The Committee was briefed by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) and Boxing South Africa (BSA) on their on their annual report for the 2018/2019 financial year and progress report for past financial year respectively.
SAIDS gave a description of their organisation and how it was established from the Act of Parliament of 1997. The current board of SAIDS was appointed on the 1st of December, 2017 by the Minister for a five-year period with the vision to shape and develop an ethical agency that is the leading authority on anti-doping matters and ethics in sport in South Africa and the African continent. The organisation has four core activities that and their investigations are targeted at the suppliers of banned substances to young athletes in South Africa.
SAIDS told the Committee that in the last financial year, 1 584 tests were done as against the excess of 3 000 that were done in the previous years and the most tested sports with the most presentation of doping issues was athletics with a figure of 427 cases. On the issues of anti-doping rules violations, where there were positive cases of doping, there were 47 cases discovered and the most common substances that were violated were anabolic steroids which is a very big risk for the health of the athletes. On the sports codes with the most positive doping cases, rugby presented the highest figure of which most of the cases were school children revealing an extremely worrisome issue as to where the issue was coming from.
The Committee wanted to know the cost of sending samples overseas for testing and the budget for that. They further wanted to know the countries that are involved in the trafficking of the drugs and the ones identified as more responsible for this. SAIDS responded that the sport most affected by doping was athletics not only as the most tested sport but the sport with the greatest number of positive casualties. They further stated that they were not in the position to answer that question rather they would like to leave that for the arm of government that is responsible for this to answer that question.
The Committee also asked if SAIDS sees any impacts of their programme to know if they would continue with them or seek other ways of doing things and to know the figure for the SARS penalties for not submitting the EMP201 and the resultant PAYE for the month of August 2018. SAIDS answered that they had gained recognition as one of the top ten anti-doping agencies in the world and the cost for the SARS penalty was R20, 000.
BSA told the Committee that the new board came into existence in 2016 after the dismissal of the former CEO and a good number of his colleagues following a disciplinary panel hearing. BSA explained that in spite of their efforts to revive BSA and the progress they have made in that regard, the organisation still had serious financial challenges the new board had inherited an alarming amount of debts from the previous board.
BSA gave an overview of its financial statement explaining the financial situation within the organisation and the pressures they were still having financially. They concluded by giving a description of the growth path of the organization, a five-level framework for a progressive movement in operations in the organization and a diagram of the BSA eco-system that has details of what are and what is involved in boxing in South Africa.
The Committee wanted to know why there is an approved organogram of 14 persons and only two vacancies in the organization; why is the two additional posts are not in the organogram approved by the portfolio committee? Again, they wanted to know why there were only 42 or 6% percent of female boxers who are licensed boxers in SA and why is there no promotion for female boxers in SA? BSA explained that the dismissed of the former CEO and his colleagues took place following the disciplinary hearing; the COO resigned just after being charged and the CFO resigned.
They also wanted to know why boxing is being looked down upon by the broadcasters and what can BSA do to help boxing back? BSA responded that though some of the reasons for SABC’s attitude towards broadcasting boxing may be operational stuff, BSA is of the opinion that the reason for SABC posture on boxing promotion is mostly ethical.
The Committee asked for a breakdown of race in the sports as it now looks it has more of black a squad participating in boxing thereby. They indicated that they do not like the fact that race was being brought up in sports. To this observation BSA explained that though they have statistics on this they could not provide the statistic there as they did not come with their annual report.
The Chairperson welcomed the members and outlined the agenda for the meeting. As there was a delay in the arrival of the board members from Boxing South Africa due to the processing at the entrance of the parliament, she requested that there be a reshuffling of activities in the minutes to allow SAIDS give their presentation while the Committee awaits the arrival of the members from BSA. She gave the apologies for the MPs who were either late or absent.
Briefing by SAIDS on their Annual Report and financial statements:
Mr G Abrahams, Deputy Chairman, SAIDS, gave a presentation of the organisation’s annual year under the following subheadings:
-Brief description of SAIDS under which he explained when the organisation was established and what prompted the establishment; the governance within the organisation; the names and positions held by the members of board for the five-year period from 2017-2022.
-Vision of SAIDS where he stated what motivated the establishment of the organisastion
-Core activities of the organisation. Here he discussed the issues of doping control (drug testing in sports), anti-doping education which enables the athletes know what the banned substance are and the penalties for getting involved with them; their international collaborations with partnering countries and organisations such as Nigeria AU &WADA and compliance and financial management issues.
