Caster Semenya Matter; Department of Sport and Recreation Quarter 3 performance

Sports, Arts and Culture

19 February 2019
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Sport and Recreation briefed Committee on the Caster Semenya matter as well as its Performance Report and Financial Statements for quarter 3. The Minister of Sports and Recreation was in attendance.

The Minister gave a historical background and status update on the progress of the Caster Semenya case, wherein SRSA is assisting the athlete in fighting what it views as a discriminatory IAAF regulation. The Department made it clear that it approaches the Semenya case as a country-wide issue, not a case for the athlete alone.

The Department detailed the scientific and legal efforts of the High-Level Panel on the case, as well as some of the initiatives undertaken by the department in support of Ms Caster Semenya.

Many committee members were supportive of these initiatives and expressed their outrage at the IAAF.

Concerning its quarterly performance, the Department highlighted that only 18/28 objectives had been met. At least 2 of the objectives that are unlikely to be completed were down to failures outside the ambit of SRSA. The Department was broadly on track to meet its expenditure targets, but may slightly underspend as it prefers to be under 100% expenditure than over. The lack of expenditure in Programme Five is due in part to municipal non-compliance, which will be reported to the Auditor General.

Most of the questions by MPs centred on the failure of the South African National Boxing Association. The Department was also applauded for achieving a fifth consecutive clean audit.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed members, and congratulated SRSA on a 5th consecutive clean audit.

The Chairperson praised the Department’s support for Caster Semenya, and added that support is needed from everyone.

The Chairperson presented the agenda for discussion.

Mr P Moteka (EFF) called for the Caster Semenya matter to be discussed.

The Chairperson called for adoption of agenda.

Ms B Abrahams (ANC) called for the adoption of agenda with addition, and was seconded by Ms B Ndlovu (ANC).

The Chairperson asked whether the Caster Semenya case should be discussed first, despite appearing 4th on the agenda.

The Chairperson moved to commence the agenda with the Semenya case.

Caster Semenya case

Ms Thokozile Xasa, Minister of Sports and Recreation, presented her thanks, and gave an overview of the Semenya issue.

The Minister detailed that the Semenya issue had arisen multiple times, and recalled Parliament supporting Semenya against a discriminatory IAAF regulation. She noted as a matter of concern the IAAF contention about Semenya, and proposed that the regulation (meant to come into effect on 1 November 2018 but postponed for 5 months) will affect other athletes from South Africa and Africa, with similar natural endowment. This is a health and human rights issue. The Department had taken a decision to make sure that the matter was country-wide and not left to Semenya to deal with personally. Where similar cases had occurred and countries had gotten behind their athletes, the IAAF became likely to withdraw.

The Minister signalled the intention to pull resources and expertise from respective countries who have dealt with similar cases to support Semenya. Thus, the team supporting Semenya would be made up of South Africans and international experts. She emphasised that the ministry will find time to follow the arbitration of the Semenya issue at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.

Mr Alec Moemi, Director General, SRSA, stressed that the Semenya issue is not new. Similar regulations were first mooted by the IAAF in 2001, where they alleged that they were bringing fairness to athletics and needed to ensure an equal playing field. Athletes with higher testosterone levels were seen as having an unfair advantage over other athletes. The IAAF chose to target middle-to long distance running sub-codes. This had an immediate impact on an Indian athlete – IAAF was also mooting an expansion to short distance running. At the time there was an uproar, even by medical fraternity, protesting lack of evidence to support the IAAF’s claims. In 2011, the matter returned to the IAAF, which had become more specific in terms of evidence. The matter was later tested CAS, to which South Africa and India had appealed.

Mr Moemi said that South Africa had assembled a team to challenge regulations, but the Indian government was faster, building an international team of experts to fight the case. There was an expectation that there would be information sharing.

Mr Moemi recalled that Athletics SA’s leadership was in the doldrums at the time, and was at one point placed under administration, and thus was in no shape to challenge the IAAF. The Indian government did a good job and the regulation was thrown out by the CAS as unscientific, which gave the IAAF 2 years to come up with sufficient evidence and to table it, or otherwise to withdraw. The IAAF duly withdrew the 2011 regulations. The IAAF then engaged a number of experts from largely European universities, giving rise to a study on which the IAAF bases its current regulation. In March 2018, the IAAF council intended to revise regulation, which they referred to the IAAF medical commission chaired by a South African, Professor Steve Cornelius. While the regulation was being debated, another South African member of commission, Dr Harold Adams, took ill, leaving Professor Cornelius to defend SA position alone. The 13-member committee consequently passed the regulation and referred it to the IAAF Council.

