A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
24 October 2006
TOURISM, HOSPITALITY AND SPORT EDUCATION AND TRAINING AUTHORITY BRIEFING ON ANNUAL REPORT 2006, & BRIEFING BY X-PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS (PTY) LTD
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Education & Training Authority Annual Report 2006
Theta Report to Sport & Recreation Portfolio Committee
The Annual Report from the Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Education & Training Authority was tabled and considered. An unqualified audit report had been achieved. The Authority still had a limited budget. An outline was given of the various areas in which training was being offered, and the targets for each area. It was noted that some government departments had not paid the fees due by them.
Members were concerned about the apparent lack of any mechanism to track whether learners did in fact find employment. The targets set seemed too low as the report indicated over-performance. The need for training sports officials was highlighted. It was questioned if the training provided was appropriate to the job market.
A presentation was given by X Professional Players (Pty) Ltd, a company formed to look after the interests of retired football players and their children. Negotiations with the 2010 World Cup organising committee had led to a commitment to employ a thousand drivers, who should be ex players during the tournament. A stake had been obtained in a cement company, and the delegation requested the Committee’s support in supplying cement for World Cup related building projects. Another aim was to have ex-players taking control of provincial bodies and being in charge of coaching initiatives.
The members supported this initiative. It was suggested that this project be linked with the proposed Hall of Fame. Lottery funding should also be considered. The Committee would inform the Minister of this initiative.
The Chairperson said that the Annual Report of the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) would be dealt with at a later stage.
Briefing by Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Education & Training Authority
Mr Mike Tsotetsi, CEO, Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Education & Training Authority (Theta), said that it was a pleasure to interact with the Committee, to reflect on the past year, and to show how the plans introduced to the Committee in November 2005 had borne fruit.
The Auditor General (AG) had qualified the 2005 Annual Financial Report, as Theta had not being living within its budget. The 2006 Annual Report was unqualified. The organisation would never again exceed the 10% threshold over budget. Constraints had been placed on spending. The previous AG report had indicated non-compliance in terms of procurement policy and the supply chain. Processes were now in place to address these issues.
Mr Tsotetsi said that Theta had limited financial resources, despite public misconception that they had reserves. Sums of money had been accumulated due to various companies having produced faulty documentation. This had resulted in a book surplus. The money had to be disbursed at an appropriate time. Claims for the training levy had gone up. Companies were now conducting training and levies would be claimed on this basis. There was in fact a reduction in the accumulation of the surplus. Money was being spent on projects, which were consistent with the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS). Critical areas were being addressed.
Ms Maureen Mashabane, Sports Chamber Co-ordinator for Sport, Recreation and Fitness, Theta, summarised Theta’s programme regarding the NSDS, future plans and challenges. Projects included sports facility management, racing and the equestrian sector, foreign language training for tour guides, computer literacy, management development, casino courses and service provider capacity building. Theta tried to cover all nine provinces. Some projects were restricted geographically, such as the racing and equestrian project that was presented only in KwaZulu-Natal. A high percentage of this work would occur in the rural areas.
Various learnership programmes were listed. She said that it seemed Gauteng was getting a large share of these programmes. The progress report indicated assistance from small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMME’s). 2152 SMME’s had assisted in the various provinces. Nineteen skills development advisors had been used. Their responsibilities included workplace and implementation planning. The goal was to prepare employers for the implementation of learners. This list did not include the Free State and Northern Cape provinces, but they would be addressed in future planning.
Ms Mashabane listed collaborations with 15 FET colleges and noted that Theta would try to increase its work in Free State. Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) had been concluded with these colleges. A skills audit had been conducted in all provinces, and Theta was working with provincial authorities. A breakdown was given of 50 learners in Limpopo, and 30 in the Western Cape, who had received training. The National Skills Fund was funding projects in the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga. In the Northern Cape, 24 tour guides had been taught German and French. In the North West a team had participated in provincial skills development meetings.
Ms Mashabane listed the numbers of unemployed learners that had benefited from learnership programmes. Half of these were in the rural areas. Equity of gender had been achieved. The ratio of black to white learners was 1463 to 11. Nothing had happened in the Free State. She listed the future plans, which included 21 programmes in all the provinces, mostly dealing with sports facility management. This would enhance the skills of South African women and men leading up to 2010. These programmes covered a four year period, and some would be starting in the middle of November 2006. Theta was in the process of finalising a MoU with SRSA. It was also looking at signing a MoU with the SA Local Government Association (SALGA) and were talking with the SA Football Association (SAFA) and others. The programmes would target some 19 555 learners and an amount of R 214 million was budgeted. Targets were set out, involving 180 unemployed learners. Gauteng would not participate, to allow more learners from other provinces to do so.
