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SPORTS AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
10 August 2005
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AND SPORTS: Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Skills Development: Sport, Recreation and Fitness PowerPoint Presentation
Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority overview
THETA 2004 Annual Report
[please find the above two documents at www.thetha.org.za)
The Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority (THETA) outlined its strategic guidelines, which revolved around promoting skills development in the tourism, hospitality and sports sectors. The delegation outlined some of THETA’s achievements, which included ensuring that workers received structured learning courses; that learnerships were implemented; and that support was provided for companies that had embarked upon skills development initiatives. THETA had also set itself various targets for the next five years, which included promoting Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET). The delegation highlighted that various skills demands existed in the tourism, sports and hospitality sectors. THETA was focused on meeting these demands, which included providing HIV/AIDS training; management skills training and financial skills training. In the sports sector, THETA was involved in promoting various forms of management training programmes. THETA had also made various contributions to the sports sector, which included developing qualifications; co-ordinating the Fitness Regulations Board; organising the Sports Chamber Committee and promoting sports projects.
In the ensuing discussion, Members enquired about THETA’s relationship with the Department of Sports; why THETA was responsible for both the tourism and the sports sectors; how the Minister prioritised the 25 amateur sports federations; whether THETA had programmes in the rural areas; whether THETA interacted with the Free State Sports Institute; why THETA funded Adult Basic Education and Training and HIV/AIDS training programmes; whether THETA would be involved in the 2010 World Cup; how THETA promoted Black Economic Empowerment; what the Fitness Regulations Board’s mandate was; how the THETA Board was constituted; whether professional football clubs were paying the skills development levy; and how the Sports Chamber Committee was convened.
Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority briefing
Mr M Tsotetsi (Chief Executive Officer) noted that THETA was guided by the priorities of the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS). These priorities included promoting quality workplace training; promoting skills development; assisting designated groups to become employed and improving the quality of skills development training. Mr Tsotetsi noted that THETA’s funding depended on the companies in the sports, tourism and hospitality sectors that paid the skills development levy.
Mr Tsotetsi outlined some of THETA’s achievements in the last five years, which included ensuring that 140 000 workers per year completed structured learning courses; providing skills development support for 2403 small and medium sized enterprises (SMMEs); and registering 6 919 learnerships. Mr Tsotetsi then discussed THETA’s targets for the next five years. These included ensuring that 20 firms adhered to the National Standard of Good Practice; promoting Black Economic Empowerment (BEE); ensuring that 25 000 people received Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) Level 4 qualifications; assisting 82 non-paying levy companies with skills development; and ensuring that 7 500 learners received critical skills training.
Mr Tsotetsi highlighted that there was a demand for various skills in the sports, tourism and hospitality sectors. Indeed, in the sports sector there was a skills shortage problem. For example, there were very few qualified sports personnel, sports managers, sports administrators, and sports/fitness trainers. Added to this, many sports practitioners were volunteers.
Mr Tsotetsi commented that THETA was responsible for ensuring that the sports sector was skilled. Indeed, THETA was in the process of reviewing qualifications in the sports sector. It had also been involved establishing management development programmes, fitness learnership initiatives, and facility management training programmes. Various institutions such as the University of South Africa and the University of Pretoria were responsible for running these programmes. THETA had registered five qualifications for the sport, recreation and fitness fields. Mr Tsotetsi then provided the details of THETA’s proposed Sectoral Qualification Framework for Sport Recreation and Fitness. This included outlining the qualification framework that would be implemented for people wishing to become coaches, technical officers, administrators, managers, fitness trainers, lifestyle trainers, and lifeguards. He noted that THETA would also be undertaking road shows to establish the skills and qualifications needs of the sports sector.
