Department Strategic Plan and Budget: briefing

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Meeting report


4 June 2004

Chairperson: Ms N Ntshulana -Bhengu (ANC)

Documents handed out:
South African Sports Commission submission

The following five presentations were delivered followed by question and answer sessions: Disability Sport South Africa (DISSA), United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA), Gymnastics South Africa, SA Sports Commission (SASC) and the Department of Sport and Recreation. The latter reported that between 30 and 40 SA cents were spent on sport per school learner annually. All presentations, except for the SASC, were verbal presentations without accompanying documentation.

Disability Sport South Africa submission
Mr P Goldhart (Disability Sport South Africa President) made the following comments in his presentation. Due to lack of funding for administration, DISSA had to retrench two of its managers, which led to reduced performance. A slight surplus will be shown in the outgoing financial year due to grants from the National Lottery Fund.

An increased need exist for research and development. This would assist more accurate analysis of membership statistics and the demographics of disabled persons. One of the research outcomes should be drawing up a national database of disabled sportspersons. Mr Goldhart requested the assistance of the Department in drawing up this database. He also made an appeal that disabled sportspersons be included in the Schools Sports Mass Participation Project and other programmes of a similar nature.

Mr B Van Der Spuy (South African Sports Commission) requested that more sports technology be made available to disabled sports persons. He also suggested that DISSA become more involved in setting strategic directives with the Department.

The Chairperson commented that during study tours and provincial visits in 2003, the Committee observed that many sports facilities were not user-friendly to disabled sportspersons or spectators, neither were disaster protocols sensitive to their needs. She urged the Department and DISSA to find ways to improve the accessibility of these facilities and suggested that a disabled person be included on the Tender Committee that award contracts for the building of facilities.

The chairperson urged the Department to see that special schools sports be brought into the main sports programme and that these schools be made user-friendly for disabled persons. She said that sports broadcasting were discriminatory as it did not cater for the deaf.

Mr Goldhart said that most of the new facilities were friendly to disabled persons, but that it was the old facilities that did not comply. DISSA had entered into a four-year contract with SABC Sport for the promotion of live broadcasts of disabled sports.

Mrs A Cowley (Vice Chairperson - DISSA) was concerned that public transport was ill-equipped to cater for disabled persons and that this made it extremely difficult for disabled persons to get to sporting and other events. A meeting will have to be set up with the Department of Transport to deal with this issue. She suggested that big screens be used at events to accommodate the deaf.

A Member said that it was important that the Safety and Sports Stadiums Bill should take into account all concerns raised.

The Chairperson said that more discussions were needed amongst all the role players in addressing these challenges.

An ANC Member appealed to all role players to work towards meeting the needs of FIFA now that we have won the World Cup Bid. He asked the Department to ensure that our sports fields, facilities and sportspersons were in top form at the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The Chairperson asked how fees charged by municipalities for usage of sporting facilities impacted on the accessibility of these venues. Ms Cowley responded that fees formed part of the problem of accessibility as many local clubs cannot afford them.

USSASA submission and discussion
Dr Nkosi dealt with the following issues in his presentation: the School Sports Programme, the Mass Participation Project, Building for Sports Programme, Love Life Games and the issue of duplication. He stressed that funds for sport in South Africa were not enough.

He asked why the Development Programme was discontinued since the previous financial year and why, since all sport federations received allocations for personnel expenses, USSASA was excluded from receiving these allocations. He also asked why sports codes such as rugby, football and cricket were receiving more funds when they are already well funded, instead of funding sports that were previously excluded. He urged the Department to ensure that excluded sport codes be brought into the main sport programme.

Mr G Fredericks (Senior Manager for Funding Policy: Department of Sport and Recreation) responded that the Development Programme had not been discontinued. It was only the allocations that were reduced as the funding was only meant to be a kick-start. The expectation was that the structures would carry the process forward.

He further explained that USSASA received R200 000, which was more than what most federations received. As USSASA was a national federation it was expected that they generate funds from membership fees and not only from the Department. The Department allocations should only be seen as subsidies.

Mr Fredericks urged USSASA to look at restructuring, as it was too big and costly to run. Allocations from the Department were meant to reach the children and not be tied up in administrative activities.

Mr Fredericks further responded that it was the aim of the Department to promote and develop all sport codes including golf, but that not enough funds were available to do so at local level. He commented that provincial budget allocations for sport were far too little and that this needed to be addressed.