-A quick glance at the performance against predetermined objectives of the organisation was also discussed and here he revealed that 1584 tests were conducted the last financial year. He also discussed the issues of most sports codes, anti-doping rule violations (positive doping cases), most common substances and sports code with the most positive doping cases.
After his presentation, the Chief Financial Officer, Mr N Onke gave the presentation of the organisation’s audit report for the financial year. Here he discussed the financial statements and the compliance with legislation. In discussing the financial statement, surplus generated in the current year and austerity measure were discussed and in the audit report, the CFO explained the issues of performance information and irregular expenditure in the organisation. He also explained the financial performance of the organisation mentioning issues around the performance information which dealt with the unqualified audit conclusion, objectives, targets and actual results. Irregular expenditures which talked about expenditure incurred on internal audit and overspending on internal audit and fruitless and wasteful expenditure as disclosed in the AFS were also discussed here. Finally, he gave a statement on the current status 2019/2020 financial performance which involved the SRSA/National Treasury Grant and Lottery grants that they had to resort to so as to enable them function properly when they were not receiving funds.
The Chairperson thanked the members of SAIDS for their presentation, acknowledging all they have presented with regards the scourge of drugs in sports and among school children in South Africa.
Mr W Faber (DA) complained about not getting the documents for the presentations earlier to go over them before the meeting. He pointed out that in the meeting from two weeks ago, it was said that patient results had been lost at the state-of-the-art centre in Bloemfontein for a period of over a year as a result the delay of testing. On the samples that were said to have been sent abroad for testing at a high cost, he wished to know what the budget and the cost was because they were not stated anywhere. If tests were sent tests overseas, what did that cost per test and then what was the reason why the number of tests were cut down? Because if it was, 3 000, the cost would have been much higher?
Mr Abrahams responded and said that unfortunately, this meeting was supposed to take place tomorrow and on Friday. It was changed and they had conceded to come today. At the same time, they were having a 3-day workshop from Friday to Sunday. He pointed out that he had mentioned from the beginning that because they had new members, they did not want to confine themselves to the financing. So, they had submitted the finance to the secretary as she requested and after that asked her to indicate if there were other parts of the presentation that were still needed. As per the lab, it is strictly independent of SAIDS it is housed and administered by the University of the Free States though it is a South African laboratory. They are just service providers to SAIDS, so SAIDS uses their services obviously being their primary clients and as such has a real need for the lab. He explained that they have to ensure the sustainability of the laboratory and in the last two to three months they have taken measures with the department of sports and the Free States University to ensure that the lab is safe. He then handed the presentation to the CEO and CFO to present the cost of overseas states testing in comparison to the local testing.
Still commenting on the issue of the cost of the overseas testing, SAIDS CEO Mr K Salant stated that the lab is a service provider to SAIDS and the reason they had a deficit in the last two financial years was as a result of the cost that they incurred from the Olympic Games from Rio. This was because they had to do the testing as required by the International Sports Federation and the samples were sent to Doha Qatar, Belgium and in some cases, Canada. So, it was in their immediate interest not just as a national association but for the Bloemfontein foundation as their immediate service provider that the integrity of the tests be maintained. Again, the reduction in the numbers in the last financial year was due to the management of cost in the overseas laboratories. We have huge figures of the past years where technology and efficiency played a huge role in the management of the funds that were initially used for overseas laboratories due to the international standards they had to comply with. He further explained the figures as seen in the presentation were not just the full costs of transportation but also included the Rand-Dollar exchange especially as they were not able to negotiate favourably with them. The specific calculations for those tests and the costs he explained could be gotten from the previous annual report to find out what the costs as well as the previous dollar exchange was then in comparison to what it is now.
The reduction in test numbers started as was could be seen from the historical graph in the Annual Report showed the increase and decrease in testing as there were fluctuations in the numbers and there were larger numbers every year. From 2019 to this time next year, it will be expected to be seen an increase in the number of tests they are taking currently because of the Olympic cricket annual championship; and such occurrences are some of the factors that influence numbers.
This year, 36% positive results were recorded based on intelligence reports and information targeted tests on the doping risk profile we have about the athlete. He explained discussions with partnering schools and Treasury were necessary because as a university centre, they have to explain money is expended on independent results measurement, investigative services and partnerships.
Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) indicated that his question would be which sport was the most represented in South Africa. Since it was stated which drug will be tested and which countries are involved, are all the countries involved in the sale of the drugs? Which country is identified as more responsible for this? Due to budgetary constraints, it was also mentioned that not all athletes in a competition will be tested, so how will the number be cut down on in the tests and what criteria will be used in doing this? He further asked for the set-up and specifications for the tests and the austerity measures that the organisation had been using.
Mr Abrahams responded that years ago, SAIDS did 3 000 tests. The selection was random and the athletes were randomly selected. For an anti-doping programme, SAIDS focuses on feasibility in terms of how we go about testing and how we generate the doping risk profile. He gave an example in their annual report where about 55 sports girls had been tested and they were divided into different risk platforms with swimming and jumping being in the higher risk rating. Although football is the most commonly played sport in South Africa and has the highest commercial value, its doping risk falls at the middle of the doping risk profile as well as that of cricket. The last doping scandal in football according to him was about three years ago. If looking at the breakdown in the list and the numbers, it can be seen which sport is the high-risk sport and that also counts as factors that inform the testing.
The next question on if all persons are exposed to the same testing, who will be tested, how the number will be cut down and why the organisation’s collaborations within Africa and globally is critical. He responded that the primary reason is that combative sports are not represented in some top schools in South Africa. Cchool children involved in sport are happy to be tested in their continent and even happier that they can compete. That he explained is where their work with the AU is critical because it insists that all Africans have to be tested on the same platform and that is a major challenge with our colleagues in Nigeria. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa in sport and ideally in the anti-doping action, they should be the number one anti-doping country in Africa. He explained that he did not mean his observation in any competitive way but according to the number base, they are not testing their athletes as equitably as South Africa does by their collaboration and sharing of expertise in the Water board Foundation board and to the level that their exchange with their African counterparts is to be expected. He stated that though he does not hold it as a competition or superiority to their African counterparts, SAIDS is recognised among the top ten global anti-doping agencies in anti-doping capacity.
On the issue of the sport most affected by doping, he mentioned athletics not only as the most tested sport but the sport with the greatest number of positive casualties and bear in mind this is a top-level competition. Generally, athletics is the most affected sport not only in South Africa but globally. There has been one scandal specifically around doping. So doping affects athletes badly not only in South Africa but globally.
He also responded to the issue of the sources of drugs and the mention some countries like Nigeria by the Chairperson saying that they are not in the position to answer that question. Therefore, they would like to leave that for the arm of government that is responsible for this to answer that question.
Mr A Seabi (ANC) indicating that he had a number of questions and asked if SAIDS has seen any impacts of their program because they cannot continue with a programme if they do not see the impacts and results. It is either the programme and ways of doing things are changed or with the test results if successful the programme and ways doing things are continued with. He said that though he knows that they will still receive a report sometime during the course of the year, he is inquisitive to know how many full-time staff members SAIDS has and what the fee structure of the board of distributors is. He apologised because he is new to this portfolio, so he wanted to know if SAIDS is subject to the PFMA as an entity. He also stated that he could see where penalties for not submitting the EMP201 and the resultant PAYE for the month of August 2018 was mentioned, therefore he wanted to know how much that SARS penalty was. Finally, on the 2.5 months the organisation spent without receiving any funds or settling accounts, he wanted to know how they survived. He stated his surprise at this and wished to know if they had other sources of income except what they got from the Department and what their grant for the year and what the annual fund they got from the Department was.
Mr Onke stated that the SARS penalty is R20 000 as seen on page 32 of the annual report. On the cost of sending samples overseas, in 2017 courier cost was R2.4 million while lab cost was R5.5 million. In 2018, courier cost was R1.5 million while lab was R4million and in 2019, courier cost was R1.8 million while lab cost was R4.5 million. On the question of how we survived the 2.5 months without funding, he said the ministry helped and whatever money came in was judiciously used. He gave an overview of austerity measures uses and said one has to take into account that anti-doping is not the sole asset of the sport federation, they have to develop and provide anti-doping support to all the nations that matter. Anti-doping mainly happens at the provincial level, so all the support and services they will provide will be to all the provinces that will be taking part in international and national competition. SAIDS is making arrangements to see that there is equal distribution throughout the nation in terms of outreach education programme and other education programmes that they will host.