Mr Moemi claimed the process was biased, as certain members, including the IAAF president had pre-empted the outcome of the process. He asserted the process was not about science. The new IAAF regulation then came forth, which SRSA put to the test. The regulation was intended to come into effect in November 2018 – this would have precluded Caster Semenya from participating in IAAF events. As soon as the regulation was published, SRSA perceived unfairness in the document. The medical study, which the IAAF relied on, said women with higher testosterone levels or differences of sexual development (DSD) gain unfair advantage in the following sub-codes: 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 1500m, pole vault and hammer. These were the only codes where an advantage was proposed. The study argued that these women would have the “power of a man”, assuming that men are naturally stronger.

Mr Moemi questioned why this advantage would not extend to other sub-codes of athletics, like throwing events or long distance running. Would the endurance of a man over a long distance be better than that of a woman? When the IAAF decided to publish regulations, it chose carefully which sub-codes to include, leaving out the hammer throw and pole vault, only focusing on sub-codes in which Caster Semenya competes. He wondered why, if an unfair advantage extends to these subcodes, they are not included in the regulation. The SRSA also identified gender discrimination, as the regulation targeted only women. If a man had higher levels of oestrogen and lower levels of testosterone, would we then argue that these men are at a disadvantage compared to other men, and should they not therefore run with women? Why are the regulations only applied one way to one gender? SRSA also realised that the distance sub-codes chosen are those dominated by African women, whereas European athletes dominate excluded sub-codes. No African woman has ever made it to prominence in the excluded sub-codes.

SRSA suspected subtle racism in the IAAF’s pursuit of these regulations. SRSA wanted to test the science behind the regulation, and appointed a high-level panel to address the evidence. The IAAF then decided to limit scope of the ban to the distances Semenya runs. The Indian athlete was thus not affected. Mr Moemi contended that the IAAF did not want to face two governments, preferring to divide the issue. SRSA suspected that, should the IAAF be successful, it will be able to target other sub-codes.

Mr Moemi detailed the 2 work-streams of the High-Level Panel (HLP) appointed by the Department on the Semenya issue:

The medical stream chaired by Dr Phatho Zondi
This stream worked under high confidentiality, and had to receive Semenya’s medical information. Confidentiality was important, and he stressed there had never been a single leak from the HLP. The panel worked only with SA experts in Phase 1, which was a literature review of all evidence related to the case – this became a lot of work in a short time. This necessitated the hiring of 32 PhD candidates to cover all the work. SRSA perceived a number of gaps in studies, which the PhD students needed to fill. 7-8 students were working on gaps at the same time – the research was completed in time. After the literature review, a seminal author criticising the IAAF regulation approached and joined the team, sharing their research. This author was a key member in this matter. SRSA went to universities in Europe to recruit dissenting European researchers, employed as experts to the case.

Mr Moemi then moved to explaining the second stream: legal matters. One key matter was the power of the IAAF council to implement this regulation – the contention was that the regulation should be put before the IAAF Congress, which was not done. Other issues included ethics and legality. A doctor’s examination requires informed consent from the person being treated. He questioned how the IAAF would secure informed consent for examinations. He recalled the example of former football players who were forced to take off their clothing to prove their gender – this practice was banned by FIFA. He contended that the IAAF is instituting similar practices. SRSA demanded disclosure of IAAF procedure to determine how DSD occurred, and how they will secure testing. If an athlete refuses a blood test, as there is the right to bodily integrity, what would the subsequent procedure be? The WADA process works on passive consent: if an athlete plays a sport, they indirectly consent to doping tests. However, he proposed there is a clear distinction between doping and this matter. Induced testosterone is a banned substance. Naturally occurring testosterone produced by own body is not a banned substance according to WADA, so the WADA Process of passive consent cannot be used. He proposed another example: if a doctor takes blood to test for bilharzia and decides to check HIV too, this doctor will likely lose their license, due to lack of informed consent. Certain issues must be tested by informed consent. SRSA has proven that environment growing up affects hormonal levels, as does diet. It has also proven that high altitude training has a much higher performance impact than higher testosterone levels. Thus, if one is to pursue argument of fairness, then athletes who train at higher altitudes have an unfair advantage – a highly significant advantage. Why then does the IAAF target only testosterone levels, ignoring other factors? He also argued that this is a natural endowment – Semenya was born this way. Is it ethically correct to change into something one is not? A tall basketball player has a significant advantage – should this person not play basketball because he is taller? Should this player be artificially shortened?

