recreation for funding. He asked what the Department was doing in to ensure that there was compliance and an obligation to budget for such activities. He also asked what the implications are, and how the Department would be addressing the matter.
Mr Hattingh thanked the Department for an effective presentation of the report. However, he made it apparent that it seemed like the Department was only just pushing numbers and that there was no sign of quality. He said that he wanted to see more quality than quantity. He argued that it should be measurable. He questioned if the Members could see value for money based on the report that the Department presented. For example, he referred to the difference between Gauteng and Free State province and asked if these two provinces would pay according to the same rules. He asked if there is a difference in quality, and do they get value for money. He argued that there must be a way to measure the quality in order to determine whether or not they were getting value for money. Looking at the cost of events mentioned by Mr Moemi, he expressed concern on how the costs would be different among people.
Mr Hattingh wanted an explanation on why the expenditure for Volleyball was at the value of R1 million versus the allocated budget of R13 million. He argued that the expenditure value appeared to be too high in comparison to other sports, specifically when looking at value for money and athletes involved.
Mr Hattingh argued that as a Committee, they needed to know more about Love Life which was supported by several departments and the private sector. The Department allocated R14.2 million. He argued that it was a substantial amount and he wanted to know if they were getting value for money in the context of the Department’s vision and mission. Furthermore, he did not know the organisation that was allocated R12.2 million and thus requested clarity on that point.
Mr Hattingh argued that the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) had a negative note from the AG on the going-concern status. He said that although the indicator in the annual report suggested that they appeared in Parliament, he argued that they did not actually appear in Parliament. However, he confirmed that in the previous year SAIDS did appear in Parliament but could not present due to the absence of their Leadership.
Mr Hattingh suggested that maybe the note made by the AG could be a technical one as it was said that their assets exceeded liabilities by R2.2 million. He said that the real problem could be Boxing South Africa (BSA) as they too had assets exceeding their liabilities at the value of R704 000.00 in the concern of irregular expenditure on a relatively low budget of R4.7 million and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R2.4 million as well as adverse opinions on their performance.
Mr Hattingh argued that all the characteristics of a failing entity or department were there. On that note, he wanted clarity on whether there was insufficient oversight over the specific rebalancing, and if there are any concerns the Department had regarding that.
Ms T Mpambo-Sibhukwana (DA, Western Cape) and Ms P Samka-Mququ (ANC, Eastern Cape) posed their questions and comments in isiXhosa. (1:06:23 - 01:23:11 on audio recording)
The Chairperson (Ms Dlamini) expressed that she agreed with members of the Committee that indeed there was great improvement in the work done by the Department. She further applauded the stability and lack of corruption in the Department. She said that she was not certain whether there was a correlation between the budget and corruption, because there is little money, that may be the reason why there is no corruption.
The Chairperson said that she appreciated the management team of the Department, and that is where she noticed an improvement. However, she argued that when it comes to the impact of what the Department is doing, she cannot not see the impact in relation to the report that was brought forward. She emphasised how important it is for the Department to be able to show the economic impact that they have had on the country, which is what she is interested in knowing.
The Chairperson suggested that the Department should looking into how they would compare people that were already participating in sports to those that were not, which she argued was not in the report. She argued that the Committee wanted to be informed more on the economic impact on the sport level rather than the number of clean audits the Department can present.
The Chairperson raised the issue of Bafana Bafana’s lack of performance and argued that during their first meeting in Parliament, she urged the Department to investigate the matter. She said that Bafana Bafana had not achieved anything in the past four years. The Chairperson said she has not seen any change in the performance of Bafana Bafana. She also touched on the issue of the Banyana Banyana and agreed with Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana had said on the matter. The Chairperson argued that this matter had been addressed before by the Committee in 2014. Furthermore, even though Banyana Banyana did not have the same luxuries and support that Bafana Bafana has, the womens soccer team was performing far better than the men’s soccer team. Therefore, she asked the Department to provide clarity on the matter.