Mr Tsotetsi outlined some of the contributions that THETA had made to the sports fraternity. These included developing qualifications; dispersing R1 500 000 in mandatory grants; helping co-ordinate the Fitness Regulations Board; providing working groups with R1 800 000; organising and funding the Sports Chamber Committee; and providing R5 000 000 to sports, recreation and fitness projects. THETA also had consultative forums with the Technical Intergovernmental Committee; the Sport Chamber Committee; the Fitness Board; the THETA Board; and the Sport and Recreation South Africa organisation.
Mr Tsotetsi highlighted aspects of THETA’s strategic orientation. THETA’s main priorities were to promote IT training, management training, ABET, SMME development initiatives, and black management initiatives. THETA was involved in providing mandatory grants to companies that provided employees with National Qualification Framework (NQF) accredited in-house training. Indeed, THETA had already produced a HIV/AIDS toolkit that was being distributed to companies and stakeholders. Added to this, THETA encouraged skills development for disabled peoples and the youth. More emphasis would also be given to skills development in rural areas. Mr Tsotetsi outlined some of the challenges that THETA faced. These included the need to upgrade the capacity of the providers; a lack of funding; and the difficulties that SMMEs faced in terms of finance.
Mr Tsotetsi discussed THETA’s sports sector learnership targets. He noted that THETA would spend R10.1 million on sports sector learnerships in 2005-2006. This would allow THETA to sponsor learnerships for 450 unemployed people. These learnerships would be distributed amongst the provinces. For example, Gauteng would be allocated the most learnerships (90); while the Northern Cape would receive the least (20). THETA would be committing a further R40 million over the next year five years in order to initiate 300 to 400 new learnerships per year.
The Chairperson asked the delegation whether they had briefed the Department or the Minister on the work that THETA undertook.
Mr Tsotetsi replied that THETA had last met with the Department in late 2004. THETA would have another meeting with the Department later this year. However, THETA had not yet met with the Sport’s Minister, although there were plans to do so.
Mr C Saloojee (ANC) asked if THETA interacted with the Department. It seemed as though THETA was duplicating certain functions of the Department.
Mr Tsotetsi replied that THETA was the skills development authority for the sports sector. THETA was not responsible for the performance of athletes but was rather responsible for ensuring that staff, such as administrators, received skills development training. It was also responsible for formulating qualifications for the sports sector. These qualifications would then be registered with the South African Qualifications Authority. People that wanted to provide education and training in the sports sector needed to ensure that they complied with THETA’s course frameworks. THETA was also tasked with designing a skills development plan for the sports sector. This plan had to be submitted to the Department and the Ministry. Nonetheless, THETA was ensuring that it did not duplicate any of the functions of the Department.
The Chairperson enquired why THETA was responsible for promoting skills development in both the tourism and sports sectors. Most Sectoral Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) were only responsible for one sector.
Mr Tsotetsi responded that there were various reasons why the sports and tourism sectors had been combined under the auspices of THETA. In 1999, when the SETAs were being formed, there was a specific SETA for sport. However, the Department of Labour decided that a standalone sports SETA was not viable because there were not enough companies in the sports sector to support a SETA through the skills development levy. Added to this, the sports and hospitality sectors overlapped and dealt with similar issues. In 2004, there had been a call for a standalone sports SETA to be established. Some individuals suggested that it could be funded through sponsorships. However, the Minister again decided that a standalone sports SETA was not viable: SETAs could not depend on sponsorships for funding. By 2004 the sports sector was also firmly entrenched in THETA and removing it would have caused uncertainty.
Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) enquired how THETA identified the companies that it assisted.
Mr Tsotetsi explained that companies were coded and categorised into sectors when they paid their skills development levies to the South African Revenue Services (SARS). This information was then forwarded to the relevant SETAs. Hence, when a company in the sports sector paid a levy, SARS would forward the company’s information to THETA. The company could then submit a skills development training plan to THETA. THETA would approve the plan and the company would begin training its staff. On completion of the training, the company would contact THETA in order to reclaim the levy. Added to this, THETA could conduct its own skills development programmes. It would then recruit suitable candidates for the programmes. Mr W Chuene (THETA Social Development Manager) added that the Minister had prioritised 25 amateur sports federations. This had been undertaken in order to improve South Africa’s performance at the Olympics. THETA was responsible for promoting skills development amongst these 25 federations. Indeed, it offered management development programmes, literacy courses and other training course to all these federations.
