The Department of Sports and Recreation presented its Annual Performance Plan 2019/20. It highlighted that only three of the nine provinces budget for sports and recreation, while those that do not, depend on government grants. The misuse of these grants was raised as provinces have more pressing issues than sports and recreation. These budgets must be adhered to and provinces that do not adhere to these budgets must be held accountable.
The SABC bankcruptcy poses a challenge for the Department as broadcasting is limited to people who can afford to pay a subscription to DSTV. Access to sporting matches needs to be more accessible.
A focus on reintegrating sport into school curriculum has resulted in a 40 per cent budget allocation for school sports. Budgets allocated to schools will be monitored to ensure they are spent accordingly.
The Department is challenging the female classification rule imposed on Ms Caster Semenya by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and it is appealing against the findings of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). It applauds and will continue to support Ms Semenya.
The Department of Arts and Culture presented its separate Annual Performance Plan 2019/20 and budget to. It aims at benefiting artists with increased opportunities and developing their audiences while encouraging cultural entrepreneurship.
It has created programmes to encapsulate knowledge held by living, legendary artists such as Dr Esther Mahlangu as a means of ensuring transferable knowledge of artistry to the next generation. It aims at creating an inclusive society through inclusive engagement in the commemoration of national days as well as making national symbols more apparent. Indigenous South African language development is a priority; these languages must be developed to a level where they can be used scientifically.
The Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture addressed the meeting. The philosophy of the merged department of Sports, Arts and Culture is “teaching people how to fish”. It has contributed significantly to the GDP and can be considered a “golden coin”. He applauded the netball girls for their achievements in the 2019 Netball World Cup and stated that sports, arts and culture have the ability to unite South Africa.
Due to time constraints, the Chairperson instructed the Committee members to table questions in writing which the Director-General will answer in writing.
The Chairperson noted that the Minister would be joining the meeting late as he was in cabinet.
Sports and Recreation 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan: briefing
Mr Alec Moemi, Director-General: Sports and Recreation, said that the department adopts the national agenda to create a non-racial, progressive citizenry and reverse the legacy of Apartheid. One of the major targets of the department is to achieve national pride for sporting teams. Sporting support reflects previous racial segregation as the majority of rugby supporters are white and football supporters are black.
The Department aims at increasing the National Sport Awards by benchmarking South Africa’s performance with other developing countries such as Brazil. It plans to achieve this by focusing on South Africa’s sports plan. He noted that Jamaica had sent 13 athletes to the Olympics and obtained 15 medals whereas South Africa sent 258 athletes and only achieved ten medals.
Broadcasting of sport remains a fundamental challenge for sporting as a lack of airtime limits sponsorship opportunity which hinders sports teams from graduating into commercial sporting. SABC’s bankruptcy is poses a challenge as access is limited to people who have DSTV subscriptions.
The lion’s share of the Sports and Recreation budget goes to school sporting, community sporting, club development and rural development sport programmes which are distributed as government grants to provinces. Only three out of nine provinces budget for sports and recreation whereas the others rely on the grant. It is important for these provinces to be held accountable.
Indigenous sports are being invested in and promoted. “The Big Walk” is a programme which is a mass walking activity that promotes fitness amongst the citizenry. The Department aims to increase the participants to be greater than a similar event hosted by the private sector, MTN Walk the Talk with 702. Cape Town is set to host the 2023 Netball World Cup. Money is being put aside for netball team preparation and improving infrastructure.
Sport in schools is being emphasised and the department hopes to reconstruct the school curriculum by including more sporting activities. It plans to hold schools accountable for grants which they receive. This will be achieved by monitoring by provincial leaders (see document).
Ms M Gillion (ANC) asked how the Department of Sports and Recreation plans to ensure that sports infrastructure budget and services are provided in rural and poor municipalities where greater challenges exist? The Lotto funding for sports is acknowledged, however, “It is not a lot”.
Mr Moemi replied that the Department tries to get the Sports and Recreation Minister to table Cabinet and National Treasury with a ministerial instruction to provincial treasuries to budget for sports. However, the constitutional arrangements do not give National Treasury the national capacity to compel a Provincial Treasury how to budget – that is the job of the provincial legislature. This disadvantages the Committee but the NCOP becomes the catalyst for changing this. Budgets stipulated for Sports and Recreation need to be spent on Sports and Recreation and municipalities not adhering to this must be held accountable.
The Lotto funding is there but is quite limited, it is not enough. The current lottery operator costs and the static economic environment means not a lot of money is made. The available amount on average each year is widely distributed but the Lotto facilities only constitute a minute input to these sport facilities. The “cooling-off” period of 12 months for new Lotto funding applications hinders growth and future preparations for the department.