Full-time members are fifteen as seen on page 10 and there are no vacancies. Full time was not as much of austerity measure but strategies and techniques to save money. International training has a treasury purse and international indication is overwhelming because 87% is funded by the lottery grant therefore it is permissible to say from a low-income financial perspective that those numbers are high. Speaking on the fee structure of the board, he explained that SAIDS is a public entity and as such they comply with the remuneration for their board and the committee according to public entity EEA and it does comply with PFMA. On page 57 of their annual report, the board attended a meeting associated with the remuneration and in terms of compliance with national regulations.
Ms V Malomane (ANC) said she wanted to understand the constraints and challenges the organisation was dealing with and the provinces they intend to prioritise. Because the Committee is also passionate for SAIDS, she would like to know which processes they wish to engage in. If you can check Google or other sources, some evidence also abounds as to the type of testing of blood, urine etc. What are your challenges? She referred to the priority of school education and wanted to know how SAIDS’ plans on school education in the nine provinces. How do you intend to go about it? Which provinces will you prioritise?
Ms V Van Dyk (DA) speaking on the issue of South African methods used in drug control by SAIDS, wanted to know if the organisation was saying that they must not keep to international standards of anti-doping testing and control. Again, given that most of the things around the organisation had been seconded as a result of the things that have happened at the Bloemfontein centre, she wished to know their your plans on ensuring that such things do not happen again and how they were going to rectify things because it is an asset to South Africa.
On page 30 of the Annual Report, number 11, on the board of directors and page 39 on the gender and diversity scales, the representation of women is actually 10% on both. Ms Van Dyk further wished to know what SAIDS is doing to raise this gender inequality. Also, on page 44, there was the issue of gender inequality, what was the reason for that? Then on page 30 of the Annual Report also, it was stated that 34% of the administration goes to the personnel, does that mean that only 66% goes to into the actual Annual Report? Does the money go entirely to employees or personnel?
She also indicated that she could not find the Annual Report the board meetings and general meetings and the expenditure that goes into that; on page 71 of the report she requested that SAIDS explains the programme stated there. The numbers for education programme went from 2 328 and 1 307 and that of international relations has gone up to 791. She wanted to know how these international relations will benefit South Africa more than the education programme because they mentioned in their presentation that the education programme is very important. She wanted to know why would a higher figure be put on international relations than the education programme.
Mr Abrahams responded and said they have a special program mentioned in their report where they partnered with recruitment agencies specifically to look at disabled people in their work places and SAIDS did not have to pay the cost of the employee. They were funded through a special non-profit economic foundation that takes care of funding intensive training and employment purposes for a year. So those are some of the measures they used for the HR and personnel purposes. Since the SAIDS also leverage internship programs with the SETA and TA-SETA; they provided SAIDS with an internship area for 3 – 6 months that is funded by them. The entry stage that was in 2017 and it was really good. He explained that SETA has approved that internship for education and anti-doping education administrator and they are currently advertising for recruitment for that internship. In taking care of gender priority in the organization they do have a specific plan in collaboration with the department of labour and they have complied with the equity plans of the department of labour. It does not mean that SAIDS has achieved all the priorities of the Department of Labour but in 2019, it has achieved gender priorities target on equity in gender and diversity and with regards to the ratio of females in the report, unfortunately the number of testing in sports that done in SA is predominantly male so there are more males in the anti-doping testing.
The effect of education and the obstacles to education pertaining to the measurement services that he explained that they use very long-term measurement tools that do not report on change in behaviour. When there is a change in behaviour measurement tool becomes a bit of a challenge in the short term over the long term. On the 34%, the CFO explained that it is the cost of the entire budget but if it broken it down to personnel, it is 5%.
The Chairperson stated that the scourge of drug in South Africa is a reality as she had also witnessed these drugs being sold by young boys and girls on the streets as retailers during the times they should have been in school. She lamented that these school children start taking these drugs when they are still in school and after a while, they drop out from school and move to the streets where they become peddlers helping those drug dealers in selling their banned substance. She further mentioned that a number of countries are known for bringing and being in the centre of this drug business such as Nigeria. She therefore asked the members of SAIDS if they knew exactly whom the suppliers of these substances in South Africa are and how they think this menace can be curbed in South Africa.
Mr Abrahams said one of SAIDS’ board members, David Bayever, used to be the chief of the Central Drug Authority. CDA is a multi-department body that tries to raise drug awareness and drug combat initiatives but they had been moribund for a while for the three years, so he would encourage the Members of the Committee to ask the Department of Social Development why the CDA has not been operational.
