SA Sports Commission; Boxing Bill; Sports Commission Amd Bill: briefing by Minister

Sports, Arts and Culture

06 March 2001
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


6 March 2001

Chairperson: Ms Bhengu (ANC)

Documents Handed Out:
South African Boxing Bill [B13-2001] includes Explanatory Memo on Objects
SA Sports Commission Amendment Bill [B2-2001]
Memo on Objects of the SA Sports Commission Amendment Bill
SA Sports Commission Briefing Paper
Briefing Memo on changes to previous SA Boxing Bill (if needed, email

The Minister briefed the Committee on the Boxing Bill and the Sports Commission Amendment Bill. Mr Phala briefed the Committee on the SA Sports Commission Development Programme.

The Boxing Bill no longer mixes national and provincial interests but now deals solely with national interests. Another Bill will address provincial interests later. The Bill will create a management structure to be known as "Boxing SA".

In terms of the SA Sports Commission Amendment Bill, the Commission is to be composed of twelve part-time members, serving a maximum of two consecutive three year terms. The Minister agreed section 14 gives too broad a power to the Minister in the approval of the Commission Chairperson and asked that consideration of the Bill be postponed until all necessary changes had been made.

Minister Balfour said sport adds value to society and is a uniting force in the country that all people and parties agree on. He also commended the South African Sports Commission (SASC), under the leadership of Joe Phala, on the recent Indigenous Games and noted that such events contribute to the feeling that South Africa is "arriving" in terms of sport. He also noted his hope that South Africa would soon be advancing its sporting achievements to same level as Australia, Germany, and Cuba.

Briefing on SA Boxing Bill
The Minister opened his presentation by noting that last year's version of this Bill had been identified as "mixed Constitution Sections 75 and 76" legislation, affecting both national and provincial interests, and had therefore been withdrawn for revision. He also commented that the media had "misrepresented" this prior version as "unconstitutional " per se, when in fact it was merely "mixed" and thus could not be processed within the prescribed constitutional procedures. He called this another example of "the incredible reporting in this country."

Minister Balfour continued by noting that the revised Bill now up for consideration deals solely with national interests, and that one dealing with provincial interests would be addressed later. He then noted that the current legislation governing boxing dates from 1954 and that new legislation consistent with the Constitution (ie allowing women to box under safe conditions, and to otherwise participate in the administration of the sport) was essential. He also observed that the process of drafting the new legislation had been open to public input, with extensive hearings and solicitation of stakeholder comment.

In reviewing the Briefing Memo summarising the format changes to the prior proposal, the Minister stated that the Act will be supplemented by regulations to be developed with stakeholder input, including concerning broadcasting issues, which the legislative text does not address. In his overview of the Bill's technical revisions, he noted his hope that there would eventually be a central "Sports House" for the headquarters of all sports federations, including boxing. He also focused on the benefits of the Bill's creation of a "manageable, impartial management structure" (a commission to be known as "Boxing SA"), which would consist of a maximum of seven part-time members, as opposed to the 108 from all provinces under the current system. He also drew attention to the benefits of the provision prescribing that disputes be referred to arbitration, and not the courts.

Briefing on SA Sports Commission Amendment Bill
The Minister opened this presentation by confirming there was no briefing memo on the legislation. In reviewing the technical revisions in the latest version of this Bill, he first noted that Section 2 provides that the Commission is to function under the Minister's "authority", rather than "guidance", but observed that "authority" is not tantamout to "dictatorship." The Commission is to be composed, for reasons of efficiency and cost containment, of twelve part-time members (in contrast to the current 30), serving a maximum of two consecutive three year terms. Six of these members are to be appointed by the Minister, in accordance with the "representivity criteria" specified in the Bill.

In reviewing Section 14 concerning Ministerial approval of the Commission Chairperson, the question was raised as to whether this power was too broad. The Minister agreed it was, indicating he thought this provision had already been altered, and therefore asked that consideration of the Bill be postponed so that he could meet with his advisors to ensure all necessary changes had been made. After a brief discussion it was decided that the briefing of the Committee will resume on 9 March, which will allow the Bill to be discussed on 27 March, the intention being to track it together with the SA Boxing Bill.

Briefing on the SASC Development Program
Mr Phala, CEO of the SASC, briefly reviewed the SASC Briefing Paper. He prefaced his comments by noting that the recent Indigenous Games had been a success, and a good example of the kind of project the SASC is working on. He observed the SASC is working with 70% of its predecessor organisations' staffs and 30% of their budgets. This makes its efforts more difficult. SASC is pursuing its "strategic thrusts" in order to realise its vision of "leading South Africa to world class sporting excellence by improving opportunities for all South Africans to participate in sports and recreation". This is partly achieved by identifying sports on which to focus resources and developing infrastructure where none exists, partly by cultivating various partnerships. At the same time, efforts are being made to accelerate the training of coaches and managers to internationally acceptable standards.

Identify talented athletes
· Provide access to scientific support, training, and life skills development, coaching as well as ensuring a supportive social environment
· Ensure that accessible facilities, club infrastructure and competition structures exist and are managed.
· To provide information, financial and logistical resources for the development of athletes.

1 Identify talented athletes.
· Establish performance pathways, talent identification tools and plans.
and train talent scouts and coaches per province
· Form partnerships with identified priority sports, and develop networks with relevant agencies to identify talent.
· Map talent spread prioritising interventions.
2. Provide access to scientific support, training, life skills development services, coaching as well as ensuring a supportive social environment.
· To establish partnerships and networks with relevant stakeholders in the areas of scientific support, training, coaching, life skills development and social support.
· To increase the number of athletes with access to scientific support, training, coaching, life skills development and maintain a database of athletes.
· Establish and resource sports academies to provide the services.
· Monitor the services provided to athletes and the environment in which they live.
3.Ensure that accessible facilities, club infrastructure and competition structures are professionalIy managed.
· Identify and collate facility, club & comp structure needs and develop a facility provision plan.
· Establish partnerships and networks with relevant stakeholders in order to ensure athletes access to competition and clubs. Develop and provide tools and training to ensure that facilities, clubs and competition structures are professionally run and managed.
· Monitor progress in structures are professionally run measures and necessary.
terms of whether accessible and provide corrective interventions where
4.To provide information, financial and logistical resources for the development of athletes.
· Identify priority sports to which the country's resources will be focused, monitor their progress and intervene where necessary
· Acquire, manage and disseminate sports and recreation information to create a knowledge base.
· Create partnerships to facilitate the availability of financial and logistical
resources through sponsorship, government and lotto.
· To provide financial support through and athlete assistance programme.

The Chairperson opened the comments by suggesting the Committee discuss this Bill (along with the SA Sports Commission Amendment Bill) on 27 and 28 March, if necessary, and vote on it no later than 30 March.

(Q) Mr Ferreira (IFP) then asked if the Minister is satisfied stakeholders will accept section 9 of the Bill that Boxing SA members will be appointed exclusively by the Minister.

(A) In reply the Minister noted that stakeholder input will certainly be taken into consideration in the exercise of his discretion.

(Q) Along these lines, Mr Swart (DA) asked whether, in the interests of democracy, requirement of such consultation with stakeholders should be included in the Bill's text.

(A) The Minister responded that it will be included in the regulations.

(Q) Mr Ncinane (ANC) asked whether the Bill provides adequate protection for retired boxers, and how Boxing SA would deal with international structures.

(A) The Minister noted that additional measures must be taken to look after the interests of older boxers, and that international sanctioning bodies would be made aware that Boxing SA will control the sport in this country.


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