Available here once adopted: BRRR 2019
The Portfolio Committee considered and adopted the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Reports (BRRRs) of the Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA) and the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC). Although the two departments had been merged, they would continue to function as separate entities until the next financial year.
The Committee was pleased with the performances of SRSA and the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport. It was concerned, however, with the performance of Boxing SA, where the Auditor General of South Africa’s (AGSA’s) report had found that the entity had irregular expenditure that amounted to R6.5 million, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure that amounted to R2.5 million in the past financial year. It was suggested that the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) needed to be monitored, as it faced similar challenges to BSA, yet its challenges were not discussed in the report. The Chairperson said she would request the Minister of Sport and Recreation to provide the Committee with its report on SASCOC’s performance as an entity. Members would like to peruse it and submit recommendations to the entity. The BRRR was adopted.
Some concerns were raised over the performance of the Department of Arts and Culture, despite the fact that it had received a clean audit from the AGSA. A Member felt that it had incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure, citing an example of two Department officials who had allegedly taken a weeklong work trip to Ghana at a cost of R4 million. She listed several other incidents of fruitless and wasteful expenditure that she believed were contrary to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). It was agreed that timeframes had to be attached to the recommendations to keep the DAC accountable. The report was adopted.
The meeting opened with the Chairperson congratulating both the South African rugby (Springbok) and netball national teams on winning their matches. She believed that sport was important in unifying South Africans and recalled the euphoria of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. She wished the South African national rugby team well for their match against Wales on 27 October.
The Chairperson then referred to concerns raised by the national women’s rugby team with regard to funding. SASCOC had made several promises to fund team on condition that they won their matches. Despite this, the team remained without adequate funding. As a result, the team had decided that they would no longer be paying for their expenses. The Chairperson suggested that SASCOC be invited to a Committee meeting to discuss this issue.
Housekeeping rules: Committee discussion
The Chairperson outlined the agenda of the meeting, and asked Committee members to second its adoption.
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) proposed that house-keeping rules be added as an additional agenda item.
Mr W Faber (DA) supported Mr Mhlongo’s proposal.
Mr J Mamabolo (ANC) supported the agenda, but rejected the inclusion of house-keeping rules as an additional item. He argued that proper channels must be used to amend the agenda.
Ms V Malomane (ANC) supported the agenda, but also rejected the inclusion of house-keeping rules. She suggested that amendments to the agenda should be communicated to the Committee Secretary prior to the meeting. She felt that this would provide Committee Members with enough time to prepare for meetings.
Mr Faber accepted the Committee’s decision to not amend the agenda. However, he felt that a standard agenda template should allow for the discussion of any other business. He suggested that the Committee consider this, going forward. He added that the meeting would not be adversely affected if a discussion on housekeeping rules was added to the agenda.
The Chairperson responded that although she had agreed with the proposal to discuss house-keeping rules, the Members had rejected this. She reminded him of his role as an alternate Member, which meant that he had the right to provide inputs to the Committee, but could not vote.
Mr Faber replied that he knew what his role as an alternate member entailed. He had confirmed this with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise.
Given the dynamic that the alternate role creates in the Committee, the Chairperson acknowledged that this was unfavourable. She did not want the Committee to engage in procedures that would require some Members to vote, while others could not vote.
Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) asked whether it was a standard rule of the Committee to send suggestions for additional agenda items before the meeting.
The Chairperson confirmed that Committee members could propose additional items for the agenda, but they would have to be approved by the Committee.
Mr Mhlongo disagreed with the Chairperson’s comment, and felt that she was being inconsistent. He reminded Members that the Chairperson had made amendments to the agenda during the previous meeting.
The Chairperson clarified that the amendments to the agenda at the previous meeting had been a rearrangement of the agenda, not additions to the agenda.