Ms Van Dyk further stated her confusion in terms of the table on page 87 requesting that SAIDS clarify.
Mr Abrahams explained that the specific figures that were mentioned in terms of the 64% that was mentioned in terms of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) was as a result of the meeting between the Department of Sports four or five years ago with DBE concerning the nature of sports in schools. It was agreed between the two departments that an NGO be given the project of teaching school children about drugs and drug-free sport but this did not work out not only due to the slow pace of the NGO that got the project to do the drama presentation in these schools in six provinces but because it was found that the NGO had other financial and governance problems and they shut down. In consolation, SAIDS formed the lottery grant and the lottery has been in the process of granting the money for the project and the Department have been granting SAIDS permission to relocate that budget though still under the anti-doping program.
Mr Madlingozi further wanted to know how true or false the statement that mainly the elite sports are being catered for since the tests are controlled by the University of Free State how; hence he observed that there could be a hack of the test. Again, he also wanted to know how democratic the tests were if they are on mainly suggestions and targeted information.
In terms of democracy, Mr Salant explained that athletes are able to beat the system and because they are able to predict the test, as a result SAIDS has a testing package that has satisfactory information. He said that if you are an Olympic player or athlete playing on a national or provincial platform you can reasonably guess that you will be tested after a game or may be tested at a competition.
He further explained that the UFS does not control the tests rather they are just service providers to SAIDS and SAIDS controls who will be tested, how many tests will be conducted and how they will be tested.
The Chairperson thanked SAIDS for their presentation.
Briefing by Boxing South Africa (BSA)
Mr T Lejaka, CEO, BSA, started his presentation with an apology for the lateness of the board of BSA to the meeting. He gave the presentation in the slides as follows:
Foreword – where he stated the structure of the organization; the unfolding journey to the recovery of the organization as it has been administrative issues prior to constitution of the new board in 2016. And stepping up to the nest level where he discussed the progress made by the new board since coming in since 2016.
Strategic Overview: where he discussed the vision, mission and values of the organization, Further under this section, legislative and other mandate of the organization were also discussed and the consolidated mandate of BSA was given in a tabular form. Also here, organizational structure was given using an organogram and the provincial boxing control boards were also discussed and the repeal of the provincial boxing control boards was discussed.
Performance Overview: on the performance overview Mr. Lejaka discussed the issue of situational analysis which was further broken down into annual performance plan, annual report, quality development, performance management and development and legislative review; performance at a glance which involves governance, boxing development and boxing promotion; governance and administration which involve APP and annual report, policy development, funded posts, performance management and development and legislative review; governance development which involve training, women in boxing, sanctioning, ratings, national titles and associations; governance promotion which involve boxing sponsorship, SA boxing award, boxing broadcast and boxing information provision; a tabular presentation of licensees per category; tabular presentation of licensees for 2019/2020; graphic/tabular presentation of tournaments per year which shows the performance distribution by province from 2015/16 to 2018/19; SA World Champion which showed male and female championship belts currently in SA; and ratings which showed national and top ten rated male and females for May 2019 and published in August 2019.
Financial Overview: This was presented by the CFO, MrT. Moses He made the presentation under the following headings: overview; financial pressure points; fraud risks and internal audit and financial management. He presented the financial pressure points in a tabular form showing figures for compliance matters, provincial capacity, and personnel and systems. He also gave a tabular presentation of the financial management.
Conclusion: This was the last part of the presentation which was the conclusion the CEO BSA gave a presentation of the growth path of the organization showing a five-level framework for operations in the organization and a diagram of the BSA eco-system showing what is involved in boxing in South Africa. Finally, he gave five key issues for consideration for the easy or better functioning of the BSA which includes boxing regulation amendment process, review of BSA budget base line, BSA legal/litigation matters, and national boxing broadcast framework and stakeholder alignment.
The Chairperson thanked the honourable members for their interactive participation in the meeting. However, she urged them not to forget that there is a time of adjournment and all questions must be answered.
Ms Adams referred to the 50% staff members that were dismissed and asked what the cause was. She asked why there were no approved organogram of 14 persons and only two vacancies in the organization; why is the two additional posts are not in the organogram approved by the Portfolio Committee? There were only 42 or 6% licensed female boxers in SA; why is there no promotion for female boxers in SA? What is the BSA doing to promote boxing in the other provinces? How many boxing tournaments were played in the rural areas and the licences in the Northern Cape are very low, what are your plans to turn around this situation?
