Karate South Africa: Follow-up; Cycling South Africa: input from Boland Cycling Union

Sports, Arts and Culture

13 March 2007
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Meeting report

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SPORT AND RECREATION

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
13 March 2007
KARATE SOUTH AFRICA: FOLLOW-UP; CYCLING SOUTH AFRICA: INPUT FROM BOLAND CYCLING UNION

Chairperson:
Mr B Komphela (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Boland Cycling Union input: Part1 & Part2
Letter from SASCOC regarding status of Karate South Africa
Karate South Africa Report to Portfolio Committee: 6 March 2007

SUMMARY
Members of the Boland Cycling Union criticised the national Cycling structure. Although Cycling South Africa was a unified body, the sport was still divided at national, provincial and club level. Problems were also being experienced with resources for development.

Members criticised the lack of transformation in the sport. Clarity was requested on the status of Pedal Power Associations, which should have been incorporated into unified structures. The co-option of black persons onto the national body’s executive was discussed.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) was unable to attend the meeting due to being unable to obtain an airline booking. However, a statement was released stating that the status quo of Karate South Africa was restored to the situation before the body had been prevented from attending the most recent General Assembly meeting.

Members urged Karate South Africa to take part in the various SASCOC bodies, and also not to take legal action against SASCOC.

MINUTES
Boland Cycling Union (BCU)
Mr Kevin Green (Disciplinary Chairperson, Boland Cycling Union ) said that he was a member of the BCU executive. He was also a member of the Yorkshire Cycling Club (YCC), which was the last surviving club from the days of the South African Cycling Association. He was very committed to transformation.

Mr F Slabbert (BCU Road Commission) said that there were not enough black clubs in the sport.

In reply to a question from the Chairperson, Mr Ian Goetham (Secretary, BCU) said that the President of Cycling South Africa (CSA) was Mr Lawrence Whittaker. He asked if the CSA Executive had been invited.

The Chairperson replied that they had been invited together with the BCU delegation. He thought there might have been some missed communication. There seemed to be different views between CSA and BCU. Demarcation only seemed to be a problem in the Western Cape, and he asked the delegation what the problem was in this province re-aligning itself to the political boundaries rather than the traditional sporting provinces.

Mr Goetham replied that BCU had addressed this issue in the past. CSA was responsible for defining provincial boundaries. The issue of re-alignment had been discussed. The Paarl Cycling Club, which was a white club, should compete in the Boland but instead were in the Western Province. He pointed out that the Western Cape was not the only place where this was happening, citing the example of Northern and Southern Free State.

Mr Leon Beech (General Secretary, Karate South Africa) commented that in the Karate South Africa constitution, it only catered for the nine political provinces as affiliates. However, there were a number of regional structures within each of these provinces. The Western Cape had three regions, namely Western Province, Boland and South Western Districts. The only problem had been in the Boland region where consolidation of bodies had not been achieved until a meeting held in the last few weeks.

The Chairperson said that when the Minister approved money for development, it had to be divided amongst 54 regions. This blunted the effective use of the money. Municipalities were taking over the management of sport. In the Free State there were 22 municipalities and perhaps 12 regions. White clubs in Kroonstad and Welkom would rather play matches against each other while ignoring the black clubs located between these two towns.

Mr Green said that development was being undertaken in the Boland. Aid was being given to them by CSA. Elections had been held a year previously. A meeting had been held with the development director thereafter, but not again. This official was based in East London. There was no structure in place for development. There was a lot of talent, but the sport was losing these cyclists because there was no support from the national body. CSA had attracted some sponsors, but the benefits were not trickling down to provincial level.

In 2005 BCU and YCC had submitted a business plan as part of an application for Lottery funding. This was a necessary procedure in applying for the grant. There had been no communication as to how much money had been given. In 2006 Lottery funding had been used for some cyclists at the national championships. He understood that R 2.2 million had been given to CSA. Talent development was being done at grassroots level. There had to be a plan in place to give young riders national exposure, good coaching and medical testing.

Mr Green said that the annual Argus Cycle Tour was organised mainly by the Western Province Pedal Power Association (WPPPA). The top executive of WPPPA was also now serving on the CSA Executive. BCU was getting no support, and no free race numbers were given to BCU. In fact, they received more assistance from the Rotary Club in Paarl. WPPPA could give ten free race entries for worthy riders.

