Department of Sports and Recreation 2018/19 Annual Report

NCOP Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture

06 November 2019
Chairperson: Mr M Nchabeleng (ANC, Limpopo)
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Meeting Summary

Annual Reports 2018/2019

The main responsibility of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) is to develop national policies and guidelines for sport and recreation in the country. Partners assisting with implementation are provinces and municipalities as well as SASCOC, National Federations, and other agencies such as NGOs.

The SRSA performance overview indicated that:
• During 2018/19, it had 35 targets and 32 (91.4%) were achieved.
• Programmes 1, 2 and 5 failed to achieve one target each.
• Programmes 3 and 4 achieved 100% of their targets.
• The Department obtained its sixth consecutive clean audit.
• This was achieved through 148 staff members working as functional units and in task teams.
• R1 076 billion of the allocated R1 090.8 billion (98.6%) was spent.

Overall spending was 98.7% of the budget allocation of R1.1 billion compared to 99.4% in 2017/18. Spending on Compensation of Employees was 89.9% of R110.9 million. There was a 5% drop compared to previous financial year. Under-spending is due to a high vacancy rate. SRSA is in the process of filling priority posts. Another element of underspending was due to the delay in signing MOUs with various municipalities which were identified for the delivery of outdoor gym facilities.

Members were very concerned that funds meant for sports facilities were being used for other projects by municipalities, as well as about the selling of municipal land that could be used as sports facilities. Members asked what consequences had been put in place by SRSA to ensure that Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) funding for sports facilities was not used for other projects. They were displeased that not enough pressure was applied to get municipalities to sign the MOUs for outdoor gym facilities. Questions were asked about school sport and concerns arising from the Committee's recent oversight visit to the Southern Cape. Members sought clarity on the budgeting of provinces as provinces were not budgeting appropriately to correspond with the national department's strategic plan.

Meeting report

Department of Sports and Recreation (SRSA) 2018/19 Annual Report
Ms Sumayya Khan, SRSA Acting Director General, explained that the main responsibility of SRSA is to develop national policies and guidelines for sport and recreation in the country. Partners assisting with implementation are provinces and municipalities as well as SASCOC, National Federations, and other agencies such as NGOs. Despite the delivery of sport and recreation in three spheres of government, the actions and initiatives within SRSA’s mandate were coordinated to maximise impact. It also administers two public entities: Boxing South Africa (BSA) and the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS). The SRSA vision is ‘An active and winning nation’.

The SRSA performance overview indicated that:
• During 2018/19, it had 35 targets and 32 (91.4%) were achieved.
• Programmes 1, 2 and 5 failed to achieve one target each.
• Programmes 3 and 4 achieved 100% of their targets.
• The Department obtained its sixth consecutive clean audit.
• This was achieved through 148 staff members working as functional units and in task teams.
• R1 076 billion of the allocated R1 090.8 billion (98.6%) was spent.

She noted two main under-expenditures and gave reasons for them. The first under-expenditure was in Administration which was mainly due to the unfilled vacancies. The second under-expenditure was in Sport Infrastructure Support. The underspending was due to the delay in signing MOUs with various municipalities which were identified for the delivery of outdoor gym facilities.

The challenges faced by the department are related to the implementation of departmental initiatives. There were two main challenges: legislation; financial constraints and uneven distribution of resources. According to Ms Khan, the legislation does not fully support the department's strategy. Efforts to amend and introduce legislation such as the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill (NSRA); South African Combat Sport Bill (to replace the Boxing Act); and SAIDS Amendment Bill, as well as related regulations, are moving at a slow pace because of other national legislative priorities. Financial constraints and uneven distribution of resources across the sporting codes remain a major challenge. A significant number of federations still do not have proper administration resources such as human and office infrastructure resources, which impede the effective governance of sport in general.

Ms Khan referred to slide number 38 on risk management. SRSA has adopted a risk management approach which is implemented by employees at every level. It is also designed to identify potential events that may affect the department's achievement of its objectives.