Mr Lejaka responded saying that it is important to know that after the Boxing Indaba of 2013 a lot of things were flushed out. At that time BSA had incurred a lot of debt; some money was collected from mutual networks. The interventions that were received from the Department were interventions not to assist to recapitalise the foundation but to close the debts. Subsequently, disciplinary processes were unfolded and the CEO was dismissed following the disciplinary hearing. The COO resigned just after being charged and the CFO resigned as well but was also dismissed. The reasons for these dismissals came as a result of disciplinary processes. Almost seven people out of the organisation of 14 were dismissed; including driver and the HR manager. According to him, what makes this complicated is that when you have an organisation that has a list of labour disputes and you dismiss the CEO and the CFO is a witness in the disciplinary processes. The Department took BSA into some affiliations so BSA was hosted in the Department of Sports. The EO then was not paid, he was seconded. The compensation of the staff members came from there because they were now seconded staff members who were not on the pay roll of the BSA but on that of the Department. Part of those services were the internal audit functions. In 2016 the Department now said we want to assist BSA to attain its own capacity, so it can go and operate as a public entity and we will only come in terms of oversight or accountability disparity. Some of our problems are of financial nature that requires that BSA get assistance because part of the problem was that there were two categories of boxers. There were those participating in tournaments sanctioned by BSA and the laws governing them were formed by BSA and the money received should have been paid from services of BSA. When the boxers came out of the ring, they did not pay through the promoters they came to BSA to pay themselves. BSA had to take from its budget to pay those promoters and there is this mop-up that the current organisation had to deal with.
The reason for the decline in the female licensing is because it is one thing for a boxer to take up a licence but it is another to pay to take up a licence on a yearly basis. Now for a boxer to pay R250 per annum when there is no guarantee that he would take up a tournament that year; there are boxers who take up licences and twelve months later they still have not had one tournament to fight. BSA is worried about boxers who die paupers, so they try to create funds to take care of boxers who die, get injured or retire from the revenues which we collect from boxers which is R250 per annum i.e. a little less than R20 per month. The funds were last reviewed in 2008 and BSA is now in the process of reviewing it. Obviously, there are some push-backs and economic crankshaft because BSA does not have sponsorship but it is painful that at this point in time the sponsorship for a boxer’s life, all savings for life in the ring are the boxer’s responsibility and the commission cannot assist.
He explained that he only used Gauteng and Eastern Cape as examples but boxing took place and continues to take place all over the country although Gauteng takes the lead. He explained that they are currently working on alignment with the Department to create sponsorship which is why in the five key issues stakeholder alignment was mentioned. In the absence of strong provincial structures, the work of BSA the ground becomes very faint because they touch and go. The important thing is that they are working in the provinces but at the same time they are trying to look at the elements that they think need to be amended and the good elements they will find ways to sustain.
M. Madlingozi stated his disappointment at the way boxing had been before the new board took over BSA. He was of the opinion that boxing had been neglected over the years. What could be the reason why boxing was being looked down upon by the broadcasters and what BSA could do to help boxing come back? He wanted to know if there was a body that looked at the oversight of managers of boxers and boxing in general. If yes, why were boxers mostly dying off? He agreed that the new board has worked very hard in coming up with a strategy of reviving boxing and it looks good and they need to be supported by the Department fully. Money needs to be invested in boxing this year because boxing seemed to have been targeted and disrespected by both its managers and the boxers themselves. It was very clear that boxers had been operating in a very disorganised manner till this new board came.
Mr Lejaka explained that they have complained a lot but nothing has changed because unfortunately, a lot of people see boxing as a quick laundering platform because money just get paid through the promoters. The promoter’s duty is just to receive the money and declare a percentage deposit, so some people boxing as a favourable thing you can profit from. When BSA started to clamp down on that, it was observed that people ‘did not find it funny’. On the broadcast rights, he said there was no proper processing how the broadcast rights were acquired or what the value pack for the deal of the broadcast right was. They went into a workshop with SABC and agreed on a framework called the Boxing Training Framework. That process went and just somewhere along the line they abandoned it. Part of this process is why in the past year BSA has not had constructive engagement with them because there has also been a high tempo of managerial changes in SABC where one manager comes after one year or six months he goes and another comes.