The SABC’s structure was already flawed prior to its bankruptcy. The SABC does not have channel space and airtime to show matches which it buys as it does not have its own sports channel. It is further hindered by the dynamics between the SABC and the monopoly of DSTV platforms such as Supersport. They cannot even afford football rights – they are unable to negotiate for rights as they do not have the budget. Supersport is particularly competitive as it buys most rights with no real intention of showcasing the matches but rather to prevent the SABC from having content. This space needs to be opened but a more detailed presentation is needed on this matter.
The Department is challenging the female classification rule imposed on Ms Caster Semenya by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and it is appealing against the findings of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). The Department is further supporting Ms Semenya through the United Nations Human Rights Council and the European Court for Human Rights. She has explored other competitive sporting categories to which the IAAF ruling does not apply.
Ms D Christians (DA) said the Department’s efforts to increase the budget for school sporting will reduce disintegration and keep the youth away from drugs, crime and will lead to the youth performing better academically and go on to study further. It is an integral part of a child’s development. Despite this, what integration has the Department made with the Department of Social Development? What plans exist to ensure budgets are spent correctly and that sporting facilities are being upgraded? How does The Department plan to assist people that take part in club sport?
Mr Moemi replied that physical education is currently considered as an extra curriculum activity due to the reformed curriculum under the democratic government which no longer makes sporting compulsory. This causes learners to opt out of playing sport. Teachers, especially in rural areas, consider this as overtime. The Department of Basic Education is unable to offer teachers overtime for sports as it will add approximately R4 billion to its budget. Across the world, school sports are driven by teachers. The hope is for the curriculum to be reprocessed to include sporting.
The integration between the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Sport already exists and they are finalising a memorandum of understanding. But a challenge exists in that the Department will have to create provision for things such as tournaments. The Department and the Department of Social Development have been working closely in rural sports development. However, this might change as potentially a new MOU might be needed with the change of the macro-organisation of government. The Department will continue to supply equipment and attire for club sporting.
The Chairperson noted that all NCOP Select Committee members come from provinces and are aware of the situation occurring within their provinces. Thus, as NCOP members there are expectations on them for interventions. It is important for this new committee to meet and have a lengthy briefing.
Arts and Culture 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan: briefing
Mr Vusumusi Mkhize, Director-General: Arts and Culture, stated that Arts and Culture contributes to South Africa significantly as it creates jobs, especially for the youth. This is an “equaliser” and restores the dignity of those who were previously disadvantaged and the poor. A mapping study showed that in 2016 Arts and Culture accounted for 1.7% of the GDP with a nominal increase of 5.7%.
The Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy aims at benefiting artists with increased opportunities. This will partly be achieved by audience development that will ensure artists have a market that will buy products and services. It will transform the heritage outline; human capital will be developed and encourage cultural entrepreneurship.
Spreading cultural events across provinces remains a priority for the Department. Such events include the Cape Town Jazz Festival and Macufe African Cultural Festival to which the Department contributes funding. It funds artists to tour nationally and cross-nationally under the Touring Venture Programmes.
The Department aims to expose artists to other markets during off-peak cultural seasons in South Africa. It widens their audience in other countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China. It also has an incubator programme which tries to build artists into entrepreneurs that understand business models. Artists should no longer die poor and this will be possible through obtaining entrepreneurial skills.
The Department aims at creating an inclusive society through inclusive engagement in the commemoration of national days as well as making national symbols more apparent. All schools will have a South African flag. It also encourages provinces to table suggestions for geographical name changes such as that of Grahamstown to Makhanda.
The Living Heritage Programme plans to encapsulate knowledge held by living, legendary artists such as Dr Esther Mahlangu. This will ensure that knowledge and skills are transferred from these artists to the next generation of artists.
Language development is a priority and the goal is to develop indigenous South African languages so that they may be used scientifically.
The budget information for the Medium Term Expenditure Framework was presented (see document).
No discussion followed this presentation. The Chairperson stated that all questions must be tabled in writing which will be answered in writing by the Director General.
Minister’s closing remarks
Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, noted the merging of the two departments, Sports and Recreation and Arts and Culture. A single Director General will be apointed and over time, increased integration between the two departments is key.
The philosophy of the merged department of Sports, Arts and Culture is “teaching people how to fish”. In the realm of sport, it adopts a longitudinal attitude on sport through stability, with a focus on coaching and sports development at grassroots level, within schools. It aims at institutionalising sports as well as arts and culture. In the realm of arts and culture, the objective is to professionalise the creative arts, provide artists with knowledge and skills that will make them productive.
In 2016, a research hub was formed to study the contribution of sports, arts and culture to the GDP. It found that it contributed significantly and can be considered a golden coin.
Mr Mthethwa applauded the netball girls for their achievements in the 2019 Netball World Cup and stated that sports, arts and culture have the ability to unite South Africa.
The Chairperson thanked the Minister and Select Committee Members for their attendance
The meeting was adjourned
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