loveLife; Netball SA World Cup journey & 2023 World Cup in SA

Sports, Arts and Culture

12 November 2019
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was briefed by LoveLife on their projects as well their role in promoting sport and recreation, and healthy lifestyle and its 2018 financial report. The loveLife programme focuses on four impact areas:
• The development of holistic athletes
• Provision of safe spaces for young people to engage in active recreation and hone natural talent
• Use sport and recreation to foster social cohesion in the communities where we work
• Reduced risk for non-communicable diseases among young people through increased physical activity.

This is deterring youth inactivity, obesity, tobacco consumption, drug and alcohol abuse. School sport, national youth camps, and community sport/active recreation are loveLife deliverables in relation to the Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) strategy. Through its nation-wide footprint, loveLife assists the department to take its programmes and initiatives down to community level. The partnership allows 219 young people a year to give back to their community while at the same time gain skills that increase their employability. Young lives are changed for the better every day as GroundBreakers teach a message of the combined importance of physical activity and nutrition for a healthy life.

Members appreciated the work loveLife was doing. However, the Committee was disappointed that loveLife did not prepare a report on its 2019 financial performance; they asked about its HIV/AIDS mandate; how it measures the impact of loveLife programmes such as on the drug programme; how they get coaches involved in the Coach for Life programme; for how long a GroundBreaker is involved in the programme and are they involved at all afterwards.

The Committee was briefed by Netball South Africa on their 2019 World Cup journey where it narrowly missed the Bronze Medal but one of its players won Best Player of the Tournament award. Netball SA signed three new sponsors in 2019. South Africa won the bid to host the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town. It outlined its plans for this.

Members of the Committee congratulated Netball South Africa for its exceptional performance. They asked how the hosting of the 2023 Netball World Cup will boost tourism; at what level the new coach of Netball SA is qualified; how the Netball SA President felt about the racism allegations raised against her by AfriForum; what challenges does Netball SA face; how netball is developed in rural areas; clarity on its mentorship programmes; why SAB pulled out as its sponsor; what influence Netball SA has on ticketing; and whether cities other than Cape Town were invited to host the 2023 Netball World Cup.
 

Meeting report

loveLife briefing
Dr Linda Nkomo, Chief Executive Officer: loveLife, thanked the Committee for the invitation and said their head of programmes will take the Committee through the presentation.

Ms Beryl Traore, loveLife Head of Programmes and Operations, noted the four impact areas that the programme contributes to in the long-term:
• The development of holistic athletes
• Provision of safe spaces for young people to engage in active recreation and hone natural talent
• Use sport and recreation to foster social cohesion in the communities where we work
• Reduced risk for non-communicable diseases among young people through increased physical activity.

Issues affecting youth include inactivity, obesity, tobacco consumption, drug and alcohol abuse, hypertension, poor diet, poor access to recreation, drop in social cohesion levels.

Programme package includes:
• Health Programme – love4Life Challenge
• Life Coach Development Programme – Coach4Life
• Recreation Programme – Play4Life Programme
• Nation Building Programmes - Youth Camps
 
loveLife deliverables on the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) strategy:
• School Sport
• National Youth Camps
• Community Sport/Active Recreation: #iChoose2BActive Campaign; The Big Walk; National Recreation Day; Indigenous Games Festival; National Move for Health Day; Sport for Social Change and Development.

The performance numbers were listed that included GroundBreakers, Y centres, recreation leagues, move4Life, sport4Life, coaches4Life trained.

Ms Traore said their future plans and discussions with the Department include:
• Extended scope of work for loveLife to include programmes that speak to Arts and Culture. This could include the loveLife Media Ys programme which teaches young people to be citizen journalists capturing various activities in the community and editing the footage into a complete documentary.
• Incorporate the Department’s Artists in School programme objectives into the Ground Breaker programme offering to strengthen this initiative.

Ms Traore said that loveLife, through its nation-wide footprint, assists the Department to take its programmes and initiatives down to community level. The partnership allows 219 young people a year to give back to their community while at the same time gain skills that increase their employability. Young lives are changed for the better every day as GroundBreakers teach a message of the combined importance of physical activity and nutrition for a healthy life. The partnership helps the nation takes steps towards responding to and ultimately the success of the National Development Plan, the Sport and Recreation Plan, UN Sustainability Goals as well as the 90-90-90 Strategy for the Fight against HIV.

