3rd Term Review and Adoption of 4th Term Programme

Sports, Arts and Culture

19 September 2006
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Meeting report

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
19 September 2006
3RD TERM REVIEW AND ADOPTION OF 4TH TERM PROGRAMME

Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)

Documents handed out:
St Conrad College on Transformation of Sport in South Africa

Presentation to the Portfolio Committee
SA Rugby submission on National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill, 2006
National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill B17-2006
Submission by Colin Webster on National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill, 2006

SUMMARY

The work of the Committee over the past quarter was reviewed.  Members expressed concern over a perceived lack of progress in developing the national football team in preparation for the 2010 World Cup, and the roles of the SA Football Association and the new coach were discussed. The importance of developing the tourism sector was discussed.  Members felt that not enough planning was being done by the relevant Department.

Members discussed the release of funds to municipalities to develop infrastructure projects.  It seemed there was a lack of understanding of the process.  Members were critical of the lack of leadership being shown by the Department of Sport and Recreation.  The Local Organising Committee was also not providing enough information to the Committee.

There was concern about the reasons for the head of FIFA visiting South Africa.  Members felt that important information was being concealed, and the Chairperson undertook to meet Mr Blatter.

The position of Boxing South Africa was still unclear, as their latest report conflicted with what had been presented to the Committee a week previously.

The Committee’s programme for the fourth quarter was outlined.  It would include a week of public hearings on the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill.  Copies of submissions were distributed to Members.  Other meetings would also be held, mainly in connection with annual reports, while a meeting with the owners of local football clubs was also planned.

MINUTES

Chairperson’s overview of last quarter and adoption of work programme for fourth quarter

Copies of submissions received from the public on the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill were distributed to Members of the Committee.

The Chairperson reviewed the work done by the Committee during the last quarter.  A study tour had been conducted to eThekwini Municipality.

Two meetings had been held with the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).  It was good to see that they were moving towards a united structure.  He had been involved with meetings between the two controlling bodies for karate.  An interim committee had been established to launch efforts to form a unified body during 2007.  National leadership would visit the provinces to explain the process, and Mr Komphela urged the Members to attend where possible.  A schedule would be provided.

He said that there had been a briefing by the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) together with the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS).  The National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill was on its way to Parliament for debate, but had only been prepared in one language.  The Speaker was uncomfortable with this, as she feared constitutional challenges.  The Bill should be in at least two of the official languages.

The Chairperson said that the South African Football Association (SAFA) had established a technical committee to oversee the building of the national team for the 2010 World Cup.  However, SAFA had not said how exactly this would be done.  It was a laborious procedure.  It seemed that the only significant question for SAFA was the appointment of the new coach.  It was not clear how SAFA intended to build the 2010 team.

Mr C Frolick (ANC) said there had been partial success with the meeting with SAFA, but it seemed that they were trying to play hide and seek with the Committee.  They had been waiting firstly to appoint the new coach, and then the situation would be evaluated.  The coach had nothing to work from.  There was no readiness plan to prepare the team.  This had to happen sooner rather than later.  It might be a good idea if the coach was invited to address the Committee.

Mr E Dikgacwi (ANC) said that this was not the first time the Committee had been told this.  Action was needed now.  Mr Clive Barker had been a successful coach.

Ms W Makgate (ANC) said this was a very important issue.  It seemed that the plans to build the team were not seen to be crucial by SAFA.  The Committee, however, saw the crisis in the team.

The Chairperson said that Mr M Olifant of SAFA had promised that the coach would provide a plan.  He would get information on this.

He said that a meeting had been held with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) regarding the 2010 World Cup.  An assessment of requirements was needed.  SRSA had a responsibility as people would be coming to South Africa as part of teams.  When they landed at a place such as Durban, they should know what was happening in the area.  They should be made aware of not only the tourist attractions in KwaZulu-Natal, but in fact the whole country should be showcased.  The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism would play a key role in the 2010 preparations.  DEAT had to devise a plan, but he felt that this was not happening.  They were busy with logistical issues, and there was as yet no sign of a broad plan or of a direction being taken.

Mr Frolick said that only the macro issues were being addressed.  He would like to see indications of activities at different locations.  Each centre had its own tourism office, but there was no interaction.  These various offices should be linked to a national tourism website.  Tourists wanted specific local information.  A lot of work was needed, and a follow-up meeting should be held early in 2007.  A lasting legacy had to be created.  The rural areas around the host cities should not be neglected, and a provincial perspective was needed.  There was no detail at present.

