SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC); United School Sports Association of SA (USSASA): briefings

Sports, Arts and Culture

01 March 2005
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Meeting report

SPORTS AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
1 March 2005
SA SPORTS CONFEDERATION AND OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (SASCOC); UNITED SCHOOL SPORTS ASSOCIATION OF SA USSASA): BRIEFINGS

Chairperson:
Mr B Komphela (ANC)

Documents handed out:
United School Sports Association of SA: briefing
SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee: briefing

SUMMARY
The Committee was briefed on the establishment of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on 1 April 2005, and on the progress of the United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA).

SASCOC explained that it would become the single governing body over all SA sports on April 1. SASCOC’s main objective would be transformation with the establishment of a sports academy system. Committee members questioned how SASCOC would optimise use of its funding and discussed challenges to transformation of sport.

USSASA presented that it is the governing body over school sports and urged the Committee to give statutory recognition to its volunteers. Members discussed the role of the Department of Education in funding school sport.

MINUTES

SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee briefing
Mr Moss Moshishi, SASCOC President, said that prior to the creation of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), there had been no single body to administer all sport in South Africa. Sports programmes had become fragmented, harming athletes and sport in general. SASCOC would become the governing body over all sports from 1 April 2005. This would bring seamless integration between the more than 80 sports federations. SASCOC’s primary goal was to accelerate transformation through bold leadership and good strategy. SASCOC would work with the Committee to create five and ten-year plans by which SASCOC would be measured. Plans would follow the ideals of the Transformation Charter and promote transformation through development.

He noted that there had been debate about quotas in sports. SASCOC had to look at substantive results and not colour when selecting players for national or other teams. SASCOC would need to optimise moneys received through the National Lottery and the Committee should pressure government to increase funding for sport. SASCOC would end public disputes between sports federations and government and build confidence with stakeholders. It would support school sports and sports for people with different abilities. It would also establish a national sports academy system. Talent needed to be identified and nurtured and eventually placed on national teams. The academies would deliver development and transformation.

Discussion
Mr C Frolick (ANC) said SASCOC was correct that transformation would require bold leadership and that sport has been fragmented.

Mr T Lee (DA) asserted that SASCOC should work with the Department of Education because the next generation of athletes was to be found in schools. The education department had received more funding than sport had. He added that sports should be free from outside interference.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) pointed out that the Committee knew of discussions between the Ministers of Education and Sport.

Mr E Saloojee (ANC) described a scenario where only white children were selected for a team before a few black children were selected to give the impression of integration. He commented that most black children could not afford equipment or uniforms. It would take enormous effort to achieve equality.

Mr B Dhlamini (IFP) said that normally sports should be independent, but the country had been faced with an abnormal situation that made intervention necessary. He asked if the wealthier sports federations would buy into SASCOC’s system.

Mr Moshishi answered that SASCOC would have the authority to make the sports federations comply. SASCOC’s immediate plan for funding was to optimise its current funding. People should not be excluded from sport because of poverty. The sports academy system should give equal access.

The Chairperson assured SASCOC that the first priority of the Sports Minister has been transformation. The government should intervene in sports. Would rugby, soccer and cricket not be covered by SASCOC? The Chairperson asked how SASCOC would optimise its lottery funds.

Mr Moshishi answered that the current allocation of 10% for sport from the National Lottery had been too small. It should be increased to 20%. The lines of accountability would be clear. Sports federations should answer to SASCOC and SASCOC to Parliament. SASCOC would cover every sport including rugby, soccer and cricket.

United School Sports Association of SA briefing
Dr Doctor Nkosi, President, said that the United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA) has been recognised by the government and SASCOC as the national organisation co-ordinating all school sports. USSASA’s biggest problem has been the lack of funding for activities on the regional, district and circuit levels so poor children have been excluded. About 30 000 schools have affiliated with USSASA. 14 million learners and more than 300 000 educators, parents and other volunteers have been involved. USSASA estimated that 40 million learners could participate in school sport if funding was adequate. USSASA has co-ordinated 28 different sports including indigenous games and sports for learners with different abilities. USSASA maintained healthy relationships with senior sports federations and has been affiliated with the Confederation of School Sports in South Africa and the International School Sports Federation. USASSA would be an associate member of SASCOC and all ‘Team South Africa’ responsibilities of USSASA would go to SASCOC.

There should be statutory recognition of USSASA’s 30 000 volunteers. Such a structure would resemble the Arts Councils or the AIDS Council. Such legislation could ease the tension between the Education and Sports Departments.

USSASA’s role in transformation would require funding to deliver sports to all of South Africa. Talent identification and development should be efficient and USSASA should work with the sports academy system. Competitive and recreational sports activities should take place at the circuit and district levels.

Discussion
Mr T Lee asserted that teachers volunteering with USSASA should receive special compensation for their extra efforts. That would help USSASA retain volunteers.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) questioned why white schools continue to play amongst themselves exclusively if USSASA is co-ordinating all school sports. He also inquired about fees the schools should pay to affiliate with USSASA.

Mr G Fredricks (Department’s Senior Manager: Funding Policy and Liaison) said there has been co-ordination between the Departments of Sports and Education and an agreement has been worked on.

Mr T Lee asked how much money the Department of Education was going to contribute to sports.

Mr G Fredricks answered that the Department of Sports had requested an additional R22 million in the budget and had received R10 million - that made R15 million when added to the R5 million it already had.

Mr D Chiloane (USSASA) said that schools paid affiliation fees to local committees. Local committees then paid fees to regional committees and on up to the national level. USSASA has received R30 000 per province per year in affiliation fees.

Mr Paul Hendricks (USSASA) commented that white schools competing with each other exclusively has been a tradition. Affluent schools sometimes have not wanted to share with poorer schools.

The Chairperson asked what could be done to help individual children who wanted to participate in sport but lacked resources.

Mr G Fredricks replied that the Department of Education has funded federations but not individuals. The federations should raise additional funds. The Department of Sports wanted to create a fund to be used at the Minister’s discretion to support individual athletes.

The Chairperson asked about the tension between the Departments of Education and Sports mentioned in the presentation.

Mr D Chiloane replied that USSASA has been unable to secure dates for activities. The problem has been bureaucratic. Some people were obstructing USSASA’s activities.

Mr G Fredricks pointed out that the Department of Education had to consider the school calendar and other factors when setting dates for events. With regard to certain dates, the Easter break would be an issue.

The Chairperson said that USSASA should alert the Committee about any problems that it encountered in carrying out its duties.

The meeting was adjourned.

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