Mr Goetham added that R35 000 had been allocated to BCU and YCC from Lottery funding during 2006. The application had gone through CSA, but they could not release the funds. Fortunately Boland was now part of the Giro del Cape event held before the Argus Tour, and this had opened doors for BCU.

Mr C Frolick (ANC) asked if there had been any benefits since amalgamation.

Mr Goetham replied that the national Pedal Power Association (PPA) and the Cycling Association had amalgamated. However, they were still operating as two separate bodies. PPA had the money but was sitting on it. He could not say that all the provinces were benefiting from the process. After their previous report to the Committee, CSA had promised that they would co-opt four black persons to serve on the executive, and this had been done during April 2006. However, nothing was happening in the fields of transformation and development. The President of CSA had said that he would drive the process, but this was not happening. The move had simply been window dressing.

Mr R Reed (ANC) felt that CSA had the attitude that implementing transformation and co-opting black members onto its executive, was doing the Committee a favour. There was no real will to transform. Black cyclists had been assembled for the Commonwealth Games but had never been heard of again. The Committee needed to address the CSA Executive as the steps it had taken were unacceptable. Real transformation was needed, not window dressing. All disadvantaged children needed to have opportunities, and this would ultimately lead to a representative team being selected.

Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) asked if there was not one national body. If this was the case why did bodies such as the WPPPA still exist, and were they part of the unified structure. He asked what the PPA was. Had there been a national conference since the merger, and had the leadership been elected? It was clear that the Members needed more background

Mr D Lee (DA) asked if the PPA was operating in all provinces or just the Western Province. If so, it meant there were still two unions. He asked how the PPA was funded, and why they were the only ones that seemed to have funding. Why could they not release more money? He asked if BCU had actually asked for free Argus Tour entries, and if so, what the response had been.

Mr Goetham replied that PPA was one body within CSA, and existed on paper. It still functioned separately. There were other such associations in the country, and its main role was organising fun rides, for which entry fees of up to R200 were charged. R35 000 had been released, some of it for national championships. BCU had addressed some correspondence to the CSA Development Officer about Lottery funding, but there had been no reply. If the CSA had been present at this meeting, it would have been only the second meeting of the year. There had been only one meeting at national congress level.

Mr Green added that the BCU had not requested race numbers. They thought that this should have been part of the development plan. Many cyclists could not afford to compete. At the annual Paarl race, the Rotary club offered many free numbers. He thought that CSA should be thinking of a development plan. There was no plan to prepare riders for national and international events.

Mr Slabbert said that they had asked for funds to take a group of cyclists to an event in Harrismith. The R20 000, which was Boland’s own money deposited at CSA, had not been refunded as CSA had spent about R 200 000 at an event in Soweto. This news was only received at the last minute, and Mr Slabbert had been forced to pay the expenses out of his own pocket. Mr Rautenbach of CSA had not responded to him except to say that he was stupid to use his own money.

Mr Goetham said that the national congress would be held in Durban during 2007, but this was not an election year. The problem of the lack of black representation on the Executive had been addressed. Black members had not been successful in the election, and as a result four persons had been co-opted onto the Executive. He did not know what their function was. A transformation plan had been sent during October 2006, and all affiliates had been asked to respond. BCU had responded to this, and it was contained in the documents before them. A development and transformation indaba had been planned for Paarl, but this had not happened. BCU had also requested a workshop, but there had been no reply to this request.

Mr Frolick looked at the minutes included in the information pack, and said that it was clear that no attention had been paid to transformation. It was not only about numbers. The current trend was to say that there were democratic processes involved. However, people were naïve to believe this. The slogan of disabled sport was “Nothing for us without us”. The documents presented gave a clear indication that they did not know what development was. There was still an “us and them” mentality. There could not only be one development project. Blacks had been involved in cycling for some time. It was mind boggling that it could be necessary to co-opt black persons on to the board. CSA should rather go to those areas were blacks were already involved. There was a difference between tokenism and transformation, and the Committee would not be fooled. There was a stand-off between CSA and the traditional black areas. There was a blockage in that there was no integration or meaningful discussion. The sport might be destroyed in those areas.

Mr E Saloojee (ANC) said that from viewing the Argus Cycle tour and other major events he saw that the participants were mainly whites. The first reason was the huge costs involved, with bicycles being extremely expensive. There were be massive costs and a lot of effort was needed to bring blacks into the sport. The bicycle was a traditional means of transport. Unless the national body and the Lottery were involved, it would be hard to find resources. Broad based discussions were needed. The starting point was that transformation had to be taken seriously. This was still the case in many codes, especially cycling which was a predominantly white sport.