The Chairperson asked what criteria had been used in the decision to prioritise the 25 federations. He stated that perhaps there should have been greater consultation, specifically with the provinces, around which 25 federations that were prioritised.
Mr Chuene responded that the larger federations had been prioritised because they offered the best chances for South Africa to receive medals at the Olympics. He stated that perhaps the provinces also needed to prioritise other sports, which were played at a local level.
Mr Dikgacwi asked whether THETA had satellite offices in the various provinces.
Mr Tsotetsi replied that THETA did not have provincial offices. Nonetheless, THETA had individual employees who worked in the various provinces. These people were THETA’s public representatives and interacted with the stakeholders at a provincial level. However, THETA was investigating the possibility of establishing satellite offices in the various provinces.
Mr T Lee (DA) asked if the delegation could provide the Committee with the contact details of these individuals. Mr Tsotetsi responded that he would make this information available to the Committee.
Mr Dikgacwi enquired whether THETA was conducting any skills development initiatives in the rural areas. Mr Tsotetsi responded that it was a challenge to provide skills development training in the rural areas. Due to economic necessity, most of the training providers that were associated with THETA were situated in the urban areas. Nonetheless, THETA felt that it needed to provide skills development courses in the rural areas.
Mr S Masango (DA) asked the delegation to provide examples of skills development initiatives that had been conducted by THETA in the rural areas.
Mr Dikgacwi asked if THETA interacted with the Free State Sports Institute. Mr Tsotetsi responded that the Free State Sports Institute was not an NQF accredited institute. Indeed, there were only two institutes in South Africa that provided NQF accredited sports related training courses. However, THETA would be assisting other sports training institutes to become NQF accredited. This initiative would include the Free State Sports Institute. Mr Chuene added that the Free State Sports Institute focused on the performance of athletes. They were not involved in human resource development. THETA needed to consider how all the sports institutes could become more involved in education.
The Chairperson highlighted that the Free State Sports Institute was rated as the third best sports institute in the country. It was also the only sports institute that was a government initiative. It was, therefore, far more accessible when compared to the other sports institutes. He noted that THETA needed to assist the government’s initiatives around the Free State Sports Institute.
Ms D Morobi (ANC) was concerned that were many institutions that were not accredited by the NQF. Did this mean that the people that had graduated from these institutions were not qualified?
Mr Chuene replied that the graduates of non-accredited institutions would receive certificates and diplomas. However, these would not be nationally recognised as they were not NQF accredited. THETA would be assisting various institutions to become NQF accredited. Mr Tsotetsi noted that many unaccredited institutions only provided their students with theoretical knowledge. There was a need for institutions to offer students practical learning experiences.
Mr Masango questioned why THETA was funding ABET and HIV/AIDS training. He felt that it was the responsibility of the Departments of Education and Health to provide funding for ABET and HIV AIDS training.
Mr Tsotetsi replied that ABET and HIV/AIDS training were vital to all sectors of society and the economy. It was planned that by 2010, 700 000 people per annum would be attending ABET courses. Indeed, SETAs would be liaising with companies in order to get workers into ABET courses. Mr Chuene added that ABET would offer many people promotion opportunities, which they never had in the past. Mr Tsotetsi noted that HIV/AIDS was not only the responsibility of the Health Department, but it was the responsibility of everyone. THETA had the resources to get companies, in the form of discretionary grants, to provide HIV/AIDS training to their employees. Mr Chuene added that if HIV/AIDS was not addressed its impact would be disastrous.
