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SPORTS AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
3 AUGUST 2005
COMMITTEE REPORTS ON STUDYTOUR TO FREE STATE AND NORTH WEST: ADOPTION
Documents handed out:
Committee Report on oversight visit to Free State and North West, 31 January to 9 February
The Committee adopted a report on its oversight visit to the Free State and the North West provinces, having made recommendations around the major challenges observed. Recommendations focused on a collaborative approach to the maintenance of facilities, capacity building, the empowerment of sports councils, more radical approaches to dealing with long leases, the privatisation of facilities, and legislation to co-ordinate and supervise the implementation of sports facility policies.
The Chairperson explained that the Committee had met with Members of the Executive Council (MECs) and sports councils to establish their involvement in national programmes such as the 2010 World Cup and the challenges they faced in relation to the National Lottery disbursement. They had also visited sports and recreation centres to find out the state of facilities, and to evaluate the efficacy of the programmes with regards to mass community participation.
Free State visit
The Chairperson said they had observed that the Charles Mopedi Stadium with a capacity of ninety thousand was in a state of collapse and needed urgent attention. He recommended a collaborated effort between the Ministry of Sports and Recreation, the Department of Trade and Industry and the municipality to upgrade and maintain the stadium.
There was potential for the growth of sports in Maluti A Phofung; however the sports council’s role was not well defined and they were not being supported. A major challenge was the lack of facilities. The Chairperson suggested they should link up with the Sports and Recreation Districts to build up capacity.
Mr V Gore (ID) responded that they needed to engage the sports council and hear their response on the issue of lack of facilities since they had Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). He was of the opinion some of the officials were not aware that sports facilities should be put on the agenda of the IDP. It was important to empower them to understand their role.
Mr E Mtshali (ANC) wanted clarity on the role of the national and provincial government in terms of sports facilities. The Chairperson responded that sport was the terrain of provincial government. The National government got involved in long-term national projects. The municipalities were being resourced by other agencies; for instance they received 10% of the Vodacom Challenge gate fee. The sports councils on the other hand had no clearly defined role and how they were being resourced.
The Departments of Sports and Recreation and Trade and Industry had to provide assistance in purchasing new sound systems for recreational activities and had to be encouraged to address the lack of recreational facilities in Maluti A Phofung. Transport facilities for disabled persons also had to be addressed.
Mr E Mtshali expressed concern about the disappearance of some equipment given by the Sports Trust and felt the sports council had to bear the responsibility of looking after and maintaining equipment.
Next on the agenda was their visit to multipurpose community centre hubs in rural areas where co-ordinators organised soccer, handball and other activities for youth at a cost of R100 a month. The Chairperson felt these initiatives were commendable. However, there had to be a way to compensate those who could not pay. Harmony Gold’s involvement in terms of sponsorship for the Virginia Sport Academy was also commendable. The provincial government was supporting these initiatives.
The next item was a meeting with the United Schools Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA). Mr V Gore noted that USSASA played a big role in promoting mass participation in physical education. Some 90% of schools were affiliated and catered for most codes including former Model C schools. However, USSASA could not cater for all the codes and there were no facilities in black areas and they also could not afford the high tariffs charged. He felt USSASA structures had to be maintained. In Xhariep District municipality the Committee felt Councillors had to be capacitated. The Chairperson added that there was no basis for life in the area since the closure of mines in surrounding areas. For instance, their swimming facility was not maintained because the municipality’s base for revenue was non-existent. The Committee would engage the Department of Minerals and Energy on the situation. Mr S Louw (ANC) added that national government had to assume responsibility.
Next was the Free State Science Institute. The Committee agreed to Mr E Mtshali’s recommendation that the Institute should be maintained and resourced by government because it was the only high performance government institution that was easily accessible to all in terms of tariffs charged. The Committee encouraged other provinces to develop such initiatives.
Mr S Louw (ANC) was of the opinion the Cape Town Sports Science Institute was the best by far and was recognised as a state institution. The Chairperson responded that it was of world class standard. A consortium of companies managed it. However, the Free State one was 100% owned by the state, and was in the process of drafting a contract with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to assist on medical issues and exercise and in return FSSI would support the SANDF on development. That kind of collaboration was commendable and the Committee welcomed the SANDF role. They also encouraged the use and exposure of the facility.
Another concern was the involvement of the Sports Sector Education and Training Authority and the South African Football Association (SAFA). It was observed that they did not have any involvement or impact and the Committee was to engage with them to find out about their programmes and progress. The meeting with SAFA was scheduled for 16 August 2005.
The Committee also met with anumber of sporting codes. The Chairperson highlighted that the Free State Cheetahs had leased their facility for 99 years at one rand while other teams paid R10 000. Mr R Bhoola (MF) added that the long lease existed prior to 1994 and felt it was an impediment to the promotion of mass transformation in sport. The intervention of government was necessary perhaps through legislation to open up access and make mass transformation a reality. Mr S Louw added that the Committee had to interact at the local level on the issue of long leases since the facilities were owned by local authorities. The state had to play an active role to ensure wider use of sports facilities. The Chairperson agreed and suggested a blanket ruling to cancel all leases.
He added that money for sports facilities had been channelled through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, but was concerned about how it was going to accelerate participation and access to sports facilities, since there was no guarantee for delivery. He wanted to know if there existed a National Sports Plan for the Department on an approach to facilities and how it was assisting municipal infrastructure development for sport.
North West visit
Mr R Bhoola expressed concern about how to overcome challenges. Only four municipalities had committed money to sports and recreation. He felt the Municipal Infrastructure Grant should enhance sport and recreation to especially disadvantaged groups, and asked if it was within the Department’s power to intervene. There was also a need to concentrate on remote areas that did not have sports facilities.
The Chairperson responded that they should refer to the Intergovernmental Relations Bill and find out to what extent the Department could intervene in the municipalities or provinces. However, their recommendation was for the Department of Provincial and Local Government and the Department of Sport and Recreation to ensure that the Municipal Infrastructure Grant was reserved for facilities. The Municipal Infrastructure Grant should stipulate the number of facilities to be put up after the drawing up of IDPs.
The North West had similar challenges as the Free State such as lack of partnerships and an integrated approach in the delivery of sports and recreation facilities, no involvement of the Sports SETA and the lack of transformation and long lease of facilities. The Intergovernmental Relations Bill did not address the issues of implementation and collaboration but only relations between spheres of government. He was concerned with handing over of facilities to municipalities that did not have the capacity base, and recommended that such facilities remain in the domain of national government until such time that local municipalities had a healthy revenue base.
The Department was going to put on its agenda a programme to build non-racial sport, and promote unity and diversity around sport.
The Bojanala District municipality was commended for budgeting and prioritising sports facilities. The Committee also welcomed the contribution by the National Lottery to all municipalities in upgrading facilities and for providing equipment. The Committee recommended that municipalities privatise sport facilities in their IDPs, an initiative already started by some municipalities in the NW. It was also recommended that they employ human resources with knowledge of sport to deal with the capacity issue. Of importance was the need for legislation that co-ordinated and supervised sports facilities. The report would be adopted the following day.
The meeting was adjourned.
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