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JOINT MEETING OF THE SPORT AND RECREATION AND PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEES
7 September 2004
FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF 2010 SOCCER WORLD CUP: DISCUSSION
Documents handed out
The two Portfolio Committees discussed the mutual implications of the 2010 Soccer World Cup and agreed on an appropriate strategy to be adopted. Key issues were identified and suggestions were made to enhance the envisaged inter-Committee process that received firm support. The promotion of local economic development within a sports context was of paramount importance. A task team was established to manage the interaction and a programme of action would be produced in the near future.
Mr Khompela, Chairperson of the Sport and Recreation Portfolio Committee, emphasised the importance of co-operation between the two Committees around the 2010 Bid due to the overlapping of key issues in the preparation and planning stage. A close relationship existed between sport infrastructure development and local government as a result of the merging of the Building for Sport programme into the Municipal Infrastructure Grant process. A large percentage of the sport development budget was channeled into municipal infrastructure spending placing much emphasis on municipalities to perform, and therefore drawing the Provincial and Local Government Portfolio Committee into the equation through its oversight responsibilities. Municipalities should not neglect sports development. The Department of Sport and Recreation faced problems in accessing adequate funding to address needs and budgetary provisions were inadequate. However, the President had identified sport as a major component of development going forward and the Portfolio Committees needed to respond in a relevant manner as local government was directly involved in implementation. It was important that the Host Committee of the 2010 World Cup made presentations to both Committees in future. Appropriate venues for stadia needed to be identified by means of a needs analysis based on the requirement of accessibility by the wider community. FIFA required that facilities be placed in areas of greatest support where use was guaranteed over a long period in order to avoid "white elephants". Other issues had to be considered such as safety and security and the relevance of the existing Disaster Management Act in relation to the scope of the envisaged event. He questioned whether existing legislation covered the scope of the event.
Ms Bhengu acknowledged the need for a working relationship between the two Committees and suggested that the priority for the meeting was to identify key areas that each Committee could focus on. The role of local government in the creation and maintenance of sports facilities had to be clearly identified and activities had to be firmly placed within national transformation policies. The multi-use of sporting facilities was a contentious issue that involved municipalities and the private ownership of venues. For example, the fact that Newlands rugby ground had required written application from other sporting codes to use the facilities until the Cape Town municipality repealed this clause in line with constitutional standards was of relevance. She asked how many similar situations continued to exist in the country. Such places needed to be identified. The onus rested on the Provincial and Local Government Portfolio Committee to consider this requirement. The combined Committees had to understand the nature of infrastructural development in prioritising the end-user, namely, the people of South Africa. Some of the questions to be asked were whether a facility was placed in the correct location and whether accessibility was encouraged through the charged fees. Some facilities tended to be under-utilised due to excessive fees thereby resulting in wasted expenditure. An integrated developmental approach was a necessity through Committee co-operation. Debate continued around the relevance of sport expenditure and development but sports facilities remained highly beneficial due to the ability to develop people and particularly the youth. The provisioning of housing without meaningful sport and recreation facilities could lead to youth delinquency and related social ills. Sport remains extremely compelling and attracts significant interest from the wider community. The combined Committees need to establish mutual issues and devise appropriate actions and a timeframe for implementation within a joint programme of action.
Mr Khompela pointed out that resources had to be correctly utilised in terms of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant and the identification of key actions was a lengthy process that required an immediate starting point.
Ms Bhengu asked how the Local Economic Development Plans of municipalities were related to the implementation of sports facilities. Could sport activities provide meaningful opportunities for economic development at a local level? Did municipalities understand this? Reference was made to a recent trip by the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation to Cuba where the Cuban model of marrying sport and local economic promotion was studied. It was suggested that the lessons learned be incorporated into future deliberations of the two Committees in order to address the needs of the second economy and create employment at the local level.
Mr P Smith (IFP) supported the notion of combining efforts particularly with regard to the 2010 World Cup and acknowledged the presence of separate issues and issues of mutual concern. He asked whether a presentation be occurring during the present meeting. Agreement was expressed on the need to identify important municipalities and determine the role of local economic development and infrastructure provision. However, the Committees required a presentation from the Host Committee at some stage in order to empower Members and provide background on budgetary issues and the role of FIFA. Following this, responsibilities for the oversight role could be determined.
Mr Khompela responded that an initial discussion by Members was important to establish common ground and an adequate understanding of the priorities at hand. Guidelines could be established on the way forward. Therefore, no presentation would occur during the current meeting.
Mr B Solo (ANC) agreed with this approach and supported the notion of initial planning by the two Committees to chart the way forward. An opportunity was presented for politicians to lead a process rather than fulfill a responsive role. It was vital that the Committees identify critical areas of need within the country as a whole and plan appropriate responses.
