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SELECT COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND RECREATION
10 June 2004
DEPARTMENT STRATEGIC PLAN AND BUDGET: BRIEFING
Chairperson: Mr B Tolo (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Sport and Recreation South Africa presentation
Department of Sport and Recreation budget overview and key activities
National Expenditure Estimates Vote 20: Sport and Recreation
Officials from Sport and Recreation South Africa briefed the meeting on their plans for the year. The ensuring discussion focussed on unspent funds, discrimination by bowling and country clubs against women and poor Members, a decline in participation in netball and tennis, 'indigenous games', youth sports festivals, and the building and maintenance of facilities.
The Director-General, Mr D Hendricks introduced his delegation: Ms E Cloete, Mr V Qula, Mr S Pango and Mr G Fredericks.
Officials from SRSA briefed the meeting on their strategic plan and budget. SRSA had contributed to five broad areas: governance and administration; international relations, peace and security; social; justice, crime, peace and security; and economy and employment. Its budget for the coming year (2004/05) was R2.9 billion. Their Legal Department co-ordinates the drafting of legislation, and 12 bills/regulations are in process. The SRSA provides grants to many sports organisations; details of these grants were provided. They also facilitate the building of facilities.
Ms J Masilo (ANC) and Mr M Thetjeng (DA) congratulated SRSA on spending only 8% of its budget on administration. She asked whether the urban renewal programme was conducted with municipalities and for the timeframe for the expanded public works programme. Mr Thetjeng felt that too much (R6m) of the budget was unspent. The promotion of bowls, because it was cheap and age-inclusive, could be used to encourage popular participation in sport. Tennis and netball seemed to be 'dying' - he had never seen the courts in his constituency in use.
Mr M Sulliman (ANC) said that poverty was a barrier to learners' participation in sport. He asked whether SRSA was guiding and assisting provinces in their sports functions.
Mr Hendricks was disturbed to hear of unused facilities. He agreed that administration consumed a small portion of the budget but said that after SRSA and the South African Sports Commission (SASC) merged, costs would grow. Urban renewal was carried out in partnership with local authorities - the SRSA and local authorities had contracts and the SRSA tried to empower local authorities to manage the facilities after construction. By 2010, R1.2 billion of the expanded public works programme should be spent. It would be labour-intensive (to provide more jobs) and would also focus on preparing people to participate economically in the World Cup.
Mr Fredericks said that the United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA) used to organise sporting events but that costs to participants were too high. SRSA wanted to reverse this trend. In the coming year, for example, the SRSA would provide kit, accommodation and transport for learners to participate in the Oudtshoorn Youth Festival. He agreed that bowls was not as inclusive as it could be; some 98% of bowlers were white. The SRSA had been trying to persuade the organisations in charge of bowling to become more integrated, but they had not even taken up funds to promote bowling in the townships.
He also agreed that tennis was declining and said that less than 5% of players were black. There was no national tournament or role models for young players, who usually stopped playing between 18 and 30. Poverty was also a barrier. The SRSA had made grants of R350 000 to promote the sport in particular areas. An additional difficulty in promotion was that companies were reluctant to sponsor tennis.
Ms Cloete explained that funds were unspent because some vacant posts could not be filled until after the merger with the SASC. The SRSA had preferred to roll funds over. Other causes were orders that had been placed but not filled yet, and the President's Awards functions that had been postponed. The Treasury were quite happy with the rollovers
Mr Tolo said that Parliament however was not pleased because a rollover meant postponement of delivery. As the medium-term expenditure framework was a three-year cycle, he suggested that better planning would reduce rollovers.
Mr Hendricks said that the major part of rollovers related to building and the SRSA planned and built within a one-year framework. Some of the local authorities had capacity problems. Also, the SRSA's policy was to contract emerging contractors but they also sometimes caused delays. Despite the rollovers, this was preferable to contracting large consortium, or dumping the funds on the local authorities.
Mr Thetjeng asked Mr Hendricks to show him how the rollovers were committed in the budget.
Ms Vilakazi agreed that the bowling fraternity was resistant to integration. She promised to provide contact details for some discriminating clubs to the SRSA after the meeting. Mr Fredericks said that there were also country clubs that were not private but discriminatory. Ms Vilakazi asked for more details on ' community mass participation programme' and the 'Mission Breakfast'.
Mr Fredericks said that the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) should be a vehicle to optimise participation in the mass participation programme: the provinces should identify areas with potential and recruit volunteers to manage them. The SRSA would notify the NCOP when and where projects were to take place. He asked the Members to visit sites and encourage participation. The Mission Breakfast was an annual event to which Ambassadors and High Commissioners were invited. The SRSA provided a briefing and very often these guests were able to make resources available.
Ms M Madlala-Magubane (ANC) asked for more details on the 'Beijing Platform' and women in sport. She told the officials that facilities were being vandalised in townships, and asked why recreation had not been discussed. She also asked for timeframes for the bills being processed, and the SRSA's organogram.
Mr Fredericks answered that the Beijing platform and the SASC aimed to enhance women's participation in sport. Participation by black women was currently the lowest. The lack of sponsorship for women's netball illustrated the lack of equity. He was not pleased that local authorities were taking over the maintenance of facilities. Maintenance funds were pooled in a Municipal Infrastructure Grant where they would be subject to competition from libraries, etc. It was possible that R100m could be ring-fenced. The SASC co-ordinated recreation while the provinces implemented actions. The SASC Repeal Bill would be first under discussion and would be gazetted in 2004.
Ms H Lamoela (DA) asked who was responsible for maintaining rural facilities and how selection for the Oudtshoorn Youth Festival would be done.
Mr Hendricks said that local authorities had contracts with SRSA to run and maintain new facilities, and that SRSA had revisited them to check up.
At Mr Thetjeng's request, the officials arranged to have a booklet on all the sports federations forwarded to Members. He asked who comprised community sports councils because, in his experience, they were often not sportfans. He requested the SRSA to ensure that trained coaches were on board when facilities were completed. He advocated indigenous games as a having a role to play in combating crime, asked how learnerships would be structured, and what the Minister meant when he said that quotas would be done away with.
Mr Hendricks agreed that sports councils were often used as "power bases" and said that the SRSA had tried to empower people to manage, administer and coach sport.
An inaugural 'Indigenous Games Festival' had been held and a follow-up was scheduled for the Free State. Some universities and the SASC had researched the most popular indigenous sports and the SRSA would encourage participation in the SADC region. Volunteers (who were given a stipend of R1250 a month) enrolled in certified learnerships and SRSA worked with the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA). The Minister probably meant that there should be programmes to ensure participation by all, instead of quotas. The small numbers of black people on national teams attested to the fact that there was inadequate development. In many cases, black players were "bought" from over the borders.
Mr Tolo said that people in outlying areas in Mpumalanga were sceptical that the World Cup would benefit them - how could he answer them?
Mr Hendricks agreed that Mr Tolo's question was difficult. The most direct benefit would be that tourists who came to South Africa for the World Cup would probably stay on and visit some rural areas. There were also indirect social and psychological benefits associated with hosting large sporting events.
The meeting was adjourned.
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