A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
FINANCE SELECT COMMITTEE
8 May 2006
HEARINGS ON 4th QUARTER CONDITIONAL GRANT REPORT: EDUCATION / PUBLIC WORKS / SPORT & RECREATION
Chairperson: Mr T Ralane ( ANC Free State)
Documents handed out:
Department of Education: Eastern Cape Presentation
Free State Presentation
Department of Education: Limpopo Presentation
Department of Education: North-West Presentation
Department of Education: Northern Cape
Department of Education Western Cape Presentation
Department of Education: Kwa-Zulu Natal Presentation
Presentation by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (Northern Cape)
Conditional Grants. Presentation by the MEC for Cultural Affairs, Sports and Recreation
Presentation on Siyadlala Mass Participation Programme Conditional Grant 2005/2006 (KZN)
KwaZulu Natal Mass Participation Business Plan
Conditional Grant: Siyadlala Mass Participation Eastern Cape Fourth Quarter Report
[please email email@example.com for documents]
The Eastern Cape said that in the past they had serious problems in spending money on their HIV/AIDS programme. Since then things had improved and in the fourth quarter there was under-expenditure of only about R700 000. This under-expenditure was mainly caused by problems in invoicing and the transport services. The Department had also struggled in the previous financial year to administer the NSNP. They had to restructure the team that dealt with this Grant and had been working with the Department of Health to improve them. Their expenditure patterns had improved since last year but they were hampered by the lack of capacity. There were still shortages of critical staff which made it difficult to monitor service providers especially where the providers lacked capacity themselves.
The Northern Cape said that there were some backlogs in the construction of some schools due to the late allocation of funds from the Treasury, heavy rains towards the end of the year that affected construction and the fact that some contractors did not complete their projects.
The Free State said that spending had improved to 94% in 2005/06. From the Department Education to that of Public Works for capital projects, R106 942 million was transferred and R95 634 million was spent. Delays were caused by heavy rains at the end of the year.
Limpopo said that on HIV/AIDS, the Department’s plans were ineffective in that it was unable to spend the whole allocation. The Department tried to change their plans but were informed that this was not possible. The province’s biggest problem was the collapse of schools. This financial year 237 schools had collapsed, and since they informed the Department of Public Works in February, 20 more had collapsed.
The North-West said that the financial performance of the Department had drastically improved in the 2005/06 year from the previous year. This improved performance was due to effective monitoring and pressure on the financial managers. The expenditure on Conditional Grants had improved from 85.5% to 97.4%, capital expenditure from 65.9% to 94.7% and infrastructure from 67.7% to 98.8%.
The Western Cape said that the Department also set aside 777 000 for the establishment of a Project Management Unit to manage the additional classroom allocation in ‘black African’ areas. Only 2% of the budget had been unspent and the Treasury had agreed to the rolling-over of this amount to the 2006/07 year.
Kwa-Zulu Natal said that they had exceeded their service delivery targets in the construction of toilets where 3 001 were built, which exceeded their target of 2 500. They did note serious capacity problems in the Department of Public Works and developed plans to reduce the effects of this. The Department found that vacancy rates greatly affected its ability to deliver services and they were launching pilot projects for Women’s Co-operatives to assist with NSNP so the programme was not reliant on detached companies and other third parties.
The provincial departments dedicated to sport and recreation, spoke widely of the activities they were able to perform thanks to the mass participation conditional grant. Members raised questions relating to the quality of the activities undertaken and their impact on the communities. The Chairperson urged the provincial departments to work with other departments, such as Public Works and Education where possible. This would enable them to circumvent the constraints of their often very small budget allocations.
Eastern Cape Presentation
MEC Matomela said that in the past they had serious problems in spending money on their HIV/AIDS programme. Since then things had improved and in the fourth quarter there was under-expenditure of only about R700 000. This under-expenditure was mainly caused by problems in invoicing and the transport services. These problems also affected the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). The Department still had personnel problems. When they began the HIV/AIDS programme they had no staff at all so people had to be brought in from other directorates. The process of filling some of the vacant posts was still ongoing. Unfortunately these capacity programmes adversely affected the monitoring of expenditure but the Department was doing all it could to fix these problems.