Mr Moemi then brought up the example of Michael Phelps: his abnormal feet and hands gave him an advantage in swimming, helping him to win medals. Should, by IAAF logic, his extremities be corrected? Why should an athlete take medications they do not need for any purpose but hormone suppression? Other international sport federations have DSD athletes, including Navratilova and some other women’s tennis players. The ITF have never, apart from with the Williams sisters, raised issues. Is it because the USA is a world power? No other international IOC-related federations are pursuing similar regulations. He noted that success in this matter for the IAAF would be disastrous. Thus, SRSA has mobilised resources locally and internationally, media wise and diplomatically, to support Semenya. He reminded members that the Canadian Athletic Federation had issued a statement of support. A number of international athletes and local federations have also supported Semenya. He explained the launch of the “naturally superior” campaign supporting Semenya – as an athlete whose talent is natural.

Mr Moemi also noted that parties to the case of arbitration should not be allowed to disclose case details, but the IAAF used underhanded tactics – releasing details of the case. The Court agreed to a breach of confidentiality, giving SRSA the right to issue a statement. The statement was prepared by Semenya’s team and sent to the SRSA on 19 February, to be released as soon as possible so as not to lose momentum. He highlighted what European television stations have done, interviewing anti-Semenya experts and shifting public opinion. He proposed the SRSA has done the same, entering into a pro-Semenya media campaign. On day 1 of the arbitration, SRSA had won round 1. The judgement was expected by the end of March. If the SRSA loses the case, he made it clear there is still another avenue to fight on: the SRSA has begun work lobbying IAAF members to oppose the regulation at the IAAF conference. The Minister has addressed the AU pushing for similar support on a continental level. The Department intends to pursue every continent, lobbying to get votes to oppose the regulation. Should the SRSA lose case, it aims to get the numbers to end the regulation by vote.

Discussion
The Chairperson stressed the importance of this information to the Committee. She noted that the media have approached members to comment, but she does not respond before receiving information. The process unfolding necessitated an informed answer when responding.

The Chairperson thanked the Director General

The Minister of Sports and Recreation submitted that she had written to the Speaker of the National Assembly about the national importance of the Semenya matter.

Mr D Bergman (DA) emphasised that body shaming has become a headline issue. He indicated that the IAAF regulation is one of highest forms of body shaming, and it was unfair to the athlete to be the pinup for this campaign. He suggested that Caster Semenya has become a target, which was highly unsporting of the IAAF. The DA Shadow Minister for Sports and Recreation had announced support for Semenya via a press release, and the party will support the Minister in a public display, recalling the importance of fighting against discrimination in sport. He further stressed that Semenya is not #1 in all events she competes in, showing she does not have an inordinate advantage and must work to compete. South African federations have had issues so were unable to defend South African athletes on an international level. He called on the Committee to rally behind the Hands Off Caster Campaign.

Ms B Ndlovu (ANC) welcomed the DG’s explanation. She proposed the modus operandi highlighted by Mr Moemi covered the issue, noting the consultation of experts and legislation. What puzzled her about the Semenya issue was that one usually regards excellence in a particular sport as “god-given” – how does one argue that “god-given” talent is then performing “like a man”. She noted there are a number of influences on fitness, including nutrition. She remembered her counterparts at primary school excelled because of nutrition.

Ms Ndlovu contended that physical build also impacts on capacity – can one validly then complain that shortness is an unfair disadvantage? She proposed it goes without saying that Semenya was being targeted by racists, and stressed the Department must not lose hope, and pursue the matter until all measures were exhausted.

Mr Moteka said that, as Africans, one never challenges God’s creation. His view was that Europeans were challenging God’s creation, throwing away Christian beliefs in the pursuit of racism and anti-Africanism. His reason for putting the Semenya issue on the agenda was to call for a radical day of action in support of Caster Semenya. She did not induce her physical state, but was created by Fod. If God is a part of everyone on earth, who are the IAAF to challenge her state? He asserted that the Committee was fighting sexism, racism, anti-Africanism and disrespect to God. In 2001, the IAAF tried a similar plan against Dutee Chand for long distance. The regulations were targeted at people, not for sport. In 2011, the IAAF targeted Semenya through short distance regulations. After the loss in 2011, they returned to target Semenya. If an unfair advantage existed, the regulation would not be code-specific – and thus the targeting of Semenya was racism. He questioned the non-inclusion of men in the regulations as an example of sexism. He called on the Committee to put away political affiliation, as the Semenya issue was a matter of national importance. He submitted the regulation would not only affect Caster Semenya, but many other people as well.