Ms Mashabane then mentioned the challenges facing Theta. Firstly, there was the exemption of paying levies granted to SMME’s. More than 80% of the companies being dealt with by Theta were SMME’s. Secondly, the tourism BEE scorecard was a problem because of the demand that was being generated for more learnerships to meet targets. A third challenge was the transformation strategy for sport. The final challenge was the mounting pressure on Theta due to the expectations of 2010.
Mr R Reed (ANC) referred to the separation of the Garden Route and Mossel Bay, and stated that he believed that Mossel Bay fell within the Garden Route. He asked about training in a province like the Northern Cape, and if this was reserved for future emphasis. He thought that more work was needed there as the province was huge, yet was being marginalised. The same applied to the Free State.
Mr Tsotetsi said that he was not sure why Mossel Bay was not grouped together with the Garden Route. He agreed that the Northern Cape was a vast area. Peculiar circumstances prevailed in the province, which suffered from a lack of training providers. Service providers had to be trained to handle training. Theta could not rely on mobile providers to do this, and the provinces should be independent. A skills audit had been held in the Northern Cape recently. A white paper on tourism had been produced through the different regions in the province. It was a sad situation that sport had not been included in this study. This would have made life easier for Theta.
Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) referred to the challenge of transformation, and asked for more detail on this and the sports strategy.
Gen B Holomisa (UDM) asked if there was a mechanism to monitor if trainees got jobs. He noticed that training seemed to be confined to colleges.
Mr Tsotetsi said that Theta was aiming to enhance the capacity of public and private service providers. A tracking mechanism was needed. For the past two years Theta had been ensuring that training did take place, but could not track whether learners were finding employment. This was now being done by conducting follow-ups with learners and employers.
Gen Holomisa asked Theta to be aware of a group called Tutuga, which had been formed five years ago. Tutuga produced study guides in various subjects with the aim of developing black chartered accountants, and targeted students who could not find a place in universities. Their work was funded by the Skills Fund. There was some synergy in the work being done by Theta. The structures were well developed. In six provinces 24 tons of written material had been distributed, apart from the syllabi. They were only looking at Grade 12 learners. Theta should be aware of this group.
Mr Tsotetsi knew that Tutuga was in place. If the skills audit were to show the need for this, Theta would not hesitate to allocate resources. Sports and tourism were not attractive industries as wages were low. Most people involved were there because of their passion for these activities and their last consideration was their salary. This could become a barrier to the sectors as a career. Prospective sports professionals would have to see the benefits before committing themselves to the industry.
Mr J Masango (DA) queried the NSDS targets listed under items 2.8 and 3.1 of the presentation. He also queried the amounts spent in Gauteng, as he had thought that most unemployment was in the rural areas.
Mr Tsotetsi stated that the NSDS indicators were explained in the Annual Report. To make training practical in the rural areas there had to be a cycle of learner, trainer and employer. While this was lacking, learners would continue to migrate from rural to urban areas. Opportunities must be made available in the rural areas. This was being done under trying circumstances, and there was some funding from the Department of Education (DoE). Theta had visited several areas and was still going out to the people.
Mr Masango noted that in planning the spending for 2010 Theta needed to know how many trainees would be identified. He asked how the figure of R9.9 million was informed. Mr Masango stated that the progress report showed what Theta wanted to achieve. He noted the figures, but asked where the targets were.
Mr Tsotetsi said that Theta was aiming to enhance the capacity of public and private service providers. A tracking mechanism was needed. For the past two years Theta had been ensuring that training did take place, but could not track whether learners were finding employment. This was now being done by conducting follow-ups with learners and employers.
Mr Tsotetsi replied that the performance of this SETA was detailed in the Annual Report, in Appendix 1. The Department of Labour (DoL) had conducted an audit, and agreed that the figures were correct. This had been done after the publication of the Annual Report. The DoL report would be made available to members of the Committee.