Dr Nkomo said loveLife is funded mainly by two government departments, SRSA and Department of Health. R34.172m was received from SRSA for 2018. The loveLife financial year is Jan-Dec while government fiscal year is April-March. At least 83% of the SRSA grant was spent on programatic activities.

Discussion
The Chairperson complained that loveLife did not bring a report of its financial performance for 2019/20. The report would have given Members an opportunity to interrogate the financial status of the organisation so that Members know how loveLife is spending its money and on what programmes is it focusing on.

Mr C Sibisi (NFP) acknowledged the good work done by loveLife in school sport. The mandate of loveLife in its strategic objectives is to achieve an HIV free generation. But when looking at the statistics almost 50% of young people aged between 15 and 24 have never used condoms. This should be a very big concern for loveLife because definitely loveLife is not achieving its mandate and it is not doing what it is supposed to be doing. He asked what it is that loveLife is doing to stick to its mandate of fighting HIV/AIDS. Is there a system in place that measures the outcomes and impact of loveLife programmes in society?

Ms V van Dyk (DA) noted that black females between the ages of 20 to 34 have an HIV prevalence of 36.1%, and almost a quarter of all new infections occurred in young women between the ages of 15 and 24. She asked why loveLife does not focus on its mandate given the serious crisis of HIV prevalence and lack of safe sex amongst the youth. It is important that loveLife focuses on its mandate.

She was disappointed that loveLife did not present its financial statements because then it is really difficult for the Committee to do oversight. She asked what the total budget loveLife received from Government and external funders. How much of that budget goes to employees? How many employees does it have? She asked for explanation on the training that involved over R25m mentioned in the report. Who is receiving that training?

She asked how loveLife measured its achievement amongst youths on the drug programme, what is the success rate. Is loveLife doing any work on the Cape Flats, and if not, why not?

Mr L Ntshayisa (AIC) welcomed the presentation and asked how they get coaches involved in the Coach4Life programme.

Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) appreciated the presentation from loveLife. He asked how long the lifespan of GroundBreakers is with loveLife. Are there other activities planned for GroundBreakers after their spell at loveLife, such as helping the youth to stay away from drugs? Is loveLife about sport only or is it also involved in music and arts?

Ms V Malomane (ANC) asked where loveLife took its programmes. How many have attended those programmes? What impact do they have on the youth? What leadership programme does loveLife have for the youth? What are its plans for World AIDS Day on 1 December?

Ms N Nkabane (ANC) said loveLife is not visible in rural communities. It must intensify and expand its footprint to make a great impact in rural areas. She asked for an explanation of the figures – why are there fewer numbers of GroundBreakers in Mpumalanga. What was loveLife's financial performance in 2018?

Ms R Adams (ANC) noted the sports projects in the SRSA strategy and asked if there are any timeframes to achieve these projects. Has loveLife considered any other source of funding?

The Chairperson welcomed the good work the organisation is doing. Coaches that are assisting in school sport should also be deployed in rural areas because nothing is happening in rural schools. She asked for a breakdown of what loveLife has done in Buffalo City.

The Chairperson complained about the mismatch in the financial year and that they are still waiting for audited financial statements from loveLife. She asked why the financial year is not the same as government.

Inkosi B Luthuli (IFP) was concerned that loveLife is based in townships only and is not focusing on rural areas.

Responses
Dr Nkomo said the loveLife mandate is to look at youth health promotion in South Africa. And they focus on youth health according to the definition of the World Health Organisation which is physical, mental and social wellbeing. The HIV-Free Generation campaigns were made quite a few years ago. But from where they are sitting as an organisation and a country and even globally, they are all seeing that there is a turnaround in HIV. However, as long as they are continuously getting new infections loveLife will not move away from HIV.

