Cycling South Africa; Boxing South Africa: briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

08 March 2005
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Meeting report

SPORT AND RECREATION SOUTH AFRICA

SPORT AND RECREATION SOUTH AFRICA
8 March 2005
CYCLING SOUTH AFRICA; BOXING SOUTH AFRICA: BRIEFING

Chairperson
: B Komphela (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Cycling SA presentation
Cycling SA report
Boxing Promoters submission

Cycling SA website

SUMMARY
Cycling South Africa and Boxing Promoters made presentations to the Committee about the status of their organisations. Past and present situations were elaborated and challenges facing the organisations were also stated.

The Committee strongly recommended that Cycling S A conform to the transformation document and integrate the sport so as to be more inclusive. It took into consideration points made by Boxing Promoters and promised to consider these issues.

MINUTES
The Chairperson welcomed both Cycling South Africa and Boxing Promoters. He noted the relevance of the budget of government departments in bettering the lives of citizens in all aspects. One needed to assess the changes that had occurred. The budget was relevant in achieving this. The concept of having hearings on the budget was to shape priorities based on public input.

Cycling South Africa briefing
The briefing was delivered by three of the organisation’s executives: Mr Gotty Hansen (President), Mr David Bellairs (Vice President) and Mr Conrad Lesch (Development Chairperson). They reported on the current status of cycling in the country and noted the percentage of white and black cyclists that currently took part in the sport. The organisation operated in only five of the nine provinces. It currently had development initiatives such as joint initiatives with businesses that were supporting development clubs in townships and other areas and forming partnerships. The future was hopeful but challenges such as the view that cycling as an elite sport and the need to restructure the organisation needed to be addressed.

Discussion
Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) stated that he was struck by the use of words such as "white and non-white" in the Cycling South Africa presentation document. In the new South Africa, use of words such as non-white or non-European was not necessary.

Mr Hansen, Cycling SA President, stated that he was not sure about how to address the issue in Parliament. He asked about the right words to use when speaking about the different races.

Mr C Frolick wanted Cycling South Africa to give an idea of what the organisation has been engaged in for the past ten years. He specifically stressed the issue of transformation and added that the expectation of the Committee was that federations would view transformation as a key element.

Mr Hansen stated that in order for the organisation to be competitive it needed to have enough supplies in the form of bicycles. Whenever some of the bicycles broke down, there was no way of getting them repaired because the tools needed were not available. The major issue in the work of the organisation up until now has been the issue of resources.

Mr T Lee (DA) wanted to know why Cycling South Africa operated in only five provinces instead of all nine. He asked what had been the strategies used in exposing young people to the sport in these five provinces.

Mr Hansen replied that the reason why the organisation was operating in only five provinces was because there was not sufficient development happening in the other provinces. He repeated the issue of costs/resources and stated that the sport was unable to recruit more people because there was simply not enough resources. There was also a need to employ people on a full-time basis but this was not possible.

Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) asked the organisation what development programmes were in place and how many Black Africans they had been able to develop through the programmes. Were there structures in towns or provinces? How was the sport was being transferred to disadvantaged areas, if it was such an expensive sport as stated in the presentation.

Mr Conrad Lesch, Development Chairperson of Cycling SA, replied that the provincial structures were based on volunteer work. Cycling SA relied heavily on provincial structures to be able to oversee development. Provinces were asked regularly for problems that existed in terms of needs and fundraising. In 2003 the organisation had received 700 bicycles from Lotto. These were distributed to the five active provinces that were mentioned in the presentation.

Mr E Saloojee (ANC) asked how the organisation was intending to secure funding from businesses. He also stated that there were no information in the document to show that funds were being raised to usher black people into the sport.

Mr David Bellairs, Vice President of Cycling SA, noted that creating equity with businesses was what the organisation meant by creating partnership with businesses. The organisation needed to be self reliant in certain aspects to be able to invest money back into the sport. The organisation had also been working with an NGO to ensure donations were received from wealthy countries and equipment sold at subsidised prices in townships.

Mr Hansen added that government sponsorship was not sufficient and as such, they had to look to businesses for sponsorships.

Mr Frolick stated that his question on transformation had not been answered. He requested the presenters to refrain from gentle statements and answer the questions. He was also concerned that the Cycling SA president was a part of the supreme body of sports in the country and was not aware of the proper terminology to use in documents to Parliament.

Mr Lesch stated that the 700 bicycles were distributed to the provinces and it was their responsibility to ensure proper usage. The organisation had later found out that some of the bicycles were still in boxes. As these provincial organisations were run by volunteers, it was difficult to keep tabs on them as they did not feel obliged to do the work of the organisation.

The Cycling SA President added that he would now subscribe to terminology such as black and white or coloured and African black as used in Parliament and refrain from using the word "non white".

Mr Dikgacwi asked how many teams there were in the provinces and how the organisation was relating to its provincial structures. He also wanted to know how integrated the teams were and what were the targets that had been set. Lastly, he asked how were the organisation targets being met.