Mr S Mshudulu (ANC) reminded the Members of the legacies that had to be addressed and the importance of directing development in a meaningful way. Sport occurred at a local level and municipalities had to budget for this. Sport was a crucial component of infrastructural development and a needs analysis had to be conducted to identify shortcomings. Local government was responsible for the maintenance of facilities and adherence to acceptable standards. The launch of new facilities was a joint exercise with Local Government responsible for the upkeep and therefore the combining of Committees was a relevant exercise. Similar incidents to the Newlands stadium experience occurred in many locations and this had to be acknowledged. Other issues existed around sports provision such as transport concerns further necessitating inter-Committee responses. A presentation by the Host Committee was crucial to create understanding amongst Members to facilitate meaningful questions and identify important issues. The sharing of information between connected departments and Committees was beneficial to the overall process.
Mr C Frolick (ANC) agreed that a briefing was required from the Host Committee to establish the current state of readiness and proposals from financial backers. Recent study tours had revealed extensive apathy on the part of local sports councils within municipalities and the overall 2010 project should serve as a catalyst to rejuvenate the structures and create a World Cup legacy. The major games would occur in the metro areas but rural areas had to also benefit from the event. Detail within the Bid Book had to be understood and the Committees needed to have access to the fundamental plan. The standard of facilities within certain areas was unacceptable and the Provincial and Local Government Portfolio Committee had to ensure improvement through interaction with various local authorities in accordance with a guiding framework. Not all metro councils operated at the same level in terms of sports provision and management of major sporting events and therefore work needed to be conducted at all levels of the system. The Committees needed to be prepared for all eventualities and nothing should be taken for granted.
Mr Khompela remarked that a common understanding was being forged between the two committees and important groundwork was being undertaken.
Mr Smith remarked on the relevance of a number of sectors to the overall project of hosting the soccer World Cup such as tourism and trade and industry and suggested that the present arrangement should be expanded to include other key portfolios thereby forming a multi-portfolio committee structure. Small business development was a key component of the proposed strategy and should receive priority status.
Mr Solo reiterated the importance of the World Cup and acknowledged the many aspects involved but stressed the need for a clear and concise plan around safety and security. The committees should ensure that the provisions of the Disaster Management Act were adequate to deal with an event of such magnitude.
Mr Dlamini (ANC) highlighted the value of sport as a tool of social engineering in providing healthy alternatives in respect of lifestyle choices but emphasised the importance of ensuring meaningful accessibility to developed facilities by the wider community. The key was ensuring that developed facilities produced high caliber athletes in the future and that the general populace benefited directly. The World Cup was about improving the lives of the citizens of the host country.
Ms Bhengu recognised the value of the World Cup in galvanising action focused on social development as sport enjoyed a high level of support and interest. The event should be used as a catalyst to further drive the development agenda by concentrating on perceived benefits to society. Transport, security, tourism and others must be included into a strategic plan. Reference was made to a debate that occurred in the National Assembly around the merits of sports provision within a development agenda. Some Members do not agree that sport should receive priority status but sport plays an important role in youth development and serves to lessen potential social ills. The key is to ensure that the benefits of 2010 remain long after the event. The Committees needed to agree in principle to meeting jointly and including a wide array of issues in deliberations. A task team should then be set up to manage the process and identify key issues to be addressed within an appropriate time framework. Both Chairpersons would be involved in the drawing up of the programme and workshops would be arranged to empower Members. Other crucial stakeholders would be identified and incorporated into a plan of action. The plan would be presented to the joint Committee for approval. Activities would be organised in accordance with an integrated developmental approach including relevant municipalities and government departments.
Mr Khompela agreed that issues would be raised in an inclusive manner involving key Committees. Attention was drawn to pending legislation from the Department of Sport and Recreation on safety at stadiums that needed to be viewed in conjunction with the Disaster Management Act. It was paramount that 2010 left a legacy of infrastructural development for the wider community. FIFA had recommended to South Africa that only 13 stadiums be provided and therefore only two were likely to be built in order to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Each province would receive a major match at the culmination of the tournament. Therefore, provinces without sufficient infrastructure would receive new development. The process of revamping existing stadia was not without controversy as state funds would be provided to privately owned institutions for their overall benefit. Any construction work had to include a job creation component for the wider community. The Government had agreed to provide security and had signed a financial guarantee to cover all costs. The Committees needed to focus on the dangers of organised crime syndicates gaining access to the event in whatever form.
The Sport and Recreation Portfolio Committee nominated Ms Morobi and Messrs Mtshali and Dikgacwi to participate in the task team. The Provincial and Local Government Portfolio Committee nominated Ms Bhengu and Messrs Doman, Solo, Smith and Lekgoro.
The meeting was adjourned.
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