Mr Mhlongo commented that the Chairperson was playing with words that meant the same thing. He argued that the rearrangement of an agenda and the addition of new items to an agenda both constituted amendments of an agenda. He said amendments to the agenda were allowed in meetings. He was concerned that Members had rejected the proposal to discuss housekeeping rules, without enquiring further.
Mr M Seabi (ANC) raised a point of order and rejected the proposal to add house-keeping rules to the agenda. He believed that the house-keeping rules matter could no longer be discussed, based on the background that the Committee had already rejected it.
Mr Mhlongo said Mr Seabi was incorrect in asserting that he wanted to discuss house-keeping after this had been rejected. He had merely wanted to explain what the house-keeping rules were.
Mr Madlingozi raised concerns over how voting Committee Members used their powers and privileges to out-vote alternate Members without considering their views.
The Chairperson responded that the Committee belonged to all Members who sit on it. She emphasised that voting Members had the privilege of exercising their vote accordingly.
In closing of this discussion, the Chairperson made a ruling against Mr Mhlongo’s proposal. She further cautioned Committee members to be mindful of time and requested that Members continue with the purpose of the meeting.
Sports and Recreation: Adoption of BRRR
The Committee Content Advisor took Members through the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) page by page. The report looked at the financial and non-financial annual performance of the Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA) for the 2018/19 financial year, and focused mainly on the Department’s entities -- Boxing South Africa (BSA) and the South African Institute for Drug-free Sport (SAIDS).
The Committee was pleased with the SRSA and the SAIDS positive audit report findings. However, it was particularly concerned with the performance of BSA. The Auditor General South Africa’s (AGSA’s) audit report found that BSA had irregular expenditure that amounted to R6.5 million and fruitless and wasteful expenditure that amounted to R2.5 million in the 2018/19 financial year.
Members raised several suggestions to aid BSA. They suggested that the report must include a recommendation to the Minister of Sports and Recreation to appoint an administrator who could oversee BSA’s finances. This recommendation should be combined with those addressed in page 20 of the report. The Committee was concerned that BSA’s financial audit findings were consistently poor.
Mr Mhlongo suggested that, going forward, the BRRRs of both the Department of Sports and Recreation and the Department of Arts and Culture be combined and aligned, now that the two departments had been merged into one.
The Chairperson confirmed that although the two departments had been merged, they would continue to function as separate departments until the next financial year.
Mr Mhlongo (commented that the report lacked feedback from the oversight role performed by the Committee.
Mr Madlingozi acknowledged his recent appointment to the Committee, and wanted clarity from the Content Advisor on what the intentions and the recommendations of the report would be after adoption.
The Chairperson responded that the Content Advisor did not decide on the intentions and recommendations of the report. His role was to draft it and present it to the Committee. The Committee must thereafter deliberate and decide on what to do with the findings of the report.
The Content Advisor also responded to Mr Madlingozi’s comment. He said the Committee must use this report to keep the SRSA and its entities accountable, as mandated by section 55 (2) of the Constitution.
Ms R Adams (ANC) noted errors on pages 14 and 15 of the report, and it was agreed that these errors would be rectified.
Mr Mhlongo suggested that the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) must be monitored. The entity faced similar challenges to BSA, yet its challenges were not discussed in the report.
Mr C Sibisi (NFP) supported Mr Mhlongo’s suggestion to monitor SASCOC.
The Chairperson also agreed, and mentioned that SASCOC had been discussed in the annual performance plan as performing poorly. She added that she would request the Minister of Sport and Recreation to provide the Committee with its report on SASCOC’s performance as an entity. This report would then be debated by the Committee.
Mr Seabi proposed a motion to adopt the report.
Mr Sibisi supported the motion..
Mr Mhlongo said he reserved the right to adopt the report.
Mr Faber said he would support the adoption of the report on condition that the amendments were incorporated into it.
Mr Madlingozi reserved the right to adopt the report.
The Chairperson ruled on the adoption of the report with amendments. She said she was happy with the report.