The Chairperson reminded members of the time constraints given the remaining agenda items. However, she wanted members to continue the discussion despite a full agenda. She noted that it was likely the departmental performance briefing would likely not have much time for engagement from the Committee.

Ms B Abrahams (ANC) reiterated the “Hands off our Caster” slogan. She asserted her support for Caster. She congratulated the HLP on its confidentiality. She noted the case mentioned by Mr Moemi on Martina Navratilova, and wondered what the situation would have been had it occurred in the present. She also asked what the IAAF policy is about sex change. She conveyed her support for the Minister in any action supporting Semenya.

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) indicated that the likes of Navratilova should be persuaded to make their voices heard internationally in support of Caster Semenya. At a certain point, he feared that Semenya issue would be sunk by evidence. He was glad to hear that scientific evidence in support of the IAAF position is dubious and speculative. He also noted the question of Indian involvement, and contended it would be better to involve the Indian government now, as the case likely will be escalated to India anyway should the IAAF win its case. He questioned whether there is a departmental policy to protect athletes against similar treatment beyond mere statements about gender non-discrimination, noting the need to have this sort of policy.

The Chairperson noted the Deputy Minister, Mr Gert Oosthuizen, reminded the Committee of the necessity of signature of SRSA performance report. She was disturbed by the Semenya matter. She found it very moving and emotional and questioned how physical characteristics can be discriminated against. She noted her support of the Minister and said she will issue a statement after the committee, recalling the need for a strong statement.

The Minister tendered her appreciation of the support of the Committee. She proposed that she would appreciate the support of the Committee in a similar debate in Parliament, much as it happened in 2011. She conveyed the intensity of the matter, submitting that a parliamentary debate would send a big message to the international community. She raised the issue of persuasion of other voices, noting SRSA had put together ambassadors from sectors of society as part of media action to amplify the voice in support of Semenya. Influential people are listened to by their audience, and she welcomed the positive response to the pro-Caster campaign from local sport federations.
The Minister thought the campaign could go even further, and she called for the mobilisation of communities. She stated that campaign t-shirts were available for the committee for a photo opportunity in support of Caster Semenya, again conveying her appreciation of support.

The Chairperson noted the Minister was to be excused at 12:45.

Mr Moemi replied that SRSA does have a policy to protect athletes – the White Paper on Sports details the protection of athletes. He also mentioned the Sports Plan code of conduct as well as the draft phase of a new policy on women in sport. Further, the Department had just had engagements with the Department of Women. He clarified the IAAF position on sex change: the regulations are silent but he argued they are opposed to the idea. The jury is still out as to whether a previous female who becomes male could compete – but the other way around would likely not be accepted. In other codes, such as cycling, women who have undergone sex changes are allowed to compete with females.

The Chairperson ceded to the departmental delegation for briefing, giving the caveat of time constraints. She again congratulated the department for the 5-time clean audit, but reminded the Department that this does not preclude the need for scrutiny.

Performance Report Briefing
The Minister thanked the Chairperson and her contribution to the 5th consecutive clean audit, seeing this as - in part - an indication of robust work by the Chairperson to facilitate accountability. She explained that SRSA was presenting a 3rd quarter 2018 report, but would also update the Committee regarding more recent quarters. She hoped the report would show significant progress, as the 1st and 2nd quarters are often slower for the Department.

Minister Xasa noted continued work on the transformation fund and SASCOC issue, informing the Committee of a meeting with SASCOC the next day. South Africa was one of the founding members of WADA, and South Africa will hold one of the continental seats in the new term of WADA, the other being held by Egypt. 

Ms Sumayya Khan, Chief Operating Officer, SRSA, stated her intention to be rapid and highlight areas and reasons for non-achievement in her summarisation of the Quarter 3 Performance Report. Ms Khan clarified the sharing of this report with the National Treasury and DPME. She noted the overall achievement of the Department – 18 of 28 targets achieved (64.3%), noting the distribution of targets not achieved on page 4 of the document. The Department estimated that 24/28 targets would be achieved by year end. The non-achievement of timely payments (Programme 1 Objective 1.4) was due to one invoice not paid in 30 days out of 800.