The Department had also struggled in the previous financial year to administer the NSNP. They had to restructure the team that dealt with this Grant and had been working with the Department of Health to improve them. There also had to improvements made to the payment system that had since been effected with help from the National Treasury. A pilot project was being launched at the end of May where communities could assist to feed the school children. The Department was still struggling to replace schools made of mud and sticks with proper structures. What was welcomed was the increase in the budget allocation for building schools, so this programme would be accelerated in the coming years.
Their expenditure patterns had improved since last year but they were hampered by the lack of capacity. There were still shortages of critical staff which made it difficult to monitor service providers especially where the providers lacked capacity themselves. They also wanted to include their communities in the building programme to empower them. The Department was assisted by the National Treasury to recapitalise their FET colleges and they had instituted a plan to do this. They struggled administratively to handle the colleges, but of the budget of R18.4 million, R18.5 million was spent.
Northern Cape Presentation
MEC Lucas said that their total budget for HIV/AIDS was R2 million, R31 million for the NSNP, R54 million for the infrastructural grant and their own infrastructural allocation was R30 million. Their expenditure on the NSNP was 93%, 98% on infrastructure and 88% on HIV/AIDS. There were some backlogs in the construction of some schools due to the late allocation of funds from the Treasury, heavy rains towards the end of the year that affected construction and the fact that some contractors did not complete their projects.
They had signed service level agreements with the Department of Public Works to try and speed up construction and the National Treasury had conducted a pilot project on infrastructural development, the results of which were becoming evident.
Free State Presentation
MEC Tsopo Their spending had improved to 94% in 2005/06. The Department had received R8.4 million for their HIV/AIDS programme, R68 million for the NSNP and R60.5 million for the Provincial Infrastructure Grant (PIG). They had spent 94.8% of their HIV/AIDS budget, 88.5% on the NSNP and 101.7% on the PIG.
They were directed by the National Treasury to spend R11.7 million on equipment for the NSNP but they decided not to follow this directive as the money for this was received very late. In total they were feeding 352 596 children in schools. Treasury would have to help the Department to feed 413 546 children this financial year as new schools had been established. Some schools however were deemed non-viable so would have to be closed. This would also deal with the problem of over-crowding in schools, especially in urban areas.
From the Department Education to that of Public Works for capital projects, R106 942 million was transferred and R95 634 million was spent. Delays were caused by heavy rains at the end of the year. Service level agreements had also been signed with the Department of Public Works to formalise their agreement and commitment.
They were having monthly meetings internally and with the Department of Public Works to monitor their progress. They had appointed a Management Accountant to ensure that all the money that supposed to be spent was spent effectively. National Treasury was also providing technical assistance to both Departments and planning for projects had been improved to ensure that money was being spent effectively.
MEC Motsoaledi said that in the NSNP they spent R191 million of a budget of R204 million (93%). On HIV/AIDS, the Department’s plans were ineffective in that it was unable to spend the whole allocation. The Department tried to change their plans but were informed that this was not possible. Changes would be made for this year’s allocation and the performance would be better for this grant this financial year. On infrastructure, R235 million was spent out of a budget of R264 million.
The province’s biggest problem was the collapse of schools. This financial year 237 schools had collapsed, and since they informed the Department of Public Works in February, 20 more had collapsed. This meant that they were not necessarily building new schools but were rebuilding schools. They had decided to implement a plan where schools were built in two stages over a number of years.
MEC Tselapedi said that the financial performance of the Department had drastically improved in the 2005/06 year from the previous year. This improved performance was due to effective monitoring and pressure on the financial managers. The expenditure on Conditional Grants had improved from 85.5% to 97.4%, capital expenditure from 65.9% to 94.7% and infrastructure from 67.7% to 98.8%.
Some of the challenges they still faced were the delay in the delivery of 21 vehicles for the Education Development Centres and delays in the delivery of school furniture. This negatively impacted the capital expenditure of the Department. The expenditure on HIV/AIDS was 97% and 98.7% on infrastructure. They spent R99.3 million on sanitation and R98.2 million on maintenance.