Arts and Culture: Adoption of BRRR
The Content Advisor requested permission from the Chairperson to begin the report at section two of the report, which assessed the financial and non-financial performance of the Department, and took the Committee through the focus areas.
Ms V van Dyk (DA) believed that the recommendations on page seven and 17 were too broad and required timeframes. She suggested that the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) must be given timeframes in which to fulfil the recommendations of the Committee. She questioned how the DAC had received a clean audit in the 2018/19 financial year, as she believed it had incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure. She gave an example of two Department officials who had allegedly taken a weeklong work trip to Ghana at a cost of R4 million. She suggested that the two officials must present feedback on their trip to the Committee. She argued that R4 million was fruitless and wasteful expenditure and wondered what this amount of money could have done to uplift sports and recreation for young children in Namaqualand in the Northern Cape. She listed several other incidents of fruitless and wasteful expenditure that she felt were contrary to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
Mr L Ntshayisa (AIC) asked what the acronym SMART meant, as referred to on page seven. He mentioned that the lack of consequence management issues referred to in the report needed to go beyond reprimanding Department officials. He further mentioned that recommendations from the Committee had not been added to the report.
Ms Adams agreed with Mr Ntshayisa.
Mr Seabi enlightened Mr Ntshayisa that SMART referred to goals that were simple, measurable, achievable, reliable and time bound. He also agreed with him that the report did not mention any recommendations from the Committee. He suggested that the recommendations listed on page six and seven of the report be moved to the recommendations section on page 17. He also suggested that the recommendations discussed at the previous meeting should be added to the report.
Ms Adams agreed that the recommendations on page six of the report must be moved to page 17.
The Content Advisor clarified that the recommendations listed on page six were completed.
Mr Madlingozi suggested that the names of Committee Members must be pronounced and spelt correctly. He was concerned that the essence of the National Heritage Day could be reduced, and its meaning lost, as the public holiday had become known as “National Braai Day.” He was also concerned about why parts of “Die Stem” still feature in the national anthem. He suggested that the Committee use its recommendations to address some of the issues he raised.
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee schedule another meeting to discuss the suggested recommendations that Members want added to the report.
Mr Sibisi suggested that the report must either be re-worked or amended accordingly.
Mr Ntshayisa agreed on re-working and amending the report.
Mr Seabi also agreed.
Ms Van Dyk asked why the Department had not undertaken a monitoring and evaluation exercise. She said that the matter involving the victimisation of staff had to be dealt with urgently, and suggested that the Committee should follow-up on the matter. Whistle-blowers had been sending her emails on the matter, so the Committee needed to conduct oversight on the Department’s management team.
The Chairperson mentioned that monitoring and evaluation of 26 entities in government needed to be done. A relevant White Paper should be finalised, as this would provide guidelines on how to conduct monitoring and evaluation on government entities.
Mr Mhlongo asked when the report could be finalised, raising a concern that this report was overdue. The adoption of this report had also been postponed at the previous meeting.
The Content Advisor confirmed that the report would be finalised on Friday, 25 October.
The Committee deliberated on whether to meet on 25 October to adopt the report.
The Committee decided that they would rather meet in the scheduled slot of Tuesday, 29 October.
Mr Sibisi (NFP) proposed a motion to adopt the report, with additional amendments.
Mr Mhlongo reserved the right to adopt the report.
The report was adopted with amendments.
The Chairperson said she had received two letters from BSA and South African National Boxing Organisation (SANBO).
BSA had written to request a postponement of a meeting the Committee had scheduled. The chief executive officer (CEO) and other board members would not be available on the scheduled date, as they would be attending a conference in Mexico.
SANBO had advised that it would not be able to attend the scheduled meeting, as the organisation was facing financial constraints.
Mr Mhlongo suggested that the Committee should travel to SANBO for a meeting. He rejected BSA’s apology, however, saying that their reason was insufficient.
The meeting was adjourned.
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