Ms Khan noted the following unachieved objectives and gave detail:

-Programme One
Moderation of performance assessments for the previous financial year – should be achieved by end February.
 Client satisfaction surveys – already completed
Percentage of invoices paid within 30 days – as aforementioned, only one of 1/800 invoices was out of time

-Programme Two
Number of recreation promotional campaigns and events implemented per year – the target of 5146 should be achieved by the end of the fourth quarter
Number of people actively participating in organised sport and active recreation events – the target was not decided by SRSA, and has been progressively decreased. The department hoped to be close to target by financial year-end
Number of learners participating in school sport tournaments at a district level – annual target achieved
Number of schools/clubs/hubs provided with equipment and/or attire as per the established norms and standards per year – Q3 saw an underachievement by 334, as the biggest provinces were yet to procure equipment – Ms Khan clarified that a new tender had been issued.

-Programme Three
Number of athletes supported through scientific support programmes per year – the target had already been achieved despite quarterly underperformance.

-Programme Four
Number of sport and recreation bodies receiving financial and non-financial support in an effort to assist them in meeting their transformation targets for the year – the department underachieved its quarterly target by 9, but noted that service agreements signed with federations sometimes cannot be executed, as the PFMA does not allow funding transfer to unaudited bodies without previous audited financial statements: of the 49 federation, 9 did not meet PFMA requirements.

Number of Multi-purpose sports courts built – Ms Khan cited delays in site finalisation, and the time-consuming nature of assessment and inspections to ensure the courts do not become wasted expenditure, recalling previous cases of unsuitable soil and damaged courts.

Programme Five
Number of community gyms and children’s play parks constructed – the failure to achieve the target was due to a dependency on municipalities, who have to make the sites available: a lengthy consultation process made it unlikely the goal would be met by the of FY18/19

Ms Khan referred the committee to the Performance Narrative document for further detail. She thanked the Chairperson and concluded her presentation

Financial Statements Briefing

Mr Moemi explained the Department’s financial statements, noting that SRSA had reached 81.5% of budget expenditure, and reminding the committee that Q3 is its busiest quarter, whereas Q1-Q2 witnessed less spending.

Mr Moemi was confident that the department can reach full expenditure, cautioning that the Department’s biggest concern is compensation.

  • Programme One: In terms of goods and services, Mr Moemi noted a 91.9% expenditure. In transfers, spending was at 80.5 – the DG noted this as an area where SRSA usually spend 100% of budget. The previous year, Treasury gave the department an important concession – money allocated to underspending federations can be reallocated by the department. Regarding Capex, Mr Moemi noted the small nature of SRSA’s expenditure of just R2.4m, comprising mostly the purchase of furniture and computers. Each year, SRSA spends almost all the money. SRSA is currently recapitalising IT equipment, and due to the moratorium on purchase of furniture, departmental furniture requires replacement. He noted the small spending on households, and stated the machinery and equipment payment would be happening soon, making the department confident it can reach 100%.
  • Programme Two: This programme had spent 80.7% of its budget. Mr Moemi noted the community championship in March, explaining all money should be spent by end march. This area was typically overspent by 2%, and balanced by underspend elsewhere.
  • Programme Three had reached 97.5% of expenditure, representing the bulk of the work of this programme – remaining money was for payment of ministerial bursaries, driving Mr Moemi to be confident of ability to balance out to 100% spend.
  • Programme Four: Federations had been paid 81.8% of available money, and January and February had seen even more payments.
  • Programme Five: Mr Moemi recalled the COO had explained the lack of expenditure in this programme was due to municipal delays.

Mr Moemi stressed the Department always wishes to be as close to full expenditure as possible, but never overspend, preferring that some money remain, but as little as possible.

Minister Xasa explained that the Director General’s presentation on the financial statements was due to the departmental CFO’s tendering of his resignation, and announced that Mr Itumeleng Tlhasedi would be taking over as acting CFO. The Department would release the current CFO, and thanked him for his work.

Discussion
The Chairperson congratulated the department for taking care of the monies of the people, and stressed that the committee has noted this good work. She said that SRSA was not among the departments that cannot account for billions of rands, and hoped that the Acting CFO will follow in his predecessor’s footsteps.

The Chairperson opened the floor for discussion.

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) reserved his rights about the outgoing CFO, as he did not complete his job to develop Boxing SA. He reminded the Committee that financially, Boxing SA is in trouble, recalling a proverb that translates as “If the father excels, the son must excel”. He welcomed the financial statement, asking how much the actual expenditure was as percentage of the budget.
           