The Department was enhancing its monitoring capacity and activity and had engaged the Department of Transport for the speedy delivery of the vehicles. They were looking for more service providers to ensure that the school furniture was also delivered as soon as possible.
Western Cape Presentation
MEC Dugmore said that their initial budget was R188 million but it was adjusted upwards to R373 million. About R20 million was set aside for the provision for schools in ‘black African’ areas. The Department also set aside 777 000 for the establishment of a Project Management Unit to manage the additional classroom allocation in ‘black African’ areas. Only 2% of the budget had been unspent and the Treasury had agreed to the rolling-over of this amount to the 2006/07 year.
Some of the Department’s challenges were obstacles in the Schools Act. The Act stated that the governing body of the school had the responsibility of determining the capacity of the schools. However, this meant that some schools that had a capacity 1 200 only had 600 pupils while in other cases some schools with a capacity of 600 had 1 200 pupils. The Schools Act had to be amended for the Department to intervene and ensure an even spread.
Kwa-Zulu Natal Presentation
MEC Lebese said that for infrastructure R837 million was spent out of a budget of R854 million. This under-expenditure was in repairs and maintenance. They had exceeded their service delivery targets in the construction of toilets where 3 001 were built, which exceeded their target of 2 500. They did note serious capacity problems in the Department of Public Works and developed plans to reduce the effects of this. They had four implementing agents in the Department: the Independent Development Trust, the Department of Public Works, Umgeni Water and Itala Bank. They had established a task-team with their Provincial Treasury to deal with the issue of infrastructure finance. They also had an Internal Infrastructure Delivery Committee to oversee the projects.
The Department had received R44 181 million for HIV/AIDS and had overspent by 11%. They had monthly reporting systems in line with the Division of Revenue Act and had monthly meetings with districts as the HIV/AIDS programme was spread out among the various directorates. For the NSNP, the allocation in the fourth quarter was R198 849 with R198 980 being spent which was 100.1% expenditure. There was additional funding of R43 million to buy utensils last year and a roll over that contribute to this expenditure figure.
The Department found that vacancy rates greatly affected its ability to deliver services and they were launching pilot projects for Women’s Co-operatives to assist with NSNP so the programme was not reliant on detached companies and other third parties.
The Chairperson said that the Eastern Cape had said that they received R18.4 million on FET colleges. Their Provincial Treasury however said that they had only given the Department R14 million. Why was their figure different?
The Eastern Cape MEC said that he did not have his Provincial Treasury’s report and would have to look at it before he could respond.
Mr M Robertson (ANC) (Eastern Cape) said that the provinces had three year budgets so they knew how much money they had well in advance. He found it hard to understand why tenders were not done in time and why service providers did not deliver in time. How long would the Eastern Cape take to fill the vacancies? The Committee was tired of hearing these excuses every year.
The Eastern Cape MEC said that there were serious problems across the whole province. In the past critical posts were not filled because they simply did not have the money to do so, but since 2004 they had begun to fill the posts. It was impossible to fill the posts all at once but they were sure that the problem would be resolved by July.
Mr Z Kolweni (ANC) (North-West) asked what measures Limpopo had in place to make sure that their service providers would deliver in the new financial year when they had problems with them last year, especially with regards to the HIV/AIDS grant.
MEC Motsoaledi replied that he had tried to explain last year that their plan had to be changed but the money allocated was for a specific project. The Department has had to wait for the new financial year to begin a new programme.
Northern Cape Presentation
The MEC for Sport and Recreation, Mr Kagisho Molusi, gave the Committee a brief overview of the Province’s challenges in terms of funding, etc and the Chief Financial Officer, Mr Alistair Andrew briefed the Committee on the province’s expenditure.
