SA Sports Commission Act Repeal Bill: SRSA briefing

Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


3 June 2005

Mr B Tolo (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Introduction to the Repeal Bill
South African Sports Commission Act Repeal Bill
Summary of Inputs Received from Role Players on Repeal Bill
SA Sports Commission Act Repeal Bill Background Information

The Department briefed the Committee on the SA Sports Commission Act Repeal Bill. The briefing covered the history of the SA Sports Commission (SASC) and the reasons for establishing new sports governance structures. Once the SASC was ‘disestablished’ (Cabinet had suggested on 1 October 2005), the Department would be expanded and a non-governmental ‘umbrella structure’ called the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), would be established. Details of the Bill were also presented. Mr D Hendricks stressed the importance of the Repeal Bill being passed as soon as possible to sort out staffing problems. The Committee expressed a desire for more frequent communication between the Department and itself.


Sport and Recreation SA briefing
Mr Hendricks, Head of Operations, informed the Committee that the Bill was passed in the National Assembly on 2 June 2005. It was important that the Committee was briefed thoroughly so that it would have an understanding of what was happening. He gave a summary of the background to the Bill and explained why the SASC had been established. He then outlined the proposed new governance structure, which would entail the expansion of the Department and the establishment of SASCOC.

Since it had been decided that the Sports Commission would cease to exist, no funds had been allocated to it in the national budget. The Department was also short on staff, functioning with only 29 people. Officials from the dissolved Sports Commission were meant to have been absorbed into the Department. They were negotiating the secondment of staff from the SASC. Mr Hendricks stressed that meeting the Department’s staff requirements and accommodating the staff from the SASC (in the Department and some in SASCOC at a later stage) were dependant upon the speed with which the Repeal Bill was passed.

Adv G Boshoff then explained the Bill’s clauses in greater detail.

Ms F Mazibuko (ANC) asked why it was necessary to establish a non-governmental organisation, especially since the SASC had been so strongly motivated. Secondly, she asked how the new body aimed to bridge the gap between younger and older athletes.

Mr Hendricks responded that all the collapsed structures had been non-governmental organisations. In South Africa, sport was generally organised on a voluntary basis. This stood in contrast to the experience in the rest of Africa where governments played quite a big role in sport. South Africa had chosen a middle road – sport was generally a public enterprise with some input from the Government. It had not been established via a statutory process, but that it was a public body in which civil society played a role.

Since sport was ‘dynamic’, it was difficult to manage successfully when government processes were lengthy. Its establishment would mean the NGOs goals would be achieved faster. A second motivating factor had to do with funding. The Department had had a budget of no more than R50 million at the time. The Sports Commission would have access to resources from the public sector.

As far as funding was concerned, the Sports Commission would eventually become dependant upon government. Having so many similar structures was also wasteful. The SA Games were critical for bridging the gap between community-based mass participation sport and high performance sport. The Minister viewed the SA Games as ‘developmental’. The SA Games would ‘open paths’ to the SADC Games, the All Africa Games, the Commonwealth Games and eventually the Olympic Games. With only one structure, the athletes would have a clearer view of the path they could follow towards athletic success.

Mr M Sulliman (ANC) requested clarity on the date for the dissolution of the old body. Adv Boshoff said that Cabinet had recommended 1 October 2005. He pointed to the importance of having the Bill promulgated as soon as possible.

The Chairperson said clause 3.2 and clause 3.4 since they appeared to be the same. Adv Boshoff agreed.

When the Chairperson suggested the Committee vote on adoption, Ms H Lamoela (DA) stated that this would not be possible. She had been under the impression that this would only be a briefing and thus had no mandate from her Party.

Mr T Setona (ANC) pointed out that parliamentary process dictated that voting could continue. Points one through to five were agreed upon and accepted by the Committee.

The Chairperson inquired after the 187 positions within the Department. Mr Hendricks pointed out that all vacancies not filled by staff from the dissolved bodies would be advertised.

Ms F Mazibuko (ANC) felt that more interaction was needed between the Department and the Committee. It should not be necessary for Committee meetings to be hurriedly called to attend to matters of Department urgency. The Department should not wait on an invitation to inform the Committee of its activities.

Mr Hendricks agreed. They would be briefing the Committee again the following week and were organising a strategic planning workshop to which the Committee would be invited. A monthly briefing would be welcomed. The Chairperson commented that due to the many other commitments of the Committee, a monthly meeting might not be possible.

The meeting was adjourned.


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