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Meeting report

Ad Hoc Committee Sport and Recreation

8 June 2004

Chairperson: Ms N Ntshula-Bengu

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Public representatives from eight provinces (North West was not present) briefed the Committee. All agreed that sport was still exclusive and there was lack of funds to implement the government's transformation agenda. The meeting agreed that sport should play an important part in the alleviation of poverty and under-development.

The Chairperson noted that provinces had sent public representatives rather than the Heads of Departments who had been invited. Only North West province representation was absent. The Committee decided to write a letter to these Heads, stating the meeting's disappointment, and to copy this the MECs.
The common sentiment among the reports was the need to transform sport from the grassroots level. Access to recreational facilities was important to achieve transformation and to enhance social cohesion. Sport played a major role in the eradication of poverty and under-development. This had been highlighted in President Mbeki's State of the Nation Address. Professor D Hendricks from the Sports and Recreation South Africa said sport was where major delivery should take place. Small provinces complained about the small budget they had received for sport.

Mr S Pila from Limpopo raised concerns that their R4-million sports allocation would make it difficult for the province to address problems. They needed to organise more funds.

Mr A Lewis from the Western Cape was concerned that the province was still reeling from the apartheid legacy, so Africans and 'coloured' people were still the most disadvantaged. Facilities were still centralised in the more affluent suburbs. There was still therefore much to be done to level the playing field in sport.

Ms D Pule fromf Mpumalanga echoed the same sentiments about the lack of facilities in her province. There was not even a stadium to host national teams.

Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) said the government had been aware of the problems of sport in the provinces but had not been able to solve them. Sport and transport were always the least funded from National Treasury. He called for the amendment of the Constitution to better accommodate sport.

Mr C Frolick shed light on the problems faced by sporting bodies. There was a lack of interaction between provincial committees and local people. He was not clear whether transformation was focussed at entry level or in representation on national teams. It was the duty of the legislature to unblock problems of funding. The government had to see that mandates for sport were implemented timeously.

Mr S Masango (DA) noted that sport provided a livelihood for many people. He was worried about Limpopo's R4m budget. He encouraged provinces to take part in the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Mr B Dhlamini agreed about the need to lobby Treasury to support sport. He differed with Mlangeni on the amendment of the Constitution.

Mr S Louw (ANC) stressed that access to facilities was important. The government should pass legislation to release all facilities. He was shocked to hear that Mpumalanga did not have facilities to host national teams.

The Chairperson said the Committee should interrogate the study tours report and proposed further visits to provinces. There was a need to investigate the various sport-related problems facing youth. Other issues were how to deal with "indigenous sport" and the inadequate number of sports officers in each province. It was clear from the meeting that Members were aware of the many challenges facing sport.

The meeting was adjourned.


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