Mr Malusi pointed out that for several of the previous years the Department’s budget had not been sufficient to cover the sector’s needs. This resulted in a scaling down of activities in certain areas. The 2006/7 financial year would be the first year that the Department would not be able to, from its own funds, award grants to local authorities for the upgrading of sport facilities. The Northern Cape had no world-class stadium and thus no World Cup matches would be played there in 2010. There was little chance of the province attracting such games in future. This implied that while others went forward, the Northern Cape drew little benefit from major national and international sporting events. The province welcomed the introduction of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) but realised that few local authorities viewed the building of sporting facilities as a priority. The Department had requested a meeting with the MEC for Local Government in an effort to correct this anomaly. The current situation made it very difficult for the provincial Department to plan for the expansion of its own programmes for which facilities were needed. While service level agreements were in place for each local authority these were not always honoured. This issue had been raised with the MEC through the premier’s intergovernmental forum. The capital delivery costs in the province was far higher than in other parts of the country. The department made good and full use of the funds that were available to it. The conditional grant for the mass participation programme was particularly important as a supplement for the small budget it had at its disposal.
Mr Andrews said that the Province’s capital expenditure had increased from R12,4 million in 2003/04 to R13,848 million in 2005/6. Over the previous three financial years it had spent much money on upgrading facilities across the province. During the previous two years the Department had managed to spend almost all of its mass Sport and Recreation Participation Programme conditional grant allocation of R1 million (2004/5) and R2,640 million (2005/6). The presentation also included a breakdown of the Province’s key performance indicators as far as the conditional grant was concerned as well as reasons for the under spending in the last financial year. One of the major challenges related to the conditional Mass Sports and Recreation Participation Programmes was that it would only be sustainable as long as the province received the conditional grant.
Western Cape Presentation
Mr W Jacobs (MEC: Department of Culture Affairs, Sports and Recreation) said that there had been an increase in the conditional grant from R1 million in 2004/5 to R2,6 million in 2005/06. The Department had expanded its programmes to cover all six of its regions – this proved to be an additional constraint.
Mr T Kambule (Director: Department of Culture Affairs, Sports and Recreation) said that the presentation would cover the reporting period 2004/5 to 2006/7. The Department felt that it was important to give an indication of what the allocation trend over the last medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) had been and to give an idea of how this would impact on the next MTEF. He emphasised that the decrease in the capital grant allocation made it impossible to cover the backlog in facilities in the disadvantaged communities. He detailed the reasons for the lack of assessment of conditional grant programmes. These included low staff capacity, lack and lack of reporting by municipalities. He pointed out that municipalities complained about staff shortages too. The Department had to rely on the commitment shown by all spheres of Government, as far as reporting was concerned. This would enable them to monitor the impact of the grant effectively.
Eastern Cape Presentation
Ms N Abraham-Ntantiso (MEC Department of Sport and Recreation) said that the conceptionalisation of the Siyadlala Mass Participation programme equipped the Department with an effective tool for resuscitation and development of sports and recreation in the province and the country. It allowed for interventions in areas where there was no participation due to lack of resources. The programme changed the lives of many young people and women. The grant had initially posed a challenge but the province quickly improved upon its administration and delivery as the reaching of the non-financial targets of the past two years proved. The presentation detailed the province’s achievements in terms of performance against goals, budget, and quality.
KwaZulu Natal Presentation
Mr G Sangweni (Acting Head of Department) briefed the Committee on the status of the Siyadlala Mass Participation Programme in the province. Since its introduction in 2004/2005 the budget for the project increased significantly from R1million in the first year to R10, 7million in 2006/7. This resulted in an increase in hubs, activities in communities as well as beneficiaries. Despite many challenges in rural areas, the programme was "making an impact in getting the province to play".
Mr M Robertson (ANC Eastern Cape) congratulated the MEC of the Eastern Cape on her appointment. He said that he thought that the Eastern Cape had been robbed. Many of the players in the Super 12 came from the Eastern Cape but due to lack of funds the province was not able to retain them.
Ms N Abraham-Ntantiso pointed out that the Department was focusing its resources on developing undeveloped sport. The Department would like to focus on teams that played in the premier league but it did not have the finances to do so. She hoped that once the football and rugby summits were concluded the Department would be able to table a compelling case for their top teams. What the Department had presented to the Committee were programmes that aimed at training developed and undeveloped athletes.
