Sectoral Overview: briefing by Content Advisors and Researchers

Sports, Arts and Culture

20 August 2019
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to receive a review of the sports and recreation, and arts and culture, sectors from its content advisors and researchers.

It was told that the priorities of the Department of Sport and Recreation were to increase access of SA citizens to sport and recreation facilities, provide mass participation opportunities, ensure transformation of the sector, develop talent and provide athletes with the opportunity of excel. Its role was also to support high performance athletes to achieve access to international sport, and build a pipeline of athletes through grass roots development. The issues that the Sixth Parliament needed to take up included the submission of bills; implementation of the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) Vision 2020; an international study tour; sport betting in South Africa; implementation of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Recreation (MACRe); oversight reports to the debated in the House; and sports broadcasting.

Representatives from the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) presented the capacity building programme. This contained an overview of their role, mandate, oversight, audits, Public Audit Act (PAA) amendments, and material irregularity. Members asked questions about disclaimers, material irregularity, fraud and AGSA’s relationship with the internal audit risk committee.

The Committee Researcher presented an overview of the Department of Arts and Culture, including its mandates and purpose. Among the recommendations and adjustments to the Committee programme were the implementation of the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage, the need to pay attention to library services, and to meet with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the South African Music Rights Organisation.

The Committee adopted meeting minutes and the second term draft Committee programme.

Meeting report

Mr Solomon Mthombeni, Committee Researcher, apologised for the fact that that there was no projector at the venue. He was working on printing out the Department of Sport and Recreation presentation for Members.

The Chairperson accepted the apology, but pointed out that Members should always to have copies of the presentations, and that it must not happen again.

Consideration of Minutes

The Chairperson led the Committee through the minutes of 3 July.

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) questioned the format of the meeting’s minutes, as he felt the format was just a summary, and not minutes. He would provide the format used by the previous Committee

The Chairperson agreed that minutes must be a true reflection and should include what had been discussed and what was resolved. There must always be one format, but if the Committee felt that the minutes were not a true reflection, it had to comment and act on that concern.

Mr M Seabi (ANC) proposed that the format be presented, and that it be noted that the Committee did not agree with the current format. He observed that these minutes did not reflect the apologies of the Minister and Ms J Manganye (ANC).

The Chairperson requested a response from the office.

Ms Ajabulile Mtiya, Committee Secretary, said that the only apology submitted that day had been from the Deputy Minister. No other official written apologies had been submitted.

The Chairperson stated that even alternates should do the courtesy of writing apologies.

Mr Mhlongo and moved to adopt the minutes with the comments and notes. Ms Adams seconded.

The Chairperson went through the minutes of the meeting on 9 July.

Mr Seabi moved their adoption and Ms Adams seconded. The minutes were adopted.

Second term draft Committee programme

The Chairperson went through the draft Committee programme.

Mr Mhlongo appreciated the initiative in developing the programme, but proposed that in future the Committee should know who was on its management team. He noted the issues with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), and asked that the South African Football Association (SAFA) should come on the same day. Other issues he wanted to include in the term was the allegation of R100 million allocated to the Mzansi Golden Economy, repeating fees for actors, and a meeting with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)

The Chairperson said she did not want to respond about the Committee’s management, so she would consult on that issue moving forward. She asked if the Committee could adopt the draft, and the issues raised by Mr Mhlongo would be looked at.

Ms V van Dyk (DA) moved adoption of the draft programme, with amendments.

Mr Seabi seconded the adoption and reminded the Committee that the programme was a working document.

Sports and Recreation sector analysis

Mr Mthombeni said that although there had been a departmental merger, throughout the presentation he would refer to the Department as Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA). He explained the introduction and mandate of the Department, and said its five programmes were administration, Active Nation, Winning Nation, sport support and sport infrastructure support.

He explained the policy directives guiding SRSA, and said that the two entities reporting directly to SRSA were Boxing South Africa (BSA) and the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS).

The priorities of the Department were to increase access of SA citizens to sport and recreation facilities, to provide mass participation opportunities, to ensure transformation of sport and recreation, talent development and providing athletes with opportunities to excel, supporting high performance athletes to achieve access to international sport, and building a pipeline of athletes through grass roots development.

The Department had strong partnerships with the Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI), Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Basic Education, Health and Communication, and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

He provided a budget overview of income and expenditure, and annual reports.