Mr Mmusi stated he would have asked the same question as Mr Mhlongo. He took the opportunity to thank Mr Lesedi Mere, outgoing CFO of SRSA, stating that he understands Mr Mere will make big money and would not want to stand in his way.

Mr Moteka stated the bar has been set high, and it would be hard work to outdo the current CFO. Regarding objective 4.4, Mr Moteka wanted to understand whether the Department sends assessors to check and advise the schools, and enquired whether the department levelled terrain, or is school held responsible. He welcomed the new Acting CFO, Mr Tlhasedi.

Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) expressed his appreciation for the presence of the old CFO. His worry was SANABO (SA National Boxing Organisation), stating that it was failing. SANABO was supposed to come to the Committee but did not appear. Usually SASCOC would deal with these issues – but it looked as if there were serious problems with SANABO. He wondered whether something was being done, otherwise SANABO was likely to disappear.

The Chairperson noted her worry about SANABO’s no-show, which was not sufficiently explained.
Mr Moemi agreed that SANABO has challenges. As soon as it had become federation of the year and received a lump sum, it revived structures which had been dormant. This caused different elements of the organisation to be at each other’s throats, prompting the resignation of the executive at the organisation’s National General Council. Certain elements then declared themselves as interim executive, and wanted SASCOC recognition. SASCOC noticed the non-procedural resignation and reinstated the previous executive, but the interim exec refused to vacate office, causing conflict between warring factions. SASCOC has not placed SANABO under admin, and thus cannot request funds to deal with SANABO from the department. The department impressed on SASCOC the SANABO issue, and requested a specific report.

Mr Moemi further stated that SANABO’s biggest challenges include issues with its international federation (AIBA), which faces IOC expulsion. SANABO is thus sitting with money that the Department has requested to be frozen, that was supposed to be for a boxing competition. AIBA had attempted to breach the gap of professional boxing as well as amateur boxing, attempting to involve professional boxers in Olympic competition, which caused an issue with the IOC. SANABO was embroiled as the African voice in AIBA. The SANABO president and AIBA president are friends, and sit in the same caucus. Now, the “interim” leadership are utilising this issue as a basis of strengthening divisions and the attempted dissolution of the lawful executive. This is why SRSA has asked for specific report on the SASCOC plan for interventions.

Mr Moemi also reminded the Committee that SRSA is not legally able to intervene before SASCOC admits failure to deal with matter, despite the visit of SANABO President Mr Andile Mofu to the SRSA DG’s office to plead for help. SRSA’s hands are tied. It is therefore lobbying for a dissolution tribunal. By now, after 2 years, the issue should be resolved. He emphasised the money must be frozen by SRSA – the DG is transferring officer, and would be held accountable for transferring money to a federation with no certain leadership and a lack of accountability. Those who receive money must be able to account for it – this is unclear at present at SANABO.

Mr Moemi stated that SRSA is more concerned about other federations, as the SANABO issues are internal. The only solution is thus a dispute tribunal in Dept. opinion. He lamented that some make decisions based on who will vote for them at next SASCOC conference. When SRSA intervenes, it does not care about popularity contests.

As regards Mr Moteka’s question, Mr Moemi stated that SRSA does verify sites at schools, where municipal disputes come into being, SRSA informs the Auditor General.

The Chairperson thanked Mr Moemi. She feared that the SANABO problem seems intractable –recalling that SASCOC already has its own issues and is thus not in shape to manage SANABO, where money has been frozen for 2 years. She stated that 2 years is too much. Those who are supposed to intervene and act have not. The Chairperson reiterated her worry about SANABO and the lack of a plan where government cannot properly intervene.

Mr Bergman informed the Committee that SASCOC had just approved dispute resolution for SANABO. He raised that the karate and basketball federations were also in trouble. The karate federation says SASCOC has not intervened despite request, as SASCOC claims it cannot interfere. If SRSA and SASCOC can’t interfere, who could? Some of these organisations should be summonsed, including SANABO, basketball and karate. The Committee could then make recommendations to SASCOC or the Minister, as is within the rights of the Committee. He proposed that there are only 2 reasons why people take on responsibility – influence or money. If there was no money in SANABO, there must be some form of interest in terms of influence. He stated it was of interest to the outgoing portfolio committee to assist organisations to find a path to resolving issues.

The Chairperson noted Mr Bergman’s comment, and presented her thanks to the Department and members.

The meeting was adjourned.
 

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