Subcommittee Election and Consideration of International Agreements

Sports, Arts and Culture

26 October 2004
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Meeting report

041026pcsport

SPORTS AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
26 October 2004
SUBCOMMITTEE ELECTION AND CONSIDERATION OF INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS


Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)

Documents handed out:
None

SUMMARY
The Committee was not able to meet with Disabled Sports South Africa (DISA) as scheduled. The Business Plan was adopted without discussion. Members then divided themselves into four subgroups so that they might better interact with Sports Federation codes in the light of the Federation's rejection of government involvement in sports management.

The Committee would further soon pick the Members to visit Australia. It had also been suggested that the Committee visit France, Korea and Japan to find out more about their World Cup experiences. Lastly, the Committee decided to issue a press release and host a press conference the following day, to express support for the selectors' choice for the national rugby squad, as they had been particularly disappointed by the general media's reaction to this news.

MINUTES

Chairperson's introduction

The Committee had planned to meet with Disabled Sports South Africa (DISA), but they could not attend because they had had to attend a Ministerial Task team meeting instead. The Task Team had suggested a number of recommendations as well as a Sports Transformation Charter for the country. Political Parties would have to take this Charter back to their study group for discussion, and then the Committee should link up with the Department to plan a way forward for the Charter.

The Sports Federation had been attempting to exclude political involvement in sports management. Their proposal had been presented to the Committee and was currently being presented to the Minister. It was important for Members to also discuss this proposal in their respective Party Caucuses. The Federation would make a second presentation to the Committee in the future.

The Chairperson then proposed for a motion for the adoption of the minutes of the 19 of October and the Business Plan report. The Committee unanimously adopted the minutes and the report.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee was requested to approve international sports agreements between South Africa and the Netherlands, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Belgium (Flanders), France, Italy, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Tunisia. The Committee would have to consider the extent to which the agreements would assist sport in the country.

Discussion
Mr C Frolick (ANC) suggested that some of the agreements were very old and dated back to 1994 and 1996. The agreements had not appeared in any Parliament Order Papers. He suggested that the Committee note the agreements to know which would assist them in their duties. He also said there was a many outstanding appointment within the Department, and he wanted to hear about progress made.

The Chairperson agreed with the suggestions. He also told the Committee that the High Commissioner of Australia was willing to host part of the Committee on a study tour. The purpose of this tour would be to learn about the role of government and Parliaments in sports. It had also been suggested that the Committee visit France, Korea and Japan to more about their World Cup experiences. He wished to know how France had used their stadiums after the World Cup and why did Korea had demolished their stadiums. Selection of Members for these trips would be considered by their meeting attendance records.

The Chairperson went on to form sub-Committees so that Members might better interact with the Sports Federation. Group 1 covered cricket, war games, karate and gymnastics; Group 2: rugby, boxing, tug-of-war, stick fighting and jet skiing; Group 3: soccer, golf, water sports, swimming and surfing; and Group 4: netball, hockey, tennis and athletics. Members would have to each choose one group. Some Members selected their group while some decided that they would need to get back to the Chairperson on this.

Mr T Louw (ANC) was concerned about the reaction from sports writers on the issue of the selection of 11 black players on the country's rugby team. The media had questioned the coach and the selection team on the reason for their selections. This was demoralising to both the players and coaches involved. The Committee should deliver a press release, whether through the Department or by itself. The Chairperson agreed and said that, in the past, the Committee had presented press releases on similar issues.

Mr Frolick stated that there were 99 black players contracted in the current Cup system, but only 11 had made it onto the national squad. The media should not be allowed to conduct its own selection of the team. A press conference was necessary because there was a provincial bias in the media, and conflicting reports on this issue. The behaviour of the media showed that there was still serious racism to be addressed in the country.

The Chairperson then suggested that the press conference take place the following day. It should also contained a positive and congratulatory message to the coaches who had selected the players. Mr Louw requested that the message not be compromising, but be forceful.

The meeting was adjourned!

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