Mr Lee said he could understand why the black members had been co-opted. However, the previously disadvantaged members of CSA should have nominated representatives so that they would have had a constituency. He asked who had chosen them.

Mr B Dhlamini (IFP) said that there had been a constitutional amendment to the proposal. He asked if they had formed a sub-committee on transformation.

Mr Goetham replied that the affiliates had been asked for nominations for the co-opted members. They had indeed formed a transformation committee. They were dedicated to make cycling a sport for all. There was a need for fast-tracking and transformation. Nominations for the board had been re-opened, and a democratic process had been followed to elect the four members. Boland had proposed a constitutional amendment that there be at least one previously disadvantaged individual (PDI) on the selection people.

Mr Green said that it was true that many of the riders in the Argus Cycle tour were white. There was a need for a broad base of black cyclists. In about 2003 the Lottery had provided finance for the purchase of bicycles. These were distributed amongst the provinces. Each was given 35 track and 35 road bicycles, which in turn had to be divided amongst the clubs in each province. Resources had been given to a club in Mbekweni township in order to get the sport going there. It was good to give bicycles to PDI riders, but they still needed shoes, helmets, spare parts and entry fees to compete. Entry fees for CSA sponsored events were between R30 and R50, while the PPA-organised events were more expensive. The entry fee for the Argus Tour was up to R200. Funds were needed. He felt that CSA should have been overthrown by the government years previously, and this was still the case.

Mr Slabbert said that a key aspect of development was to have exposure to the sport. This was a challenge when it came to hosting events in township areas. At a race in the Boland, the BCU had faced high costs including organisers’ fees. The white clubs did not want to go to races in the township.

Mr Goetham said that there was a transformation plan on the table at CSA. However, there was no provision for benchmarking and no timeframe. He wondered where the sport would be at the end of 2007.

The Chairperson was very sure that this was not the result of the work of this Committee. It supported honest talk about challenges. Sadly, a boxer who had spoken out at a meeting with the Committee had later been disciplined. Parliamentary privilege prevailed, and guests should be able to speak their mind without fear of punishment. It might be necessary to limit democratic rights in order to rebuild the sport. It had been necessary to establish a government of national unity to build a better South Africa. It was not right for whites to close ranks to deny blacks opportunities. The development agenda should focus on the poor. Proper preparation was essential. Merit was applied in a skewed way and the quota system was an alternative. He had a serious concern about the co-opted members. Mr Lee was right in that the co-opted persons should be representative.

He had conferred with the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA). Funds had been provided for international competition. If there was an international competition to fund, there would be no funding if the sport was dominated by whites with only a limited number of quota athletes. This would be discussed with the CSA Executive. Federations saw the Lottery funding as a loophole. However, SRSA would be in charge of the allocation of these funds as it was still government’s money to disburse.

The Chairperson said that a meeting had been held with the CSA President four years previously. Still at that time, he had not known not to refer to the black Members as non-Europeans or non-whites. Federations would be taxed heavily if there was no development. Lottery funding was for the benefit of sport and human development.

Mr Komphela said that the responsible Sector Education and Training Authority was responsible for training of administrators. Courses would be part of the national accreditation model for referees, coaches and administrators. The Committee would have to meet with the national executive later in the year. Sport would benefit during 2007 from increased funding, but a credible development programme was the key to future success.

Mr Goetham thanked the Committee for the opportunity to address them. They had not come to gun down CSA, but wanted to be invited to the party as they were feeling neglected.

Karate South Africa: follow-up on the issue of disbanding and future plans
Mr Frolick read out a letter from SASCOC. Their delegate was unable to book a flight before noon, and would not be able to attend the meeting. The letter explained the membership criteria for sports federations. These included being affiliated to an international body, being recognised by the International Olympic Commission and some other requirements. Their recommendations would be tabled at the SASCOC Board and the General Assembly within the next three months. Sound governance was essential in any federation. The decision of the Board to place KSA under curatorship would be discussed with the Minister. In the meantime, they requested that the Karate issue be held in abeyance.

