SA Football Association, Local Organising Committee and SA Broadcasting Corporation: World Cup Readiness briefings

Sports, Arts and Culture

16 August 2005
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Meeting report

CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW JOINT COMMITTEE

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
16 August 2005
SA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION, LOCAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE AND SA BROADCASTING CORPORATION: WORLD CUP READINESS BRIEFINGS

Chairperson:
Mr B Khompela (ANC)

Documents handed out:
2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee briefing
SA Broadcasting Corporation briefing

SUMMARY
The 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) reported that South Africa’s preparations were on track. Announcements for host cities would be made by January 2006 when the planning programme moved from compliance to conceptualisation of the operational plans. The SA Football Association (SAFA) gave details on its new development High Performance Programmes. The SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) also briefed the Committee on its new promotional 2010 Bafana Bafana campaign with the aim of galvanising support for Bafana Bafana on its road to the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. The PSL also gave a briefing on its activities and its CEO gave his views on South Africa’s readiness for 2010.

Members asked questions relating to delays in announcing the host cities, government funding, legislative assistance from Parliament, the patriotism of overseas-based soccer players and the involvement of former players in development coaching programmes.

MINUTES

SA Football Association briefing
Mr M Oliphant (SAFA President) explained that SAFA had 25 regions across South Africa. The leadership was comprised of 23 persons with a CEO at Head Office. Development at under 14 and under 17 age levels was run through the staging of talent identification tournaments. He further explained that First National Bank (FNB), Vodacom, SASOL and South African Breweries (SAB) were SAFA’s main sponsors.

Mr I Khoza (Chairperson: 2010 Local Organising Committee) gave a brief summary of South Africa’s readiness stating that the country was currently in the compliance stage. Next year we would move into conceptualisation. He explained also that the LOC was a Section 21 Company that was formed to manage and organise the tournament. The LOC had thus far concluded agreements with the SA Revenue Services (SARS) on procurement policies and tax treaties.

Mr D Jordaan (CEO of LOC) commented that there was widespread condemnation of any African country hosting a World Cup. The argument for this had been that it would not make any business sense for FIFA to do so. He said however that FIFA’s decision to give the bid to South Africa was a huge vote of confidence in not only South Africa, but the entire African continent. Based on the projected ticket prices for the 2010 World Cup, he anticipated that the revenues in 2010 would surpass those of Japan-South Korea in 2002.

Mr Z Dunywa (SAFA Director of Development) explained that development in the country was currently top-down and this needed to change as we were developing youngsters who would not make it beyond 2010. He said SAFA’s main developmental priorities were to identify, coach and nurture young talent.

A recent SAFA-led project in collaboration with the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) and the National Lottery resulted in the establishment of a High Performance Programme in the provinces. These programmes would take place once a month over a weekend; with kids being taught life skills, nutrition and progression planning. Mr Dunywa asked the Committee to encourage the government to make more land available for such development projects as SAFA at present was not able to spend more than 30% of its budget on development due to lack of funding.

The Chairperson commented that the government in its developmental planning created nodal points in provinces where it built sports facilities. SAFA’s land argument was not in line with this planning by government. For example, it did not make sense to allow District municipalities to look after recreational facilities as they did not have an extensive revenue pool for such maintenance. The Chairperson encouraged SAFA to look into this as it might be the reason why there was so little development in terms of building facilities for youngsters.

Mr M Mvebe (SABC) presented the SABC’s new promotional campaign aimed at supporting SAFA and Bafana Bafana’s 2010 activities. The programme was termed SABC-SAFA SIYANQOBA CAMPAIGN. The campaign also aimed at giving support to Bafana Bafana on the road to qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and ultimately winning 2010 on home soil. The campaign would use the "rhetoric of war" to galvanise support to help South Africa win the Cup.

The Members unanimously commended the SABC team’s concept and extended their whole-hearted support for the idea.

Professional Soccer League briefing
Mr Phillips (CEO) explained that the PSL was SAFA’s commercial wing and he was tasked with ensuring that a professional commercially viable league was run. In terms of 2010 planning, he also had to ensure that this continued into 2010 and beyond. The PSL ran a professional league (sponsored by Castle Lager) and an amateur league (sponsored by Mvelaphande Holdings). The PSL’s annual turnover was around R165 million and R125 million went back to the soccer clubs and SAFA in the form of a grant.

He explained that his main challenge as CEO was the lack of proper stadiums in which to play soccer. Out of the total South African population of 42 million people, 40 million supported soccer, yet soccer matches had to be played mostly in rugby stadiums. The only real long-term benefit of the 2010 events would be that this situation would be improved. He also cited a lack of competitiveness within the broadcasting sector as the PSL was at present forced to sell its soccer rights to the SABC often at prices that were not market related. Other sporting codes were making more money than the PSL through selling broadcasting rights.

Mr Louw (ANC) suggested that Members hold a closed meeting to re-visit the presentation by the SAFA delegation as he felt that SAFA’s responses were cynical and did not address pertinent issues. The Chairperson welcomed the suggestion and said that this would be done on 17 August.

Mr Phillips added that he had vast experience of World Cups and did not have any doubt that 2010 would be a success. However, the success would not be because of South Africa’s efficiency or good infrastructure, but it would be an experience for visitors to South Africa. He said that South Africans had enthusiasm, passion and loved to have a good time- no other country that has hosted a World Cup had any of these. He said that 2010 would see the largest world audience coming to Africa and this was what South Africa should sell to the rest of the world. This would leave many good memories in visitors’ minds and most would at some stage want to come back to visit.