A skills audit was currently being carried out throughout the organisation in terms of sport and tourism. A study had been commissioned in August and a brief report had been provided. A meeting had been held to discuss this the previous week. He said that a tracking system was in place, but was not yet yielding results. It was a work in progress.
Mr Tsotsetsi said that the projects regarding 2010 had to be seen in context. There was a list of projects, most of which were sports related. The Board of Theta had been convinced to put sufficient resources into sport.
Mr Tsotetsi said that youth coaching should be undertaken both in and out of school contexts. Some of the officials who needed training were club owners. Proper administration skills were needed. Training was needed on both administrative and technical issues.
He pointed out that 2010 was just around the corner. Facilities managers had to be up to speed, and a pilot study had been conducted with 60 learners in conjunction with the University of Pretoria. More studies were needed. Discussions were also being held with Boxing South Africa. A one-stop service would be needed to deal with 2010. Theta needed an indication as to where it could get involved. If the co-ordination required was in place then Theta could make interventions where needed. They had asked the Local Organising Committee (LOC) where the needs existed. It must get involved now, so that it was not too late to react to the challenges.
Volunteers were needed to drive the mass participation program (MPP). Learners must not struggle to find jobs, and their experiences with the MPP should make them more marketable. Discussions with SRSA still had to happen, and they must guard against duplication of efforts.
Mr Tsotetsi added that work had to be done in the area of media liaison . It would be sad if the country had to rely on foreign commentators. Co-operation was needed with another SETA for this, and discussion had to be held. Facility management also fell within the sphere of the SETA responsible for local government. These were pertinent interventions.
Mr William Chuene, Skills Development Manager, Theta, explained that Theta’s workers operated in specific areas. One person was tasked to service the area around Mossel Bay and George. In the operational environment there was a constant juggle to engage people across all sectors. The revenue from the sports sector was between R9 million and R 11 million. The budget still outweighed income. The tourism sector was critical. He understood the synergy between the two sectors but this did not seem to be happening. At international level a MoU had been concluded between the sports and tourism sectors, but this was not happening in South Africa. A comprehensive approach was needed. The SETA had to benefit in the light of best practices.
On the issue of the BEE scorecard, the South African Sports and Olympic Committee SASCOC board had been asked where the transformation document was. A question was how far transformation had progressed. This would show the way forward for Theta. In terms of the budget numbers, some of these were detailed in the Annual Report. These could be made available. Some 384 coaches were being trained. Thirteen federations were to benefit from this training, with 25 coaches from each code involved. Football had a higher allocation of 60 coaches. The numbers for each project were clear. There were 1500 learnerships in question. He agreed that the figures had perhaps not been elevated enough.
Gen Holomisa surmised that Theta must be a large institution. He asked if training was outsourced, and if so who was responsible for accrediting the institutions. If some codes were assisted, he asked if Theta dealt directly with the responsible associations, or if anyone could make use of the training opportunity. There was a need to integrate sport and tourism, and he thought that this process should also include the environment. Litter was a problem. There was a need to inculcate a culture of ownership. This was perhaps not in Theta’s brief, but Theta needed to give the matter some thought.
Mr Tsotetsi replied that Theta was a small organisation based in the ivory towers of Rivonia. They did not conduct training themselves, but merely facilitated the process. Employers conducted the training and then claimed back their expenses from Theta. The report only reflected the number of companies who did reclaim money. A surplus was accumulated from the levies of companies who did not do their own training. He asked what should happen with this money. Tenders were submitted by public and private training providers. The playing fields needed to be leveled.
Ms W Makgate (ANC) was a little worried about the challenges that Theta had listed. Theta was looking at learners, but she was not sure of the quality of their education. Learners were trained, but thereafter faced an uncertain future. A mechanism was needed to monitor the service providers. She asked if their certification was recognised.
Mr Tsotetsi replied that service providers would normally be accredited. Non-accredited providers were only used on rare occasions. Theta conducted its own accreditation process, and it was a painstaking procedure. Quality was needed in delivery. Federations should be encouraged to be trained themselves in order to become accredited providers. Sixty learners were on course in Johannesburg to study the development of learning material. There was a disturbing trend of large companies producing licenced material, which was sold to the public for huge prices.
Mr Reed asked if it would be possible to train the officials of national federations. This was a problematic area as some were not qualified for the jobs they were doing. Regarding the tourism sector requirements for 2010, he noted that there would be a host of other needs for the various positions required to run the tournament.