Mr Dikgacwi said more regular meetings were needed with other key parliamentary committees.  That would enable this Committee to detect any problems.

Mr R Reed (ANC) agreed that more and regular meetings were needed.  A comprehensive tourism package was needed.  He said that at the Peoples’ Parliament in Oudtshoorn, representatives of the smaller towns had complained that they were being left out of the process.

The Chairperson added that he had spoken to someone from Ladysmith on the same issue.  Such towns wanted to know what to expect from the tournament.  There was no prescribed procedure for the outlying towns, but they must link up with their nearest tourism centre.

Ms Makgate said that, if possible, visits to the host cities should be combined with tourist junctions.  The current tone was more on the national level, but it was unsure what was happening on ground level.

Mr Frolick agreed with Ms Makgate’s opinion.  The starting point should be the monthly meetings held by the host cities.  The Committee needed to have an understanding of what was happening there.  The Local Organising Committee (LOC) was part of these meetings.  He suggested that the Committee should send a delegation to these meetings so that there would be no surprises.  Overseas tourists wanted to have the full South African experience, and a single city could not provide this nor could it provide all the products to be purchased as souvenirs.  DEAT and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) would play a crucial role.  It would not be practical to bus people in from the rural areas, but provision had to be made for their products to be marketed on the big stage.  Official suppliers needed to be identified.

The Chairperson also agreed with Ms Makgate.  The tourism sector was within the ambit of the host cities.  Time was needed to deal with issues such as transport and tourism.  There were issues which cut across the different sectors.  Efforts had to be co-ordinated, and this was the Committee’s role.

He suggested that there should be less emphasis on the Parliamentary programme after the recess.  There was almost nothing to be tabled in Parliament regarding sport, and most of the work would be done outside the National Assembly.  Information needed to be given to the people who were by and large in the dark, and the Chairperson of the Committee Chairpersons’ forum had understood this.  There was a need to deal with the Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill, and the Safety at Stadiums Bill. 

There would be lots of work thereafter.  All Members would be drawn into the Committee’s activities.  There had not yet been any interaction with the LOC, and this was needed.  He wanted to know how to interact with this FIFA body.  Now was the time to receive information. 

Mr Komphela stressed that when the Committee met with the host municipalities they should know the route to the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) and the Treasury.  They could then provide the necessary leadership and answers to questions.  He was convinced that SRSA was not living up to expectations.  They could not give information.

He said that a meeting had been held with the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG).  The municipalities had submitted their business plans, and were now waiting for money to proceed with the identified projects.  It was up to Parliament to authorise Treasury to release funds.

Mr Frolick agreed that the municipalities were waiting for money.  President Mbeki had held am Imbizo in the Nelson Mandela Metro two weeks previously, and a soil turning ceremony had been held at the stadium site.  The Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) made provisions for grants.  If an R85 million grant was given, this had to be spent before the next payout could be made.  Official bureaucracy was hindering progress.  Once initial funding had been received, the municipalities could not wait until the completion of the phase in question, but had to submit their requests for additional funding now.  The technical committee would make recommendations to the LOC, who would in turn pass on recommendations to DBSA.  Uncertainty now had to be “short-circuited”.  It seemed to him that the Minister was unaware of the implications of the PFMA.

The Chairperson said that municipalities must use what they had now.  It would be illegal to commit themselves to spending money in anticipation of receiving more funding.  They could get a letter from Treasury, but the amounts must be equal to the expectations.  They could not be forced to spend money they did not have, and the Committee should know of instances where this had happened.  This issue had been raised with DPLG.  Adv Petra Bouwer had communicated this to SRSA.  The expenditure required by the Special Measures Bill must be filtered in.  A letter from Treasury should be sufficient to guarantee funding for projects.

Mr B Solo (ANC) agreed with Mr Komphela.  He said that what was being explained was in fact the function of SRSA.  The Committee should ensure that this happened.  He asked how information was disseminated, and felt a link was needed with the host cities’ meeting.  He said that he had heard that Mr Serge Blatter was coming to South Africa to meet President Mbeki.  The World Cup would definitely take place in South Africa and there was no contingency plan to move the tournament.  There was media speculation that the process was too slow.  The Committee needed first hand information.  The Department of Foreign Affairs had submitted a detailed document.  Service providers had been called on two weeks previously by the LOC.  Accreditation forms had been provided.  The LOC had made a presentation on their expectations.  Mr Solo had only found out about this by chance.  He asked how communications would be conducted with the communities, especially those in the rural areas, and if this process was being concealed.  Fortnightly briefings were needed, even if these were done telephonically.  SRSA should arrange this.