Dr Samkelo Mahlobo, Content Advisor, went over the Department’s Legacy Report for the 2014-2019 period. The purpose of the report was to provide an account of the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation’s work during the Fifth Parliament and to identify outstanding issues and key issues for follow-up.

He referred to the focus areas of the Portfolio Committee, and said its function was to conduct oversight over the executive, process and pass legislation, and participate in national and international dialogues. The Committee had made a recommendation that priority should be given to the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill, to be tabled in the current Parliament.

He reported on the oversight undertaken in the Fifth Parliament, which included the Division of Revenue Act (DORA) grant, whether provincial plans were aligned to the mandate of SRSA, monitoring the implementation of the model of sport-focused schools, and understanding how municipalities utilised the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG).

He explained the international study tours, and recommended that Members should consider looking at Australia and New Zealand for an international study tour.

Dr Mahlobo went over the Committee’s statutory appointments, obligations conferred by legislation, and issues to take up in the Sixth Parliament. These included:

  • The submission of bills;
  • Implementation of the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) Vision 2020;
  • The international study tour;
  • Sport betting in South Africa;
  • Implementation of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Recreation (MACRe);
  • Oversight reports to the debated in the House; and
  • Sports broadcasting.

Discussion

Mr Mhlongo asked how far the Department was with the oversight visits and the recommendation for the international tour. Could it share more information about MACRe?

Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) felt the extensive report was ‘flowery’. He could not see the brightness of it all, and it being reflective within the townships. Regarding the support of high-performance centres, he did not see many of those centres where he was coming from. He regarded them as effective in the growth and development young minds, and said young children needed to have access to recreation centres from a young age.

He commented on the Australia and New Zealand study tour, saying he felt other places might be an option. How long did it take for these recommendations to be implemented? What were the budgets and time frames for implementation? How long did it take, and when would people see the changes?

Ms Van Dyk referred to the oversight undertaken in the Fifth Parliament, and asked that the outcomes and recommendations be included. What had been the outcomes of the oversight? She requested the same with issues to be taken up in the Sixth parliament, such as the findings from the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) and the MACRe.

She referred to the Committee’s draft programme, and asked if the South African Doping Control Laboratory could be added to it.

The Chairperson replied that in the last administration, the Committee had asked to visit the laboratory, but it had not been ready. She added that the last part of the presentation would assist the Committee in extending the programme beyond the current second term. The Committee had to consider outstanding issues as well. It needed to prioritise events and country visits to build the programme.

Regarding study tours, when the Committee wanted to do oversight, the proposal was sent to Committee staff to research and build it into the programme. She said research went into deciding what countries to visit and when to visit provinces.

There was a need to fast track issues of safety at sporting events to avoid dangerous incidents and stampedes from fans. She felt that all stakeholders had to be included, and also noted that issues like these were not budgeted for. They needed to be included in the vision plan.

Auditor General: Capacity Building Programme

Mr Andries Sekgetho, Business Executive: Arts and Culture Portfolio, referred to the departmental merger, and said the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) was still working on the restructuring. The presentation would be focused on high level capacity building. Committee Members may be familiar with the numbers and information within the presentation.

Ms Nelisiwe Mhlongo, Senior Manager: Arts and Culture Portfolio, presented the capacity building programme. She went over the department’s mandate, and the work of the AGSA.

She described the three types of audits, the types of audit opinions and how to interpret them, and went over the audit outcomes for the past 10 years of the national, provincial and local government. This included the history of irregular expenditure, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and unauthorised expenditure by local and national government.

The Chairperson asked how the presentation related to the two different departments which were being merged. She pointed out that they were not yet one department.

Ms Mhlongo responded that the slides were looking at the entire public sector.

Ms V Malomane (ANC) observed that the presentation was inclusive of all departments, and the Committee could not differentiate how it impacted on the Portfolio Committee and the Departments.

The Chairperson said she was wondering the same thing, although the presentation did assist in understanding what was happening nationally. However, it was important to know what was happening with the Departments that the Committee was performing oversight on.

Mr Sekgetho said that the AGSA appreciated the feedback. He explained that this was the first round, and future engagements would be specific to sports, art and culture.

Ms Mhlongo continued by explaining the root causes of continued poor outcomes. She presented the past five years of audit outcomes for the Department of Arts and Culture, and the past four years of audit outcomes for the Department of Sport and Recreation.