Mr T Louw (ANC) stated that if it was possible to train federation officials, then SAFA would be high on the list. When training learners, he asked if Theta was liaising with business sectors. The skills taught needed to match the jobs that would be done.
Mr Tsotetsi said that Theta would talk to the federations regarding their needs. The process had started, and a fourth meeting would be held soon. Federations were to identify people needing training. SAFA was a big stakeholder. It was correct that federations needed to come on board, and their academies would be ideal platforms. Some had the necessary equipment and infrastructure. Theta would incur costs to make sure the product was acceptable. Four were now in the programme, and there was great enthusiasm in the Free State.
Ms M Ntuli (ANC) wanted clarity with the youth coaching referred to on page 9 of the presentation. She asked what the criteria were. She noted that tour guides had been trained in foreign languages, but said that other people such as vendors also needed this kind of training.
Mr Tsotetsi commented that, on the issue of sport versus tourism, raised by Gen Holomisa and Ms Ntuli, the environment should indeed also be on the agenda, both at national and provincial level. There was another SETA which would deal with the issue at local level. Discussions had been held with the SA Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Local Government SETA, and environmental issues were being taken seriously.
Generally, he commented that the fees payable by government departments had been endorsed during 2001. These were set at 10% of 1% of the budget. This was not happening.
Theta had deployed foot soldiers who were on the road checking on the training providers. Chamber co-ordinators checked with the learners.
Some national federations were conducted as businesses. Funds could be well used. He would report back on who these federations were. It was critical that training was consistent. Theta needed to check if learners were passing at the various levels.
Mr Masango commented that he had now found the targets that he raised in an earlier question in the Annual Report. He noticed that Theta had performed above their targets in some areas. He suggested that higher targets should therefore be used. In looking at the Board members, he noticed that the Sports Commission (SC) was still represented, even though this organisation had been disbanded some time previously. He noted that in the attendance register for Board meetings, use was made of either the word ‘absent’ or dashes. There were a lot of these. The word ‘absent’ should rather be used than a dash.
Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) commented that no full titles were indicated for some of the acronyms or abbreviations used, and this made it difficult to read the document. In reading the NSDS targets, he asked what the figures such as 3.1 meant. It seemed that the number of learners trained in the last year was on target.
Gen Holomisa told Mr Mlangeni that the abbreviations were explained in the Annual Report.
Perspective was needed on the targets achieved, Mr Tsotetsi said. The NSDS had been determined in March 2005 by the DoL. SETA’s had been instructed to achieve targets. These had been divided proportionally amongst the various SETA’s, and each was running with its own agreement with the DoL. These agreements had been sealed by agreements in terms of the Public Finances Management Act (PFMA) and in service level agreements. He agreed that some targets were low, but performance had been dismal in some areas in contrast to the good areas. The skills audit would determine the literacy level of the industry. A proper base had not yet been set out. Negotiations were being conducted regarding Theta’s agreement with the DoL for 2007/08 and a baseline would be on the agenda.
Mr Tsotetsi said that the provision for an SC member on the Board was a constitutional requirement. This had been amended on 11 August 2006. The new Board had come into place on 11 October without an SC representative. SASCOC had been invited to attend. Theta had been careful not to embarrass members who had been absent from Board meetings.
Mr Chuene said that there was a new project to train 450 youth coaches. Four sessions would be held. There would be three or four sessions with SAFA. The NSDS defined five objectives, which were success indicators. The numbers in the presentation were references to these objectives, and were explained in the Annual Report.
The Chairperson said that language literacy should also be given to arts and crafts vendors.
Mr Chuene said that the Media, Advertising, Packaging and Publishing SETA was responsible for this training. Their clientele did not think about demarcations. They were also responsible for sports commentators. The other SETAs were working together with Theta. The mismatch between skills and jobs was a huge concern. A forum was being established to discuss this problem.
The Chairperson felt that it was necessary to follow up on this.
Ms Makgate asked if learners would be employable. She compared the Annual Report to the AG’s report, and asked what Theta was doing to report on the differences.
Mr Louw was concerned over the general performance of SETA. The Minister of Labour had indicated a reluctance for companies to train staff. The feeling was that they were only doing this in order to reclaim levies. He asked how many companies were involved in skills training, and how many of these were former members of the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut. He was concerned over the reluctance of some companies to do training. He asked how effective the training was.