The Chairperson commented that the Eastern Cape report was very positive about its outcomes and yet the province was unable to keep its rugby talent. He thought that there was a bigger issue that needed to be addressed.
Mr D Botha (ANC Limpopo) said that the Eastern Cape’s report indicated that the reason for the variance included delays by Fleet Africa in submitting their transport invoices. He wondered how this was possible. Any transport service would have given a quotation directly after which the client should have paid the amount owed. He said that some of the smaller transport providers might be disadvantaged by a delay in payments. He commented that the delay might disadvantage them and damage their finances and cash flow.
The Ms Abraham-Ntantiso said that it was unfortunate that the programme was intensive in terms of transport. Fleet Africa waited until they had a substantial amount outstanding before they issued out invoices. She said that her office was in contact with them and had stressed the need for an improvement in how they did their business.
Mr Botha said that he was concerned about the KwaZulu-Natal budget. According to the presentation there were no sporting facilities in the rural areas, yet the province selected people to take part in provincial swimming championships. He was curious about how this was possible if there was no budget for facilities in rural areas and people could then not practice.
Mr Sangweni said that his Department was blessed to have been involved in the formation of the Siyadlala programme. He reminded the Committee that the Building for Sports and Recreation Programme (BSRP) was funded nationally. Many sports fields were built in rural municipalities. Provincial Departments had no say in where these fields would be erected. This resulted in the fields in some cases being too far from the hubs, thus dislocating the very intention. These facilities were used where possible. The Department was also using facilities of schools that did not necessarily belong to the programme or to the Government.
Mr C Van Rooyen (ANC Free State) noted that the KwaZulu-Natal budget expenditure indicated that the province spent R27 000 of the R2,64 million conditional grant on marketing. A page later however the report indicated that in the last quarter they had spent R35 000 on marketing. This amount was greater than the reported annual expenditure. He requested some clarification.
Mr Sangweni said that the delegation brought their business plan, which indicated that money had been set aside for cell phones, hub coordinating cell phones and faxing as well as for skills training of the administration coordinator. The Department advertised for an already-trained hub coordinator. The savings in these areas were then used for the further training of those officials who needed it. The additional money available in the last quarter resulted from savings from cell phones and training.
Mr Van Rooyen said that this explanation was not clear. He said that in their budget and expenditure the province gave a breakdown of how the money had been spent and indicated that R27 000 had been spent on marketing. This along with the other expenditure made up the total expenditure of R2,6 million. The next page of the submission however indicated that in the last quarter of that year they spent R 35 000. He wondered whether this was just a calculation error.
Mr Sangweni agreed that the figures did not add up and said that this might be a calculation error. He said that, as explained before, savings were made in certain areas. These savings were spent in the last quarter.
The Chairperson suggested that that the province should reconcile the figures and report back to the Committee within the following two days.
Mr Van Rooyen asked how KwaZulu-Natal measured the impact of the Siyadlala Mass Participation Programme. Their report was vague in this regard.
Mr Sangweni pointed out that in 2000 KwaZulu-Natal was positioned third in the SA Games; in 2005 they were positioned second trailing Gauteng by 5 medals. Some of the athletes had been trained through the Siyadlala programme. Mass participation resulted in different regions coming closer to the municipalities. KwaZulu-Natal was a popular hosting province. When it hosted the Cricket World Cup 300 volunteers were trained. When it hosted the World Karate Tournament some trainees from the hubs were used. During the SA Games the province trained an additional 300 volunteers, many of which came from the hubs. The number of people participating in local activities increased. The interrelationship between the hubs, local governments and federations made the impact felt across a much broader area.
Ms Abraham-Ntantiso said that the Department was successful in the implementation of their programmes. The province now had a nation that was "playing more" and a reduction in crime rates. HIV Aids awareness efforts were also included in the programme. There were 341 trained coaches, 160 trained sports administrators, 333 trained referees, 50 people trained in life skills, 51 trained in events management, 63 trained in first aid. 324 clubs, 288 leagues were also created. They have also included street kids in their programmes. The province measured participation based on the number of activities that were being participated in and not by the number of participants.
