SA Gymnastics Federation 2022/23 Annual Report; Overview of African Artistic Gymnastics Championships; with Minister

Sport, Arts and Culture

14 November 2023
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


The Committee was briefed in a virtual meeting by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) and by the SA Gymnastics Federation (SAGF) on the entity’s 2022/23 annual report.

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Zizi Kodwa, said a school sports indaba was recently held, and the Deputy Minister was on her way to Jamaica to implement the declaration and resolution of the indaba, and also to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on areas of cooperation and exchange, because South Africa had been impressed by the Jamaican model. It would form part of a grassroots foundation and propel South African teams to greater heights. The FIFA president had attended a Soweto football derby, and the Minister had taken the opportunity to discuss the development of football in the country and the possible hosting of a second Soccer World Cup, as hosting such an event contributed to the economy and nation building.

The Department described its financial support to SAGF, and pointed out that it was on a par with the limited amounts it made available to some of the bigger codes, such as rugby and swimming. The Federation was urged to seek funding from corporate sponsors. The Department also provided demographic details of the Federation's board and administration, as well as the profiles of the national teams, the coaches' and referees' structures, and the medical and scientific support bases.

Members queried the extent of the interaction between the DSAC and the entity; wanted to know the reasons for SAGF not achieving their transformation targets; asked how it was going to address disparities in organisational performance between provinces; how many coaches, judges and safeguarding officers had done the safeguarding training course; and what measures were being taken to grow sport in rural and township areas.

Meeting report

The Chairperson congratulated Sundowns on their African Football League Cup final victory and on the Proteas reaching the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup.

The agenda was adopted.

Mr Zizi Kodwa, Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, said a school sports indaba was recently held, and the Deputy Minister was on her way to Jamaica to implement the declaration and resolution of the school sports indaba, and also to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on areas of cooperation and exchange, because South Africa had been impressed by the Jamaican model. It would form part of a grassroots foundation and propel South African teams to greater heights.

He said history was made when the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) president attended a Soweto derby. The Minister had taken the opportunity to discuss the development of football in the country with the FIFA president. He had also raised and discussed a possible second soccer World Cup, as hosting such an event contributed to the economy and nation building. SA had also hosted the inaugural African Football League final won by a South African team.

He said he was en route to India and was convinced Temba Bavuma would return with the Cup.

SA Gymnastics Federation's annual report: Department Overview

Dr Cynthia Khumalo, Acting Director-General (ADG), Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC), said the Department was funding the SA Gymnastics Federation (SAGF). While they were different to other entities, the Department still did oversight over them.

Ms Sumayya Khan, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Sport, briefed the Committee on the Department’s overview of the SAGF’s annual report detailing the support that had been provided to the body in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 financial years, and gave an overview of the major events it had hosted. The financial support to the SAGF for the 2021/22 financial year was R5m for both administration and projects and programmes. The supported programmes were high performance of athletes; the strategy session for gymnastics; and capacity building programmes.

The financial support to the SAGF for the 2022/23 financial year was R3.1m, of which R1.6m was for administration and R1.5m for projects and programmes. The supported programmes were high performance of athletes; disability gymnastics; and capacity building programmes.

She noted that the African Women’s and Men’s Artist Gymnastics Championship and the Down Syndrome World Championships were held in Tshwane in May and September, respectively.

She referred to the demographic profiles of the SAGF's board and administration as well as the profiles of the national teams, coaches' and referees' structures and the medical and scientific support bases.
The board was 58% white, 17% black African and 25% coloured/Indian. The full-time staff complement was 40% white, 50% black African and 10% coloured/Indian. The senior national male team was 55% black African, 36% white and 9% coloured/Indian group. Coaches were 52% white, 41% black African, and 17% coloured/Indian, as reported in 2019. The referees were 72% white, 21% black African, and 7% coloured/Indian. Medical practitioners were 83% white, 17% coloured/Indian, and 0% black African; physiotherapists were 90% white, 10% coloured/Indian, and 0% black African; biokineticists were 86% white, 14% coloured/Indian, and 0% black African.