Mr Tsotetsi replied that companies were willing to train. They were claiming grants. They would depend on reports to assess the situation. He was pleased to announce the declarations of companies in tourism and COSATU to reach common objectives. Companies were committed to training in accordance with the National Qualification Framework. He was very excited above this. Placement was an issue. Tracking systems would reflect the situation.
Mr Louw noted that the salaries of staff members were tabled in the Annual Report. He asked what the item under the heading of Social Contribution was for; if it was an earning or a donation. It was the first time he had seen such an item.
Mr Tsotetsi said that the item under Social Contribution was a contribution towards Theta’s pension fund. It was only payable to full time members of Theta. The figures given were transparent
The Chairperson said that the Annual Report for 2005 had not been pleasing, but he was greatly encouraged by this Report. Theta had heeded the advice that had been given. He asked if sports clubs were not being controlled, as there were no indications that they were claiming levies back. There was no spending on skills development, and he asked if there was any progress in this regard.
He expressed a concern that on page 55 of the Annual Report 26 members of the Board were listed, but on page 56 fourteen Executive Committee members were named (Gideon Sam of the SC excluded). This was not correct.
He had understanding of the role of Theta in the rural areas. The presentation indicated a bias towards poor rural areas. Excuses were not valid, and the situation in the Northern Cape was an example of a situation that demanded addressing. There was a percentage of rural people quoted, and he wanted to know where this came from. He had a different understanding in his own context. He said that Theta had done well not to give attention to Gauteng.
The Chairperson said that the report was by and large correct. In the challenges listed he found one shock regarding the expansion of SMME’s. No solution was provided on the expectations of 2010 and the skills development targets. Cabinet had taken a decision in 2001 regarding the payment of levies by government departments. He wanted a list of these departments by the end of the week as they were flouting the Cabinet decision. He would then engage with the Chairpersons of the respective Committees.
The Chairperson said that officials of an entity must not present the budget, but only the Chairperson of the Board should do this. The Chairperson should lay down the ground in any presentation, after which the CEO could be called on to give technical details. The Chairperson of the Board must set policies and must answer for any irregularities.
Mr Mlangeni queried the comment that Chairpersons were to present the Annual Report of his entity rather than the CEO. In most institutions he felt that the Chairperson knew far less than the CEO about the operation of the institution, as this was the CEO’s daily work.
The Chairperson said that the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport had arrived with both their Chairperson and CEO. The Chairperson had led the report. This was correct in terms of the Committee rules. He had then left the technical matters to the CEO. Where government funds were an issue, the Chairperson would be subjected to interrogation. The Minister was not an accounting officer, but he was still expected to present his report personally. In terms of rules and laws, the accounting officer was separate to the Chairperson. The CEO understood the nuts and bolts of operations.
Mr Louw echoed the Chairperson’s sentiments. The Chairperson led the Board, and so must lead the delegation.
Briefing by X Professional Players ((Pty) Ltd
The Chairperson welcomed the delegation from X Professional Players (Pty) Ltd, which had been set up to look after the interests of retired football players. South African soccer lovers were excited to see that the game was coming back to the fore. Many ex-players had suffered health problems or unemployment. These idols and veterans had a role in transferring interest and getting people back to the game. They needed to have a sustainable life once their playing days were over. Only a few were able to do something after retirement. This association had to work hard to make a success of its endeavours.
Mr Butityi Konki, Co-Ordinator, X Professional Players (Pty) Ltd, expressed his deepest gratitude for the opportunity to address the Committee.
Mr Jomo Sono, Chairman, X Professional Players (Pty) Ltd said that he and Mr Kaiser Motaung had discussed the plight of ex-players both in South Africa and the rest of the world at the funeral of Ace Ntsolengoe. Some had benefited from the policy of divide and rule, but many had nowhere to go. He had seen the opportunity with Mr Motaung and some of the other players who had carried the flag during the apartheid days. The X Professional Players company had therefore been established to look after the needs of retired soccer players. They had also decided it was also necessary to care for the children of deceased players.