But what they have prepared for in this meeting was really on sports and the Sports Department’s focus of work which loveLife does. The concern is that loveLife come and give a full picture of what it does as an organisation. They needed to focus on the mandate they get from the Department of Sport as opposed to the mandate they get from all the departments that came there, which they would have a larger information. It is suffice to say that with the Department of Health they continue to carry out the messages that relate to HIV. And one of the things that could have been noticed in the last couple of years is that there has been a big focus on 'test and treat' rather than on prevention. And if the Committee follows the proceedings of the most recent National AIDS Conference, one of the resolutions that came out of there is that they need to go back to messaging on prevention, and balance that with test and treat. As an organisation the work they do is defined by what the funder wants because if the funder wants them to focus on sport, they are obliged to do so. And therefore, she will not be able to answer the question of why they are not focusing on arts and culture. Their mandate is on sport and recreation and that is where they are able to answer because it is where they focus.

Dr Nkomo said the evaluation of their programmes is something which is currently underway as they speak. UN AIDS has given them funding to look at the evaluation of their programmes and the impact they have. Unfortunately, when they get funding they do what the funder wants, as already stated. If the funder wants to see numbers that is what it is going to pay for – the funder wants qualitative elements and the staff for monitoring and evaluation.

Dr Nkomo replied about getting funding from other organisations other than government departments that the funding landscape is extremely dry right now. For the better part of the last three years they have been trying to get funding from corporates. The corporates have foundations through which they do their own corporate social responsibility (CSR) work, which amounts to what loveLife does as an organisation. So, it becomes a bit difficult as loveLife is not only competing with other organisations which also do development work, but also competing with the work of foundations of corporations. Therefore, the Committee must help them with those processes and sources of funding.

Dr Nkomo replied that the GroundBreakers leadership development programme involve peer educators because when loveLife implements, they use young people to engage with other young people. They use peer pressure to get young people to engage on issues that matter to them and to engage face to face with peer educators, whether in school or in the community. They also engage via radio, predominately community radio stations, and social media. On Facebook they have 75 000 young people engaging with loveLife, on Twitter 10 000 and on Instagram 3 000 young people engage with them. Therefore, a fair amount of counselling is done through those platforms. A GroundBreaker is a peer educator between the ages of 18 to 24. They receive a stipend and their spell at loveLife is two years because loveLife wants them to grow and get the experience to have the ability to see a bigger world than they were exposed to before they came to the GroundBreaker programme.

Dr Nkomo replied about the lack of visibility, saying that in first years of loveLife there was a lot of visibility for the organisation because they were seen on billboards throughout the country. However, South Africa is no longer seen as a country in which young people are reported to have a high HIV mortality rate, which was what the international funders were concerned about when there were such high HIV mortality rate before. Since they are now treating young people, funders have taken that money to countries that have higher HIV mortality rates than South Africa. Therefore, that is why the visibility of loveLife has declined and they are not seen on billboards. But young people know where to find loveLife through community radio stations and social media.

Dr Nkomo said World Aids Day plans are defined by the funders. The Department of Health will always want loveLife to hold an event. In their youth centres there is always going to be a mini event that will take place, but there will not something huge that will be available in every province.

Dr Nkomo answered about the loveLife financial performance over the last three years. In 2015 loveLife was in financial trouble as one of the government departments cut loveLife funding in the middle of the financial year. They had to use their reserves to continue with their programmes. When that funding was cut, it put them into a crisis which meant they had to close some centres. In the last year they have started stabilising financially.

Dr Nkomo said to her knowledge they never had presence in the Western Cape. They had a youth centre in Khayelitsha, which they took a deliberate decision to close down because it was not safe for young people that were serving in that community. Every week they would hear that there were gun fights which put the lives of their GroundBreakers at risk who were on their way to the youth centre. As much as they needed to do something in that community, loveLife could not put their lives at risk. Safety for their GroundBreakers was their number one priority, which led to the closure of the Khayelitsha youth centre.

The Chairperson thanked loveLife for the presentation and responses. However, the Committee is still awaiting its financial spending report which should come to the Committee before the end of this term.

Dr Nkomo assured the Chairperson that a financial performance report will indeed be given to the Committee before the end of the term.

Netball SA briefing
Ms Cecilia Molokwane, President: Netball South Africa, said this year Netball SA signed three new sponsors with Telkom (as new title sponsor of the netball premier league), Twizza and Puma.

