Deputy Minister on Department Budget; CSIR and Sports Science Institute of SA: briefings

Sports, Arts and Culture

15 March 2005
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Meeting report

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFARIS

SPORTS AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
15 March 2005
DEPUTY MINISTER ON DEPARTMENT BUDGET; CSIR AND SPORTS SCIENCE INSTITUTE OF SA: BRIEFINGS

Chairperson:
Mr B Komphela (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Department budget (Also available at www.treasury.gov.za)
Department budget PowerPoint presentation
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research: Sports and Recreation PowerPoint presentation
Sports and Science Institute of South Africa booklet

SUMMARY
Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) presented its proposed budget for 2005/2006 which included allocations for specific sports with the goal of increasing participation and allocations for special events. The CSIR presented its research capabilities and programmes for improving athletic performance. The Sports Institute of South Africa presented its programmes to help underprivileged children to excel in sports. Members were unimpressed with the sports budget and the limited role played by municipalities in sports infrastructure development.

MINUTES

Department briefing
The Deputy Minister said that SRSA’s budget called for 187 posts and that 30 of those were unfunded, while 47 remained vacant. Sport was underfunded. The allocation for sports had dropped from R294 million last year to R203 million this year. SRSA had asked municipalities to help to build sports facilities but only five had agreed. SRSA motivated for hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup, School sport and the extension of the mass participation programme. The budget for sports should not be R203 million when the Department of Arts and Culture budget was over R1 billion. In the future, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) will receive funding from elsewhere so the Department will get R40 million back. LoveLife was now part of the Department’s budget. Allocations from SRSA to the provinces would increase from R1 million for each province to R24 million in total.

There had been criticism that the Department’s funds were spread too thin and had little impact. The Department gave preference to sports federations with potential to attract more people and gave added weight to transformation. First priority sports include athletics, netball, basketball, boxing, rugby, football and cricket. Rugby, football, and cricket were funded only at the club level.

The Department gave special assistance to federations that were in need. Funds were provided over a period of three years to help federations retain permanent staff and to set up sustainable structures. Federations pressured the Department to increase the R50 000 administration grant but the Department believed that federations should be able to generate revenue. The Department had allocated R2.6 million for hosting international events. The cricket world cup brought R2 billion to South Africa with R1.3 billion coming from foreigners. One-third of the world’s tourism was sports tourism. The Department had allocated R3 million for federations that presented good plans for transformation. The Department had allocated R10.2 million to SASCOC.

Discussion
Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) expressed concern about the availability of sports facilities. There was only one golf course available for people in Gauteng and the last three holes were removed to build houses. There was a plan to build 140 000 houses by the end of July that could absorb the entire course. There was a need for housing but there was also a need for recreation. Could the provinces help and where would the children play golf?

Mr T Lee (DA) said that other countries had municipal golf courses. The Committee had thought that municipalities would provide sports facilities for the children but only five had agreed to help. What are the other municipalities doing? Netball was underfunded and should get assistance.

Mr S Masango (DA) inquired about the decision process regarding allocating funds to provinces. Some provinces did not need as much funding.

Mr L Reid (ANC) said that there was no land left for golf courses. Cycling had not transformed. There were few coloured or African participants in the Argus cycling race.

Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) said that Lovelife and United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA) programmes were similar and that funding them both could be a complete duplication.

SRSA answered that the responsibility for sports delivery was with the provinces and that the provinces had also allocated funds for sports. The Department needed R6 billion to build all the necessary facilities. The R40 000 that had been allocated for golf was for a golf development board. The comment that netball was underfunded was surprising. The Department was aware of netball sponsorships including R10 million from Spar. Local politics had been obstructing the building of golf courses. Tennis used to be a flourishing sport and that was why the Department intervened. Tennis was in its last year of special support from SRSA. SRSA could contact tennis about issues relating to the composition of the team. SRSA was building thirteen new stadiums for the soccer World Cup and the building had not fallen behind schedule. The provinces could not do much with their R1 million per year allocation. Issues with cycling’s transformation were being addressed. Cycling was a major form of transport in South Africa and it was impossible to not have talented black cyclists. Lovelife cannot duplicate USSASA’s programme because they worked with USSASA. SRSA wanted the boxing federation to no longer be a public entity because it could get private sponsorship.

The Chairperson said that if he could have switched Sports and Recreation’s funding with Arts and Culture’s funding he would have. Cycling remained completely untransformed and it had been on SASCOC’s executive board. Cycling received money from the Cape Argus and Pick and Pay. Lovelife had a budget of R200 million while SRSA had a budget of R203 million, but SRSA’s impact had been much greater. Transformation should be the goal above athletic performance.

SRSA answered that the Committee could not compare budgets and that they had to make the case for sport on its own merits.

CSIR briefing
Sports technology meant technological support to improve athletic performance. Sports research and technology was vital to the development of athletes, coaches and institutions. Sports technology supplemented other forms of support given to athletes such as sports psychology and nutrition. CSIR had a number of strategic alliances with organizations and government institutions, including SASCOC and SRSA. CSIR developed analytical systems such as Rugbystat and Crickstat that have been used at the professional and developmental level. CSIR provided support to athletes in the form of video and biological analysis. CSIR also supported disabled athletes.

Discussion
Mr D Dikgacwi asked what the acronym CSIR meant.

Mr S Masango asked about the reliability of the CSIR’s technology.

Mr E Saloojee (ANC) asked how closely CSIR worked with athletes and how it identified those athletes.

The Chairperson asked where the CSIR’s funding came from and what was its budget.

CSIR answered that it had previously stood for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research but that the letters had no meaning. Historically, CSIR’s research had been on defence. CSIR did not work with athletes but with federations. CSIR had no official policy on transformation. CSIR was funded by a parliamentary grant.

The Chairperson said that the CSIR research should be more ‘biased’ towards rural and underprivileged athletes.

SA Sports Science Institute briefing
The Sports Science Institute of South Africa presented that it had been established in 1995 as a non-profit organization. The Sports Science Institute was funded by income generating programmes and sponsors. At Craven week 2002 the institute found that white athletes were 8 kg heavier on average than black athletes. 70 percent of white athletes had strength training while 50 percent of blacks and 30 percent of coloureds had. The Institute established mobile teams, which were transportable gyms. Data showed that the trial group who used the mobile gym increased in strength and speed. The Macsteel Maestros project found that off-the-field factors were affecting athletic performance. Sports federations nominated athletes to the Macsteel Maestros programme. Maestros were required to be between fourteen and twenty-one years old with records of athletic achievement and were from a historically disadvantaged group. There were 80 athletes in the programme and only fifteen were white. The Macsteel Maestros programme had been pursuing elite athletes who could be future role models.

There were no intellectual boundaries at the Sports Science Institute. The institute had researched metabolic health, muscle strength, cardiovascular health etc. South Africans suffered from non-communicable diseases like heart disease and cancer that have been affected by health. Less than one-third of black students were offered physical education at school. 40 percent did not engage in rigorous sport. Twenty percent of black children aged 6 to 12 were obese.

The Chairperson said that the Members had to leave for urgent business but that the Sports Science Institute should address the Committee on another day.

The meeting was adjourned.

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