The Chairperson had asked Members for quarterly meetings at least.  He understood that they also had party programmes to consider, but in the last four months there had only been meetings with two of the host cities.  The Committee needed to get out to meet with the municipalities and to talk to the community.  He felt that World Cup efforts would have collapsed if everything had relied on SRSA.  The Minister was aware of the situation.  The local government LOC should allay his anxieties.  He asked who FIFA was meeting, the FIFA or government LOC.  Government would have to explain its role.

Mr T Louw (ANC) said he was cautiously worried.  If Mr Blatter wanted to meet President Mbeki, then this would not be merely a courtesy meeting.  From Mr Blatter’s statement, it showed that he was worried.

Mr E Saloojee (ANC) had heard reports that the planning was not flowing.  There was a rumour that the World Cup might be moved to Australia.  Such reports could only emerge if people were aware of things that were not happening.  More substantial information was needed on the flow of money and the reason for Mr Blatter’s visit.  It was not just SRSA, and he needed to know if the programme was flowing.  Preparatory work had not yet started.

Mr Frolick said he did not want to generalise.  The initiative had been taken to interact with the FIFA LOC.  Two groups existed within the LOC.  Mr Danny Jordaan was in charge, not Mr Irvin Khosa.  A representative from the FIFA LOC should indicate what was happening, even if this was done in confidence.

The Chairperson said he had met with Mr Blatter in Germany.  He would meet with him again, and would report to the Committee.  He would be sending a letter that day to arrange an appointment.  At that previous meeting Mr Blatter had told him that the possibility of changing the management of SAFA was not an issue.  There was no evidence that this was being done.  That the World Cup was being driven by government was a reflection of the extent of the lack of confidence in SAFA.  There must be drastic problems, and he needed to find out what they were.

He said that the Committee was now on hold with its processes.  He understood that the World Cup might suffer from the actions of various people, but the Committee had done its job.  Even so there was no smoke without fire, and it was not just a case of malicious rumours.  A smack in the face was possible, but he needed to know where the problem lay.

Mr Frolick said that government had signed the guarantees.  It was not up to the FIFA LOC to build the stadiums, roads and so on.  This was a government responsibility, but he wanted to know where the information was.  There was nothing on SRSA’s website.  There should be a calendar of events.  SRSA could not give the answers.

The Chairperson said that the questions had to be formulated, but there was no information from SRSA.

Ms Makgate supported the Chairperson’s initiative to meet with Mr Blatter.  Many cooks would spoil the broth, and there was a battle within SAFA.  Spoiling tactics were being deployed.

Mr Komphela said that he should be able to pinpoint the problems after the meeting.  He would then deal with the responsible Departments.

Mr Saloojee said it was an uncomfortable situation for Mr Jordaan.

The Chairperson said that there was a war ravaging SAFA leadership.  It was up to this Committee to speak out on this issue.  The Members of the Committee realised that it was their purpose to serve the people of the country.  SAFA had to follow suit.  Regional issues should not hamper SAFA’s work.  He had no friends within SAFA, whose members claimed they were politically connected with the different Ministers.  Mr Komphela was in touch with Parliament, however.

Mr D Matshede (ANC) said that there was a possibility of a conflict of interest.  Billions of Rands would be spent.  There was the chance of one company winning tenders to build several of the new stadiums.  He asked if there was a code to govern the benefits which people could earn.

The Chairperson said he had such a code.  It was clear and in alignment with FIFA’s Code of Conduct.  Corrupt people would be dealt with.

Mr Frolick emphasised the policy for procurement of goods and services with government funds.  The different municipalities would act under the direction of government.  Cabinet would second senior officials from Treasury to the host cities.  This would promote diversity and spread the load.  The gap between the municipalities and government would be closed.  The Treasury officials would not adjudicate on issues, but would provide guidance and advice, and would report to Cabinet.  This latter body could intervene if needed.