The Chairperson asked what the federations were expected to do with allocated funds.

A Department spokesperson urged that the role of USSASA be defined and that the body look at better ways of restructuring itself as this impacts on its budget allocations.

A Member asked whether funds that were earmarked for school sports get sent to the school principal or to a body like USSASA. He commented that in two schools in Soweto golf was being coached by teachers voluntarily and asked whether USSASA or the Sports Trust co-ordinated this.

Dr Nkosi responded that golf was a new sport code that was going to be introduced into schools soon and that some teachers at the two schools in Soweto most probably had a particular interest in the sport.

On the question of the role of USSASA, Dr Nkosi responded that the body has always dealt with competitive school sports with the assistance of its volunteers and that if the department wanted to take responsibility it would have to fund 14 million learners in 30 000 schools.

Mr C Frollick (ANC) said that certain issues, such as the structure of USSASA, needs to be sorted out between the Department and the federation. He cautioned that it would be foolish for the Department to discard such a large number of volunteers, but questioned whether USSASA was the right body to deal with school sports. He questioned whether USSASA were promoting a single-coded or a multi-coded system. He was also concerned about the low and reduced involvement of teachers in school sports and suggested that teacher unions be requested to promote teacher involvement in school sports.

Mr Fredericks commented that Model C schools did not form part of USSASA. He urged that one body be tasked with development of school sports.

A Department spokesperson said that the relationship between USSASA and the Department was not what it should be and that a gathering of minds was needed to determine the way forward so that the same discussions do not have to be entered into at next year's budget vote briefing.

Dr Nkosi expressed concern at some issues raised by the Department, as these issues were never brought to USSASA's attention. He requested that all role players discuss the issues in detail at an indaba specifically set up for such discussions.

The Chairperson asked what would happen if the Department had to deal with the schools directly and what were the specifics of the agreement between the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Department of Education. She enquired as to who the USSASA volunteers were and if the 216 volunteers were newly-recruited or part of the existing volunteer team. She questioned the Department of Sport and Recreation as to what it gave to each of the 14 million learners.

Mr C Frollick (ANC) said that the confusion of roles must be sorted out as a matter of urgency as this retarded implementation.

The Chairperson said that she would set a date for a meeting with all role players including the Department of Education, the provincial departments of sport and the Department of Provincial and Local Government. This meeting would give guidance as to whom did what and what resources would be needed.

Mr D Chiloane (Deputy President for Finance - USSASA) responded that the USSASA volunteers were teachers, parents and unemployed youth. He appealed to the Department that volunteers for the Mass Participation Programme (MPP) work closely with the USSASA volunteers and that USSASA be informed as to where and when the MP Programmes would take place.

Mr Fredericks assured USSASA that they would be kept informed.

Mr C Frollick said that USSASA needs to become more proactive and put up structures where there are none. He also noted that USSASA was never present at meetings when the Department met with grassroots structures during their study tours.

Dr Nkosi requested that USSASA be informed on the details of the Building for Sports Programme such as where and when new facilities would be built.

The Chairperson commented that during study tours she learnt that USSASA's interaction with some schools only happened when USSASA organised tournaments.

She questioned whether USSASA was only a body that organised tournaments or whether it provided assistance to talented learners that could not raise funds to pay for tour fees.

A Member requested that discussion on the matter be postponed, as it was an issue that would be solved at a meeting between the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Department of Education.

The Chairperson asked whether USSASA was involved in tournaments or development as clarity on the matter would throw light on the funding needs of USSASA.

Dr Nkosi responded that both were important, as tournaments were the events where talent was identified for further development. On the issue of financial support for talented learners he said that no funds existed in the coffers of the federation. USSASA advertise sports events with the hope that students would be able to raise their own funds for the event.

The Chairperson said that a newspaper report of a leaner in KwaZulu-Natal that could not take part in a cricket tour due to lack of funds was indicative of many black children that are prohibited from competing due to poverty.

Dr Nkosi requested that the Department become part of the Management Committee of the Love Life Games.

Mr Fredericks responded that the Department would be part only as far as oversight is concerned and not as a full member. He commented that the Department was discussing certain concerns with Love Life relating to the distribution of funds allocated by the Department.

A Department spokesperson commented that part of the Department's concern was that funds for sport should been channelled through a sport body and not a health and lifestyle-change body such as Love Life.