Budget and Expenditure Analysis
Ms Sibongile Mondile, SRSA CFO, noted SRSA 2018/19 financial performance:
• Overall spending was R0.76 million (98.7%) of the budget allocation of R1.1 billion. Spending dropped by 0.7% compared to 99.4% the previous financial year.
• Spending on Compensation of Employees was 89.9% at R99.8m of R110.9m. This was a 5% drop in spending compared to 94.9% the previous financial year. Under-spending was due to the high vacancy rate. The department was in the process of filling priority posts.
• Expenditure on Goods and Services was R166.4m (97.9%) of R169.9m. Under-spending was due to MIG earmarked funding not being fully utilised as MOUs were not signed with identified municipalities for building of outdoor gyms/facilities. The underspending resulted in a drop of 1.7% compared to 2017/18.
• Transfer payments was 100.0% of the budget of R807.4m.
• Capital Assets expenditure was R2.489m (99.9%) of R2.489m. This was in line with 2017/18.

Discussion
Mr M Nchabeleng (ANC, Limpopo), Chairperson, noted that the Committee went on an oversight visit to the Southern Cape. The Committee came across a school that was declared sports-focused. He asked if the department was aware of that school and what they were doing to help support that school and its initiatives.

As a Committee, they have an oversight role but the department itself also has an oversight role over the entities that the department funds. This includes programmes as well. He was pleased when Ms Khan mentioned that certain criteria need to be fulfilled before government resources are used to help sports associations; and that the department is not aimlessly throwing funds at whatever problem arises.

The Committee is searching for sustainable ways of developing sport in the country – particularly from a young age and in schools. SRSA needs to prioritise the development of infrastructure within schools. Where can these kids play? In some cases, kids have to travel a great distance from their schools just to get to a sports field. These are the kinds of challenges that should be considered.

The Committee visited a project in Van Wyksdorp. It was quite saddening to see. Members will talk further about it. As the NCOP, they will ensure having a meeting with the Portfolio Committee and the Western Cape Provincial Parliament so they are all on the same page and can support one another to ensure peace and development within communities in terms of sport, recreation, arts and culture.

Ms S Gillion (ANC, Western Cape) dived straight into the issues that were evident in the report. Firstly, she would like to know about the SRSA relationship with local government when it comes to the MIG funding. The Chairperson alluded to one of the projects that the Committee visited on their oversight. However, right throughout the country, there is the challenge of municipalities using sports and recreation funding for other projects. This is a question that she would love for the Minister to answer. The country has won the Rugby World Cup, as well as the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, and is trying to get there again with Bafana Bafana. However, without the recreation facilities we have, we cannot achieve that goal. Without recreational facilities, we cannot get our youth off the streets and substance abuse and gender-based violence will continue. SRSA has a role to play in this. However, if the MIG funding meant to assist communities is not used for that, and is instead used for other projects, how serious is SRSA about that? There needs to be a serious intervention. Even if that means that the Minister must take this to the Cabinet and get the Minister of Finance involved – whatever it takes to ensure that the MIG funding is used for its rightful purpose.

The MIG grant that goes towards the municipalities is a conditional grant. If it is not being used, what measures are put in place to ensure that that money is not used for other projects?

Secondly, when it came to the non-delivery of the outdoor gyms and play parks, she believes that it was a result of bad planning. It is unacceptable that 50% of that budget was not spent. The department cannot use the excuse of disagreements with local government and communities because it was their responsibility to have done the proper research before agreeing to execute the project. If they do not know how to make use of those gyms, they should hand them over to the Committee as it will implement them. It is highly unacceptable not to implement those gyms and play parks.

When the Committee was on oversight, they discovered that that George High School was identified as a special sports school by the Western Cape Education Department as well as SRSA. It is heart-breaking to see that a school that is identified as a ‘sports focused school’ does not even have a sports field. They must use the municipal sports field in town, which is used by all other schools as well. SRSA says that their budget is small – but this is not true. SRSA must go to George High and find out what the challenges are. For example, the Western Cape department asked them to pay R250 000 out of their own funds for coaches and up until today they have not been paid back. If a school is declared a sports-focused school, proper planning must be done and proper assistance put in place to help that school. She urged the department to go to George High and look at those challenges.

