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SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
28 February 2005
DEPARTMENT STRATEGIC PLAN: BRIEFING
Documents handed out:
Sport And Recreation South Africa Strategic Plan for 2005
The Committee heard briefing from the Director General of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) on its Strategic Plan for 2005. A brief outline was provided of its budget, legislative programme, School Sport Programme and Mass Participation Programme. The Committee emphasised that transformation be the central point of focus for the Strategic Plan. Some concerns it raised were:
- efforts made to increase and measure growth of participation in sports by the previously disadvantaged
- the delivery of sport and recreation facilities by municipalities
- physical education programmes in schools.
The discussion clarified that SASCOC would be responsible for high performance sport and the SRSA would be responsible for mass participation sport. Sporting groups and the federations were now accountable to SASCOC.
Before handing over to the Department, the Chairperson reminded Sport And Recreation South Africa (SRSA) of the agreement between the Minister of Sport and Recreation and the Committee that the issue of transformation was going to be at the top of the agenda of the strategic plan.
SRSA presented its strategic plan and highlighted the priority of Physical Education for Youth among other things. It was noted that the United Nations had declared 2005 as the Year of Physical Education and it was very important to engage South African children in exercise.
Sport And Recreation South Africa Presentation: "An Active And Winning Nation"
Prof Denver Hendricks, Head of SRSA, reminded the Committee that within a month’s time the SRSA and the South African Sport Commission would be integrated to form a single establishment. The new structure, SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) responsible for high performance sport would be in place by April 2005.
Speaking on SRSA’s Strategic Plan, he identified the priorities that drove the department. The plan was based on the recognition that recreation was a part of sport and that substantial disadvantages in sports existed in the country. The plan also recognised that the legacy of Apartheid still existed in sport. The strategic plan reflected the priorities identified by the President in his State of the Nation address. SRSA was consulting with communities on the issue of facilities, considering how Boxing South Africa could become a public entity and working with the Department of Health to address the issue of an active lifestyle; also mentioned by the President in his address. The vision of SRSA was to ensure an "active and winning nation" (see document for detail).
Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) referred to Mr Hendricks comment about "substantial disparities between advantaged and disadvantaged communities’ access to sport". What efforts were being made to increase the ratio of disadvantaged to advantaged participants? He asked for further explanation of his comment that the present 10 percent needed to be increased to 30 percent. What yardstick was being used to carry out this increment. There were no figures given which could serve as a measurement tool.
Mr Hendrick replied that prior to 2004, the Department had not measured the level of participation in disadvantaged communities. Recently, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) had conducted a research in disadvantaged communities with the largest sample ever used, but results were not yet in. He would like the Department to return to brief the Committee once the results were analysed. However, the Department was in a position to state that the statistics gathered from the research would be very important for the future and the research was an on-going process. The SRSA would continue to interact with the interviewees, to find out in numerical terms if the departmental programmes in sport and recreation were making any difference. The current percentage for participation in organised sport and recreation would be used as a benchmark to assess the increase of the following year and track if this fell short of the target. Efforts would be made to raise the level by 30 percent. This would also means that the Department now had a yard stick to measure the level of participation amongst disadvantaged communities.
Mr E Lucas (IFP) was concerned about delivery to municipalities and the issue of transport. He asserted that sport and recreation facilities have not been prioritissed. He also believed that transport was an issue of vital importance that had been left out of the presentation. The country’s transportation system was not sufficiently developed and organised which needed serious consideration before 2010 World Cup.
Mr Hendricks responded that the problem with municipalities and sport facilitity budgets was due to the hand over of the project from SRSA to the Department of Provincial and Local Government. SRSA’s assessment of the project established that sport and recreation were not prioritised. In this regard, the SRSA had been playing an advocacy role to ensure that municipalities prioritise sport and recreation facilities. Given that SRSA was not engaged in building facilities anymore, it was difficult to be engaged in any other role than advocacy.
With regard to transportation in 2010, Mr Hendricks stated that FIFA matches would not take place in rural areas. Thus transportation would not pose a problem. The Department of Transport had already developed a transport infrastructure plan for 2010.
Mr S Masango (DA) commented that it would be difficult to assess SRSA as there were no specific target dates within the operation period 2005-2009. He suggested that it would be more reasonable for the Department to show its achievements in concrete terms where progress and declines could be assessed yearly.
Mr Hendricks explained that specific targets and dates for SRSA operations were stated in the Business Plan of the Department. Unfortunately, they were not contained in the Strategic Plan.
Mr E Saloojee (ANC) was under the impression that the SRSA did not have the clout to ensure material changes were brought to disadvantaged schools. His observation was that the Department only acted as an advocate. It was also fair to mention that the Department budget was one of the lowest and this could serve as a hindrance to development. The Department needed to attract a more substantial budget so as to enhance its role in bringing about change and balancing out the historically disadvantaged situation that had existed for such a long time.
Mr Hendrick replied that the Department’s mass participation programme was ensuring that students in disadvantaged schools received material changes. Through the School Sports programme, as managed by Mr Fredericks, children who had not been able to afford paying travelling costs to games, were now able to travel without any cost. These costs were now covered for poor students through that programme. However, resources were a major issue at the end of the day.