She outlined the World Cup 2019 journey of the SPAR Proteas starting with the announcement of the 12 player squad in May and departure on 26 June with coach Norma Plummer. The SPAR Proteas was in Pool C for preliminary stage 1 and played Trinidad & Tobago (12 July), Fiji (13 July) and Jamaica (14 July). South Africa beating the Jamaican ‘Sunshine Girls’ in a thriller to finish top in Pool C undefeated. The SPAR Proteas was then grouped in Pool G for preliminaries stage 2 and played Scotland, Uganda and England. South Africa suffered their first defeat against the English Vitality Roses, but managed to qualify for the Semi-Finals.
The SPAR Proteas then faced Australia in the Semi-Finals (20 July) and came very close to beating the ‘Diamonds’. South Africa’s last match was against England (21 July) for the Bronze Medal which was narrowly lost. Star player Karla Pretorius still managed to win the coveted Player of the Tournament Award. During the Netball World Cup Award Ceremony, SA officially received the tournament flag to host the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town.

South Africa sent a team to attend the ‘Observers’ workshop for the 2023 Netball World Cup. The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, City of Cape Town, WC Provincial Department of Sports Arts and Culture and the CTICC all sent representatives to observe. NSA then returned home to host and compete in the Africa Netball Cup in Cape Town in October. The SPAR Proteas won the tournament and title of the best team in Africa. NSA will the round out the year with the SPAR Challenge, which will see South Africa take on England in a three match test series with the SA U21 playing against the Zimbabwe U21 team as a curtain raiser each day at the Velodrome in Cape Town from 29 November to 1 December 2019.

Ms Molokwane said that on 7 March 2019, it was announced that South Africa had successfully won the bid to host the 2023 Netball World Cup. South Africa faced fierce competition from New Zealand for the bid. The principal objectives for hosting the World Cup include:
• Host a unique and successful World Cup to raise the profile of netball in South Africa and transform the sport into a fully professional career for women, the first of its kind in Africa.
• Inspire young women to follow their dreams and break through societal norms and traditional roles.
• To bring the Netball World Cup to Africa and South Africa for the first time ever.
• Create social cohesion and infuse the city and nation with netball’s positive values. We will work ith other sporting federations and learn from their experience of hosting World Cup events. The team consists of Netball South Africa, Sport Recreation South Africa, Western Cape Provincial Government and City Of Cape Town.
• Create a legacy programme that improves the level of technical officials, coaches and ultimately players.
• To promote the exchange of information, experience, international understanding and goodwill in netball.

Ms Molokwane said the Cape Town ICC1 will host all matches and ICC2 will host official training and the media centre for the Netball World Cup 2023. The Competition Precinct will host the entire World Cup, reducing hosting costs to make it a sustainable tournament. The NWC2023 will consist of a domestic and international legacy programme as part of the requirements for hosting the Netball World Cup 2023.

Discussion
Ms van Dyk congratulated Netball SA for its exceptional performance. She asked how the hosting of the 2023 Netball World Cup will boost tourism in the country. At what level is the new coach of Netball SA qualified? How does the Netball SA President feel about the racism allegations brought against her by AfriForum?

Mr Madlingozi congratulated Netball SA on its performance. Netball SA must be visible and make social cohesion a reality.

Ms Malomane congratulated Netball SA saying they will support them as a Committee. She asked what their challenges are. How is netball developed in rural areas? What are their mentorship programmes?

Mr A Seabi (ANC) also congratulated Netball SA and its leadership. He asked why South African Breweries (SAB) pulled out as their sponsor. Does Netball SA have any influence to control World Cup ticketing internally so that prices could be lowered for the benefit of ordinary citizens? Have they considered that Cape Town as a venue is expensive for people from rural areas? Did they ask other cities other than Cape Town to host the 2023 Netball World Cup? Have they agreed with the SABC on the broadcasting of this event?

Mr Sibisi congratulated Neball SA for a good performance. However, he was concerned about the cracks between Netball SA and school sport, which is something they should focus on going forward.

The Chairperson said they are all talking with one voice about the excellent performance Netball SA achieved for the country. All of them should be proud of this achievement in Africa.

