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EDUCATION AND RECREATION SELECT COMMITTEE
14 June 2005
MODEL FOR SCHOOL SPORTS: UNITED SCHOOL SPORTS ASSOCIATION OF SA (USSASA) BRIEFING
Chairperson: Mr B Tolo (ANC, Mpumalanga)
Documents handed out:
USSASA Model for School Sport
New Direction for Shoo; Sport (Part 1)
New Direction for Shoo; Sport (Part 2)
School Sport Function
United School Sports Association of SA: 1 March 2005 PowerPoint presentation
Media release: Memorandum of Understanding on school sport (see Appendix)
The United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA), a non-governmental organisation, briefed the Committee on plans and challenges facing school sports. Officials outlined the USSASA model for school sport, the aim of the organisation, and the organisational structure on a community, district, regional, provincial, and national level. USSASA’s present activities were run by 300 000 educators or former educators in a voluntary capacity. The biggest challenge for USSASA was its lack of funding. Discussions were ongoing with the Departments of Sport and Recreation and Education, about the future role of USASSA.
Members expressed concern about the independence and voluntary status of USSASA and questioned how well was the co-ordination of the organisation with the Departments of Sport and Recreation and Education, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and local municipalities.
Mr D Chiloane, Deputy President (Finance) and Mr P Hendricks, General Secretary, briefed the Committee on plans and challenges facing school sports. USSASA was a non-governmental, voluntary organisation that had coordinated school sports in South Africa since 1994. The biggest challenge of the organisation was the lack of funding for their programmes at regional, district, and circuit levels. National and provincial activities were partly funded. Mr Chiloane explained that the aim of the organisation was the promotion of competitive and recreational sport for all schools. Their programmes also assisted government in their priority campaigns, such as HIV/AIDS prevention, caring for AIDS orphans, prevention of women and child abuse, and so on. Mr Hendricks then outlined the structural organisation of USSASA on a community, district, regional, provincial, and national level. USSASA tried to foster the development of whole communities and to address the lack of facilities.
Ms F Mazibuko (ANC, Gauteng) queried to what extent USSASA co-ordinated their programmes with those of the Department of Sport and Recreation.
Mr T Setona (ANC, Free State) appreciated the structures of USSASA, the fact that they had been a voluntary organisation for almost eleven years, and their efforts to develop school sports, particularly in informal settlements. He expressed concern about the independence of voluntary organisations such as USSASA, and asked how USSASA cooperated with both the Departments of Sport and Recreation and Education regarding the development of school sports. An integrated approach was needed and further research analysing the values and norms of sport.
Mr Doctor Nkosi (USSASA President) replied that USSASA was an associate member of SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). The Ministerial Task Team (MTT) Report outlined that government would investigate the role that USSASA and Disability Sports SA (DISSA) played in promoting school sports, and whether these organisations had to be restructured. USSASA had met with the Departments of Sport and Recreation and Education the previous day, where they had agreed on further actions to tackle the problem of coordination.
Mr Chiloane dispelled the rumours circulating that USSASA had signed a documentagreeing to close the organisation. They had only signed a cooperation agreement with the National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA), the Common Wealth Games Association, and the South African Sports Commission. The agreement said that they would take concerted action to establish a new sports confederation, and demanded that all high performance sports would be controlled by one organisation. All high performance and Team South Africa activities of USSASA had thus been transferred to SASCOC.
The MTT had found that between 80% and 90% of the programmes of USSASA and DISA did not involve high performance or Team South Africa activities. If government appointed 300 000 educators to run their programmes, then USSASA would have to close. USSASA wished to play a role as voluntary organisation and assist government as long as they were needed. He emphasised that USSASA was already working with government.
The Chairperson commented that their meeting with USSASA and the Departments of Sport and Recreation and Education that had been planned for the week of 7 June had not taken place. The Committee would meet with these departments in the week of 20 June, and questions that could not be adequately answered by USSASA during this meeting could then be posed.
Rev E Adolph (ID, Western Cape) queried whether USSASA had a parallel structure for learners with disabilities. He commented that the funding of R15 million that USSASA had received should be used to structure the organisation. He would welcome USSASA becoming a structured, government-funded representative body.
Mr Sekati replied that USSASA had set up a structure for learners with disabilities. Their integration had been a challenge, and the process was still ongoing. They had integrated these pupils into their main programmes whenever possible.
Mr M Thetjeng (DA, Limpopo Province) asked who could become a volunteer of USSASA.
Mr Sekati replied that anyone who wanted to volunteer for USSASA had to be either an active or former teacher. Mr Hendricks added that any volunteer had to come through school structures. Volunteering parents, for instance, had to affiliate to USSASA through their children’s school. The members accounted to the school, and the school to the organisation.
Mr Thetjeng queried the co-ordination of USSASA with local municipalities who received money from the Department of Sport and Recreation to establish school sport facilities.
Mr Sekati replied that they had not yet interacted with the SA Local Government Association (SALGA) and municipalities, but that discussion would take place regarding investment and the use of existing facilities. For this purpose, USSASA had adapted to the municipal demarcation of government, so that the regional structures of USSASA referred to district municipalities, and the local structures to the wards. He explained that there had been a new development, as the money for sport activities had been transferred from the Department of Sport and Recreation to the infrastructure grant in the municipalities.