See attached for full presentation

SA Gymnastics Federation's annual report 2022/23
Mr Donovan Jurgens, President of the SAGF, thanked the Department for their support. He spoke to the SAGF ‘s annual report; to the 17th African Artistic Gymnastics Championships; to the Down Syndrome Games, the National Gym Games, and the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Artistic World Championships. He said the Federation covered nine disciplines of gymnastics, and had 19 000 members in 350 clubs in 47 districts serving 8 000 households, and was present in 455 schools.

Referring to the high-performance programme, he said gymnasts had participated in various World Cups and Grand Prix events. In the African Championships, the women’s artistic team received a silver medal while the men’s artistic team was awarded a bronze. The rhythmic gymnastics had received a silver medal. At the Commonwealth Games, the women’s artistic team was placed fourth and Caitlin Rooskrantz received a bronze on the bars. He said the personal cost of participating in international competitions remained a challenge.

On transformation and development, he said there were provincial coordinators who struggled with funding to continue expanding this initiative. Most of the goals had been met, but the Federation lacked the resources to maintain and grow the initiative. Governance and financial management had been exceptional, and it had received a clean audit.

The SAGF had had a safeguarding policy since 2019, and had online learning material that coaches, judges and safeguarding personnel had to do. It has assisted various other federations in the education of safeguarding officers.

He said the financial sustainability of the Federation was important, and he appreciated government’s support and intervention. They had approached corporate sponsors, but the response was not encouraging. 

The Federation had received good exposure on social media and increased media interest from newspaper outlets and radio, which all played a part in marketing gymnastics and raising awareness of what gymnastics was all about. It employed professional marketing services to improve exposure.

He spoke about the 17th Artistic Gymnastics African Championships and the Down Syndrome International Gymnastics (DSIGO) World Championships held in Tshwane. He added that Caitlin Rooskrantz had qualified for the Paris Olympic Games at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, and Team South Africa had achieved a historic 19th-place finish at the World Championships.

(See presentation)


The Chairperson asked about the financial report.

Ms Sonja Greig, Finance Manager, said the annual report included a snapshot of the financials, while the details were in the annual financial statements (AFS) submitted to the Committee.

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) said the financial report would comprise the audit findings and any challenges the entity faced. He asked how much money SAGF had received from Lotto.

The Chairperson said they had got a clean audit report.

Mr A Zondi (ANC) said the Department should guide the entity on its presentation to the Committee.

Mr Jurgens said it received a lottery grant of R1.5m, which was distributed to administration (R300 000),  
high-performance (R997 000), trampoline and rhythmic gymnastics (R137 900), rope skipping and parkour (R64 000). It received a departmental funding grant of R3.1m, which was distributed to administration (R1.6m), disability gym (R100 000), capacity building (R243 000), artistic gym (R954 000), trampoline and rhythmic gymnastics (R121 800), rope skipping and parkour (R103 000).

The SAGF would send a detailed report and the auditor’s report.

Mr Mhlongo asked the reason for having an annual general meeting (AGM) via Zoom. How many had attended the AGM. He wanted a copy of the constitution to be sent to him. What was the composition and diversity of the entire SAGF team, because only one female was on Zoom that day? Did it meet the prioritised membership target, as the organisation's composition was not diverse? The presentation indicated that there were 19 000 members, but could it be broken down into the different disadvantaged communities? How many members, trainers, coaches and judges were there at the grassroots level and provincially? How many clubs were there in the different provinces, and how many new clubs had been established this year, especially in disadvantaged areas?

How much new talent was developed this year? What method or strategy was used to get funds other than through the Department and Lotto? What were the challenges experienced in participating in international world championships? Regarding the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG), he still differed with the DDG on the total composition of the board, and the EPG was a measurement tool as it did not measure the entirety of what must be measured when one wanted to achieve a transformation charter.

Mr E Mthethwa (EFF) commended the report presented to the Committee. He said most entities who presented did not have evidence, but the SAGF had brought a portfolio of evidence and the pictures did not lie. Why was the Department using the same tendency to underfund important sporting codes? This sporting code was dominated by youngsters who did not have money to pay. The Federation could have used the R3.143m to take teams abroad. He congratulated the SAGF on their transformation efforts, and said the Federation should be followed up with an oversight visit. He commended the team on their confidence regarding governance. There had been no qualifications from the Auditor General (AG). Why was the Department not funding the Federation sufficiently? Regarding corporate governance, he asked if the SAGF had experienced wrongdoing in the organisation and what had been done in terms of consequence management.