She then described how the AGSA assists with contributions to oversight, and the roles of Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Provincial Legislatures (MPLs). She presented on the Public Audit Act (PAA) amendments, defined material irregularity (MI), and discussed the implementation of the expanded mandate. She then presented the combined assurance assessment criteria for portfolio committees.

Discussion

Mr Madlingozi said that Members have already received the general information. He asked about disclaimers. How effective was the Department? What was its strength in making its recommendations?

Mr Mhlongo asked about extensions for audit submissions, if the AGSA worked with internal audit risk committees, and what the relationship was like. Were all the departments in compliance with the Treasury and Public Management Finance Act (PMFA)? Were they up to standard?

Mr Seabi commented that the AGSA did not identify fraud. However, on page 23 of the presentation, material irregularity had been explained as fraud. He asked for some clarity. AGSA had been empowered to open criminal cases -- how did that fit into what they were doing on a daily basis? What were the implications?

Ms Van Dyk asked for a clearer breakdown of the irregular expenditure, as she would like to see the specific entities that were involved.

The Chairperson said she hoped the AGSA would be specific in their presentation to the Committee in October.

AGSA’s response

Mr Sekgetho clarified the Public Audit Act (PAA) for the Members. The PAA’s essence was to ensure the enforceability of its recommendations, or that there was action to clean up audit outcomes. The office of the AGSA had decided on a phased in approach. The definition of material irregularity was broad, and the phased-in implementation would limit the instances of non-compliance to just the material that was related to financial management, or the harm resulting from physical cash that had been lost to the system. Therefore, there would be a limited application for the first year of implementation.

Regarding extensions, once entities submitted financial statements, it was the AGSA’s responsibility to do the audit within two months. It was the AGSA’s choice to decide if an extension was necessary. With the Department of Arts and Culture, the audit report was due to be completed on 31 August.

The relationship with the internal audit committee was very good. They met on a quarterly basis and asked for input in terms of the AGSA audit work. There was continuous engagement.

Regarding fraud, the audit process had not changed fundamentally, and fraud would inform the material irregularity process. If it was a result of fraud, then the material irregularity process would begin.

Ms Mhlongo explained that the presentation had dealt with countrywide audit results. A breakdown of the portfolio would come in October.

She asked for clarification on the question about disclaimers and the effect on recommendations.

Mr Madlingozi clarified that it was about the general completeness, and the power of being able to say what had happened, and that they were acting on that specific problem. How could it be taken as something with substance if they claimed that it was not complete?

Mr Sekgetho clarified that the first point of departure was that the AGSA could not express an opinion if there was no evidence. Normally, the recommendation would say the Department needed to have a system of maintaining records and ensuring that they were accessible.  A disclaimer with no evidence would have no opinion, as the AGSA did not have complete information.

Art and Culture Sector Analysis

Ms Fiona Clayton, Committee Researcher, commented that the Department was working with a stand-in content advisor, so she would deliver only her presentation.

The Chairperson responded that the Department needed a content advisor, and the Committee needed to let the Department know that the lack of a content advisor was an issue.

Ms Clayton said that creativity was listed as a top skill by the World Economic Forum. She went over Department of Arts and Culture’s constitutional mandate, legislative mandate, vision, mission and strategic outcome-oriented goals. She described its services and gave an overview of the reporting entities, including those with the functions of statutory bodies, performing arts, library and documentary heritage, and museum services.

The budget was split into the four programmes of administration, institutional governance, arts and culture promotion and development, and heritage promotion and preservation. She described the key national policies and key international instruments.

The Northern Cape and the North West were provinces the Department had yet to visit. The Free State was also a potential oversight visit. The previous Committee had not paid much attention to theatres. The implementation of the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage would be helpful to the Committee. Also, the Committee needed to pay attention to library services.

Referring to the draft Committee programme, she felt meeting with the SABC would be helpful to the Department, as well as a meeting the South African Music Rights Organisation. Some artists had claimed that the SABC had not been paying royalties.

The Department had not been on a study tour, and Ms Clayton suggested that a tour to Australia and New Zealand might be informative for the Department of Arts and Culture as well.

Discussion

Mr Madlingozi asserted that some theatres being funded were dysfunctional, yet they were still being given money. How was that happening?

Mr Seabi asked about content researchers and advisors working together, specifically with regard to study tours. They should also be working together on the Committee programme. He requested a copy of the legacy report from the Department of Arts and Culture.

The meeting was adjourned

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