Responses
Ms Molokwane replied about the boosting of tourism through the 2023 Netball World Cup, saying they have an Inter-Ministerial Committee, which includes the Departments of Tourism, Health, Safety and Security, and five other departments to ensure the tournament is a success.

Ms Molokwane replied about the racism allegations that she would answer as she had recently answered in the media – that if she is racist why did she appoint a white coach? If she is racist, why does she have a white CEO? If she is racist, why does she have a vice-captain who is white? She is never racist, she never preached racism in her life because she does not see colour, she sees talent. She was very shocked that AfriForum is taking her to court. She has not seen any legal documentation about this but she will leave this matter as it is and wait until the court day and see what is going to happen.

Ms Molokwane said every sporting code has challenges, but it is key how one handles those challenges. They have programmes for how they want to do their development. They realised that if they want another Bongi Msomi in netball who hails from Hammansdal in KZN, they have to ensure they go down to Hammansdal in KZN to find another Bongi. They will not go anywhere with development if they focus only on the elite of this country. What Netball SA was doing in previous years before they were elected and came in was focusing only on the elite. There was a tournament in Netball SA which was only for provincial teams. They had a premier league for provincial teams and a Netball SA tournament for provincial teams. That is when they came with the #Taking netball to South Africa where netball should start playing in districts. That is why this year they had the biggest tournament ever in netball of more than 1 400 players playing in one tournament, held at Wits University in Johannesburg. They are only two years in office and they have done so much for Netball SA. Netball SA needs the support and encouragement of the country to take it forward.

Ms Molokwane replied that they have mentorship programmes and they are making sure that they are working closely with SASCOC especially when it came to coaching. And for the umpires they also ensure they have mentorship courses. If one is an umpire or an international umpire they want pick up a black umpire because all of their international umpires are white. They try everything in their power to ensure that they empower people not only those that were disadvantaged but also those that were advantaged because this is the country of opportunities.

Ms Molokwane replied about the SAB pull-out, that they had a contract with South African Breweries (SAB) which came to an end. After it came to an end, the new owners who had bought SAB indicated that they were not interested in funding sport. That is how they left and Telkom came on board.

Ms Molokwane replied about ticketing that they are trying by all means to influence pricing of tickets. Originally, a match ticket was 60 pounds and they are trying to reduce that to match the currency of the country.

Ms Molokwane replied about radio versus TV that Netball SA is a non-profit organisation. It gets money from sponsors and a bit of a grant from the Department of Sport and Recreation. Its budget allocation is R1.2m a year. They depend on corporates like SuperSport to give them money so that they can run the organisation. Currently, they do not have radio, but they will negotiate with the SABC because they want people of South Africa to be able to know netball is there. So, whatever agreement SABC has with football, it should also have that agreement with Netball SA.

Ms Molokwane said Cape Town is the host city. They had asked eThekwini, Johannesburg and the City of Tswane which declined them. They had Buffalo City but it did not have money and no facility that could host the World Cup. Cape Town was the only city that invited them to host the 2023 Netball World Cup. They gave everybody an opportunity to host, but only Cape Town was willing to host the 2023 Netball World Cup.

Ms Molokwane said about school sports that they do not want netball to be only for certain people and therefore they are working with schools, which is a long process. They are trying to show the mother body that this is not how things are done, but this is how things should be done. This year they have taken their own Netball SA selectors to be part of the selection of the national school teams because if one wants to be adopted by Netball SA the rules have to be the same. They are trying to get into schools so that schools understand what they want as Netball SA, and for the schools to align with Netball SA. It should be remembered change is not easy, if people are used to doing things a certain way it is not easy for them to change. But they should be given time to understand why change is important.

Ms Blanche De La Guerre, CEO: Netball SA, said when one is popular and one brings changes, it is inevitable that one will be criticised. The allegations of racism levelled against the Netball SA President is a very serious allegation. She works closely with the president and the first thing she said to the president was that the issue must not get her down and she must not let it change her in her leadership capabilities.

The Chairperson thanked Netball SA for the presentation and responses. She hoped that South Africa will host one of the biggest Netball World Cup as it has done before in rugby and soccer. The meeting was adjourned.
 

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