Mr Zondi said the SAGF was doing a good job. How often did the Department make contact with the SAGF in addition to quarterly report interactions, and how did it verify the accuracy of the entity’s report? The Federation had clarified the reasons for the marketing expenditure exceeding R800 000 in 2022/23, but did this mean no marketing was done in the year prior to that? He said the report lacked reflection on the established indicators and targets for each programme, making it difficult to assess its impact. What were the indicators and targets for each programme, and could the SAGF elaborate on the deviations for each programme in terms of what was achieved or not achieved? What measures were taken to grow sports in rural and township areas?

Ms V Malomane (ANC) said the entity had not met the EPG's 50% transformation target for federations. She asked if SAGF had submitted their transformation charter on time or not. Could SAGF and the Department give a timeline for the EPG to finish the 2020/21 report? What were the reasons for the Federation not achieving its transformation targets? Did they have a good relationship with local schools? She said there were no reasons given for not achieving 31 out of 32 targets for high performance. Were the funds insufficient? How was the entity going to address disparities in organisational performance between provinces?

Ms D Sibiya (ANC) said she was unclear about the consultation between the Department and SAGF, and asked the Federation to elaborate on this. She wanted a detailed breakdown of the number of coaches who held international-level accreditation or certification, and the statistics on race and gender in each discipline of the entity.

Ms V van Dyk (DA) asked how many coaches, judges and safeguarding officers had done the safeguarding training course. Which federations had they assisted with safeguarding training? What support did it offer victims? Did SAGF insist that coaches register with the SA Coaching Association? How many coaches were in SAGF, and how many were registered? Was "The Guardian" working, and if it was not being used for external enquiries, who were SAGF using? Were parents also invited to do the safeguarding course?

Mr D Joseph (DA) said he supported the question on the EPG 2019/20 report. Why was the Department reflecting only the 2019/20 statistics? He congratulated the SAGF on their achievements. Could they spell out a few of the goals they had met? Could the Department directly ask companies to support smaller codes? He supported the question on the administration costs of R1.6m, which were greater than 50% of the grant. How many staff were included in the administration? In what context had the statement of SAGF that ‘it was a profitable year’ been made? Was it regarding finance, or growth in numbers?

Mr Mhlongo wanted the SAGF to provide a detailed report giving indicators and targets for each programme and what the deviations for achievement or under-achievement in each programme were. What measures have been taken to grow the sport in rural and township areas?

Mr Mthethwa said that in the 2022/23 annual report, the SAGF had asserted: "We illustrated the challenges federations face and requested more consultation between DSAC and Federations. Federations are the custodians and experts of sport and should be engaged with, rather than instructed in light of the statement provided." Could the organisation provide specific instances illustrating their inquiry and offer additional details regarding the statement "Federations are the custodians and experts of sport and should be engaged with rather than instructed "?

The Chairperson congratulated the SAGF on their achievements. She noted that the MoU with the Department had been signed in December. Could the Department inform the Committee of the specific timing of the release of funding to the SAGF, and provide reasons for the late payment? She supported Members’ questions on transformation. She said the Department must confront all federations on the transformation issue.

Mr Jurgens said the questions were very detailed and he would have welcomed it if they had been given beforehand so that the detailed numbers for all the disciplines could have been found.

The Chairperson said that was not how the Committee operated -- it was expected of the presenter and their team to be able to elaborate on the presentation that was given.

Mr Mhlongo and Ms Malomane concurred with Chairperson that the president must respond to the questions.

Mr Jurgens requested that they be given time to do all the necessary research to answer some questions.

On the marketing budget and why it had jumped so much, he said SAGF got R10m from the Department for being the Federation of the Year, and this had allowed it to appoint a professional marketing company.

On submitting their EPG report on time, he said the EPG was a quantitative exercise counting towards participation at the international level. This meant that if there were no under-14s, it meant no under-14s competed at international level. He requested that the Committee see the EPG as a tool for measuring transformation. He would send a detailed report indicating which targets had been met. He added that some of the targets would be very difficult to reach.

On medical support, the SAGF failed every year because it did not need full time medical personnel for the year -- they were used on a need-to-have basis.

He could give a detailed report on funds being insufficient, but in general, it did not have the funds that rugby and cricket, for example, had.

