Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa: hearings on 2007/08 Budget Vote and Strategic Plan

Sports, Arts and Culture

20 March 2007
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SPORT AND RECREATION

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
20 March 2007
SPORT AND RECREATION SOUTH AFRICA BUDGET & STRATEGIC PLAN 2007/08; BOXING SOUTH AFRICA & SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR DRUG-FREE SPORT: BRIEFINGS

Chairperson:
Mr B Komphela (ANC)

Documents handed out:

Strategic Plan presentation by the Sport and Recreation South Africa
South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Strategic Plan: Part1 & Part2
Presentation on Boxing South Africa Strategic Plan and Budget 2007 – 2010
Boxing South Africa Strategic Plan and Budget 2007 – 2010
Sport and Recreation South Africa organogram

 

Audio Recording of the Meeting

SUMMARY
The Department presented their strategic plan and budget. The Committee was concerned with the inclusion of Lovelife in the budget plan, and reminded the Department of the issues that they had with Lovelife. The Committee also emphasised the importance of coordination regarding the 2010 World Cup, as well as proper responsibility for the mass participation and school sport programmes. Other issues raised were funding for facilities, unused facilities, and management of school sport programmes that sees teachers sitting on the sidelines.

Boxing SA announced that not only would they be able to provide their annual report and financial statements on time this financial year, but their developmental programmes had been successful. They did, however, have some money problems, with Lotto and some sponsors not giving money, although the provincial governments had been assisting where they could. They were without a Chief Executive Officer and the Boxing Act prohibited them from hiring staff independently, first requiring the Minister’s signature.

The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport presentation was also well received. It was currently without a CEO, and the process of appointing a new CEO had been delayed. They wanted FIFA to use the Institute’s doping officers for testing during the World Cup.

MINUTES
Sport and Recreation South Africa presentation
It was noted that the Director General of the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA), Dr Joe Phaala, was unable to attend as he was sitting on the panel concerned with the ICT of the 2010 World Cup.

Mr Greg Fredericks (SRSA Chief Director: Financial Policy and Liaison Support) provided the briefing and pointed out that the Strategic Plan had not changed that much for the past three years. The Department had remained close to the core elements of the previous years' plans. He stressed that the Strategic Plan was really a working document. They were in the process of reviewing the document due to a few new appointments.

The Chairperson stated that the Strategic Plan framework was acceptable. The fact that the elements had remained the same for the past three years did raise some concern, but he appreciated the fact that Mr Fredericks had pointed this out.

Mr Fredericks said that there were negative elements such as doping and the ethics of winning and losing that cast a bad light on sport but the Department was going to find way to combat these elements. In the country there was a disparity between advantaged and disadvantaged. The Department vowed to renew attempts to intensify their efforts among all South African to improve social cohesion, which was one of the main priorities in the core social clusters. Their objectives had not changed for a number of years. The Department would want to increase the levels of participation of South Africans in sport and recreation activities, raise the sports profile especially amongst decision makers in the face of conflicting and competing priorities, maximise the probability of success for South African individuals and teams in major sports and to place sport at the forefront of efforts to address issues of national importance.

The funding for facilities had moved to local and provincial governments. There was a concern about what the Department was doing for communities. They were now working closely with provincial and local communities. There were difficulties surrounding transformation, with some federations seen as voluntary while others received funds. There was critique that the Minister had been given no power to intervene. The Department hoped that the new bill would help to achieve this objective. The Department had gone back to grassroots, and if they did their work accordingly, transformation would follow. He went through the presentation looking at the elements that drove the Department's objectives.

Mr Daniel Moyo (Chief Operating Officer: 2010 World Cup Unit) then continued with the plans regarding the strategic focus areas of the 2010 World Cup. The Department had taken over all coordination of inter- and intra-governmental relations to provide institutional support to 2010 FIFA World Cup. The unit strove to ensure provision of infrastructure to support host cities to deliver on their commitments contained in the Host Cities Agreement. They would also ensure that the seventeen FIFA World Cup guarantees were put into actionable programmes and would monitor progress on the state of readiness.

Discussion

Mr C Frolick (ANC) stated that the Committee and the Department had a very good relationship but this should not allow SRSA to become complacent. The Department should continue to push boundaries and remain resolute. He stated that during the budget hearings, communities had raised the issue of the status of amateur sport bodies, claiming that the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) did not represent their interests and that they did not have any recourse to SASCOC. The Department needed to ensure that there was a vehicle to represent the masses.  The Building for Sport and Recreation Programme was pursuing avenues to correct that situation. He wanted to know what the Department was going to do in order to ensure that all voices were heard.

Mr Fredericks responded that the role of the amateur bodies had always been an issue. SASCOC had not indicated that they would represent the smaller bodies, however it had decided to put up a commission to  address this issue. The Minister had stated that he had not been happy with the handling of this issue. The Department's priorities had changed to grassroot level. Funding was focussed on about eighteen federations at grassroot level.

