South African Sports Confederation & Olympic Committee Update & Transformation in South African Karate: briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

02 August 2006
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Meeting report

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
2 August 2006
SOUTH AFRICAN SPORTS CONFEDERATION AND OLYMPIC COMMITTEE UPDATE AND TRANSFORMATION IN SOUTH AFRICAN KARATE: BRIEFING

Chairperson:
Mr B Komphela (ANC)

Documents handed out:
SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee presentation: Part1 & Part2

SUMMARY
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee met with the Committee to provide a progress report on transformation in South African sport. The aims of the organisation were outlined. The promotion of student sport would receive urgent attention. The organisation intended to hold discussions with the National Lottery Board to facilitate changes in current financial distribution channels. Members were asked to assist in sourcing additional funding for sport in general. The Confederation’s programme of action was explained. Brief updates on dispute resolution activities in certain federations were presented. An attempt was made to forge greater unity between Karate South Africa and the Karate Association of South Africa. A meeting of all karate stakeholders would take place at the Confederation’s offices on 12 August 2006.

Members asked questions about the need to promote transformation at senior levels, extended grants to smaller federations, the need for government intervention to expedite transformation, improved school sports facilities at rural institutions, the assessment of academy performances, how to increase the participation of women in sport and the importance of an improved national soccer team.

MINUTES
The Chairperson stated that the Committee had to interact with the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) to receive feedback on sports-related matters and the present challenges to transformation in South African sport. Solutions should be relayed to the Committee for evaluation and debate. Significant transformation in sport had to still occur. For example, a single governing body for karate had to be created.

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee presentation
Mr M Mashishi (SASCOC President) explained that the aim of the organisation was to consolidate sport under one umbrella body. The inclusion of disability sport remained a challenge. A Commission on Students Sport would be created. SASCOC had recently received international recognition. The Framework Plan for 2005-2014 had been compiled. Discussions had been held with the National Lottery Board (NLB) regarding funding allocation alterations. The Committee was requested to assist in the process to acquire additional funding. National federations were administered by volunteers and consequently capacity shortfalls did arise. A Commission had been established to promote the interests of athletes. Current priorities and challenges were outlined.

Discussion
Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) asked what mechanisms were in place to monitor transformation and noted that significant transformation occurred in rugby at the junior level but not at higher levels.

Mr C Frolick (ANC) asserted that informal processes could also be highly effective in facilitating transformation. SASCOC should investigate specific problems within federations. Warring factions within federations had to be addressed. Parliament had to devise appropriate mechanisms to understand developments within federations. He reminded Members that government funding for SASCOC had been removed. Grants to smaller federations should be enhanced. Transformation within federations should also be advanced. The contribution of the NLB to sport development had to be re-evaluated.

Mr L Reid (ANC) added that federations were not adequately addressing transformation issues. Government intervention was required to fast-track progress.

Mr Mashishi responded that federations had to have transformation plans that the confederation could refer to in evaluating progress. A transformation commission had been established to oversee transformation and a dispute commission focused on resolving disputes within various federations. A strategy was in place but implementation had to be improved. Activities and responsibilities had to be aligned. Funding requirements had to be correlated to business plans. Progress had to be gauged in order to consider additional funding. The confederation required more powers to facilitate positive changes. The NLB had contributed R271 million to sport in the past financial year. However, further developments were needed. A holistic strategy plan was required that included a transformation agenda. 11% of the national budget for sport was below the international norm and the NLB had a vital role to play. A financial distribution agency should be placed closer to the confederation to promote effective disbursement of much-needed funds. Allocations should occur in conjunction with the overall strategy. SASCOC had to rely on the various federations to implement transformation plans.

Ms H Bogopane-Zulu (ANC) noted that improved sport facilities were required at both urban and rural schools.

Mr E Saloojee (ANC) commented on the continued skewed benefits to the white minority in terms of sports funding. Political transformation within sport was required to facilitate meaningful change.

Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) asked whether federations in general had the capacity to effectively administer school sports. Sport academies had recorded variable levels of performance and it was difficult to conduct accurate assessments of performance.

Mr Frolick asserted that the role of the United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA) had to be reconsidered. Teachers should play a major role in school sports as opposed to excessive levels of bureaucratic interference. The involvement of women in all sports had to be increased. He asked whether Durban would bid for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Mr Mashishi concurred that rural facilities were inadequate and the backlog had to be addressed. Sports facilities had been placed in rural areas in the past but lack of sufficient maintenance had eroded the value of the initial investment. The needs of rural communities had to be incorporated into the national strategy. Provincial and satellite academies were needed to broaden the interventions. School facilities had to be fully functional and assisted by the relevant federations. Resources would be provided to increase the pool of women participants in all sporting codes. The bid for the 2016 Olympic Games had to be forwarded before 2010 which presented a problem for Durban.

The Chairperson declared that the original intention of the National Lottery was to fund school sports and the present distribution practices had to be re-evaluated. Guidelines for academies had to be formulated with appropriate norms and standards. Access to funding had to be improved for less privileged tertiary institutions. High performance centres had to be developed in rural areas. Academies had to adhere to financial and operational norms and standards. The Committee wanted to see meaningful progress with transformation. Anti-doping measures had to be improved. Sports personalities should learn relevant life skills. The national colours had to be more prominently displayed in relation to logos and brand names. The national soccer team had to improve its performance.

Mr Mashishi stated that plans were being formulated to improve the performance of the national soccer team. The role of federations within SASCOC would be addressed at the next President’s Council meeting. Plans to improve the performance of academies would be presented to the Committee in due course.

The Chairperson asked the two karate federations present to provide their own accounts of recent attempts to achieve unity in South African karate. The Committee sought a progress report on implementation of a recent agreement.

Submissions by karate federations

Mr R Dangor (Karate Association of South Africa (KASA) Executive Committee member) stated that the planned merger would result in the cooption of KASA into the federation on an unequal basis. Therefore, KASA had been unable to agree to the specific terms of the agreement. SASCOC was requested to arbitrate on the matter and provide a solution.

Mr L Beech (Karate South Africa (KSA)) stated that concerns had been raised about misappropriation of funds in KASA. No real progress had been achieved in facilitating unity between opposing federations. The Minister of Sport and Recreation had mandated that KASA should undergo a name change, hold elections and restructure. Elections were held but KASA refused to accept the outcome. The challenge lay in trying to draw KASA into the KSA fold. Leadership positions had to be finalised. Communication had broken down between the two groups. Disharmony within South African karate appeared to be to the benefit of international bodies. Tournaments had been held in South Africa without any consultation with the controlling body.

Discussion

The Chairperson acknowledged that international interference appeared to be the case. Certain federations had been banned from international competition until unity had been achieved. Elections conducted by the Sports Commission should have been accepted by all parties.

Mr Dangor stated that KASA challenged the status of the regional representatives that attended the elections.

The Chairperson stated that the various parties had to focus on the transformation of karate.

Mr Mark Alexander (SASCOC Vice-President) declared that a dispute committee had been established to resolve the issues in karate. Unity had to be created before teams could represent South Africa. Both parties agreed to form a committee at a recent meeting. However, that agreement had not been implemented. Progress could not be achieved at this juncture.

The Chairperson asserted that a unity meeting had to be arranged as soon as possible to establish a committee to drive the process. A relevant plan of action should be formulated. A meeting would be held at the SASCOC offices on 12 August to debate all pertinent issues and reach a binding agreement.

The meeting was adjourned.



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