On SAGF’s relationship with schools, he said they attended all the joint task team meetings and participated in all the schools' games, but it was something that could improve.
A report on the statistics of race in the nine disciplines would be prepared.

He would need to check details of how many coaches attended safeguarding course. No coach could come to the floor without doing the online safeguarding course. SAGF had worked with rugby, swimming and cycling to implement the course, and had started a parents' training course. He said there were some cases in the court system.

He would send a breakdown of all the board members and a detailed report on targets and deviations therefrom.

Mr Kobus van der Walt, Interim CEO, said SAGF had an independent safeguarding officer who operated with a safeguarding task team, including lawyers, and handled cases independently of the executive committee. They also educated informally through observation. SAGF planned programmes, but waited a while until confirmation of funding was received before going ahead with them.

As a small federation, they did go to companies for sponsorship, but companies were looking for television coverage, otherwise they were not interested.

Mr Jurgens said the issue of Zoom meetings was because of the costs involved. 

Ms Marti Heri, Development and Transformation Manager, responded on the measurable successes and what type of measures were taken to get to the rural and township areas. She said SAGF had 12 hubs which were equipped and resourced within township and rural areas, and five of them had become social enterprises for SAGF. There were also transformation projects in Kakamas, Kuruman and Kimberly. In the Western Cape, Khayelitsha was a flagship hub. In 2021/22, the transformation and social enterprise projects had been denied funding by the Department, but they had managed to pull through. SAGF had provided tool sets as resources to equip teachers to implement physical education fitness and health programmes. The leaders in the five special hubs had been given leadership training on budgeting and communication, and they had held community festivals.

Responding to Ms Malomane's question on schools, she said 280 schools had been equipped, and 375 schools were members. SAGF membership was not the stated membership of 19 000 paying members, because there were also many more non-paying members. SAGF had regular meetings with the Department regarding schools. It had a national schools committee and nine provincial schools' coordinators, comprising eight black females and one black male.

She said SAGF had trained over 310 coaches and 280 from other federations on safeguarding. Its safeguarding officer also did training.

Ms Greig commented on the profitability of SAGF, and said it relied on funding from the Department. It had made a profit of R190 000 in the financial year.
She said there had been no instances of fraud and corruption. The audit was very clean because the executive team was very small, and there were a lot of dual responsibilities and checks.

She said SAGF might survive without the Department's support, but it would be very difficult and would make their job just that more difficult. Administration money did not just go to salaries, but covered overhead costs also.

Ms Caron Henry, Participation Manager, referred to safeguarding and said that since 2018, SAGF had trained 1 278 coaches and officials in SAGF and other federations, including swimming, rugby, canoeing and orienteering. Parent education had started, and the athletes' programme was almost ready to be released. Every club was required to have a safeguarding charter when they opened and agreed to the safety requirements. All members working in a club had to be vetted.

On how many internationally qualified officials there were, she said SAGF had 396 officials with a qualification -- 60% of them were female, and 24% were black, coloured or Indian.

Ms Keo Mokolopo-Meyer, Second Vice President, commented on the impact of gymnastics, and said she realised recently that she had been involved in the sport for three decades. She referred to her own experiences to show what gymnastics could do for a black female in South Africa. She had attended leadership sessions that SAGF had provided. She had opened her own club to attract more transformation into the sport and build clubs representing the black community. She had grown to be part of the SAGF board and the International Jump Rope Union. She was also an international coach. SAGF was doing a lot to pull youngsters into the pipeline.

Mr Jurgens said that Ms Mokolopo-Meyer had won multiple medals in rope skipping internationally.

Mr Mthethwa said he was happy to see and hear about the impact this organisation had made, and it was painful to see how the Committee was being very hard on them. He commended them for what they had achieved with the little given to them.

The Chairperson said that asking relevant questions was not being hard.

Mr Mhlongo asked who had prepared the SAGF’s presentation. The financial statement he had was not what he had heard in the meeting. There had not been responses to a number of questions he had raised on why the funding money was late, on getting more funding from private companies, and the Department had not spoken about the late arrival of funding to the SAGF.

