Meeting with Southern Sudan delegation

Sports, Arts and Culture

01 November 2006
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Meeting report

SPORTS AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

SPORTS AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
1 November 2006
MEETING WITH SOUTHERN SUDAN DELEGATION

Chairperson:
Mr B Komphela (ANC)

Documents handed out:
None

SUMMARY
The Committee hosted a delegation of members from the Sports Committee of the Southern Sudanese Parliament, who were visiting South Africa to learn from its experiences about the role of sport in a developing society. Members of the Portfolio Committee indicated that the major challenges in South Africa were 
access to sports, which thus played both a unifying and a dividing role. They indicated the role of the Department of Sports and its relationship with the Portfolio Committee, the purpose of oversight visits and public hearings, the participation of women in sport, and the preparations for the World Cup. The purpose, function and procedures followed by the Committee in dealing with legislation were discussed. Questions were asked by the Sudan delegation on the contribution to sports funding by the private sector,  the challenges facing women, and the media reports that South Africa would not be ready to host the 2010 World Soccer Cup.


MINUTES
Mr C Frolick (ANC) introduced members of the Committee

Ms B Anchan Ogwaro, Chairperson, Gender, Social Welfare Youth and Sport, Southern Sudan introduced her delegation. She said that Southern Sudan had parties working together in the Government of National Unity. The Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLM) was the majority party in the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly. The Southern Sudan was a semi autonomous region and after six years the people of Southern Sudan would decide whether they wished to be fully autonomous in the future. She said the Delegation came to South Africa to learn from the experiences of South Africa about the role of sport in a developing society. She cited an example of sporting codes that excluded a sector of the Southern Sudanese population, such as swimming and cricket.

Mr Frolick said that South Africans did love their sport, but the majority of the South African population did not have access to sports. He added that South African sport could play both a unifying and a dividing role. He said that some federations were rich while others were struggling, but all sport federations had to sign a performance agreement and account to the Committee. The Director General had to report on a quarterly basis how far the Department had gone in the School Sport and Mass Participation in Sport programmes. The Committee was busy with the National Sports Amendment Bill. The private sector had been funding the bigger federations, and the lottery also funded some of the sports federations. This Committee was named the Sports and Recreation Portfolio Committee, but the focus was on sports rather than recreation.

Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) said that public hearings played a very important role to the Committee, because they were an effective means of engaging the public in the legislative process. The main objective of all processes was to address the past injustices.

Mr L Reid (ANC) added that the Committee went on oversight visits at the local level and to entities such as sports academies, and the main reason for oversight was to try to ensure that there was improved access to sports facilities.

Mr M Ntuli (ANC) said the other role of the Committee was to ensure that more women participated in sport. The Committee was only twelve years old but it had to deal with some federations that were sometimes more than 100 years old. Many of those federations maintained a very traditional attitude whilst others were quite co-operative.

Mr E Saloojee (ANC) said that the white people had always controlled rugby and cricket. Some sports administrators manipulated the situation by using tokenism. The Committee would use the legislation to correct these injustices.

Mr Frolick said that the Committee had visited France and Germany on fact-finding missions to prepare for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. South Africa was far ahead with preparations. The Committee was working very closely with the Departments of Communications, Environment and Transport on preparations.

Mr Mlangeni said that every piece of legislation had to be discussed by the Committee until the Committee was satisfied with the principles and drafting. If it was not satisfied, then the legislation would be sent back for redrafting.

Ms Anchan Ogwaro said that the population of Sudan needed to have access to all sporting codes, so that they could nurture the talent. Women had not previously been allowed to play sports in Sudan. The situation had to change. She then asked how did the private sector contributed to sports funding..

Mr C Gidieon said that there was no discrimination in Southern Sudan. Southern Sudan was striving for autonomy in sport. He cited an example of a Ghanian based American who had scouted talented basketball players, built sports complex and taken the players to America for greater opportunities. He said he was disturbed about media reports that said that South Africa was not ready for the World Cup.

Mr Frolick replied that the President of FIFA, Mr Sepp Blatter, had commented that the media had been speculating. South Africa would host the event.

The Chairperson said that the South African Constitution said that any legislation should advance the lives citizens. South Africa was ready to host this event. He said that sports played a significant role in unifying the country. The South African Women’s national soccer team had beaten Ivory Coast and were on their way to Beijing. The President was busy pursuing peace in the continent so that Africa may prosper. South Africa could have exchange programmes with Sudan. The private sector was willing to fund sporting codes, and sporting facilities should be in place to nurture the emerging talent. The South African companies that were operating in Sudan had a moral obligation to fund sporting codes. Sports women faced many challenges such as lack of sponsorship. He added that some selectors felt that the Government should not interfere in sports.

The meeting was adjourned.


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