South African Sports Commission on All Africa Games 2003: briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

02 September 2003
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Meeting report

SPORTS AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

SPORTS AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
2 September 2003
SOUTH AFRICAN SPORTS COMMISSION ON ALL AFRICA GAMES 2003: BRIEFING

Acting Chairperson:
Mr Z Ncinane (ANC)

Documents handed out:
The 8th All Africa Games, Abuja, Nigeria Powerpoint Presentation

SUMMARY
The South African Sports Commission briefed the Committee on preparations for the All Africa Games taking place in October in Abuja, Nigeria. Team preparations, finance and travelling arrangement were discussed. Athletes winning medals in Abuja would proceed to participate in the Afro-Asia Games in India.

MINUTES
The Chairperson explained that the meeting would be convened in the form of discussions. No decisions could be taken as they did not have a quorum.

Mr Lee asked whether the delegation would be expected to return to a fuller meeting as the meeting was not legally constituted.

The Chairperson appealed to Members to agree to the delegation's presentation as SASC was merely providing an update on the All Africa Games (AAG) and not discussing a Bill.

Members agreed and the Chairperson invited the delegation to proceed.

Preparation
Dr MJ Phaahla (CEO of SASC) introduced Ms Michelle Perry, the Head of the Project Division which dealt with preparations for the AAG. The AAG would be held between 4 October and 19 October 2003 in Abuja, Nigeria. Having been informed by the Ministerial Task Team of duplication in terms of preparation for events, a Project Committee had been established in 2001 for the Commonwealth Games in July 2002. Members of this Committee were then transferred to the Project Team for the AAG. As was required of the Sports Ministers of each country, the Minister had informed the Supreme Council of Sports in Africa that South Africa would be participating in the AAG. There had been a number of meetings with all sports federations relating to selection guidelines, identifying managers and compiling training programmes. The Minister and a SASC delegation had embarked on a pre-inspection visit to inspect venues and facilities in Abuja.

Teams
Dr Phaahla explained that team selection across 21 codes had been completed and teams already announced. Two more codes, tennis and women's football were added. South Africa would be participating in 21 out of the 22 codes, as the basketball did not qualify for the AAG. In terms of demographics, there was a vast improvement from the last team sent to the AAG in that 43% of the athletes and 67% of team management were from historically disadvantaged groups. The total number of athletes and managers amounted to 461, and including the general management, the total was 500. Also, the team was fairly representative in that 39% of the 461 athletes and managers were women.

Finances
Dr Phaahla said that the total budget amounted to R16.6 million. They had received R2 million from Sports and Recreation South Africa. Expenses for meetings and travelling amounting to R880 000 had been catered for by the SASC themselves. The National Lottery Board had made R8 million available and the Minister had been approached for an additional R3 million. With regard to travelling expenses, negotiations with South African Airways (SAA) had resulted in that SASC and SAA would each pay for one chartered flight directly to Abuja. This reduced expenses but SASC would still pay airport tax on both flights which amounted to a total of approximately R4 million for the flights. Each participating country in the AAG was expected to contribute in terms of officials and South Africa would be sending 50 officials to assist in Abuja. The AAG had many team sports and therefore the preparation for the AAG and management of the team was a huge exercise. The clothing had already been prepared and the designs and unveiled.

Ekhaya Hospitality Centre
The AAG was also an opportunity to market South Africa. An Ekhaya Hospitality Centre would showcase and promote South African products and serve as a centre for meetings, entertainment and networking. A number of stakeholders would be involved including the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Trade and Industry and South African Tourism. The North West Province would also be sending dancers and performers to participate at the Ekhaya Hospitality Centre.

Media Coverage
SABC Television and Radio Sports had secure the rights to cover the event.

Departure
The team would assemble on 27 September 2003 and then depart for Abuja the following day. The Deputy Chef de Mission, Ms Gogo Manqoyi, replaced Ms Kedi Tshoma who passed away in mid-June. Ms Manqoyi would retain the title of Deputy Chef de Mission in remembrance of Ms Tshoma. Ms Manqoyi and the Chief Medical Officer had recently visited Abuja and reported that all would be ready by October. The Nigerian government had pulled out all stops to ensure that athletes were well-accommodated. All events would take place in Abuja except the Men's and Women's football matches. The finals of these would however be staged in Abuja. A full contingent of medical staff headed by Sello Motaung ensured that the team has had the necessary vaccinations.

Afro-Asia Games
Those athletes winning medals in Abuja would be included in the team to the Afro-Asia Games in India. All expenses would be catered for by the Indian government.


Discussion
Mr S Simmons (NNP) asked why some codes like rugby and cricket had not been included. He also asked whether codes other than table tennis catered for disabled athletes.

Dr Phaahla explained that the Supreme Council of Sports in Africa decided which codes to include, and the host country, Nigeria, also played a role in the decision-making process. Netball was excluded because the hosts claimed that they did not have the necessary facilities. Not many African countries were strong in netball, cricket or rugby, but these codes might be included in future. With regard to disabled athletes, Dr Phaahla said that provisions were made in table tennis, athletics and weight-lifting. Disabled sports would certainly grow in terms of integration with able-bodied sports, especially in Africa where disabled sports were still relatively small.

Mr E Lucas (IFP) asked whether the team to the Afro-Asian Games in India would represent the whole of Africa.

Dr Phaahla said that individuals winning medals would represent Africa, while, in team sports, the entire team would be included to go to India.

The meeting was adjourned.

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