The Chairperson asked whether the present representatives of USSASA were getting paid.
Mr Chiloane replied that they were not getting paid, and that they all had other full-time jobs. They were either working as teachers or had been teaching previously.
The Chairperson commented that the Departments of Education and Sport and Recreation were responsible for school sports. They were establishing a new body consisting of officials from both departments to deal with school sports. He asked whether USASSA intended to collaborate with this new body, and would accept to be subordinated. He also queried whether government had indicated what their plans were regarding USSASA during the meeting that had taken place on 13 June. He further asked which codes participated in USSASA’s winter sports, commenting that winter sports were not equally developed at schools.
Mr Chiloane answered that the Department of Sport and Recreation expected USASSA to close by the end of this year. The Department of Education did not share this view, asking for more information about the ongoing processes. Further discussions had to take place. USSASA felt subservient to the new body. The winter sports consisted of netball, chess, rugby, hockey, football, squash, table tennis, rugby, volleyball, badminton, and handball. He agreed that the codes were not equally developed at schools. For instance, thus far only a few schools had squash courts. USSASA was trying to extend the codes in order to ensure that pupils were educated in a variety of sports.
Mr Nkosi said that they would discuss the National Coordination Committee (NACOC) document on 17 June. He expressed concern because this document intended to close USSASA. He hoped that USSASA could continue to exist as an agent of government’s policing structure. For this purpose, funds had to be released.
The Chairperson said that USASSA should be transformed into a non-voluntary organisation.
Mr Chiloane replied that they did not perceive USSASA as a decision-making structure but as an implementing structure. They intended to stay a voluntary organisation as it was not expected that government could afford to employ 300 000 educators to run USSASA’s present activities.
Mr Thetjeng commented that many issues still had to be dealt with, and stressed that this Committee also dealt with sport education. He expressed concern that USSASA’s volunteers had to be teachers, as teachers were expected to be in classrooms. It would thus be better to have only former teachers as volunteers. The Committee would meet with USSASA and the Departments of Sports and Recreation and Education to address these issues. He asked if USSASA could indicate in which provinces and regions their activities were functional.
Mr Hendricks replied that any person could become a volunteer, provided that the person was affiliated to a particular school. Activities of USSASA took place outside school hours.
Ms Mazibuko asked for clarity about the position of government on the existence of USASSA. She expressed concern that in Olympic games, netball was not a sport that received awards. This disadvantaged women who participated in netball activities. She asked how USASSA tackled the problem of awards in sports. She further queried to what extent USASSA was giving inputs as to which facilities were needed at schools.
Mr Nkosi replied that USASSA was not in the position to change the fact that netball was not an Olympic sport. However, USSASA and the Department of Education had set up netball courts in all but three provinces to date.
Mr M Sulliman (ANC, Northern Cape) stressed that a meeting with the Departments of Sport and Recreation and Education was needed to clarify some of the issues raised.
Ms L Louw, USSASA Vice President, invited the Committee to the winter games in Durban that USSASA had organised together with the Department of Education.
The Chairperson thanked her for the invitation, saying that the Committee would be pleased to consider it once they had received a formal invitation.
Committee Clerk’s minutes
The Committee adopted the Clerk’s minutes of 18 May and 3 June 2005.
The meeting was adjourned.
Joint statement by the Ministers of Education and Sport and Recreation on the Memorandum of Understanding on school sport, Cape Town
17 March 2005
The Minister of Education and the Minister of Sport and Recreation today signed a framework for Collaboration that will govern the coordination and management of school sport in public ordinary schools.
In terms of the framework, school sport shall be an integral component of a holistic education programme. Each school will be required to allocate time for participation in school sport during or after formal school hours. Details of implementation will be developed from a consultative process that will involve School Sport practitioners.
Sport and Recreation and Education are important vehicles for building a transformed, non-racial, non-sexist society, united in diversity. Both are also essential in the promotion of national reconciliation, social cohesion and national identity. This is important as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Charter. Under the clause "the doors of education and culture shall be open to all", the Charter further states "the aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace...the colour bar in cultural life, in sport and in education shall be lifted".
Clearly the transformation of sport and recreation in South Africa is integral to the overall transformation of South African society.
The emphasis will be on structured programmes for extramural school sport in each school. In the first instance inter-school competition will be encouraged in all sports and then a range of wider and broader provincial and national competitions will be facilitated.
The framework proposes that the primary vehicle for the coordination and management of school sport will be the National Coordination Committee (NACOC).
It will consist of representatives from the Departments of Education and Sport and Recreation, Provincial Education Departments, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), provincial departments responsible for sport and recreation, teacher unions, local sports councils and representation from the national school governing bodies.
The Ministries are keen to see action in terms of the framework. They have directed their departments to ensure that coordination and management are in place by 31 March this year, so that learners can benefit from school sport as soon as possible.
The DoE and SRSA have already begun to collaborate on strategic programmes, including national tournaments for athletics, ball games, cross-country, gymnastics, cricket and indigenous games, in partnership with the South African School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA).
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