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SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
17 February 2004
MINISTERIAL BRIEFING; MINUTES AND STUDY TOUR REPORTS: ADOPTION
Documents handed out:
Media release statement: A Commitment by South African Sport
Sport and Recreation activities for the 10th year of democracy celebrations
Minister Ngconde Balfour briefed the Committee on recent developments in sport; current problems in various sporting codes and the importance of good s management structures in various federations. He informed the Committee about his meeting with twelve national sports federations and his role within South African sport management. He spoke about South Africa's bid to host the 2010 FIFA soccer world cup but thought the disappointing performance of the national soccer team at the recent African Nations Cup Final would not influence the bid. The Minister touched on management issues in rugby and cricket, the establishment of a national sports academy to nurture sporting talent, nation-wide mass participation in four sports codes and the future of sport at school level.
The Committee decided to leave the adoption of the minutes and the study tour reports until the following Committee meeting.
Minister Ngconde Balfour said that very small sport issues were sometimes inflated by the media, creating a belief that sport in South Africa was falling apart. However, there were administrative challenges that needed to be addressed as soon as possible. Good sports management translated into good sporting performances on the field of play.
The Minister informed the Committee about a meeting that he had with twelve priority sports federations on 12 February 2004 that included the National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA), the Disabled Sports Association, rugby, cricket, football, athletics, swimming, netball, tennis, cycling, basketball, professional and amateur boxing, and hockey. At this meeting, each federation was asked about problems and suggested solutions regarding performance, management and organisation. Suggestions included the building of capacity among sports administrators through workshops and the use of business expertise to assist them in applying business principles; the need for a peer review mechanism whereby different sports federations could develop proper codes of conduct for sports administrators. There should also be a mechanism whereby the Minister of Sport could intervene to resolve disputes or call for mediation within sports federations while respecting international sports federation protocols. After the discussion, a statement of commitment was released.
The Minister said that South Africa's bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals were still on track. South Africa's bid should not only be judged by the performance of the national soccer team at the recent African Cup of Nations. The team's poor performance was a reflection of poor administration and did not mean that SA would not win the 2010 bid. The Minister was going to meet with the SA Football Association (SAFA) about its administrative and organisational issues. He reiterated that he did not have powers to dismiss anyone in sports federations, but that legislation was needed to allow the Minister to intervene and mediate in disputes.
The Minister explained that rugby had two structures, namely, Rugby Pty (Ltd) and the executive of the SA Rugby Football Union (SARFU). The elected executive of SARFU were the sole custodians- of rugby and not the company that commercialised the brand. The president of SARFU, Mr B van Rooyen, was the chairperson of Rugby Pty (Ltd), but had relinquished the position when he was elected president of SARFU. The Minister supported that decision.
The Minister said that cricket was doing very well, but the franchise system in cricket had a number of challenges, as Griqualand West and Free State were not agreeing with the franchise system. The provincial MECs would deal with the issue in both areas.
The Minister said that the restructuring of sport was continuing both on commercial and amateur levels. He was extremely pleased that funding has been made available for the National Sports Academy to train more sportspeople. Centralised facilities would be used, nine sports would be accommodated and pilot projects would be in place by June 2004. Youngsters at the academy would be given bursaries and be nurtured for different sports.
A mass participation sport programme for young people would be launched around the country, concentrating on athletics, basketball, gymnastics and indigenous games. The Minister said that there was funding for LoveLife, a programme of sport at schools, that would culminate in a national school sport games.
The Minister finally read through the sport and recreation activities for the 10th year of democracy celebrations (See document attached).
Mr E Lucas (IFP) expressed pleasure that the administrative capacities of sports federations would be improved.
Mr S Simmons (NNP) was especially glad to hear that the National Academy, mass participation and the school sports would get attention.
The Minister reiterated the need to find solutions - the time had come for sport to be played on the field and not in the boardroom.
The Acting Chairperson announced that the adoption of minutes and the study tour report would be dealt with in the next meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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