Sports and Recreation South Africa: briefing

Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


17 November 2004

: B Tolo (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Sports and Recreation SA PowerPoint Presentation on their Annual Report
Sports and Recreation SA Annual Report [available soon on]

Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) presented its Annual Report and highlighted the slow pace of transformation in sports. The SRSA was making every effort to hasten the process and ensure that all sports fairly represented the population. The Committee raised concerns about sports federations working against the national transformation agenda, inadequate sports facilities in schools, sports legislation, under-spending due to staff vacancies, and outside funding of sport.


Sports and Recreation South Africa briefing
Mr Hendricks, Head of Department, stated that due to the slow pace of transformation, they had drafted a transformation policy document to be introduced next year. Last week they had passed a memorandum for a new organisation that would govern sports in the country.

The sports environment was difficult. A lack of disposable income was preventing willing and able-bodied people from taking part in sports and recreation. Provinces were depending on SRSA to fund their sports and recreation activities. Federations were only willing to fund sports and recreation at the international, and not at local level where it was needed most. This situation was contributing to the lack of facilities in disadvantaged communities. Thus, the unequal and unfair distribution of representation in sports and recreation continued.

Two important administrative sectors of the SRSA were financial and legal administration. Through the former, a transfer of R70 million had been made to national federations, sports development initiatives, international events and public entities. The National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill would be passed next year and would allow the Minister to directly intervene in the transformation process, and make federations and other organisations more accountable.

Ms J Vilakazi (IFP) asked what could be done about inadequate sports facilities in schools.

Mr G Fedrick, SRSA Chief Director, stated that they had put into place a framework for organisations and departments responsible for school sports. The Department of Education and SRSA were controlling the above process. The Department of Education would be responsible for curriculum development of school sports.

The Minister had also called for everyone who had an interest in children participating in sports and recreation to present their ideas. There would be a conference this weekend where all role players would come together to formulate solutions on the issue. However, school sports fell under the mass participation programme of SRSA and work was progressing on it.

Mr J Thlagale (UCDP) asked about the extent to which SRSA was involved in assisting families who lost relatives at Ellis Park in April 2003. He was also concerned about what the organisation intended to do about withholding funds from the federations for not meeting certain requirements, given that the Auditor-General had asked that the process of transfers be reversed.

Mr Hendricks stated that SRSA was not assisting the families of those who had lost their lives at Ellis Park, but there were efforts in place to prevent similar tragedies from taking place in the future.

The Chairperson stated that the issue of prevention was very important but that it was taking a long time. He stated that he was surprised to learn that preventative measures had not been put into place yet.

Mr Hendricks responded that legislation was in place to provide for preventive measures, but the process was a long one. The world was watching South Africa and if other countries had to trust our facilities for Soccer World Cup 2010 the preventive measures issue had to be considered very carefully.

Mr Fedrick dealt with the effects of SRSA reversing funding decisions on federations. He stated that volunteers ran the federations and that SRSA had decided to give the federations money to employ full-time administrators. These administrators would hopefully conduct proper financial administration and comply with SRSA regulations.

Ms A Qikani (UDM) asked what SRSA would do to develop golf in the country.

Mr Fedrick responded that golf was perceived as a white sport but the situation in the country was changing and more and more black people, including the youth, were taking part. SRSA was making an effort to create more interest in the sport.

Ms M Madlala (ANC) wanted SRSA to state when the Bills that were mentioned during the presentation would be introduced in Parliament. She also wanted to know if it was possible for the organisation to intervene and stop the sponsorship of the federations from the National Lottery. Lastly, she requested that SRSA address an amount of R2.7 million of the budget that was due to staff vacancies.

The Chairperson also stated that the issue of the R2.7 million amounted to under spending and that this was seen by Parliamentarians as a failure to deliver.

Mr Hendricks stated that three Bills were ready to be introduced in Parliament as soon as it re-opened in 2005. He also stated that the establishment of the new structure mentioned during the presentation would solve the problem of sponsorship from the National Lottery to the federations. The new structure would require huge funding and given that that money would be coming from the Lottery, it would not be in a position to fund the federations. He asserted that the Lottery demanded little or no proper accounting or accountability for the money given to the federations.

Mr Fedrick added that there were massive amounts of sports sponsorships, but the lack of co-ordination between the organisations and federations was creating a problem of utilising this money properly.

Ms E Cloete, Chief Financial Officer of SRSA stated that the R2.7 million was not really an issue of under spending. The money had been allocated for personnel. However, it had to be reflected in the financial statement. She added that National Treasury had to approve transfers between budget programmes. It took time to fill vacancies with the appropriate staff and that contributed to the unused portion of R2.7 million.

Mr M Sulliman (ANC) asked about plans to acquire funding from sources other than regular government funds. This funding he stated could be used to sponsor rural sports development.

Mr Fedrick responded that SRSA would seek funding from elsewhere such as Embassies and other groups. The first thing would be to establish the programmes that needed funding such as rural sports development.

The Chairperson was concerned about how sports was funded and suggested that funding to provinces should be based on conditions.

Mr Hendricks stated that due to the Lottery being taken over by the Department of Trade and Industry, SRSA was only one of the beneficiaries. This situation would not have occurred if money from the Lottery was directly put into sports through SRSA. He also stated that money that was allocated for sports and recreation and the mass participation programmes consisted of conditional grants. Attaching conditions to the grants worked in the favoured of SRSA.

The meeting was adjourned.


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