Discussion
Mr L Reid (ANC) asked whether any neighbouring countries would be included in the 2010 programme to enable them to benefit from spin offs from the World Cup. Mr Khoza responded that FIFA had given the rights to SA as host nation. Most European teams on their arrival in Africa would need a few days to acclimatise to the new conditions. The LOC would suggest to FIFA that neighbouring countries be used for this purposes.

Mr Tsietsie (ANC) enquired about the R100 million that Mr Oliphant had said would be needed to prepare Bafana Bafana for the tournament. What would the money be used for? Mr Khoza responded that the R100 million was not a confirmed figure but an estimate. However, a substantial amount would be needed to properly prepare the team for the tournament. He said that European teams utilised advanced scientific training methods and experienced coaches to prepare their teams. Most African countries did not do this, which explained why they tended to fare so poorly in World Cup tournaments.

Mr C Frolick (ANC) commented that during visits to the provinces, certain cities were asking when the announcements on host cities would be made. He warned the Committee about this hesitation by the LOC. He asked about the impact on the World Cup should the bidders (who would build the stadiums) adopt a lethargic response as they had been made to wait for so long. Mr Jordaan responded that the process was being expedited and the names would be announced around December, but certainly before 2006. Mr Oliphant added that it was not a question of where the stadiums would be built, but one of who would build them as per negotiations at local government and municipal level.

Mr S Masango (ANC) asked Mr Jordaan why his presentation of training venues excluded places like Polokwane, Mpumalanga and Orkney. Mr Jordaan responded that those areas still needed to make presentations to FIFA and they would be given the opportunity when the FIFA inspection team came to South Africa in September.

Mr Louw suggested that Members should play a meaningful role in explaining the LOC’s position to the provinces and cities to minimise expectations and raise awareness. Mr Khoza commended this approach in assisting the LOC. Mr Frolick commented that Sport and Recreation received very limited funding from government and asked whether an increase would not impact positively on the World Cup? The LOC had to inform the Committee on the types of funding that would be needed. Mr Jordaan responded that funding was a critical issue in the plans for 2010 and the LOC could not afford any disruption in government’s funding towards the 2010 World Cup. The Chairperson stated that the LOC had to inform the Committee on the types of funding that might be necessary as Government normally required Portfolio Committees to substantiate any requests for more funding.

The Chairperson asked Mr Jordaan whether they had considered asking Parliament to assist them by passing special Acts that would exempt them from the stringent requirements of the Public Finance Management Act as this Act would be a serious stumbling block to the LOC accessing and utilising funds speedily. He also asked whether there were any discussions with Treasury or SARS to accommodate the LOC. Mr Jordaan responded that by next year Parliament would have passed the Financial Measures Bill that would assist the LOC. The Chairperson also asked about the Safety at Stadiums Bill and key issues around the building of stadiums. Mr Jordaan responded that the Safety at Stadiums legislation was currently being dealt with by Parliament and the budget for building stadiums had already been submitted. However, he anticipated a serious lack of human resources capacity to manage those stadiums once they had been built. There were very few black stadium managers and proper training needed to be instituted to optimise the use of these stadiums long before they were built.

The Chairperson asked about the role that would be played by the SABC in televising the event, especially in light of FIFA’s plans of putting up big-screens in the rural areas to give rural people access to the event. Was this arrangement confirmed or still being planned? What type of relationship was envisaged between the LOC and the SABC?

Mr Jordaan responded that FIFA insisted on a free-to-air broadcasting arrangement for all its World Cups and the SABC currently had an advantage over other broadcasters in that it had country-wide coverage. The SABC would however need to move from analogue to digital broadcasting by 2010 but he was unsure about their readiness for this change.

The Chairperson said that he differed with Mr Jordaan’s point that soccer surpassed rugby in terms of support as he had noticed that most rugby matches were sold out, while soccer stadiums were virtually empty even during international matches. He asked what rugby was doing right that soccer was not. Mr Jordaan responded that it could be an economic issue as all flights were normally fully booked whenever a rugby match was played anywhere in the country, whilst when the national soccer team played one was able to get a flight even if booked at the last minute. He added that people would not support a losing team and Bafana Bafana therefore had to be turned into a winning team.

Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) asked why there was so little patriotism amongst South African soccer players when it came to playing for their country; unlike rugby players who would die for their country. He asked why SAFA could not call up just locally-based players and leave out those overseas players who were not patriotic. Mr Oliphant responded that it was the prerogative of the national coach to choose who should play for the national team as he would be blamed if the team failed to deliver.

Mr E Mtshali (ANC) asked about SAFA’s policy regarding former professional players who were currently unemployed. Could they not be used to assist in developmental programmes? Mr Oliphant responded that SAFA being a small organisation could not accommodate all former players and moreover, being a former player did not guarantee a good coach. However, there were some former players in SAFA’s development coaching ranks. Mr B Dhlamini (IFP) asked about SAFA’s role in developing talent at school level. Mr Dunywa responded that SASSU and USSASA dealt with development at school level.

Mr S Masango expressed his disappointment at SAFA’s inability to properly manage the development of the Banyana Banyana women’s soccer team. Mr Dunywa responded that the problem with the women’s team had been with sponsorship as SANLAM had withdrawn its sponsorship. There has since not been a sponsor, but SAFA would be forming partnerships with new sponsors.

The meeting was adjourned.

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