The Chairperson commented that THETA needed to provide young sports stars with ABET, HIV/AIDS and life skills training. The reality was that many young sportspeople were unable to cope with the pressures and temptations that came with being stars. As a result they often squandered their money and lived dangerous lifestyles. Some young sportspeople also needed to learn proper conduct because they were representatives of South Africa.
Mr Tsotetsi replied that THETA was providing skills development for sportspeople in order to prepare them for life once their sport careers were over. Indeed, THETA was training various jockeys in IT and computer skills. Clubs also needed to be involved in providing practical skills to sportspeople so that they could become employed once their sports careers had ended.
The Chairperson noted that THETA had produced HIV/AIDS training toolkits. Which organisations or individuals were eligible to receive these toolkits?
Mr Tsotetsi responded that THETA provided the toolkits to companies and stakeholders in the tourism, hospitality, and sports sectors. These kits would help companies educate staff on HIV/AIDS. It was also hoped that they would help address the problem of companies discriminating against HIV positive staff.
The Chairperson stated that many of the companies that paid the skills development levy were based in Gauteng. Did this mean that mainly Gauteng companies would benefit from the skills development programmes? He felt that there needed to be a fair system whereby all the provinces gained access to skills development initiatives.
Mr Tsotetsi noted that THETA met with the premiers’ offices in order to establish the needs of the various provinces. Once THETA implemented a plan in a province, the premiers’ office could monitor the progress of that plan. Thus, the distribution of resources would take place according to the needs of the provinces.
Mr L Reid (ANC) noted that many of the people that volunteered to officiate at sports events were unemployed. He enquired whether these unemployed people would be able to access THETA’s skills training programmes.
Mr Lee asked whether THETA would be involved in training people to provide services during the 2010 World Cup. Mr Chuene responded that THETA was well positioned to provide assistance with hospitality and tourism training in preparation for the 2010 World Cup. Indeed, events such as 2010 World Cup highlighted the link between tourism and sports events.
Mr Dikgacwi asked how THETA advertised its road shows. Mr Tsotetsi replied that THETA communicated directly with its stakeholders about the road shows. This ensured that the stakeholders would be available to participate in the road shows.
Ms Morobi noted that many soccer clubs in South Africa employed overseas coaches. She asked whether there was a shortage of coaching skills amongst South Africans.
Mr Tsotetsi responded that there were very competent soccer coaches in South Africa. However, there was a need for coaching qualifications to be formalised. South African clubs tended to favour coaches that had formalised international qualifications. There was, therefore, also a need to link South African diplomas to international diplomas.
The Chairperson asked how THETA linked the work that it undertook with promoting BEE. Mr Tsotetsi responded that THETA used the Department of Trade and Industry guidelines for BEE when it awarded contracts to service providers. Indeed, any service provider needed to promote the interests of previously disadvantaged people and the youth. Added to this, the tourism sector had undertaken a drive to skill people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. Once this had been achieved, there would be another drive to ensure black ownership targets were achieved. THETA’s management courses also provided skills for a future generation of black managers.
The Chairperson enquired how THETA proposed to address the shortage of skills in the sports sector. He noted that many people who were involved in sports administration lacked formal qualifications. He asked whether THETA had any programmes to convert the knowledge that these people possessed into formal qualifications. He further enquired about the mandate of the Fitness Regulations Board.
Mr Chuene responded that in 2001 there was a certain amount of discontent between the practitioners of physiotherapy and biokinetics. The physiotherapists were governed by a specific Act while the practitioners of biokinetics were not. There was, therefore, a need to regulate the industry. In order to do this, the Minster summoned a group of experts to form and serve on the Fitness Regulations Board. In 2002, THETA published an advert that called on the stakeholders in the fitness industry to become involved with the Board. The main aim of the Board was to establish regulations regarding the qualifications that were needed to practice in the fitness industry. It was also responsible for establishing quality standards for equipment and gyms.
