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SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
19 June 2001
SPORT EVENTS OF NATIONAL INTEREST: DISCUSSION OF BROADCASTERS ROLE; NCOP AMENDMENTS TO SOUTH AFRICAN BOXING BILL
Chairperson: Ms Bhengu (ANC)
NCOP Amendments to SA Boxing Bill [B13B-2001]
The Committee discussed how sporting events of national interest could be broadcast to the widest possible audience. This discussion was based on information from the June 12 appearance of MNet and the SABC before the Committee. The Committee agreed that it must facilitate this process together with the Minister, the Communications Portfolio Committee, and ICASA. The Committee was concerned that eTV had elected not to participate in the process.
The Committee approved two minor technical amendments passed by the NCOP (9 May) on the SA Boxing Bill.
Results of the June 12 Meeting with the SABC and MNet
Mr Chauke (ANC) said the broadcasters are not progressing with the move to ensure that sports events of national interest are broadcast to the widest possible audience. He insisted that the Committee must actively facilitate and drive the process. A meeting will take place in Pretoria on July 15th with Sport Ministry officials, broadcasters, respective sub-Committees of the Communications Portfolio Committee and the Sport and Recreation Committee.
Further, Mr Chauke suggested that the Committee ask the Chief Whip to schedule a Committee meeting prior to next week's recess. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss issues with representatives of ICASA. He also suggested that the Committee meet again over recess with Ministry officials and broadcasters. This will hopefully force broadcasters to make plans for progress. The SABC will also be able to present its financial and other problems regarding these issues.
Mr Swart (NNP) agreed with Mr Chauke's suggestions and comments.
The Chair noted that the parliamentary schedule did not allow for a meeting the following week. Mr Chauke said he would approach the Chief Whip for permission to have a meeting, given that the matter is urgent.
Mr Pieterse (ANC) observed that eTV is a major stakeholder and must be encouraged to participate, despite its reluctance to do so. He said that because ICASA is the final arbiter in promulgating the regulations, the Committee and the Committee's sub-Committee it will select must insist that ICASA address this matter.
The Chairperson said that the Committee must update the list of sports events deemed "of national interest". Further, she said the Committee must meet with ICASA to determine ICASA's position, with the assistance of the Ministry.
Ms Bhengu requested input from the members on how to approach eTV.
Mr Chauke (ANC) suggested that eTV be invited to next weeks meeting. Mr Frolick (UDM) and Mr Swart (NNP) agreed that the Committee must take a pro-active approach towards eTV.
The Chair then asked for input concerning the constitution of the 2 member sub-Committee. The fist duty of the sub-Committee is to participate in the July 15 meeting.
The Committee agreed (on Mr Chauke's suggestion) that Ms Bhengu and Mr Swart serve. However, Mr Pieterse (ANC) requested that Mr Swart not delegate his position to Mr Lee (DP) if he is unable to attend.
Mr Swart suggested that in such an instance the Chair pick another opposition member to act as substitute.
Mr Ferreira (IFP) disagreed with Mr Swart's suggestion and insisted that "people, not parties" be selected. In effect he said that the Chairperson and/or Mr Swart should serve, without substitution.
The Chair then suggested that she be allowed to choose a substitute for herself or Mr Swart from any party. Mr Louw (ANC) endorsed this suggestion, which was adopted by the Committee.
The Chair concluded the meeting by making several comments concerning eTV. She pointed out that invitations to appear before a Parliamentary Committee are not to be declined without good reason. Further, she said that eTV's conduct has not accorded Parliament the honour and respect it is due. Moreover, she said that eTV's lack of participation and continued squabbling between SABC and MNet is preventing progress. Consequently, she said that the tone of the next letter of invitation to eTV will be calibrated accordingly.
NCOP's Proposed Amendments to the SA Boxing Bill
The Committee considered the NCOP's two proposed amendments to the SA Boxing Bill.
Mr Swart (NNP) said the opposition had no objection to the amendments. Gideon Hoon ( State Law Advisor) endorsed this position. The Committee approved the amendments without debate or objection.
The meeting was adjourned.
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