She understands that the department meet with the Head of Department in provinces and has meetings with municipalities, but does the department know what the municipalities are doing right throughout the country? Where there is a sports facility, they will sell the remaining land instead of making provision for another sports facility. How are we going to keep our people off the streets? How are we going sort out substance abuse if this is what is happening? At Vygieskraal in Athlone, a sporting facility that the community had been using for many years has been put out because the City of Cape Town needs that land for something else. In Mthatha, a stadium was demolished and a mall was built in its place. If we want to improve outcomes and we want a happy, prosperous country, we cannot do it without sports and recreational facilities. From the national department's side, in its relationships with local municipalities and provincial governments it needs to look at these issues. They cannot remove facilities.

The Chairperson mentioned that there was a piece of land that belonged to George High School that the municipality took. They need to raise this with the Department of Basic Education and Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to monitor municipalities and ensure they do not take communal land away without replacement.

Ms D Christians (DA, Northern Cape) want to reiterate what Ms Gillion had said. Provinces are not budgeting appropriately. Their budgets should obviously coincide with the national strategic plan. Why are provinces not implementing this? What is SRSA doing to hold them accountable? SRSA is allocating vast amounts of money for gyms and play parks, but municipalities are not implementing them. In future the Committee would like SRSA to tell the Committee what the municipalities have done.

Ms S Luthuli (EFF, Kwa-Zulu Natal) said she comes from KZN and most of their schools do not have any sports fields. That problem should be zoomed into, especially since the department's vision is that of an 'active and winning nation'. Sport should be started from a young age, so this is quite concerning.

Ms N Ndongeni (ANC, Eastern Cape) sought clarity on the MIG funding in municipalities. She asked if the departments monitor that money. In her constituency, there are no sports fields – even in town. In rural areas, they have land, but there are no facilities being developed. In town, in Libode, they have land but they do not have anything. What is SRSA doing about municipalities not signing MOUs? Are there any consequences?

The Chairperson explained that the Committee visited Van Wyksdorp in the Garden Route region. They visited their sports ground. When they arrived there, they noticed that the funding used for the development of the sports ground did not coincide with what the Committee witnessed. There was also money allocated to the upgrading of that facility, however the municipal manager did not know about that grant. Even the community did not know there was a grant allocated for that. Also, 32 families are using two toilets. There was approximately R1 million allocated to that sports ground. The Committee will draw up a report with recommendations to SRSA on how to sort this out. There was also a concern about libraries in that town.

Department Response
Ms Khan clarified that the Municipal Infrastructure Grant caters for many things within the municipality. If one looks at Sports and Recreation, there is a ‘P’ component of the MIG that caters for community services. Of that ‘P’ component, there is a small percentage that is allocated to sport and recreation facilities. So in total, if one looks at this ‘P’ component allocated to sport and recreation facility infrastructure, it amounts to approximately R2 billion. All of that money is shared amongst the municipalities. MIG is managed by the Department of Cooperate Governance of Traditional Affairs (COGTA). So the money is not managed by Sports and Recreation. There is a grant framework and in that framework there is an indication of what percentage should go to sports facilities. SRSA has to monitor that funding. Its role as SRSA is to monitor. The municipal manager could have asked for a deviation. The Division of Revenue Act (DORA) allows one to make deviations and to get permission for that to be done. SRSA does not have full control of how that funding is utilized or whether it is deviated to other key priorities that municipalities may think are greater priorities.

Prior to MIG, SRSA was allocated a grant called Building for Sport and Recreation Grant (BSRG) which was taken away and put into a consolidated fund which became the MIG. However, it was never ring-fenced. So there has been a constant battle by SRSA to say that the money that was taken from sport and consolidated into MIG has not been ring-fenced – to the extent that in 2016 SRSA started further aggressive engagements with the National Treasury. SRSA presented a document to National Treasury showcasing what the problems are and what effects it is having on the delivery of sport. SRSA requested that Treasury give them the R2 billion back. Even if Treasury does not give them the full R2 billion, at least give them R1 billion or a little at a time. This way Treasury can see how SRSA performs; and if SRSA does well, then Treasury can the increase the amount of money.