X Professional Players had got Match, a FIFA affiliate, to come on board with them. A thousand drivers would be employed during the World Cup as part of this partnership, and these would all be ex-players. There would also be a partnership regarding the staging of the SoccerEx exhibition, which would be held in the country until 2010. They were waiting for a proposal, which would include activities such as driving and the raising of sponsorship. They had also held negotiations with one of the oldest funeral parlours and had a 25% holding in a cement company. They would like to see 20% of the cement used in World Cup building projects, whoever the builders were, supplied by this company. Many jobs might be created. Ex-players could deliver their labour, and would go forward as a result.
Negotiations were also being held with a large insurance company. This would look after the comrades. He said that skill, guts and luck were all necessary for a prospective player to cross the bridge to success. The company was not about making money.
Mr Sono said that the company would also talk to the SETA about development. Teachers loved the game and were coaching children, but did not always have the necessary coaching skills. Players had talent, but their skills had to be redeveloped when they came into contact with professional coaches. Development had to start at the bottom. Ex-players should be used to coach the youth. There was no continuation at the moment, and co-ordination was needed.
He expressed a wish that by 2008 all provincial officials would be ex-players. Administrators who did not have a playing background were unable to talk football issues.
Mr Sono said that national coaches had no option but to use overseas-based players. Local children developed bad habits due to poor coaching. Many clubs had started academies, and attracted the best young players. His club, Cosmos, had an academy that provided accommodation and schooling for children. However, the politics of provincial selection often forced players to disguise their links with the clubs. A delegation from England was coming to the country soon, and local coaches would be accredited with English diplomas and licences to coach. He would invite the Committee to meet with this delegation.
Mr Sono noted that the funding held large opportunities, and players must have their fair share. This was his company’s mission. Help was needed, but only in the form of support and not money.
Mr Louw remarked that the previous Chairperson of the Committee had never forgotten to mention the ex-players. This remembrance had now become a reality. This was not only a concept for 2010. The delegation must tell government how its various departments could help. He quipped that members of the Committee had much in common, as ex-parliamentarians had the same plight as the ex-players.
Mr Dikgacwi said that he was grappling with one thing. Ex-players needed to take over the leadership of controlling bodies. He asked what was being done to achieve this, and what the status of the players was. There had to be confidence in the people, and he did not see the need for foreigners such as Mr Trevor Phillips to run local organisations. The team had to reach out as far as possible into the deep rural areas. Many players returned to their home villages after retiring.
Mr Reed shared these views. This was what sports people had been waiting for for some time. There had been similar concerns with boxers. This initiative should include all players. He asked if the vision included broadening the campaign to other codes. There had been great players during the isolation age who were denied the opportunity of playing on the international stage.
Ms Ntuli expressed her thanks for the initiative by Mr Sono and his team. It had touched her heart that they were looking after the children, as the families of the retired players were often forgotten. She was a little worried that some ex-players had not been exposed to better incentives in their playing days. It was a good thing that this had started, but politics might interfere. She asked what strategy was being used to communicate with the ex-players. She noted that the bridge to success was narrow.
Mr B Solo (ANC) said that a vision and concept were awaited. He had a passion for sport and had been impressed by the presentation. He asked where the impact would be, both in terms of quality and quantity. There was a gap between government institutions and people on the ground. The SETA’s had been established to run training through various agencies. His own experience of this process was pathetic. He asked if it would be proper for the SETA to prioritise ex-players as a core group when looking at target groups. This concept should also be extended to other sports.
He said that there had not been a fight to merge into white teams and federations. Black structures and clubs had been accepted in their own right. He asked if this group would have any influence on the way things were run in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and SAFA. Foreigners were active in these spheres, and imperialist ideas were creeping into the country. These people were not prepared and did not appreciate the national agenda. The X Professional Players company was getting the locals involved. The mass participation program worked within communities to a large extent. Ex-players should be part of the training program, which should produce disciplined players of quality.
Mr Mlangeni applauded the efforts of the company. He repeated the comments of his colleagues. Ex-players would be assisted, some of whom were sickly. It was not the idea to run football associations, but rather to raise funds to help. He asked what the qualification criteria would be, and what the starting point would be in terms of the age of players. He also asked if there was any consideration for foreign players who had enjoyed their careers in South Africa.
