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SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
1 June 2004
STRATEGIC PLAN AND BUDGET: SRSA BRIEFING
Chairperson: Ms N Ntshulana-Bhengu
Documents handed out:
SRSA Strategic Plan and Budget Presentation
Sport and Recreation South Africa Strategic Plan 2004-2007 Report
Vote 20 - SRSA - Estimates of National Expenditure
A delegation from Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) briefed the Committee on the Department's Strategic Plan and Budget Vote. The Department presented its objectives and priorities, a major one of which was to raise the level of public participation in recreational activities. The Mass Participation Project (MPP), the School Sport Programme and the National Academy were new initiatives that would be launched by SRSA to develop young people and community involvement in the construction and upgrading of sports facilities and sports activities.
The delegation included Professor D Hendricks, Ms E Cloete, Mr G Boshoff, Ms R Horn, Mr F Sipamla, Ms K Mkhonto-Pascal, Mr S Pango and Mr G Fredericks.
The School Sport Programme entailed delivering a sports programme to learners within the school curriculum. The Programme included HIV/AIDS awareness programmes in schools and the 10th Year of Democracy Celebration sporting activities. R4.9 million had been made available for that programme.
One of the priorities identified by the President in his State of the Nation Address was to "eradicate poverty and underdevelopment and enhancing the process of social cohesion". Therefore, the main objective for the development of the MPP was to create an impact on anti social behaviour in communities. The target group would be young people in poor communities, women and the disabled and the Programme would include skills training in sporting activities such as aerobics, gymnastics and big walks. R20 million was received from the National Treasury.
The establishment of the National Academy was endorsed by Cabinet and R10 million was received from National Treasury. The National Academy is responsible for the administering of preparations for the Paralympic and the Olympic Games such as providing accommodation, sports nutrition and physiotherapy.
An important concern that was raised in the meeting was the theory versus practice phenomena where the Chair and other Committee members wanted those priorities and objectives of SRSA and their initiatives to take flight and not only be reduced to theoretical content.
Mr T Lee (DA) asked when the proposed legislation programme would be implemented. Mr Boshoff replied that all that information was contained in the Strategic Plan Report (2004-2007).
The National Treasury had allocated R10 million to the National Academy, of which R4 million was utilised for Olympic preparations, and over R3 million to Paralympic preparations. Lee asked what would happen to the rest of the money.
Mr Boshoff said that the R2.4 million would be used to fund the Commonwealth Youth Games and to kickstart the School Sport Programme.
Mr Lee also asked if it was possible to spend all the money allocated in one financial year because an estimated R6 million had not yet been spent.
Hendricks replied that positions were being filled on a contract basis in the Department to avoid redundant posts when the merger between the Department and the Sports Commission took place. That was one reason why all the money had not been spent.
The Chair spoke of her past experience where Bills were presented at that meeting but as the year progressed, those Bills would just disappeared. She wanted to know what had happened to those Bills.
Mr Boshoff explained that some bills became unnecessary to process. Mr Hendricks suggested Chair that Mr Boshoff should provide her with a report that explained why and what bills had 'evaporated'.
Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) asked what had had happened to those funds received at development tournaments. He s referred to the development of golf tournaments and said he had not seen any development at the Soweto Country Club.
Mr Hendricks said that the National Treasury had not approved golf facilities as part of the SRSA Budget. The Sports Trust that dealt with the development of all sports, was responsible for the Million Dollar Golf Tournament.
The Chair said he did not only want to hear what amounts had been allocated, but also a follow-up on in which areas programmes and facilities were being implemented and constructed.
Mr Mlangeni asked why contractors had to start jobs with their own money. He was referring to own community projects such as the Mass Participation Project to be launched in July. Mr Hendricks confirmed that contractors received a payment upfront to start the project.
The Chair asked if there was a solution to the problem where the completion of projects were taking longer than expected.
Mr B Zulu (ANC) asked on what grounds volunteers would be selected for the Community Mass Participation Programme.
Mr Mkhonto-Pascal said that sports federations were involved in selecting the volunteers and that a normal screening process would take place. Preference would be given to applicants already involved in sports.
Mr Zulu asked whether the HIV/AIDS awareness programme, contained in the School Sport Programme, would extend to outside the school grounds.
Mr Fredericks said that there was unfortunately a limited reach. The coaches, teams and sporting managers would have to take the message back into communities.
Mr Zulu also asked what was meant by the term 'indigenous games'. Ms Mkhonto-Pascal responded that those were the community games prevalent in the nine provinces. Some of the community games had already been showcased in other African countries.
Mr C Frolick (ANC) asked if there was a more effective way of receiving feedback on the progress of sport programmes and upgrading of facilities than having study tours. Mr Hendricks said that research had to be done on that.
Mr Frolick also asked what mechanism the Department had to ensure that there was development of sports at grassroot levels.
Mr Hendricks replied that a number of programmes had been developed with the common aim of getting youth involved in sports. It had been decided that Upington would be the launch point, where President Mbeki had identified on his visit that the community needed upliftment and inspiration, particularly the youth.
Mr Mlangeni thought that places should first be visited so that feedback on the development in those areas could be included in the Department's Budget.
The Chair asked why the Department had not accepted help from NGOs, rather than recruiting volunteers who would each receive a stipend. She asked the Department to justify that expenditure.
Mr Fredericks replied that NGOs were not "free". The Department had spoken to the provinces to provide personnel, but their staff were already engaged in the running of other projects.
Mr Mlangeni was very passionate about the suggestion that members contribute to the upliftment of sports in schools by donating money.
The Chair commented that she had not seen any programme in the presentation about places of safety or sports facilities for street children. She also felt that the sporting component had been innovative but the recreational programmes had taken a back seat.
The meeting was adjourned.
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