SRSA came to a compromise in 2016, where National Treasury gave SRSA R300 million from the MIG. SRSA was given an instruction on where that money must go and then SRSA would give it to the municipalities. SRSA had to ensure that the sports facilities were built. With that funding, SRSA was able to build their own human resources capacity to allow SRSA to do the monitoring and ensure that those projects are happening. So from 2016, each year 30 facilities were delivered from that R300 million. However, it is important to note that there is still the remainder from the R2 billion that is still inside the municipality - from which the municipalities are obliged to build sports facilities with that funding. Therefore, while there are facilities that SRSA has built and monitored, there is still a whole lot municipalities do not use for sport facilities.

Ms Khan explained that SRSA can give the Committee a report at the next meeting of how they identify the facilities, where they are built and what the challenges are that come with them. It should be noted that procurement processes obviously take a longer time. It also takes a long time for project management units to be appointed. But at least the situation is better than what it was previously.

The MIG excludes the metros and bigger municipalities. Mainly the district and local municipalities benefit from MIG funding. Metro and bigger municipalities get an Urban Settlements Development Grant, which is something completely different. So at all times, SRSA has a quarterly meeting with COGTA. There are challenges to it.

SRSA has a small staff, but they have a process of allocating staff to different provinces that go out and do monitoring of projects, manage them and provide reports where there are challenges. Then SRSA intervenes.

Sometimes COGTA is not aware of the realities of the grant. For example, in the Northern Cape, there is land owned by the Department of Arts and Culture – it is a government entity that is used as a youth and cultural centre. However, that facility can become a precinct for Arts, Culture and Sports. When SRSA suggested that the municipality build a sports facility on that piece of land, the municipality said that it is not municipal land – it belongs to the provincial government. While that may be the case, she believes that there can be a MOU between the two spheres of government stating they may build on that land. It can be done.

Lastly, municipalities are not looking at the bigger picture. For example, there is a community in the Western Cape which has a piece of land where the municipality is saying that a facility must be built. On one side of the road, there is a former white community and on the opposite side of the road there is a former black community. SRSA would like the facility to be on the side of the former white community so that both communities can work together in the spirit of social cohesion and nation building. However, the municipality says that in terms of the MIG, they can only build in poorer municipalities. She believes that the municipalities do not look at the bigger picture. Yes, there are rules in place; however there can be exceptions if they are well motivated.

These are all the challenges that SRSA faces in building sports facilities.

The Chairperson interjected and asked who would say no to a sporting facility. He believes that there is definitely more to this challenge than meets the eye. Perhaps the Committee should include the National Assembly Committee as well as the provincial legislature.

Ms Khan explained that it is due to the MIG funding having so many conditions. She thinks that with the small amount that is allocated to SRSA, there are facilities that have been delivered. SRSA would like to present in another meeting where these facilities have been built and what type of facilities they have built. SRSA has lots of instruments, norms and standards as well as categorization of facilities in place to ensure that municipalities are delivering the appropriate type of facilities for communities. For example, if it is a community of 6000 people, municipalities cannot spend R30 million on the project for that number of people as the maintenance costs will be exorbitant. There are lot of municipalities that do not have a budget for maintenance costs.

In the area of school sport, the Ministers of Sports and Education signed an MOU to collaborate in delivering school sport. There are very clear responsibilities on which areas of school sport are delivered by Education. The responsibility of the Department of Education lies within the interschool and intra school competitions, while the responsibility of SRSA lies with district and provincial competitions. In the SRSA conditional grant and in some of their indicators, they are very clear as to what should be provided in terms of equipment, attire and the training of educators. The national championships are held during three seasons of the year: autumn championships, winter championship and summer championships.

SRSA is aware that there is a challenge with physical education which is the responsibility of the Department of Education as it is curricular education. SRSA is aware that schools are expected to deliver on weekly leagues so that young children are provided with sporting opportunities. MOUs are signed between the Provincial Departments of Education and SRSA on how school sport is run.

