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SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
19 October 2004
TRANSFORMATION CHARTER: DEPARTMENT AND MINISTERIAL TASK TEAM BRIEFING
Documents handed out:
Ministerial Task Team agreement
Department briefing: Transformation in Sport and Recreation Indabas
Department handout: Advancing transformation through engagements
The Department briefed the Committee on the methods used to gather information for the Transformation Charter. This Charter would be used as a guide to transforming sport in South Africa. They also identified the different role players in the process. It was also pointed out that a Ministerial Task Team envisaged unifying South African Sport under one umbrella body. The Committee was somewhat surprised at this development as Members were unaware of these drastic, envisaged changes. Members also appeared to support the use of legislation to enforce quotas and transformation in the face of ongoing resistance by various sports federations.
Department briefing on Sport and Transformation Charter
Mr Phizele reported that transformation in sport and recreation was aimed at ensuring that all South Africans enjoyed greater access to participation in sport and recreation activities at all levels. Transformation indabas were held in all Provinces in order to identify the objectives of this charter. These objectives were included in creating a platform for interactive discussion relating to transformation issues, to draw up a transformation charter and to establish an effective monitoring and assessment mechanism relating to transformation in sport. The White Paper had clearly outlined the roles of the various spheres of Government; however the challenge was to develop strategies to give legislative effect to it. Legislation did not allow for intervention to ensure that transformation did indeed take place. Legislation should be Government's last resort to compel federations to transform.
Internal stakeholders (Government, sponsors, parents, suppliers) and external stakeholders (administrators, players, officials, coaches) should be mobilized in transforming sport. Government should monitor and evaluate sport through legislation. Other issues that the groups recommended that should have been addressed included the compliance of provincial federations regarding development, accountability and corporate governance.
Mr C Frolick (ANC) stated that since the advent of unity in sports in 1992, federations had generally failed in the role that was envisaged for them in the transformation of sport in South Africa. Over the years Government had invested heavily in sport and had however not received a return on these investments. He highlighted a letter received from the Boland Cycling Federation that stated that they had not seen any transformation as yet. He asked if a system was in place to determine if the federations met the commitments they had made to the National Department. If so how would it be possible to get a firm commitment from federations in terms of transformation?
Mr S Masango (ANC) commented that he was surprised that this process was only initiated after ten years of transformation. Facilities were the biggest problem faced by transformation. National players did not want to be known as quota players. There was too much red tape when applying for funding from the National Lottery Board. There were complaints by sport bodies that there was no relationship between themselves and the provincial governments in terms of funding. He asked if anything was being done about this.
The Chairperson stated that the transformation process had started long ago and the Charter was the fruit of this process.
Gen B Holomisa (UDM) stated that complaints about being called quota players did not make sense as the opportunities that benefited quota players would not otherwise be available to them.
Mr Hendricks stated that the Department agreed with the statements made by Members. Cycling was the worst federation in term of transformation as in all the provincial cycling federations there was not one black chairperson.
Mr Fredericks stated that federations were more interested in international participation and not in grass root development. The problem with transformation lay with the provinces. A problem existed with the fact that USSASA and SASU were autonomous bodies and therefore could not be told what to do. However, they were the nurseries for talent. The Department therefore should change the power relationship between school sport, the federations and tertiary sport. Facilities sometimes were available but the local authorities made it difficult to use these facilities by asking high rates for example.
Mr Hendricks added that federations always blamed the provinces; however federations should be in charge of the provinces. The provinces however did not have any resources for sport programs.
Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) asked if school sport now fell under the Department. What was happening to tennis in South Africa?
Mr Hendricks answered that the Department had applied for school sport funding year after year with the National Treasury at the medium term expenditure committee hearings as they felt school sport had to be developed. As of 1994 school sport has fallen between the Department of Sport and the Department of Education and had not been properly catered for. The Treasury stated that school sport is not the competency of the Department of Sport but rather the Department of Education. The Department of Sport thus did what it could with what amounted to 35 cents per child this year. This amount was hopelessly inadequate. For the following year however the Department of Sport had applied for R21 million and although not finalised it appears as if the Department would be granted R11 million. The agreement was that the Department of Education would take care of the curricular aspects of school sport, that is the inter school, inter house events and physical education and that the Department of Sport would take sport further.
Mr L Reid (ANC) suggested that quotas should be enforced via legislation as federations were not accommodating transformation.
Mr Hendricks agreed with Mr Reid that legislation might be the only solution.
Ms D Morobi (ANC) asked if the Department managed to meet its objectives for monitoring and assessment of transformation.
Mr Frolick stated that to achieve the objectives as set out by the people of South Africa, government would have to be involved with school sports. The National Lottery originally was put in place to develop sport. However, objectives were still not being met. It was important to note that federations benefited from Local Government, National Government and the National Lottery Board; yet they could not meet their obligations to National Government.
The Chairperson asked when the indabas had started as it was taken a long time to finalise the charter. What was the problem with the realignment of federations? When will the white paper be implemented? He requested clarity on the memorandum of understanding.
Mr Hendricks agreed that the process of formulating the charter was a long one. This was because all stakeholders where incorporated. Some provinces still had not responded and if they did not respond soon, the charter would be finalised without their input. The Sports Commission has been dealing with the issue of the misalignment between political and sport boundaries for a long time.
The Chairperson asked for a list of the non-cooperative federations so that the Committee could question them.
Mr Hendricks stated that the white paper was first released in 1997 and was intended to be a five-year policy document for sport and recreation. This white paper was revised two years ago. The memorandum simply stated how DISSA had viewed transformation in terms of people with disabilities.
Ministerial Task Team on the implementation of recommendations
Dr W Basson reported that the Ministerial Task Team envisaged one authority to develop, co-ordinate and monitor a comprehensive sport system according to the agreed guidelines of national policy. He noted that there had not previously been a national strategy for sport in South Africa. This would be the last opportunity to rectify the problems in sport. The steering committee has identified the terms of reference of this unified structure as well as 19 key performance areas. The Chairperson and CEO of this unified body would be of critical importance to its success.
The Chairperson thanked Dr Basson for the presentation as most Members of Parliament were unaware of these plans.
Mr Frolick stated that it was not only Members of Parliament but members of sport federations also that were not aware on the plans. He asked which processes were planned to familiarise sports people generally across the country as to what changes were to take place. He asked where this structure would end and asked if it would filter down to the provinces and municipalities.
Dr Basson stated that the federations had been well informed of the progress both by the Ministerial Task Team and by NOCSA. The structure had not been finalised yet. The idea was that it would be a work in progress.
Mr Frolick asked about rumours that USSASA was dissolving in November.
Mr Fredericks stated that there is a need for a co-ordinated school sport structure. It was on the table that this structure would include USSUSA, SASA and DISA. School sport will be commissioned much closer to Government. The role of teachers in school sport could not be replaced.
Mr Frolick stated that there was a lack of clarity around mass participation in sport.
Dr Phaahla added that progress was being made; however much more work needed to be done. There was a strong feeling about the independence of the new body. He suggested that there should be some statutory regulation of such a sports body.
Dr Basson stated the Committee should not be too concerned with the regulation of this independent sport body as government had enough power to keep such a body in line.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee would not create a body it could not control. Such a body would have to be guided by a framework. As far as the Committee was concerned, mass participation was still promoted by the Department. He complimented the Department on their splendid work.
The meeting was adjourned.
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