In terms of support from the Department, the slides that the CFO presented and called financial pressure points are the issues that BSA has engaged with the department on and requested assistance with. National Treasury said that there is not going to be any new money but the Department’s position is that the organisation should prioritise and they will assist them. BSA cannot budget Auditor-General’s fees because their budget cannot carry this. These are areas where BSA is hoping it can get assistance from the national treasury on so they remain hopeful about that.
Mr Ntshayisa asked what the accrued importance of boxing to school sports was seeing that school sports is the one that assist one in promoting and advancing one’s intention of going into boxing. What is the preparation for promoting the sports? What strategies were they coming up with to make boxing more interesting and what were they doing to promote boxing in rural areas?
Mr Lejaka replied that is unfortunate they did not come with a copy of the Annual Report, because it has a breakdown of tournaments that took place in rural areas. He however explained that they still have small generated tournaments that take place in rural areas and they call them development tournaments though they do not have their exact percentages there at the meeting.
Ms Van Dyk stated that she was not clear on the race presented in the report with regards to sports, so she requested that they give a breakdown on race in the sports, because a look at the ratings provided in the slides and the numbers it showed on the women and men, it seems to that it has more of a black squad participating in boxing. She does not like the fact that race was being brought up in sports especially when it looked intentional. She requested that a rating of the last five years be given for better understanding of the statistics. She further commented that there is a sharp economic revenue decline between 2015/16 to the current 2018/19 and wanted to know the reason for that and what they did to address that. Then also, it seems like the compensation of BSA’s employees had more than doubled, what was the reason for more than 50% percent of compensation for employees in spite of the declining revenue.
Mr Lejaka explained that with regards to the racial dynamics to boxing he does not have the specific information on that there but they could compile the racial profile for boxers, trainers, promoters, code of licences and etc. He further explained that there is one thing they should always have to know, there is professional boxing and there is amateur boxing. Professional boxing is not the one that leads to commonwealth games and Olympics. We deal with professionals who fight for prize money, amateur boxing is controlled by SANABO, and they are the ones responsible for team selection, team divisions and participation in multinational games like the Olympics. But they have a relationship with SANABO and they have virtually met them to reinforce those relationships. He explained that BSA deals with only boxers who are above the age of 18 years but part of what SANABO is working on through our assistance is to work with the department of basic education on the departments’ posture on combat sports. He told the Committee that at some point DBE took a position of not allowing combat sports in the school system and a decline in boxing was observed as combat sports has to do with karate, boxing, Kung Fu etc. During the national championship when amateur sports happen it does not happen through school structures and there is a policy disjuncture that needs to be sorted out.
Mr Seabi asked f BSA thought they had done a good job on the issue of liquidity and in terms of their projections, how long they would take to achieve them?
Mr Lejaka said that regarding liquidity, having done what they had done, they are in court trying to recover money from the delinquent promoters who have since being suspended. But unfortunately, suspension is not enough for recovering public funds that were used to reinvest and mop-up when they abandoned their responsibilities and did not pay the purse money. He was explaining so that the Committee could understand why the past three years has been difficult for BSA. On the challenges he said revenue (Department, sanctions, licencing) has not been not collected. The collection was currently going on but he thinks that for them to attend to it properly they still need assistance from the Department for settling the issue of liquidity through litigations of cases because if they lose those cases the reality is that they will not have money to pay them. In their previous administration the Minister promised to help BSA appeal some of those cases. However, they should try to see that in their management they do not contravene any of the regulations or to end up in labour disputes like they are doing now and that is what they have managed to do. Therefore, it can be said that they have tried to stabilise their sector.
Mr Moses added and said they had done an assessment of the liquidity program for the past five years going backwards and they have done it to show measures of how they were going to get out of debt. He stated that they can clearly say that at the present moment, they are at a point where they are going to appoint a debt collector to deal with the outstanding debts because they do not have the capacity to go chasing after anyone again. They however appreciate what the Committee has done for them in such a short period hoping that it gets better. Going forward, when they have an outstanding debt, they can try to force the debtor to pay with interest and they will not allow them to continue partaking while continuing in debt. For now, they have provided additional information on how they intend to promote strategies to ensure that they do not have liquidity problems again.
The Chairperson said the Committee expected to hear the report from ICASA but they had apologised saying they were not prepared to present their report. They had apologised for the time they are taking.
The meeting is adjourned.
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting