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SPORTS AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
9 November 2004
SPORTS AND RECREATION SOUTH AFRICA ANNUAL REPORT, MASS PARTICIPATION AND SCHOOLS SPORTS PROGRAMMES
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Sports and Recreation South Africa Annual Report 2003/2004 (PowerPoint Presentation)
Sports and Recreation South Africa Mass Participation Programme (PowerPoint Presentation)
Sports and Recreation South Africa School Sports Programme (PowerPoint Presentation)
The Department of Sport and Recreation gave presentations on its Annual Report and the challenges and progress of its various activities. The Department (Sports and Recreation South Africa) stressed that its operating budget was very limited and that in order to achieve its targets, it had to operate within strict guidelines with federations and other sporting bodies. The Committee expressed satisfaction about the Department's progress, but was concerned that many sport federations were not adhering to the Sport Transformation Charter while receiving funds from the Department.
Department Annual Report
Mr Hendricks, Department Director-General, stated that there had been criticism from the public about sports not truly representing South African society. The Department was aware of this but the Minister could not intervene directly. Although the Transformation Charter existed, sports federations were not abiding by it. The Minister was only able to directly influence the issue through the Legislature.
Mr Hendricks objected that a lack of resources was restraining the public from participating in sports. Unfortunately, the Department's resources were limited as well. Private sector support was one way of funding sporting programmes, but tapping resources from private funds was very difficult as their intention was strictly marketing. This situation had led to the Department making limited progress at local level, as there were so few facilities in disadvantaged areas. The Department's budget was regrettably the smallest of all government departments.
Department Mass Participation Programme
Ms Mkhonto-Pascal had been seconded by the Department's programme manager of the Mass Participation Programme from the SA Sports Commission. The Commission would be fully integrated with the Department by April 2005. She reported that the purpose of the programme was to promote mass participation within disadvantaged communities and to empower communities to manage their activities in conjunction with local authorities, sports federations and provincial sports departments.
Her brief presentation highlighted the other aims of poverty alleviation through job creation. R20 million from the National Treasury had been invested in the programme for 2004/05. They had targetted historically disadvantaged persons, the youth, women, the disabled and those living in rural and particular nodal areas. She also highlighted their activities, planning, monitoring and evaluation, challenges and future plans.
Department School Sports Programmes
Mr Fredrick, Department Chief Director, presented the background of the programme. School sport was headed nationally by a team of Sports and Recreation South Africa and the Department of Education. This structure was followed in descending order by a Joint Committee, an Advisory Board and the Co-ordinating Committee.
The government would be responsible for co-ordinating and funding priority sports, while the federations were to be the custodians of the structures of these competitive school sports. The interests of priority groups such as women, people with disabilities, and rural inhabitants were among the guiding principles.
Mr C Frolick (ANC) raised the ongoing funding of federations not observing the Transformation Charter. He mentioned Boxing South Africa as a specific example.
Mr Hendricks stated that Boxing South Africa was in its first year of operation since its transformation into a public entity. The Minister had requested them to give explanations for their actions. Some of the federations were maintaining that they could not force the public to participate in sports.
Mr Fredrick responded that the Department had realised that most of the federations were only interested in international events. The Department had issued a warning that it would further cut funding of those federations not adhering to the Charter.
Mr T Lee (DA) stated that the Department was the only department that used limited resources to achieve a great deal. Since government was not investing more resources, he proposed that they seek further private funding, and to encourage mass participation. Mr Hendricks stated that the Department was getting a huge return on its mass participation programme.
Mr E Saloojee (ANC) suggested that the Department set a significant amount of money aside to encourage bicycling for black youths. Many of these youths depended on cycling to get around.
Mr Hendricks responded that many youths in the country were very interested in cycling and that the talent in the sport was very great. The Department would speak to the cycling federation on this issue. The government could also import surplus bicycles from China, donated by the Chinese authorities.
Mr E Mtshali (ANC) was concerned about the expenditure on facilities. He wanted to know where these facilities were located. Mr Hendricks stated that the locations of the facilities were indicated at the back of the Annual Report.
Ms D Morobi asked about federations being run by volunteers. There were concurrent reports of under-spending and supplies not purchased for facilities' renovation. Mr Hendricks stated that it was difficult to transfer funds from personnel costs to programme costs.
The Chairperson said the Annual Report stated that some federations had not received their allocations because they were not meeting certain requirements. He was concerned that this was leading to the progress of many of these federations being curtailed. He was also concerned about the transfer of money to municipalities.
Mr Fredrick stated that the federations had complained to the Minister that they could not access funds. However, the Department had to take measures that would ensure that their requirements were met. The Auditor-General would be very concerned if money was handed out without adherence to rules and regulations.
Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) asked about the meaning of a 'hub'. Ms Mkhonto-Pascal responded that a hub was an area with a facility located within walking distance. These particular hubs had a 3-kilometre radius of local population.
Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) asked about the location of the hubs mentioned by the mass participation programme. Ms Mkhonto-Pascal stated that these hubs were located in various areas of the Western Cape.
Mr Frolick asked about Department plans to ensure that equipment was transferred to areas where volunteers were working in the programmes.
Mr Fredrick stated that there were plans to decentralise the purchasing of equipment to various provinces. Once provinces were capacitated to deal with their equipment purchases, this would help a great deal.
Ms D Morobi commented that the white community used hubs in the cities. Most shelters that hosted poor people were far from the hubs. She wanted to know how children from poor communities could access the hubs.
Ms Mkhonto-Pascal stated that the Department was working on having children closer to hubs. The Department would update the Committee with their next progress report.
The meeting was adjourned.
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