Department's response

On the funding issues, Ms Khan said the Department had a unit dealing with support to federations, and was responsible for all work with federations. She agreed that SAGF should get more money, but the Department had 65 federations to fund from R117m. On average, it worked out at R1.8m per Federation. SAGF had received R4.2m in this financial year, while rugby got R4.5m and swimming R4.6m, so SAGF was getting as much as some of the bigger codes. She said a special allocation of R10m had been given to SAGF in 2019/20 for being the Federation of the Year.

On how often it interacted with SAGF, she said they worked through the operations manager in ongoing communications on their plans, applications for funding and reports to be submitted. There were also meetings held regularly, quarterly, and starting this year, there would be an annual meeting with all the federations.

Concerning monitoring what SAGF did, she said the Department did not have the capacity to do site visits all the time, but did attempt to attend all their events and be present at annual general meetings in an oversight role. 

She said the EPG report was for 2019/20, and the Department was busy finalising the 2021/22 report, which should be ready by March 2024.

On the issue of consultation, she said she had already mentioned how it consulted with SAGF regularly and had direct contact with the president. SAGF was a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), and if there were issues, the Department also got reports from SASCOC.

On getting corporations to fund and support small federations, she said that after the Netball World Cup, the Minister had dedicated sessions with Corporate SA on investing in sport as a whole. The Department had started an initiative with the Davis Commission for corporations to get tax breaks for funding sport. While it was unsuccessful, the Department was committed to reigniting that effort. It was looking at major sporting events to get a ticket levy for smaller codes.

Ms Khan said the late funding was not ideal, and the Department knew the federations depended on the funding. However, it also had to be responsible to the AG who had had an audit query on the service level agreement (SLA). The AG had found that many government officials served on sports federations, so the AG needed these people to give an undertaking to declare that they were not conflicted and prove that they were doing the sports work as volunteers. This was the biggest area of delay, as the Department had to consult with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), who had assisted the Department in managing this. This year, it was managed much better and all relevant forms for application funding had been given to them.

The funding model had been changed to a three-year plan. The Department had a funding framework to fund federations, and they report back according to a template that considers the EPG. There were also penalties for non-compliance in the EPG report. The Department was making an effort to look at all EPG reports and recommendations.

Mr Phikolomzi Mbuqe, Operations Manager, responded on the issue of proof regarding the training of coaches and judges in safeguarding, and said that SAGF had proof of coaches and judges that had done the training. This would be sent to the Committee and how many federations the SAGF had supported in the safeguarding course.

He said The Guardian was a partner of SAGF in terms of fingerprints and vetting for safeguarding.

He responded to Mr Mthethwa’s request to provide specific instances regarding the statement, "Federations are the custodians and experts of sport and should be engaged with, rather than instructed to", and said this referred broadly to consultation with national government, where SAGF was told what the requirements were instead of asking and engaging with the Federation on what was best for gymnastics. The president and the former CEO had had engagements with the Department on the priorities, where it differed with the Department, and on the rollouts which were not according to the requirements that SAGF had indicated. 

Ms Khumalo said there was a need for an integrated voice on funds. When entities appeared before the committees, they would talk about the issue of insufficient funds, which went back to the budget allocation of the Department itself. She agreed with Mr Mhlongo's comment on strategies to find other forms of funding.

The Chairperson said South Africa was a country that had a small sports budget. She said social ills could not be addressed if funding was not enough, and SAGF had to develop the sport in rural areas.

Committee matters

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 November were adopted.

Mr Mhlongo wanted to know if there were any arrangements for an oversight visit.

The Chairperson said the House Chair had not approved the Committee's oversight visits requests. She had tried to ask the House Chair for three persons to attend the rugby event, but he had said that even if she had applied, he would not approve it as no oversight was involved. The Committee did not apply to go to Jamaica.

Mr Mthethwa said he had observed a number of times that the Committee was selective on who it honoured and who it did not. Nothing had been said in recognition of the passing away of soccer player Bongikosi Ntuli and the singer Marc Rantseli of the band MarcAlex

Mr Mhlongo proposed that only Boxing SA present at their next meeting, and not two entities.

Mr Mthethwa and Ms Van Dyk supported this.

Ms Malomane said that as the South African National Boxing Organisation (SANABO) was related to boxing, both should be dealt with on the same day.

Mr Mhlongo said the two entities were not the same.

The Chairperson said that both would appear.

The meeting was adjourned.

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