SRSA has very limited funding, but they try to provide schools with multipurpose sports courts – about ten per year. These courts cater for five different codes of sport. They are longwearing facilities and the maintenance is at a minimum. They also try to get private sector funding to ensure they also assist. When a school benefits from a multipurpose sports court, they have to sign an agreement to allow other schools to use the facility and to make the facility accessible to communities.

Ms Khan noted the concerns raised by Members about Van Wyksdorp and ensuring that facilities also service communities. When their Facilities unit is in the area, they will ask them to engage with the municipality on that as well. SRSA will await the Committee Report on the Southern Cape Oversight Visit so they can see how they can address concerns that may pertain to it. The Department also takes seriously the comment about its non-performance in the outdoor gyms. They are making a concerted effort in 2019/20 to see how they can ensure that where they have not achieved last year, they can try to make up for that. They understand that it is crucial to address the issues raised by Members.

Mr Manase Makwela, Acting Deputy Director General: Strategic Support, clarified the George High School concern. SRSA is aware that it is a sports focused school. The school was verified in 2014. He thinks that the deterioration is mainly due to the monitoring. There are sports-focused schools that have athletes in them, and ones that do not have athletes. George High falls under the schools that do not have athletes. One would find that their monitoring would be more on the provincial side – just checking that they are still in good condition. One will find that there is more focus on schools that have athletes, than schools that do not have athletes. The way to move forward would be to close that gap. SRSA will involve the province to overcome this issue.

Ms Khan responded to Ms Gillion’s question on budgeting by provinces. Again, it comes down to the constitutional competence. Sport is a provincial, local and national competence. So provinces can do their own budgeting and strategic plan as they are a promulgated department in the province. The Provincial Department of Sports would have a budget allocation from the equitable share in that province, not from SRSA. When SRSA motivates for a conditional grant, it is based on three priorities within government as a whole that SRSA needs to deliver on. Hence, the conditional grant given to SRSA has been allocated to the provinces. However, an observation by SRSA is that because the provinces get the SRSA conditional grant, the provincial sports department get less money from the equitable share – to the extent that some only get money from the equitable share for compensation of employees and some of their administration. They do not get money for running programmes. They are completely reliant on the conditional grant. Therefore in terms of the equitable share, it is the province and the provincial treasury who decides on that. SRSA has a conditional grant framework and it is very prescriptive. They have a national sport and recreation plan but they do not have enough funding as a national department to deliver on that plan. In the conditional grant framework, SRSA has indicated how it wants the money spent so that it can deliver on the national sport and recreation plan. It is not always palatable to the provinces, but it is the only way that SRSA can deliver on common objectives.

Ms Khan replied to Ms Luthuli about Kwa-Zulu Natal saying that it is one of the better resourced provinces. KZN is the only province that has a separate department of sport and recreation. The other provinces have a department of sport, arts and culture – whereas KZN has two separate departments with their own budget votes. This makes KZN the more resourced province in terms of Sports and Recreation. She is speaking from a point of knowledge as she had been the KZN Head of Department.

The Chairperson suggested that perhaps the Committee needs to get the legislation from the Fifth Parliament to check what can be improved.

Ms Gillion expressed her dissatisfaction with SRSA’s response about George High. Her plea to SRSA is that they know where we come from as country and where we want to go. SRSA cannot have a nonchalant attitude when it comes to project implementation. She urged SRSA to go to the school and speak to school management and see how the department can assist. If the country really wants to produce better sportsmen and sportswomen, this needs to be taken seriously. Promises were made to that school, but were not upheld. There are not a lot of those opportunities for the previously disadvantaged.

The Chairperson noted the unsigned MOUs and suggested that SRSA should put more pressure on those responsible to ensure they do what they are supposed to do.

Ms Khan thanked Chairperson and said that they have noted everything that the Committee indicated needs to be worked on.

The Chairperson noted that he received an apology from the Minster about attending the meeting.

The meeting was adjourned.
 

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