The Chairperson then referred to Boxing South Africa (BSA). Confusion still reigned with this organisation, but he was prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt.  He had received a report from BSA which was completely different to the recent presentation to the Committee.  SRSA was highly implicated in this report, which had been provided by the Public Relations Officer (PRO).  The Chairman of BSA, Adv Dali Mpofu, had said that government’s role was conspicuous in the BSA saga but the PRO, Mr Mtya, had produced a different report.  However, the issue was neither here nor there at this stage.  A meeting would be held to discuss government’s role.  There had been no document available regarding the disclaimer of the Auditor General, but the documentation was available now.  The annual report should reveal the facts, and he expected that this report would be more positive than in the past.

He said that the Department of Trade and Industry “knew its story”.  No discussion was needed.  He was confident that the last quarterly report had achieved what was wanted.  The quarterly report had focused purely on World Cup issues.

Mr Komphela said that public hearings would be held between 9 and 13 October to obtain inputs on the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill.

Mr Dikgacwi made an appeal to Members regarding the public hearings.  Sometimes it was an embarrassment to see the low attendance levels by Committee Members.  A special effort was needed to ensure good attendance.

The Chairperson said he had raised this issue with the Members.  Attendance during the week of the public hearings, which was a dedicated Committee week, would be compulsory.  He then outlined a few more planned meetings.  On 17 October, SAIDS would present its annual report.  On 24 October, SRSA would make a presentation regarding its Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).  A number of students had graduated in Sports Science at the University of Stellenbosch recently.  On 31 October, the Committee would pay a study visit to the Eastern Cape.  All information was needed before making this visit.  On 7 November representatives of SAIDS, BSA and SRSA would meet with the Committee to consider their annual reports and to prepare for the budget vote.

He emphasised that there was a comprehensive programme for oversight.  It was likely that two sub-committees would have to be established, one under the chairmanship of the Committee Whip.  Parliament would be closing for the year on 14 November, and from March 2007 it would be full speed ahead.

He said that information was needed regarding the country’s readiness so that it could be passed on.  As soon as reports were completed they should be tabled in Parliament while still fresh.  There was no purpose to tabling reports which had been delayed, as the Members needed to engage with topical issues.

The proposed programme was adopted.  The Chairperson said that an oversight meeting could be held with Cape Town, giving the Committee an opportunity to meet Mayor Zille.

Mr Frolick proposed that this meeting should happen soon, as the ANC had plans to unseat Ms Zille.  He noted that the Committee had worked hard during the year.

Mr Louw said that there was no Eastern Cape study tour on the programme, but only a report.

Mr Komphela said this was an error, and that a visit should have been reflected instead.  The duration of the tour would depend on logistics.

Mr Louw agreed that the Committee had worked hard during the year.  There had been much media exposure of its activities.  He said that it was a convention that the Minister should organise tracksuits for the Members.

The Chairperson referred to the campaign to support Bafana Bafana, which was still to be launched.  This would be done when the weather improved.  The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) had agreed to cover the event.  All Members of Parliament would be given T-shirts, while the Members of the Committee would also be given tracksuits.

Mr Solo supported the plan of a visit to Cape Town.  He said that strategies sometimes backfired.  The MEC had certain powers.  Cape Town was the only metro in the Western Cape.  The ANC must not embarrass itself.  He would not make Cape Town a priority, however.  The city had expertise, and it seemed that Cape Town knew what it was doing.  Other municipalities might still be “at sea”.  Nelson Mandela Metro was still far off the pace.  In any event, with the Cape Town municipal offices so near to Parliament it would be easy to arrange a meeting at any time.

Mr Louw wanted elaboration on the statement that Cape Town knew what it was doing.  He felt that this was a very loaded statement.

The Chairperson said that he would investigate logistic issues.  He then asked for adoption of the minutes of meetings held on 1, 15, 17, 23, 28 and 29 August.  These were all adopted.

Mr Komphela informed the Committee that Gen B Holomisa’s (UDM) brother had died, and that he had apologised for his absence to attend the funeral.  He asked that a message of condolence be sent to the General.

He said that the owners of the eighteen Premier Soccer League clubs had been invited to meet with the Committee.  He wanted to know what the difficulties were in releasing players to the national team.  This would be a step towards preparing for the World Cup.  A date was still to be determined for this meeting, and it therefore did not appear on the programme. They had never been called to Parliament before.  SAFA were the custodians of football.  The Committee felt that the country’s needs should be put before those of the clubs, but the clubs had a different view.  He wondered if the relationship between SAFA and the clubs was to blame.  The issues would be discussed.

The meeting was adjourned.

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