The Chairperson said that he had spoken with Mr Mashishi (SASCOC President) on this long-standing issue. Certain bodies had lost out in the KSA elections, and had chosen to form a splinter group. He wanted a report to explain the background to the letter from SASCOC. The Minister held a different view to SASCOC. KSA was planning to go to court over the issue, and the Minister thought that SASCOC would lose the case. The best way forward was for the status quo to remain. Therefore the Board elected at the KSA Congress in 2005 would remain in place, but would have to participate in SASCOC’s membership committee in the meantime. The criteria for membership were a real problem, as they were poorly defined. SASCOC was therefore not competent to pronounce on the curatorship issue. SASCOC agreed in their letter that the elected Board of KSA would remain in place. Mr Motsa’s group, Karate Association of South Africa, would continue to operate separately until the issue was finally resolved.

Mr Dhlamini said that he had been overtaken by events.

The Chairperson continued that the curatorship imposed on KSA had been lifted. The current KSA administration, as represented at this meeting, would again be in control of the sport. The SASCOC Board had taken a decision in consultation with the Minister regarding the curatorship issue, which had been ratified by the General Assembly. It was now recommended that the decision be held in abeyance until the membership question had been finalised.

Mr J Masango (DA) said that the decision to place KSA under curatorship had been taken on 2 March, eleven days previously. It was not specified when the General Assembly meeting had taken place. He asked whether the status quo was the Board elected during 2005 or the interim committee which had been formed the following year. Mr Abdullah, President of Union of Federated African Karate (UFAK) was not present, nor Mr Motsa (President: Karate Association of South Africa) and he asked if the issues related to them were resolved yet. These seemed to be pending issues.

The Chairperson replied that Mr Abdullah had been the international liaison for Karate. He was part of the problem, as one of the dissident groups was an affiliate of his. He was suspected of having had a hand in many of the sport’s problems of late. Two years ago he had been part of a decision to ban South Africa from international participation as the then authorities had been accused of being intransigent. The ban had only been uplifted after a meeting with the Minister.

Ms Noma Kotelo (Director: Sport and Recreation South Africa) said that the other group involved was the World Karate Federation, a semi contact discipline. There was also some involvement from the WKS.

The Chairperson pointed out that the other groups were not present at the meeting because SASCOC had imposed the curatorship. There was no need for them to attend.

Mr Frolick said that this explained why SASCOC had not made a greater effort to attend. The lack of flights was a flimsy excuse. SASCOC was avoiding explaining the unresolved issues, and were showing partiality to the other faction. KSA must take all necessary actions to recover, as the Committee could not do anything to intervene in this process.

Mr Beech applauded the decision. The General Assembly meeting had been held on 3 March, but he had been turned away. He had been advised that the motion had been tabled and endorsed.

Mr T Louw (ANC) said the Karate matter should be put into abeyance until solved by SASCOC. He asked, tongue-in-cheek, how the semi-contact principle could be applied in a real fight.

The Chairperson said that the Committee took notice of the SASCOC letter uplifting its earlier decision. He felt it was not appropriate to change the decision taken by the General Assembly. However, this meant that KSA would continue in its present format. This decision had to be communicated to the Minister and the international community. SASCOC had already advise the international body of the decision taken on 3 March, and must now advise of the new situation. KSA must attend the SASCOC membership meeting. For now there was no need to panic. There was now no question that the delegation present was the recognised leadership. There was no need for court action.

Mr Peter Thage (KSA Public Relations Officer) said that the Minister was now allowing two Boards to operate. Minister Stofile was therefore allowing SASCOC to revise his decision.

The Chairperson said the matter was on hold until there could be final resolution. The Minister had made a calculated move in 2006 to impose a forced marriage on the two bodies.

Mr Beech said that the implication of the SASCOC letter was that KSA was recognised as the national federation, and the only one entitled to membership of international bodies.

The Chairperson confirmed that the status quo would remain.

Mr Cass Sehloho (KSA President) said he would like to help close the meeting on this note. His delegation was very excited. As President of the body, he thanked Ms Kotelo for the help she had given on behalf of SRSA as well as the Members. He said it was interesting to meet those comrades who had liberated the country, and were still taking the liberation process forward.

The Chairperson said that this is the decision which SASCOC would have conveyed.

Mr Sakhi Cage (National Executive Council, KSA) reminded the Committee of the sanctions that had been placed on KSA. They had been banned from participating in the All-Africa Games and had been unable to prepare for the Games at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria. They had been excluded from triangular championships. Lottery funding had been withheld.

The Chairperson gave Mr Sehloho a copy of the SASCOC letter, signed by Mr Mashishi. He said that the decision lifted all current sanctions. He could use it as evidence wherever needed, including the High Performance Centre and the Lottery, to prove that KSA was once again in good standing.

The meeting was adjourned.

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