Mr Gregory Fredericks, Senior Manager: Funding Policy and Liaison, added that in the past, SRSA placed all its faith in the federations to carry out the mass participation programme. Unfortunately the federations only served their members and as such, the mass population who were not members of the federations did not benefit. This was one major reason why the Department had diverted money from the federations with the help of the Committee. Mr Fredericks added that some of the federations were richer than the department because they were attracting a lot of money from the national lottery and other sources.
Mr Hendrick commented that the Department would certainly like to change its advocacy role. The fact was that sport was not a priority for investment at the national and provincial level. The amount of money that was being made available to the Sports Department through the national lottery needed to be amended. Progress was very slow because resources were limited.
Mr Louw was concerned that the debates about 2010 may leave the games being played in only a few cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town. Mr Hendricks implied that some cities and towns did not have the infrastructures to host any of the games. If this was the people’s world cup, he asked how the Department was working towards making it available to the people.
Mr Hendrick stated that the Department did not speak to the 2010 Committee about where the games should be hosted. Although there were efforts being made by the Development Bank on this issue, what was more essential was a political intervention.
The Chairperson was concerned about physical education programmes in schools as well as improving recreation facilities. He asked whether SRSA or SASCOC was in charge of the upcoming Commonwealth games. He requested the Department to present the Committee with documents that specifically addressed targets. He asked about the capabilities of the Department to intervene in and regulate the activities of the federations. Although the issue of employment was mentioned in the Department’s Strategic Plan, it was clear that the clothing for the national Rugby team was not manufactured in the country. He asked for this issue to be addressed. He also wondered why the Department did not put forward a proposal for change in the federations.
Mr Fredricks stated that there was much pressure coming from the provinces about the physical education programme. The relevant document on the issue was waiting only for the signatures of the Ministers of Education and Sports. All stakeholders in the process were under pressure do something.
Mr Hendrick stated that R15 million had been allocated for school sports this year, but there was a need for more money in order to improve the overall situation. Resources were the major issue. He admitted that recreation had been neglected and a major effort was needed to rekindle the whole area of recreation. There was a clear divide between the functions of SASCOC and SRSA administratively. There was not going to be any overlap of duties. SASCOC would be responsible for high performance sport and the SRSA would be responsible for mass participation sport. Also, the Commonwealth Games administration was moving into the offices of SASCOC.
The Sports Charter did not have the clout to intervene and force federations to be accountable. The federations received far more money from the Lottery than from the Department. In some instances, some federations refused funding from the Department because of control and accountability measures. The federations at present were accountable to SASCOC. Two attempts had been made to enable the Minister of Sport and Recreation to be able to intervene in SASCOC affairs, but Cabinet had argued that the government could not intervene in the activities of voluntary organisations. On economic issues, 30 percent of tourism was sports tourism and the Department was finalising a project that would invite people to South Africa for sporting events.
Mr C Frolick (ANC) wanted to know what the Committee should expect from the Department in respect of accountability. Also, most sporting groups including the federations felt that they were not accountable to the Department anymore, but to SASCOC.
Mr Hendrick responded that the Department had a blue print of what needed to be done with facilities and where the bigger needs were. The Department was constantly conscientising its staff members about its People First principles. He agreed that sporting groups and the federations were now accountable to SASCOC.
Ms Else Cloete, Chief Financial Officer of SRSA, gave a brief summary of the budget. She highlighted that there was a slow increase in the budget on a yearly basis.
Mr Louw said that it would be very important for SRSA to present the Committee with a detail budget presentation. He reminded the Committee that the Department was due to make a detail presentation on the budget.
Mr Masango referred to the income column in the document and wanted to know why it was constant.
Ms Cloete responded that this column reflected only a small portion of money that was not spent. She gave examples of cheques that were not made available to federations because they refused to abide by SRSA regulations.
Mr Louw suggested that the issue was not explained satisfactorily because the column could not be called income and be constant at the same time. Mr Masango added that income was an inappropriate name for the column, it should be referred to as refunded money.
Mr Hendricks explained that Treasury preferred that the column be called income.
Mr C Frolick commented that the issue needed to be explained by Treasury and made more explicit.
Mass Participation Programme, Department Legislation Programme and School Sport Programme
Mr G Fredericks Chief Director, presented on the Mass Participation Programme and highlighted that legislation was being drafted on safety at sports stadiums within the country. Other upcoming legislation will be the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill, Control Of Sports Persons Visiting the Republic and the South African Sports Commission Repeal Bill He also commented on the School Sport Programme and said that SRSA was ensuring that the transformation objectives were being met.
The Chairperson was concerned about duplication in the legislation on Safety at Sports Stadiums and the Disaster Management Act. He stated that the Disaster Management Act contained provisions dealing with safety at sports stadium.
Mr Hendrick replied that the Disaster Management Act would inform the Safety at Sports Stadium legislation and there would be no duplication.
The meeting was adjourned!
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