Mr Lesch replied that the provinces were trusted to do their work. He could not give the number of teams that were in the provinces. The provinces would be in the better position to answer that question.

Mr C Frolick stated that Cycling South Africa had a past record that did not serve blacks. He cited a case of a black junior rider who met all requirements and qualified but was withdrawn just days before a major competition. He stated that Cycling SA did not have any development programme and that he was challenging them to prove the Committee wrong.

Mr Hansen replied that most of the problems with the organisation had to do with the availability of resources. He responded to Mr Frolick’s comment saying that the junior rider was withdrawn because the number of people on the team had to be reduced.

Mr C Frolick said that he disagreed with the president that the reason for dropping the black junior rider was to reduce the team. He argued that a white junior rider could have been dropped as well.

Mr E Kulsa, the Vice Chairman of Boland Cycling, who was a national selector at the time of the black junior rider rejection, stated that he was out of the country when the team was changed. Upon his return, he had made it clear that he did not agree with the changes but he was told that it had been done and that nothing could be done about it.

Mr Frolick stated that Cycling SA had to transform. The organisation had a skewed approach and it needed to change the way matters were conducted. The democracy presently in the country was completely different from the past and as such, the organisation’s approach was completely unacceptable. Even the constitution of the organisation had not changed and had no element of transformation in it.

The Cycling SA President asserted that due to the volunteer nature of the organisation programmes, it was difficult to do what was required of them to do.

Mr Frolick rejected the president’s excuse and stated that volunteering was alive and working in the country. The problem was rather that Cycling S A did not have a clear strategy and there was a mental block within the higher structures of the organisation. Volunteering would only pay off when the organisation transformed. There was a need for transformation in sports with a clear and defined strategy because of the legacy of Apartheid in sports.

Mr Hansen stated that the new constitution of the organisation would include a transformation document.

The development chairperson, Mr Lesch, stated that the organisation did not have development documents but development guidelines. Whenever work was done with the provinces, the development guidelines were used. He agreed that there were no development strategies for dealing with the provinces. The organisation would certainly need that and it would also need help in making these important structures available. He said that the major problem after the development of the development strategies would be enforcement. He also agreed that the organisation had not transformed and needed to do so.

Mr Bellairs, the Vice President, stated that Cycling S A would need to come up with a clear and revised strategy that would create cycling for all and not for the elite only.

The Chairperson asked about the composition of the national executive committee of the organisation.

Mr Hansen replied that at that moment there was one black and the rest were white.

Provincial representatives presentation
Ms Cornelia Opperman, Mr Elrick Kulsa and Mr Ian Goethan presented on behalf of Boland Cycling. They said that the biggest problem was that there was no development strategy as well as national structures in place. There were not any proper national development plans to sell to school children about cycling. It was important to spread the sport to other provinces and that the national level must stick to decisions made at that level. A proposal had been made that the national level bar all riders registered with clubs not within their area of residence. Some white riders were in the habit of registering with clubs that were not in their area so as to gain access to predominantly white clubs.

There was also agreement that complete democracy was not present in the workings of Cycling SA at the national level. Cycling would only be able to move forward when the issue of this ‘mental block’ had been dealt with completely.

The Chairperson stated that the input from the provinces was helping to reinforce the various points made by the Committee.

Amateur Boxing South Africa presentation
Mr David Faas, Amateur Boxing promoter, stated that he was very grateful to Sport and Recreation South Africa for funding, but that Professional Boxing which was a "huge multimillion dollar organisation", was attracting more funding from the government. He made it clear that he was not against Professional Boxing in any way, but was concerned that the R1.7 million that was transferred to the organisation be reviewed and distributed to other boxing federations such as amateur boxing.

Discussion
Mr Lee wanted to know how much money amateur boxing received from the Lotto.

Mr Faas replied that Amateur Boxing had received R480 000 from Lotto for equipment. He added that in the eyes of the Minister of Sport, boxing was a priority sport and as such, it was important for those promoting the sport at the lower levels to receive enough support.

Mr Dikgacwi asked about the association’s plans to develop white boxers because they were getting fewer.

Mr Faas responded that the association was making efforts to promote boxing in all the nine provinces. He admitted that white boxers were becoming fewer and that there were efforts to develop more white boxers.

The Chairperson stated that the issue would be addressed.

Boxing Promoters presentation
Mr Paywell and Mr Dan Maphalala, black boxing promoters stated that they had contributed greatly to the sport by bringing up and promoting great South African boxers in the past. The problem now was that they were being overlooked and contracts and television time were being given to white promoters who had begun work in the country not very long ago. They also presented a letter to the Committee.

Discussion
Mr Lee asked about the number of television dates that were available.

Mr Mlangeni stated that promoters had a bad reputation for paying boxers small amounts of money. He also asserted that perhaps the white promoter was paying his boxers large amounts.

The presenters stated that this was not true because some boxers who were promoted by the white promoter were no longer with him because of little pay.

The Chairperson stated that the relationship between boxers and promoters needed to be clearly defined. The boxer was the boss but in many instances, they end up very poor while their promoters end up richer.

The meeting was adjourned.

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