The Chairperson asked the Minister why the Department had only one female in management. She suggested that if there were vacant positions, those positions should remain vacant and insisted that the Committee should be able to see that the positions are really vacant. She reiterated this point and insisted that there should be more females filling up vacancies in the Department. She argued that there are so many educated women who can fill up those vacancies. The Committee wants to see a change in the way that the Department is structured.
The Chairperson said that she has two issues with the report itself but argued that it was still a good report. On the Bafana Bafana matter she suggested that Mr Moemi needs to look at the Department’s vision and should compare it with the performance of the team itself. The Committee is concerned because the team represents the whole country
In terms of the Department’s achievements on their programmes, the Chairperson said that they had achieved 91.4% of their set targets but had utilised 99.4% of their budget while having outstanding invoices. She suggested that maybe if they had achieved more of their targets the percentage would have increased. She questioned where the rest of the money was and argued that maybe it was a case of underbudgeting or overbudgeting. Furthermore, she argued that even if the Department did their virements properly the total figure and percentage would remain the same.
The Chairperson said that she tried to compare the Department’s performance in terms of programmes and she noticed that they were not on the same level. She was interested in the total figure, and specifically how the Department spent more money, but performance was low in terms of achieving their targets. She urged the Department to clarify on that.
Lastly, the Chairperson said that in the past four years, the Committee was equally responsible on the issue of the 15% MIG grant. Therefore, she argued that they could never succeed with this issue until the National Treasury decided to do the right thing. She suggested that this money should either be reinvested or be given directly to the Department. She then further argued that maybe the fault lied with the Committee not being able to provide adequate assistance regarding the matter.
Mr Moemi responded first to the question on the dispute taking place between SAFA and SABC. He confirmed that SABC had no money as they had previously signed a contract to the value of R110 million with SAFA for the purchase of rights. SAFA then argued that SABC did not commercialise all the rights. In other words, SABC sold its right as a package consisting of Banyana Banyana, Bakgarebe, Basetsana and AmaMajita. SAFA’s argument was that only Bafana Bafana matches were broadcasted and that very little of women’s football was broadcasted. On the other hand, SABC’s argument was that the rights were value-less because no one wanted to watch a losing team and the sports stars were not known. In that sense the rights offered very little value and therefore could not be commercialised. He noted that these were the two extreme arguments. SABC therefore said that what it had been able to generate via adverts was only R10 million because that was what they could exploit. They were only able to offer R10 million. SAFA said that they could only get the rights for R110 million, and SABC said it was a mistake because they knew the rights were worth R10 million. The principle was simple and that the buyer would always want to buy at the lowest possible price and the seller would always want to sell at the highest price. In this case, the two were worlds apart as the R110 million was far apart. It had been decided that since SABC was calculating in its own selfish interests, and SAFA was also calculating in its own selfish interests there had been no study on the evaluation of how much the rights were worth. The Department had been intervening in matches, and previously when there was a Seychelles match, on the eve of the match SABC offered R3 million while SAFA was requesting R10 million, ultimately both institutions settled around R5 million.
The mediation arrangement was ad-hoc and no single sustainable contract had been written and signed. Mr Moemi suggested that there was no benchmark on the rights. The Department had decided to take a long-term view on solving the matter. The Department was in the process of finalising the appointment in the coming week based on the view of an independent evaluator who will evaluate the rights objectively. Since the Minister directed that the Department should intervene and mediate, both parties had agreed to the mediation process. However, each party did not want to accept the conditions for mediation and each party wanted to set its own rules for mediation. However, the Department had been in the process of attempting to get both parties to accept the terms and conditions of mediation and the rules around mediation. The Department first told both parties to cease making public statements which was the first rule because the Department could not mediate with the potential risk of the proceedings being publicised. Mr Moemi said that this gave them the space to figure out how much the rights were worth. Furthermore, both parties did not seem to like the idea that they must be bound to whatever the evaluator might say.