Mr R Bhoola (MF) shared the company’s sentiments. One child in sport was one out of court. He reminded the members of the concept of the proposed Hall of Fame. This was overwhelmingly satisfactory. It would be a platform for the masses in the rural areas to showcase their talents. It was a wonderful idea, and the end product was important. He asked what strategy would be used to ensure that people in the dense rural areas were reached. He was amazed to hear that an institution approached the Committee for support only and not for funding. He asked what was kind of support was expected. He needed clarity on the referees and coaches coming from England. He wanted to ensure that South African ex-players would be on board, and asked if they were lacking in coaching skills. He wondered if the concept relating to coaching in schools would not impinge on the work of SRSA.
Gen Holomisa agreed that this initiative was a good idea. In terms of business, the company clearly wanted a slice for the ex-players. His advice was not to be complacent with the backing given by FIFA. He suggested that they contact the LOC immediately, as this was the body that would administer the stadium tenders. If these were issued, they would need to consider the women and youth sectors. There would be a need to emphasise this new body, but they were running out of time. Therefore the planned cycle would have a key factor of time management. Tenders had already gone out. Certain big companies would also be involved in the catering, tourism and environment sectors. It would be wonderful if the ex-players representatives could negotiate a piece of this action. FIFA had shown themselves to be champions of the environment, and had insisted on the greening of stadiums. The company should not rest on its laurels but get involved with the LOC, Departments of Public Works and Transport. SRSA could provide moral support but had no budget. Honest opinions should be shared. The real money was being invested in transport and the public works program. The Committee would lobby for the company behind the scenes.
Ms Makgate asked about the age of the thousand drivers. He asked if age would be a consideration. In the schools development programme the teachers were taking the initiative but were not being recognised due to a lack of structure. She echoed Mr Sono’s concern about players having to disguise their affiliations in order to win selection for representative teams. Players had to go to Gauteng to make a name for themselves.
Mr Konki replied that they had traveled this route a few weeks previously. A summit had been held and all players had been invited. Mr Sono had been appointed as Chairperson. A briefing on labour had been held with COSATU. Two meetings had been held with Mr Danny Jordaan of the LOC. Guidelines had been given and a way forward mapped out. They had also met with Match, which would be responsible for World Cup hospitality, hotels and ticketing activities. This was a most important venture. They had been told to give a thousand drivers. A deal was being done with Avis, which would provide rental cars and the identified ex-players would be dedicated drivers. They would be able to talk football with the visiting dignitaries. FIFA would pay for this. He agreed that it was too late for tenders. Acquisitions by the state would account for between 20 and 40% of procurement.
Mr Sono said that white people were involved in the administration of the PSL. The public was crying out for some who were not serving in the PSL. Some of the administrators were not connected with the clubs. Some did not care for whom they voted as long as they continued to get their allowances. Football was in trouble. Support was needed, and he would be going to the Department of Trade and Industry using this Committee as a reference. A meeting had been arranged with the Department of Transport. There would be trouble with the building of stadiums, and his company would have to be given a slice of the cement procurement. They could not do anything about the running of SAFA at present, but might be able to influence this body in two years. Sugar-Ray Ncula was serving on the Committee and Bernard Hartze was Chairperson of a committee. Regional chairpersons had been appointed and would spread the gospel around the country. A roadshow would be conducted in December.
Mr Konki said that a meeting had been held with the city managers of the host cities in Johannesburg on 18 October. He had been warmly welcomed on this occasion.
The Chairperson extended his congratulation to the delegation for their efforts in looking after ex-players. The role of the ex-players had to be appreciated. The new democratic government must not appear to be uncaring. He would refer them to the necessary places and people to hold discussions. Lottery funding should also be considered, as millions of Rand were available for noble objectives.
An important message from the members was that “local is lekker”. It could not be right for foreign coaches to dominate the sport. He was unhappy with the patterns of professional teams, who seemed only interested in winning the R4 million at stake in one competition. A building process was needed to repair the public’s dented confidence. It might be acceptable to appoint a foreign head coach, but there was an unacceptable discrepancy between the foreign and local assistant coaches in terms of skills and payment.
Mr Komphela said the ex-players should be part of the Hall of Fame. The idea was linked to Mr Sono’s presentation. They must inform the Committee quickly to report on their progress. He would inform the Minister, as there was a similar initiative for rugby players. He also mentioned the monthly meeting between the Minister, the provincial MEC’s and Heads of Department. This meeting should be sensitised to the company’s plans. Their programme for 2006 was complete, but Mr Sono must be given a chance to brief this meeting in the new year.
The meeting was adjourned.
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