The Chairperson asked how the THETA Board was constituted and how often it was reviewed. Mr Tsotetsi responded that the THETA Board was comprised of representatives from organised labour, organised business, the Department of Sports, and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Mr Tsotetsi added that the Board was reviewed every five years, but the office bearers rotated every two years. THETA was waiting for the Minister of Labour to promulgate the Board’s constitution in order for a new Board to be constituted.
The Chairperson commented that sporting bodies, such as the National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) and Disability Sport South Africa (DPSA) had been disbanded. Indeed, their functions were now performed by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympics Committee (SASCOC). However, there were still Members representing NOCSA and DPSA in the Sports Chamber. As such, the composition of the Sports Chamber Committee appeared to be lagging behind certain developments in the sports sector. He asked how THETA was addressing this situation.
Mr Chuene acknowledged that there had been a wave of change in the sports industry. However, most of the sports bodies would only be incorporated into SASCOC in September. Nonetheless, 50% of the sports boards represented in the Sports Chamber Committee had been disbanded. However, the representatives of these boards, which were part of the Committee, were highly skilled individuals. THETA could not afford to lose the knowledge that these people possessed. Despite this, THETA was in the process of reconstituting the Sports Chamber Committee. This included providing a seat in the Committee to SASCOC.
The Chairperson noted that THETA was interacting with the Umsombuvu Youth Fund. However, Umsombuvu appeared not to be making an impact amongst rural youth. He stated that THETA should not base its youth programme around the belief that Umsombuvu would give it access to rural youth. Indeed, THETA’s road shows would be better placed to reach the rural youth.
Mr Tsotetsi replied that the discussions with the Umsombuvu Youth Fund were at an early stage. THETA had met with Umsombuvu in order to understand how it created links with the youth. THETA believed that this would aid it in its endeavours to reach the youth.
The Chairperson stated that the soccer teams in the first division and second division of the Professional Soccer League (PSL) were professional clubs and operated as businesses. He enquired whether such clubs were paying the skills development levy.
Mr Tsotetsi responded that the PSL clubs did pay the skills development levy. Mr Chuene added that many of the smaller clubs paid the levy but were unable to establish skills development programmes. Mr Tsotetsi added that if a club did not pay the levy, THETA was unable to force them to do so. By law, only the SARS could demand that a club or company pay the levy. Nonetheless, THETA could request SARS to investigate instances of non-payment by clubs or companies. He then noted that even some government departments had resisted paying the skills development levy. THETA had sent letters to these departments, which outlined that THETA’s survival depended on the payment of the levy.
The Chairperson enquired whether the PSL paid the skills development levy. Mr Chuene answered that the PSL was paying the skills development levy. The South African Football Association was also paying but towards the wrong sector. THETA was working towards rectifying this situation.
The Chairperson enquired whether the United Cricket Board and the South African Rugby Union paid the skills development levy. Mr Chuene replied that these organisations were paying the levy.
The Chairperson asked how large a company had to be before they were registered as levy payers. Mr Tsotetsi replied that companies that had a payroll of over R250 000 per annum had to pay the skills development levy. However, this was being revised. In the future only companies that had a payroll over R500 000 per annum would have to pay the levy.
Mr Saloojee enquired about how the Sports Chamber Committee was convened. Mr Chuene replied that it was difficult for the Sports Chamber Committee to meet because many of the members were important people. As such, many of the members were often too busy to attend. As a result, a task team had been established in order to ensure that decisions could still be made in Sports Chamber Committee meetings when most of the members were absent.
The Chairperson and Mr Saloojee asked how often the Sports Chamber Committee met. Mr Chuene replied that the Sports Chamber Committee was scheduled to meet four times a year.
The Chairperson noted that THETA was increasing funds for the discretionary grants from 10% to 20%. He asked what these percentages represented in monetary terms. Mr Chuene responded that THETA had increased the funding for discretionary grants from R10 million to R20 million.
The meeting was adjourned.
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