Mr Moemi said it is better to say that one needs to buy goods according to what the target market is. He confirmed that they were moving away from that point of view which was the key answer to the question.
On the budget for building the National Training Centre, Mr Moemi said that according to a new framework, the Department was supposed to ask all provinces to agree to a grant satisfying scheme to finalise it. It was noted that there was no budget to build this training centre. Therefore, it was suggested that the only way of reprioritising the budget would be through consultation in all provincial cabinets. The results suggested that all the provincial cabinets had agreed. He confirmed that the Department had enough money to begin with the first phase of the infrastructure and stated that construction would commence shortly. Additionally, Mr Moemi stated that they still had to deal with site establishment, the transfer of land, and the registration with the deeds office. Parallel to this, he said that the Department still wanted to conduct the environmental impact assessment.
Mr Moemi also confirmed that the sports buses were delivered to the provinces as part of phase one and assured the Committee that they were already looking at the plan of action for the next phase as some provinces were simply too big to be covered by just one bus. The buses would then assist with sport promotion, the delivery of equipment and sporting attire, events, etc.
Regarding the issue of school sport, Mr Moemi confirmed that the MOU had been signed and some of the key highlights had been on capacity enhancement on the part of DBE, but also on the cooperation and access to schools by sport officials and federations, and lastly on the delineation of responsibilities between the Department and DBE. Therefore, the difference lied on the budget that was allocated for school sports. He suggested that since the signing of the MOU, there had been a great improvement and increase in the budget allocated for school sports. Furthermore, due to MOU, school sports moved from having one official to having a full directorate of about eight people. He then suggested that members of the Committee should be invited to the School Championships that would take place in December as this would be the first one delivered under this format.
Mr Moemi stated that the Department had been sending people to all provinces to ensure that sports events were indeed taking place in these provinces and to ensure that people were also participating in sports. He also informed the Members that the money the Department had was only enough to cover 11 000 schools. However, he confirmed that the conditions were not yet perfect but that the Department was trying to do their best in terms of executing this plan. Furthermore, since the Minister had placed this discussion as an agenda item, the Department was obligated to report back on the progress of school sports.
Mr Moemi said that the flagship programme remains their biggest programme and for the first time they had agreed on the seasonality of the championships as well as the participation of South African schools in international tournament championships which would start happening in 2019. He said that the Department’s biggest challenge was the inter-school tournaments where children from the same school compete against one another. He mentioned that they had taken this matter up with DBE and the Department of Transport (DOT). This was done so that they deal with the transportation issues that other children may be faced with (i.e. living far away from school). These transportation issues affected the lack of participation in school sports.
Mr Moemi said that the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) argued that school sports were not a requirement but merely just an extra-mural activity where teachers and coaches had to be compensated for working overtime. With that said, he mentioned that the Department had met with the Executive of SADTU and they have reached an agreement that this was not done on the means of the DBE, but it is done on the means of sports in schools. Additionally, SADTU agreed to encourage its members to offer at least two hours of their time per week to facilitate sports afterschool without compensation.
On the MIG issues, Mr Moemi informed the Committee that they fully agree with what the Members had raised. He suggested that the Department was still arguing that the money should indeed be given to them. He stated that they agreed with the Treasury on the trailer pilot and that they were currently writing a report to highlight the challenges they have encountered. Generally, the Department had proven that they could build bigger and better facilities than the ones built by Municipalities. He suggested that the Department should provide a report on this initiative to the Members. He also agreed that there were irritations on the current grant framework of the MIG but assured the Members that it was beyond the Department’s control. Furthermore, he stated that some of the conditions set out in the MIG framework could be understood through political imperatives particularly on why they were set in such a way.