The Building for Sport Programme had said from the beginning that if it were left to local authorities to decide on allocations for sport facilites, it would not work. The Department had been allocating funds, even though it had been competing with libraries and graveyards.

The question of sport being a unifier was a moot point. It had been seen how success on the sports field could be a unifying factor, and could lead to national euphoria.  However, when the people returned to their own areas, there was still a big divide. However SRSA believed that by bringing people together in sport, it could only lead to positive outcomes.

The Chairperson said that the Department should avoid making general statements in their objectives but state exactly their input on skills development, poverty eradication and job creation and the extent of their impact. He asked if these measures would be temporary or permanent, and if temporary, for how long?

Mr Fredericks stated that there were targets set for everyone across the board. That number came from the government's social cluster.

The Chairperson enquired about what impact the Department was making on poverty eradication. Job creation numbers were not very big.

Mr Fredericks replied that they had done an impact study of the mass participation programmes. The report stated that of the people who received a monthly stipend, 42% were breadwinners. They believe that the training would help them obtain jobs.

Mr Moyo stated that he was one of the people who had spearheaded the task team to rationalise the governance structure for sport in the country. The Department did not have a strategy to deal with the issue. It was not SASCOC’s responsibility. The National Sport Council Interim Committee met with SASCOC which ended in a deadlock.  Sport had met with the Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority (THETA) to draw up a strategic approach for the next three years. There was a need for volunteers.  There was a weakness in that it was not targeting the areas identified previously. The target number had to be restructured.

Mr Frolick appreciated what had been said. At the time when SASCOC came to the Committee with the issue, SASCOC said that they would focus on high performance sport. Over the past three years they had shown that they did not want to engage with amateur sport. The interactions with the various federations showed clearly that some of them were absolutely not committed towards transformation.  One of those federations, cycling, thought it would be perfectly in order to neglect the historical areas where cycling had not been practiced, and take a small amount of money and put it in Soweto. Therefore the Committee would like more information around the development of an interim committee to ensure that objectives were met.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) wanted to know about the 30 000 volunteers, where were they exactly. The Committee could not have oversight without the relevant information. If the Department could not state exactly where each development project was happening, the Committee could not monitor them. Regarding issue of SASCOC, there had not been a single comment that was positive, and therefore there had to be something wrong with SASCOC.

The Chairperson asked if there was a SASCOC presence at local and provincial level. There seemed to be a major problem with the Service Level Agreement which leans towards pro-SASCOC bodies, and disregarded the smaller bodies.

Mr Fredericks stated that at the moment there was only a national SASCOC structure which was constituted of all the sporting federations.

The Chairperson then stated that since SASCOC was a national body it only dealt with national sport and disregarded the provincial federations and amateur bodies.

Mr Fredericks stated that the provincial federations were affiliated to their national mother bodies, but there did seem to be a gap in that there was nobody who had oversight.

Mr Frolick commented that when the amendment bill was presented at the various provinces public hearings had been held.  When the audience was informed of what the national federations had to say when they presented at Parliament, the people were furious. It clearly illustrated the distance between national federations and the grassroots and the communication problems that had arisen. It was because of this that their input was immediately rejected

Mr Fredericks said that they appreciated the input from the Committee. In regard to the volunteers, it related to all the Departments. SRSA can only vouch for their trainees and had a full training schedule.  The Department’s schedule for 2007 would be available by 15 April.

The Chairperson stated that the Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill had been tagged. It would correct all the things that were wrong with sport. He wanted to know about the transformation problem and what was in the transformation programme.

Mr Fredericks responded that the elements of transformation were not just seen as black and white, but were about democracy, governance, equity and opportunity.  The nature of the development program was also addressed. They had gone on a road show to increase understanding in the provinces.

Mr Chairperson commented that opponents of transformation claimed that the key aspect of the process was race. This was the view of people when talking about transformation. Something was wrong and it now needed to be put it right. Some sports clung to their historical positions and refused to change. Non-racialism would be addressed as soon as it was understood and the playing field were levelled.  Merit would then become the key element. The Department’s view was very sophisticated but people on the ground understood it differently.  He also enquired about the problems in the municipalities.

Mr Fredricks stated that there had been problems with the municipalities. An audit had been done and the report received was not good. Very little maintenance was done on facilities. Part of the agreement was that they would attend to those facilities. It was also a question of making money out of the facilities. SRSA interacted with the local authorities but these authorities often changed the terms of the agreements.

