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SPORTS AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
9 March 2005
DEPARTMENT BUDGET: INPUT FROM KWAZULU-NATAL NETBALL FEDERATION, AMATEUR RUGBY IN GAUTENG; SUSPENSION OF EASTERN CAPE AMATEUR CRICKET BOARD MEMBERS
Chairperson: B Komphela (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Department budget 2005/06
Eastern Cape Amateur Cricket Board briefing
The Committee listened to presentations from the KwaZulu-Natal Netball Federation and a representative involved with rubgy transformation in Gauteng. The purpose of these presentations was to inform the Committee on the status of transformation in these sports codes and make suggestions that would inform the Committee’s consideration of the Department’s Budget for 2005/06.
The Chair encouraged cash-strapped Netball SA to apply to Lotto for funding. The Committee had been engaging with the Lotto in order to ease the stringent funding criteria demanded by Lotto so that funds could be made available to smaller organisations that had no means of sponsorship.
Suspended members of the Eastern Cape Amateur Cricket Board presented their side of the facts about their suspension. The Committee promised to pursue this matter with the Minister.
The Chairperson stated that it was important to engage the public when dealing with the budget. Thus the Committee had decided to invite groups representing different sports within the country to present their views on how and what should influence the budget. The hearing was part of a parliamentary process that was intended to give the public, especially those who would not ordinarily come to Parliament, a chance to speak about their concerns.
KwaZulu-Natal Netball Federation briefing
Federation Acting President, Ms Sandra Khathi, stated that the most important issue facing the organisation was finances. Due to limited funds the organisation did not have access to facilities. This situation was hampering the progress and development of the organisation. There were no development programmes taking place in some of the regions covered by the Federation, because there was limited or no transportation to get players to and from matches.
Ms Sandra Wright, the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, also stated that there were many young people in the Zululand region who could not be accommodated into the programme because of the lack of funds. She added that this was the same situation in many of the other regions as well. The organisation was engaging the municipalities so as to assist them in transporting young people to matches.
Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) asked how the leagues were organised. He was specifically concerned about the integration process. He also wanted to know how much money the organisation received from the Department of Sport and Recreation and what was the nature of the programme that was established with the municipalities.
Ms Khathi replied that unlike the Apartheid era, there was only one league for all the regions and it was integrated. She added that young white players were reluctant in joining the league, because the leadership was black dominated. The organisation was not receiving any financial assistance from municipalities.
The Chairperson wanted to know about the number of teams in KwaZulu-Natal. He asked how the Federation dealt with the issue of male dominance in Netball and the development programs in place for school children. He also asked if the National Lottery was funding the Federation and the level of assistance that the organisation wish to received from the department. Also of concern was the status of facilities in the region and the relationship with NGOs (non-government organisations), as well as the level of efforts in the mass participation programme.
Ms Khathi did not know the specific number of teams in the region, but stated that she would transmit the information to the Committee at a later date. She agreed that the issue of male dominance was a fact. She also admitted that white players dominated the sport. This earlier had culminated in most or all of black women retreating from the sport before returning at a later stage. Black males - whose efforts resulted in the return of black females - were those that dominate the sport at present. Due to the great effort these black males had exerted, it was not suitable for the females to sideline them right away. This was the most important reason for the male dominance presently in the sport.
There was still the problem of linking players to the Federation because in the regions the concept still existed that school netball was separated from the Federation. It was taking a long time to convince the Federation that it was important to connect school children to the sport. This was causing problems for creating scholarships for kids as well. As far as the sport was concerned, it had not received money from the Lotto. There were no facilities in many areas and the children were playing on grass. Though some facilities existed in the Durban area, they could not be used because the fees for using them were too high. There were also no general principles for usage, as facilities were rented on the condition that the authority found favour with those who wanted to rent it. The organisation was including mass participation in its recent planning of programme. It had only just begun working with municipalities on a larger scale so as to include as many children in the sport as possible.
Ms Wright added that about 90% of the participants of the sport in Zululand were school children. Because there was only the University of Zululand in the area, many of the children left to attend university elsewhere and that resulted in losing many senior players. As such, a huge percentage of the organisation’s work involved developing players at the lower level.
Mr Lee encouraged Netball SA to engage the universities in the region to give bursaries to promising students. This could be done in partnership with the United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA).
Mr E Mtshali wanted to know if the facilities in and around the region were owned by the municipalities.
Ms Khathi replied that the facilities were owned by the municipalities but Netball SA had been renting the facilities along with the basketball and softball associations. Unfortunately, due to a series of conflicts between the latter two groups, access to the facilities had been stopped until further notice.
The Chairperson stated that Netball SA would need to apply to Lotto for funding because there was money available. He cautioned that it may be a complicated process because of the many stringent funding criteria demanded by Lotto. However, the Committee had been engaging with the Lotto executives to ease their demands so as to make money available for smaller organisations that had limited or no means of sponsorships.
Eastern Cape Amateur Cricket Board briefing
Three suspended members of the Board, Mr Fezekile Tshiwulla, Mr Mantshona and Mr Majola, stated that they had been elected when the Board’s representation had been predominantly white. Due to the dominance of black players in the teams in the area, they were tasked to pursue a transformation that would suit the teams. Unfortunately, when they had pursued a rigorous transformation that aimed to remove most of the white leadership, they were branded and suspended from the board. Further, the report about the suspension had not been made available to them. They suggested that the budget had been influenced by their concepts and ideas. The three had also held executive positions within the Nelson Mandela Sports Council.
Mr Lee was disappointed about the suspension and especially about the decision by the white leadership to not to make the report available. He asserted that there were lots of views in the public domain about the report. He was eager to know if the suspended board members had made any attempt to run for membership in the board again.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee would make sure to get a copy of the report. The report was made possible due to public funds and, as such, it was not the personal property of the Cricket Board leadership. He wanted to know if the men had approached the Minister about the issue and if so, what his response had been.
Mr Tshiwulla replied that the Minister was informed about the issue but had not done anything about it.
The Chairperson assured the men that the Committee would interact with the Minister, the United Cricket Board (UCB) and the suspended members to resolve the issue.
High Performance Centre, University of Pretoria, briefing
Mr Alfred Mzizi, Client Relations Manager, stated that in 2003, rugby had embarked on transformation but had not achieved this to date. Despite the majority of the country’s population being black, there was no significant representation of black players in rugby. There was a need to mobilise black people by placing them in coaching and training positions. There was also the need to create support systems around them. He suggested that the mandate given to the Federations to carry out transformation be taken away from them. He further suggested that more funds be diverted to amateur sports and poor athletes be given serious consideration.
The Chairperson asked Mr Mzizi’s views on the White Paper on Sport and Recreation, and if he had made any significant contributions to the document.
Mr Mzizi replied that he had made significant input on the document and was asking the Committee to support his inputs to advance transformation. He added that many former white cricket and rugby players were forming academies and attracting white young people to these facilities. The result was that these young white players were making it to the national sports teams.
The meeting was adjourned.
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