Mr Moemi mentioned that the Management Development Programme (MDP) argues that in 20 years’ time they should be able to see much more cohesive communities that share public open spaces. Thus, on the point raised by Mr Stock, he clarified that he was talking about the intent of building a sports complex in Langeburg. He informed the Committee that when the community meeting took place, it was said that the buffer between the township and the town would be the ideal place for the building of the sports complex. He mentioned that the Department had no problem with this proposal. However, based on that buffer, as the population size was smaller in the town than the population size in the township it made the town’s land a bit bigger and covered the buffer. Thus, this was was considered to be in the urban settlements. The rules of MIG argue that the facility cannot be built in that area but should rather be built in the township, thus the MIG refused to consider the programme based on the location. With that, the Department decided to take this matter up with the Minister and argued that they refused to be enslaved by their own rules. The Department requested that a political decision be made by the two Ministers on the matter at hand. Therefore, he informed the Committee that the programme was at a stand-still due to that.
In response to Mr Hattingh’s questions, Mr Moemi argued that the quality versus quantity debate had always been there. However, he suggested that in order to achieve quality, basics and fundamentals needed to be in place. He then mentioned that as of three years ago, the Department started adding a lot of qualitative programmes in order to measure quality. Essentially, the Department confirmed that they have an athlete support programme, and with this programme it was easy to see which athletes would compete in the Olympics, and how they would perform. Furthermore, with the implementation of such programmes and initiatives, it showed that the Department was investing in quality. To answer the question, Mr Moemi confirmed that yes, there is value for money. He also suggested that they were still to mature the system to a point where they would be able to see greater value for money.
On the issue of volleyball, the Department clarified that they did not think the value was too high. With the recent establishment of the sport in the premier league, they have noted a great increase of interest with volleyball and they have also seen an increase of interest within the provinces too as it seemed like volleyball was on the rise. He also confirmed that there would be volleyball championships at the level of Varsity Cup and suggested that there would be a reintroduction of the sport in schools as one of the cheapest sports. He further stated that volleyball was to be placed as a second-choice sport because in townships children were still likely to choose netball or soccer first. In considering the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) Report, the number of schools that have pushed volleyball as a second-choice sport have doubled.
On the issue of Love Life, Mr Moemi stated that they had no choice as a Department since the money comes straight to them as a conditional grant fund from NT. Treasury argued that via their old programme – the official development assistant, the “Canon Foundation” (recording not very clear) and the Kaiser Foundation gave money that was dedicated to the Love Life programme which was started by these foundations and the Royal Netherlands Embassy. Therefore, he suggests that they should consider themselves to be fortunate because if Treasury was to decide they were taking away the R14 million in order to allocate it somewhere else, the money would be gone for good as it was really not in the Department’s original baseline. He confirmed that it was given to them for the use of raising awareness on HIV/AIDS through sports and recreation. In 2013 the Department ran South African games, Love Life also ran games where the same teams would play. Since then, the framework of the allowed funds had slightly changed to allow sports to set conditions. Thus, the R14 million is attached to the programmes that Love Life runs through the Department.
Mr Moemi stated that SCORE is an outreach programme based in Cape Town where teachers were being trained to be coaches on the South African Coaching Framework. The Department gives the SCORE money annually on the basis that they increase the number of teachers trained as coaches. SCORE has identified five federations in which they have been collaborating with in the training of the teachers. Furthermore, this initiative is the second biggest investment that the Department has made.
Mr Moemi argued that government had been ignoring SCORE for a long time, therefore its successes were only visible in countries like Kenya. He stated that as they provide funds for the SCORE, they expect it to produce about 5000 trained teachers a year. In South Africa the ratio of registered coaches to registered players in federations is 1:817, which is shocking when comparing it to other countries. Thus, the Department plans on training about 21 000 coaches in order to reduce the ratio.