The Chairperson asked whether Love Life paid for their own billboards.

Mr Fredericks responded that Love Life had paid up to R40 million for billboards. This was an added concern, as funds should be invested into community facilities.

The Chairperson commented that billboards could also be used to generate funds.

Mr C Frollick requested that Love Life be challenged to adhere to the original agreement.

Dr Nkosi said that reports saying that there were no school sports were worrying and suggest that scientific research be done outlining the areas where school sports was lacking.

A Member asked why tennis as a sport was almost non-existent and what the Department was doing to keep the sport alive.

Mr Fredericks responded that there was a complete breakdown in the structures due to problems with leadership. A task team was set up to deal with the restructuring of tennis. He also commented that the South African Open has been lost and that a large number of clubs have closed down. Part of the problem was that many private concerns were making money out of the game.

South African Gymnastics Federation submission
Mr Gabor Kovacs (Gymnastics SA) said that the federation experienced problems with funds especially for administration purposes. This led the federation to organise its affairs in a fairly centralised manner.

Mr Kovacs commented that difficulty always exists in finding people or commitment when they run programmes and suggested that physical education be made part of the school curriculum. He also commented that the federation considered bidding for the Virgin Gymnistrada to be hosted in Durban in 2011.

The Chairperson asked whether plans exist to extend the sport to disadvantaged communities such as Umtata.

Mr Kovacs responded that extensions of programmes depended on the allocations received from the National Lottery Fund. Other areas already earmarked were North West Province and KZN. Rural areas still need to be targeted.

The Chairperson commented that bidding for the 2011 Gymnistrada might not be in the best interest of the country, as all our attention would be fixed on the Soccer World Cup of 2010.

South African Sports Commission Presentation
Dr M Phaahla (CEO of SA Sports Commission) said that decisions taken by the Ministers' Task Team and endorsed by the Cabinet were well on track. One of these decisions was the reduction in duplication of structures. Sport structures would be reduced to only two, the national department and a non-governmental sport body.

He commented that the budget of the Sport Commission grew by 4% per annum, which was well below inflation. The reality was that year-by-year fewer resources became available. The Commission's challenges have also increased, as the Commission became more known. He also stressed that for the Commission to fulfil its mandate, it has to be in charge of its own resources, and not the Department.

The Chairperson asked how much the Commission was able to fundraise outside of the Department allocation.

Dr Phaahla responded that R24 million was raised from external donors while R26,6 million had been received from the Department.

The Chairperson suggested that a confederation of all sport bodies be formed and be tasked with fundraising.

Dr Phaala, whilst agreeing with the Chairperson, cautioned Members that a decision of this nature might compromise the flexibility of market role players to choose whom they wanted to fund.

Ms S Rajbally (Minority Front) asked to what extent SA businesses were involved in funding Commission.
Mr Goldhart commented that very little incentives exist for many businesses as donations are not tax deductible.

Mr C Frollic asked whether the Commission has applied for funds from the National Lottery Fund, and if so what was its contribution.

Dr Phaahla responded that the National Lottery Fund assisted with funding for the All African Games and the Zone 6 Olympic preparations and that R25 million was distributed amongst sports federations.

The Chairperson asked whether training were provided to local communities that will ensure community ownership and usage of facilities.

Mr B Van der Spuy responded that 1497 community members had been trained in Facility Management and a further 202 in Advanced Management.

The Chairperson commented that capacity building of local communities must not be overlooked, but rather continuously promoted.

Budget discussion
A Committee Member asked what the total budget amount was for the new financial year and whether there has been an increase or decrease in the amount in comparison with previous years.

A Department spokesperson responded that the total budget amount was R286 million. The significant increase was due to allocations made for the Building for Sport Programme. The budget showed a 50% increase from 2000 to date.

The Chairperson asked how much the Department had invested in sport per learner per year.

Mr Fredericks responded that the figure was between 30 and 40 cents per year per child.

Ms S Rajbally asked how the increased amount would be spent.

Mr Fredericks responded that it would be spent on the Mass Participation for Sport Programme and the National Academy.

The Chairperson expressed her deep concern that only 40 cents were invested in school sports per learner per annum.

The next Sport and Recreation Ad Hoc Committee meeting would be on Tuesday 8 June 2004.

The meeting was adjourned.


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