Mr E Sogoni (ANC Gauteng) added that other provinces should also include some mention of the impact of their mass participation programmes.
Ms Ncunu (ANC KwaZulu-Natal) said that KwaZulu-Natal presentation reported that training had been done but no mention had been made of revamping the sport academy at Eskaweni. She asked if any money had been allocated towards revamping the sports academy.
The Chairperson requested the Member to clarify whom the sport academy belonged to. He wondered whether it belonged to the municipality or the provincial government.
Ms Ncunu responded that the academy used to belong to the province and had originally, and was, earmarked for training in sport and recreation. She said that it could be renewed.
The Chairperson said that now it was located in a local municipality. He did not want an unfair question to be posed to the MEC of KwaZulu-Natal. If the academy were an infrastructure falling under the municipality it would be the municipality’s responsibility. The MEC would respond if he was in a position to.
Ms Ncunu said that the academy now fell under the jurisdiction of FET and might be part of the provincial development of sport and recreation. The lighting of the sport field would fall under the municipality.
Mr Sangweni said that the building used to be a teaching college which had not been used. The municipality approached the then Department of Education for use of the facility. The Department of Education failed to give a clear response. In 2003 he had started interacting with the Department of Education. They had set up a committee and brought in sponsors that would give them the funds needed to repair the facility. A report was submitted to the Department of Education. In the interim the MEC for education had leased the college to the university. This had been the first complication.
At present, squatters occupied the hostel facility. The Department of Education could not evict them. The hall was the only surviving facility in the college. This was being used for netball and other indoor games such as the Indigenous Games. He admitted that the Department had failed but not for lack of trying. The Department of Education was not in a position to cooperate.
Maintenance was one of the major areas that needed to be agreed upon when making agreements with municipalities about facilities. One had to ascertain whether the municipality would be capable of maintaining facilities in that area. The Department had approached the National Treasury for the poverty ratings of the various municipalities, because they wanted to erect facilities that would be used. He admitted that lighting was still a municipal problem.
Ms Ncunu asked whether there was any cooperation between the South African Police Service and the Department of Sport and Recreation. The policing forum was concerned about the crime rate among youth. Crime was rife in her area. The youth needed to be developed as far as sport was concerned. She suggested that the Department of Sport and Recreation and the police should work in tandem to try and find a solution to the high number of children involved in crime.
The HOD KwaZulu-Natal said that a lot of programmes had been taken to the Uthungulu. The last provincial indigenous games were held there. There was a hub at Ntabanana. There was an academy at Njosini.
He said that the crime the Member was talking about was not so widespread. There were hubs in the area. Many of the repeated acts of criminality were related to the fact that the police released offenders shortly after their arrest. The Department did everything it could to involve the youth but still needed the involvement of other sectors of the society.
Mr Van Rooyen asked how KwaZulu-Natal measured the level of participation from the community.
Nine hubs had been made possible by the grant. From the savings the Department had made 11 more were created. The Department had made clear that it wanted to involve the entire province. He pointed out that some areas would be left out simply because the Department was not able to attend to all the municipalities. KwaZulu-Natal had 61 municipalities and the R10 million the Department received that year was still inefficient. He urged Members to remember that the attitudes of people from the province had been damaged by the events of the past. This all contributed to the problems faced to day. He assured the Committee that the Department was attending to these matters.
He said that the province was fortunate enough to be part of the conceptualization of the new Department of Sport and Recreation programme called Club Development. The province undertook that out of the R6miilion the province was likely to get, it would club development in Zululand and Ukahlamba. They wanted to make sure that the players that were there were developed.
The Chairperson wondered why the police was not arresting these children. Ms Ncunu confirmed that they got arrested, only to be released shortly after. She said that one could never know whether there "was collusion somewhere".
Mr E Sogoni (ANC Gauteng) hoped that the next Eastern Cape report would also include their capital expenditure and not only the Siyadlala programme. He urged the Eastern Cape to use the funds they receive so that if they claim to have no money, they would be able to prove that they had spent all they had been allocated. He found the fact that the province failed to spend their entire allocation a bit problematic.