Mr Moemi said that on the issue of public entities, the Department was in agreement with the Committee and confirmed that they were currently attending to the matter of SAIDS, and why they have repeated findings on procurement. The main issue of this matter has been put under pressure because the laboratory in Bloemfontein was suspended, and thus they needed to send their tests to Europe. Because of that, SAIDS was paying higher than they usually do to test samples which then put them under considerable pressure resulting with a short fall. However, the laboratory has been fully reaccredited and should resume running tests from there soon. The Department ensured that they were dealing with the matter accordingly.
On the issue of BSA, Mr Moemi informed the Committee that they were meeting with BSA on a monthly basis. Additionally, the Department also confirmed that they were monitoring BSA’s cashflow and that they were addressing the challenges BSA was experiencing with their issues of irregular expenditure. He further confirmed that the Department’s CFO, Mr Mere was meeting with BSA’s CFO in order to see how the Department could potentially assist them.
On to the issue of Banyana Banyana, Mr Moemi said that they had done tremendously well since the Department made the decision of no longer giving Bafana Bafana money. He clarified that they were giving money to their junior teams and to the Banyana Banyana team. Since then Banyana Banyana has managed to appoint a full-time coach and they have been doing very well and have qualified for the World Cup. Mr Moemi suggested that rather than being punished, they should be recommended on the work they have done regarding the women’s soccer team.
Mr Moemi argued that the only problem was with Bafana Bafana. He stated that the issue with Bafana Bafana was not based on money or funds but was rather on their attitude. He suggested that Bafana Bafana’s mentally was not in the right state. He stressed that this issue should be addressed accordingly. Mr Moemi informed the Committee that they have initiated that the entire missionary of the team be reviewed and suggested the consideration of sports psychologists. He argued that it was the team’s mentality that was the problem.
The Chairperson commented and asked whose mentality was an issue. She needed clarity on how it was a mentality problem because they had changed coaches and the players too. She asked where the real problem was, and whose mentality will have to change, and if it is SAFA.
Mr Moemi responded that there is no substitute for good management and argued that there was nothing more he could say on that matter. He then responded to the question relating to more managerial vacancies being filled up by women in the Department. He argued that more and more women were resigning from the Department. However, he assured the Committee that the Department was currently filling the Chief Director post and confirmed that they have also briefed panels to prioritise women for these vacancies. In terms of the position of Corporate Affairs, he confirmed that they would not be filling that post anytime soon. He said that they have done the administrative processes of moving the functions of the position to those of the Chief Operating Officer (COO). Their reasons for not filling the position was based on the budget cut of R17 million, thus suggesting that they could no longer fill positions that they could previously fill, but the functions of that position would be moved to someone or another position.
On the issue of the list of schools, Mr Moemi confirmed that they would produce the list of schools across all provinces which will be given sporting equipment and attire.
The Chairperson requested the meeting be adjourned soon due to another meeting that was taking place soon. She suggested that the rest of Mr Moemi’s responses be done in writing so that both the Minister and the Deputy Minister have an opportunity to respond.
Mr Gert Oosthuizen, Deputy Minister of Sports and Recreation stated that the Department welcomed the support of the Committee on basic education and school sports, specifically physical education as a stand-alone subject which should take place at least at a minimum of two hours per week. He said that unfortunately the displaced life orientation is currently yielding the desired results. He argued that it would be useful if the Committee assisted the Department with the designing and construction of sport fields in schools as sports serve as an important aspect which falls part of basic education for a child. He also argued that there were way too many schools being built without sporting facilities.
The Deputy Minister informed the Committee that the Department had various discussions with COGTA on the MIG fund. On the last discussion the Department had, there was an agreement that the MIG would not give the Department the full amount of money. The MIG suggested that the Department should rally out some facilities through the MIG fund. He suggested that by speaking on the poor issues of transformation they could get MIG money to rally out the shortage of facilities. He argued that if people cannot play, they cannot compete, thus they would be unable to locate the potential talent that was out there in the country.
