Sport and Recreation South Africa 2006 Annual Report: briefing

Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


28 February 2007

: Mr B Tolo (ANC, Mpumalanga)

Document handed out:
Sport and Recreation SA Presentation on 2005/6 Annual Report
Sport and Recreation SA 2005/6 Annual Report (available at

Sport and Recreation South Africa presented its 2006 Annual Report stating that it had already taken steps to correct the shortcomings identified by the Auditor-General in its financial management. Employing and training staff tackled some of these shortcomings. There was a general lack of capacity and human resources weaknesses. The Department had made a concerted effort to increase the number of Black women and disabled persons in its employ. The Department had signed numerous Memoranda of Understanding with other countries to promote sports. The country benefited from exchange programmes which resulted in the grant of scholarships to some athletes.

The Committee observed that it takes too long to fill departmental vacancies; that the Department had to publicise its activities to make the people aware of sports facilities and that it had doubts about the need for Memoranda of Understanding and their benefits. The Department was asked to co-ordinate the activities of the different stakeholders and entities in the overall sports sector.

Sport and Recreation SA (SRSA) 2006 Annual Report Presentation
Mr Greg Fredericks (Chief Director: Programmes) explained that the Department had already started tackling some of the problems that had been identified in the Auditor-General’s audit report. It was the first year of restructuring of sports delivery structures, following adoption of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (SASCOC) Articles of Association and elections in December 2004. The restructuring process had attempted to delineate clear areas of responsibility between government and SASCOC.

Ms Elsie Cloete (Chief Financial Officer) said the Department had made use of over 95% of the budget allocated to it.  The audit report indicated that there are vacancies in certain posts which made it difficult to monitor activities at all levels and compliance with laws and regulations. The Department within the year under review had insufficient control over gifts. There was also a lack of comprehensive and approved policies on monitoring of risk and fraud prevention and provision for irrecoverable debt.

Ms Lulu Sizani (Chief Director: Corporate Services) said there were vacant positions at the management level. There were lots of challenges encountered in the recruitment process. The Department also suffered from a lack of capacity to achieve its targets. The Department is in need of a sign language expert. There is a sustained drive to recruit Black women (particularly Africans and coloureds). The Department would ensure the disabled made up at least 2% of its staff strength. The position of Director General of the Department had been advertised and the position of Chief Director had recently been filled.

Mr Fredericks said that the Department had signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with some countries to improve sports delivery in South Africa. Exchange programmes were in place to expose athletes to competitions in different countries.

The Chairperson thanked the Department for their well-presented report and noted that they had successfully pre-empted many of the questions that would have been asked by shedding light on the strategies employed to tackle challenges. He noted that a general problem that cut across all government departments was that it took too long to recruit staff (on average about eight months). He argued that the Department should find a way to shorten this period.

Ms Sizani explained that the delay was a result of certain procedures that had to be followed in the recruitment process. This included skills assessment and extensive security checks. These delays were much more extensive for top management positions.

Mr J Thlagale (UCDP, North West) asked whether the Department was not compromising standards to employ Black women.

Ms Sizani explained that all candidates, irrespective of gender, go through the same processes. The candidates, who are elevated to higher positions from within the Department, are trained to handle the challenges in their new roles. The Department had to comply with Government’s policies on gender employment equity.

Mr Thlagale asked what the Department was doing to promote sports at the grassroots level.

The question was not answered.

Ms N Madlala-Magubane (ANC, Gauteng) asked if the Department would retrench incompetent managers.

The question was not answered.

Ms F Mazibuko (ANC, Gauteng) commented that the overall projection for athletic performance was low. The Department should publicise recreational facilities so that the public was more aware of them. She felt there was too little co-ordination between the various sports bodies and organisations.

Mr Fredericks said there were no legal instruments to enforce co-ordination and co-operation between sports organisations. He explained they were mostly private entities and therefore the Department could not enforce co-ordination and co-operation.

Mr M Thetjeng (DA, Limpopo) asked the Department to explain the use and importance of MOUs entered into with other countries.

Mr Fredericks explained that MOUs are agreements to exchange expertise and culture and are often beneficial to both parties. The Department had MOUs with countries like Cuba in basketball and boxing. Students were also granted scholarships under MOUs with countries like France and the Netherlands. There were varying levels of success with MOUs however. The MOU entered into with Nigeria was completely unsuccessful.

Mr Thetjeng asked the Department to give an update on the MOU entered into with the Education Department. He suggested that the Committee should facilitate a joint meeting between SRSA and the Department of Education so that they could provide a report on the status of the MOU.

Mr Fredericks responded that it was very difficult to work across departments and this could often be exacerbated as a result of personality clashes.

Mr Thetjeng suggested that bowling should be introduced in black areas.

Mr Fredericks explained that the Department would develop a wide range of sports and not just bowling. The Department was building swimming pools in municipalities and was also promoting the sport in these areas. Bowling required an intensive maintenance regime. SRSA could however adapt the sport so that it could be played in residential areas.

Mr Thetjeng asked what areas of Human Resources development the Department was engaged in.

Ms Noma Kotelo (Department Director) explained that the Department liaised with local government to recruit staff. The Department was engaged in the business of reviving sports clubs which would be achieved by training people to manage the sports centers.

The Chairperson asked how far sports had been integrated.

The question was not answered.

The Chairperson said that he was satisfied with the presentation and the Department’s strategy to tackle problems. The Committee would look more closely at the Department’s strategic plans at the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned.


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