Ms Abraham-Ntantiso said that the Department had spent the money allocated to them. The R141 000 outstanding had already been committed. Payments were being processed upon receipt.
Mr Van Rooyen asked whether the MEC could explain whether the R141 000 included the money that still needed to be paid to Fleet Africa. MEC confirmed that this was the case.
The Chairperson said that it appeared as though the battle of getting the basics of spending right was being won. He pointed out that not much had been said about the quality of the spending and the outcomes of the spending. The Committee had not yet spoken of the quality of the quantity. He said that not much had been said about the impact the provinces’ efforts had had. He was not convinced that crime had gone down. He knew that in many rural areas the crime rate was quite high. As the conditional grant grew one needed to be able to measure outcomes clearly. Everyone was involved in the programme and the Committee needed to get a real idea of the true impact of the Siyadlala programme. He said that it was a disgrace that if one watched Super 14 games being played in Australia and New Zealand the stadiums were full to capacity. Yet South Africa could not manage to get her its stadiums half full. One could not see the translation of the programmes into people being "sports drunk". One needed to see everyone moving away from taverns and traditional weapons to sports fields.
Mr Botha noted that provinces should send the Heads of Departments or the MEC’s to report to the Committee. These were the people who could account for decisions that had been taken or not taken. Sending people who could not account was a waste of money. He said that countries like Australia and New Zealand spent much money on sport. Australia was a sport nation and spent money accordingly.
The Chairperson commented that Vodacom and MTN were investing a lot of money in sport.
Mr Robertson said that it was not merely about the money that was being spent. One of the reasons Australia was renowned for its sporting ability, was that it had sporting academies for all sporting activities.
Mr Sangweni commented that national and provincial departments of sport and recreation needed to redefine the blueprint of mass participation. It was clear that the Committee was looking for more than what the blueprint was prescribing.
Mr Van Rooyen queried the discrepancy in the Western Cape’s SSMPP figures for the number of schools that were beneficiaries of this grant. 123 primary schools and 37 others did not add up to the 140 the report said had benefited.
Mr Kambule admitted that there had been an error in the calculation.
Mr Van Rooyen said that the Western Cape cited staff capacity as a problem in terms of assessment. Did the Memorandum of understanding not cover problems that might arise due to lack of capacity?
Mr Kambule said that the Department had set targets that would address the assessment of the quality of their intervention programmes. Mr Jacobs added that the impact the programmes had was very difficult to assess. He shared that an improvement could be noted in Manenberg where the programme had been started. Volunteers were taking a leadership role in he proudly Manenberg project. He pointed out that while there was an improvement on this once gang infested area, the gang activity had since shifted to the neighbouring Hanover Park community.
Mr Sogoni wondered whether the Green Point stadium would be built in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Mr Jacobs pointed out that the environmental impact assessment was done of the Green Point site and not of any other site, as "some people in Cape Town would like us to believe". This exercise was complete and the Department appointed the design team the week before. Hopefully the design team would complete the first draft of the design by the end of June and that by the end of August the design would be complete. He confirmed that the stadium would be built at the Green point site.
Mr Sogoni asked whether the Western Cape in the past had managed to spend their capital projects grant allocation?
Mr Sogoni wondered what the role of the Western Cape’s own equitable share was in the grant. The presentation appeared to indicate that if the province did not receive the capital projects grant they would have no funds to spend in this area at all. He reminded the Department that the grant was meant to supplement provinces’ own equitable shares and was not meant to be the main allocation.
Mr Kambule pointed out that the money the Department was given provided them with the basis for opening mass participation opportunities to everybody. This effectively freed some of the budget that used to be spent to achieve this which enabled the Department to look at human capital development programmes that would be necessary for the sustainable development of sport and recreation. The Department decided that over and above the netball and the football clubs that would be taken into an incubator system in terms of the Club Development programme, it would place other needy community clubs under their own support wing. This support would be given over the entire MTEF period – the first year would be aimed at consolidating the viability of the club while the second would see the interaction with the local municipality to determine whether it could make the necessary preparations to take over responsibility of the club on their own budget.