The Deputy Minister suggested that by looking at the budget of the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and the one for SRSA, one would note that it is of comparison at the national level. Therefore, he requested that the Committee assist the Department with being vocal in terms of the money that needed to be budgeted for the purposes of sports and recreation.
With regards to the SAIDS matter, the Deputy Minister assured the Committee that the Department would follow up on the matter and he thanked the Members for making them aware of the matter. He then reiterated what Mr Moemi had said on being mindful that the laboratory in Bloemfontein is the only laboratory in the continent of Africa that runs tests. He argued that it was rather important for the Committee to cherish such an asset.
Regarding the issue of Bafana Bafana’s performance, the Deputy Minister said that it was safe to mention two things, the first being that he was not part of the negotiations that took place with SABC but argued that they had a winning product which had a price. Thus, for that very product, one needed to negotiate the price. He argued that since his appointment as Deputy Minister of SRSA, Bafana Bafana and SAFA had been holding Imbizos and discussions on certain allegations and other matters that were brought forward. The Deputy Minister argued that the reality was that the Premier Soccer League (PSL) was developing players and that SAFA was dependent on the players of the team. He further argued that unless this issue was addressed proactively to the benefit of Bafana Bafana, they would then perform better on the field. In his view both the Committee and the Department should look at improving the leadership and the unity of the team.
The Deputy Minister said that the Department had very competent people, and they have also lost competent people. And that it was quite sad to see people who work hard and are highly qualified people get head-hunted or get promoted to higher positions. He expressed great concern on the loss of female staff members and Chief Directors in the Department. He assured the Committee that the Department was very much aware of the constant battle they were faced with and that they were attending to the matter.
The Minister responded on the matter of monitoring and evaluation raised by Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana by saying that the Department was taking it seriously and confirmed that they have started to implement changes within the Department. Furthermore, she mentioned that the Department had been elevating some of the issues where provinces and municipalities were not cooperating in terms of working together with the Department. She confirmed that the Department had elevated the issue to the level of Ministers and Members of the Executive Councils (MINMEC).
The Minister argued that there may be times where teams of DGs and Heads of Departments (HOD) do work together, but the Member of Executive Council (MEC) may not know how they can push the HODs to prioritise and elevate, which falls part of the Department’s political directions. She also informed the Committee that the Department had been continuously working on having a discussion with the Minister of COGTA and suggested that by the time the Department returned for quarterly reviews they would update the Committee on the matters.
Besides the cooperation, the Department also wishes to lobby in terms of funding that had been mentioned throughout the meeting. Furthermore, the Department is reviewing the matter of sports in South Africa and they are hoping that by the new financial year they would be able to have the correct costs and expenses on how to deal and improve the matter. Additionally, the Minister mentioned that the Department wanted to give the Committee something tangible considering how sports can provide opportunities. Having seen how sports can unite people and give opportunities, it is important to look at the business side of sports through the creation of jobs and giving rise to entrepreneurship which will result in people being able to participate and benefit from what sports is doing in the country. The Minister confirmed that the Department had been working on this matter and that before the end of the financial year the Department would have enacted Cabinet processes.
The Minister informed the Committee that the Department was in the final stages of the Women in Sports policy and they believe that it is not only on a “peace-men’s” intervention when dealing with issues of women. By having a policy in place, it will have an influence in terms of the action and targets set. She suggested that this policy will also give direction to any wronged players in sports. The policy will also come up with issues regarding sponsorship which is not really provided in sports even though sports requires sponsorship outside of the set budget coming from the Departments. Furthermore, the Minister stated that there would soon be further consultations and deliberation on the policy.
The Chairperson thanked the Department for the report and said that she hoped in the next financial year they will do extremely well. She expressed pride on the work that the Department had done and suggested that the Department should improve their reports on the issues of impact as she felt that the report mostly spoke about the managerial part of the financial year and not the impacts. She also said that the Committee was very hopeful and happy about the proposed policy and emphasised that the implementation of this policy would guide people forward.
The meeting was adjourned.
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