Ms Ncunu said that if the communities were to get involved in identifying their needs and were part of the budgeting system they would feel that they owned the programmes This might go along way towards alleviating problems related to lack of staff capacity.
Mr Kambule said that the province did encourage community ownership. When new areas were considered for projects, decision-making was informed by a number of issues. The Department considered which municipalities had been declared Project Consolidate municipalities. These were not in a position to render effective services to their communities. The Department also considered local municipalities, which were not in positions to address the sport and recreational needs of their communities as well as those who did not have a designated component for sport and recreation. The Department targeted these municipalities. When the Department identified such municipalities it also interacted with the local sport and recreation councils so that they would also support the Department’s efforts. It was through their support that the Department was in a position to provide the necessary training in terms of the various activities that would be implemented in each of their areas.
Mr Sogoni said that it would be advantageous of provinces could include expenditure as well as outputs in their reports as KwaZulu-Natal did. This might support their requests for increases in their funding.
The Chairperson said that over the next three financial years the Western Cape would have R12 million, R15 million and R19 million available for spending on the mass sport and recreation participation programme. He was concerned that the province appeared to be saying that mass participation was shown at a flat rate of R7 million. He requested the delegation to explain the reasons for this.
Mr Kambule responded that the growth pattern was such that of one looked at the composition of the R15 million for the next financial year it was influenced by an increase from R4.85 million to R7.25million for the school sport mass participation programme. The amount reflected for community mass participation would remain constant at R7.25 million. In the 2007/8 financial year, that increase would be largely due to the increase in terms of the allocation that was made to the school sport mass participation programme. This was an area that was discussed at national Technical Intergovernmental Committee (TIC) meetings. The Western Cape was not the only province that was stagnating in terms of the mass participation grant allocation for communities.
The Chairperson said that a breakdown of the expenditure Mr Kambule had mentioned would be useful. When the Committee engaged with the national Department of Sport and Recreation it would raise this anomaly in an effort to resolve the matter. One of the issues the Committee had raised with the national Department related to how equitable the conditional grant was. This discussion had not yet been concluded. He reminded Members that next year the Division of Revenue Bill would be passed. Inputs from the provinces would be valuable.
He said that mass participation was divided into two areas: school participation and broader participation. From 17 May the Committee would have public hearings on the Fiscal and Financial Commission (FFC) recommendations. It might be useful if provinces could participate and make submissions at these hearings. He reminded the delegations that it was the FFC that advised Government on the formula used in the allocation funds. It would be critical for the MECs to speak to their own colleagues. He pointed out that while sports and recreation did not benefit from the provincial infrastructure grant (PIG), the departments of education, health, roads and agriculture did. If the Department of Education intended to build any schools it needed to ensure that all facilities would be available this included sporting facilities. Learners had to participate in sporting facilities. He said that the interaction between the MECs for sport and recreation and the departments that would benefit from the PIG was critical. This would alleviate some of the burden related to achieving certain goals. He conceded that budgets were very small, but suggested that there should be a level of reprioritisation. He agreed that there should be a stronger case for equitable share allocations and even conditional grant allocations. The framework suggested that the targets that needed to be met were great. The quality of these activities was very critical. If the provinces were finding any difficulty the Committee could see how they could mediate in the context of infrastructure.
Mr Jacobs said that the Western Cape had already been in discussions with the Department of Education and the Department of Public Works in terms of the school sports facilities. These departments had made a commitment that new schools would have all sports facilities.
He found the process of reporting to the Committee enriching in terms of following up on programmes run by his Department.
Ms Abraham-Ntantiso said that the session with the Committee had been empowering. She assured the Committee that the province would improve on the areas members had highlighted.
The Chairperson said that on the following Wednesday the Committee would receive the national departments of Minerals and Energy, Water Affairs, Provincial and Local Government and the National Treasury. He urged members to consider what should be done about Mpumalanga – the Committee had not seen any representatives from this province since the start of the hearings. The Constitution was clear regarding what needed to happen in such a case. The Committee should deliberate regarding this matter when they met on the coming Wednesday. The report the Committee needed to write would be incomplete without input from Mpumalanga.
The meeting was adjourned.
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