Mr Moyo commented on the progress of the municipalities. They were more prepared regarding the infrastructure. Serious challenges had to be faced. Some of the contractors gave ridiculous quotes and there were capacity problems. Fortunately there was a detailed report that would be tabled to the Committee soon. Another problem was projects meeting deadline and there might be managerial issues. There was a commitment that World Cup stadiums had to ready on time. They were doing day-to-day monitoring.  Four civil engineers were responsible for this, two in the field and two in the office. They were doing evaluation and assessment on a daily basis. Whatever report was received from the technical committee would be shared with the Committee. Scarcity of resources would be a challenge, both in terms of materials and special skills.

The Chairperson commented on coordination. The municipalities were working very well, and had given the committee a work time schedule. However there were some that were not equipped.

The Chairperson asked what  the African World Cup concept was.

Mr Moyo replied that there had been a synopsis during the presentation. The Declaration was a document by the heads of government in support of 2010 as a programme of action. It called upon the ministers of sport in the continent to support South Africa as a host nation. All the countries in the continent would contribute wherever possible. One of the elements was urging the African Union (AU) commission to call upon all ministers of sport to meet in South African in May to map out the framework for policy guidance of member states in terms of sport and recreation. Most of the previous policies were adopted in 1967 and it no longer spoke to what was needed. Policies needed to be developed to address issues that were a challenge to the youth. Immediate adoption was the Sport for Peace Programme.  This would start with immediate effect to create an environment of development. It should be a continuous programme. These programmes would link up with South Africa’s own programmes.

Mr Frolick asked about the agreement between the Department of Sport and Education, specifically the school sport programme. There was a suspicion that a deviation had taken place between the time that it had been signed and when it was implemented. Once again lots of officials had been appointed, while teachers featured in the programme.

Mr Fredericks responded that the Department of Education (DoE) saw themselves as custodian of school sport. As a result there were two different mindsets. SRSA could not run school sport. Teachers made school sport happen. Full responsibility should come to the SRSA and they would ensure that school sport would happen. There was a small team in place to help facilitate but the teachers ultimately did the work. It was a bit of disjuncture that was receiving attention.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee would guarantee that they would help on this matter and the issue of SASCOC. This year the Department and Committee must be bold to reverse previous mistakes.

Ms Noma Koteho (Director Client Support, SRSA) commended the Committee on the work done on the Bill. The committee needed to work together to come up with a common approach. However it was quite disturbing to hear that there was a Bill being processed but that the Department had not really interacted with it.

Mr Frolick stated that the Bill was a product of SRSA. They needed to strengthen their communication within the Department, and to avoid a silo approach. In each of the public hearings it was important that the legal practitioner and a staff member of Department should attend. The Committee would come to Pretoria to workshop on a number of issues before the break for the winter recess. The Committee would then check the morale within the Department

The Chairperson appreciated the input. The rules of Parliament stated that as soon as the Bill came from Cabinet and was sent to the Chairperson of the Committee, no one else would have authority on that Bill. On issues of legality, the Department had a vested interest. They were now saying that the Committee should not consult with the Department.

The Chairperson wanted to give the Department a reading of the resolution, regarding government in sport, taken by the congress of world sports leaders.

Mr Frolick read the resolution and summarised that clearly there was a shift in the mindset of international sport organisations, moving towards increasing collaboration with government.

The Chairperson stated that this decision was a very progressive one.

Presentation by Chief Financial Officer SRSA

Mr M Matlala (Chief Financial Officer, SRSA) tabled a presentation on the budget with comparisons from 2003/04 through until 2009/10. The budget clearly showed that it had been increasing over the years but would decrease substantially after the World Cup. Pie graphs illustrated how allocations had been set. The compensation of employees amounted to 1.6% of the budget, goods and services 4.6% of the budget; transfer payments were 93.7% of the budget and capital assets only 0.03% of the budget. Transfer payments were broken down into provinces, 6.5%, host cities, 91.2%, public entities, 0.55%, national federations, 0.79%, Lovelife, 0.84% and other payments, which amounted to 0.004%.

Discussion
The Chairperson stated that there was an element that should not be there. Lovelife, which had been addressed long ago, should not have been included in the budget. He wanted clarification on compensation for employees.

Mr Matlala stated that it was all the salaries paid to members of SRSA. This was the current terminology.

The Chairperson commented that terminology cannot be accepted, because when one dealt with an accident at work it was then regarded as compensation. This was how he understood the term.  The issue of Lovelife had moved backward. He stated that Lovelife received a combined grant of R85million. There was a problem with the output of Lovelife.  It could be considered a franchise, with the amount of money that was paid continuously to the organisation and their use of billboards as advertisements. Lovelife could not provide visible evidence, in as far as AIDS was concerned, that sport had an impact on the Lovelife campaign.

Mr Matlala responded it was not an excuse, but reality, that he had only taken over in December 2006 and the budget process was already in the finalisation stages. He did not question the figures before they were sent to Treasury.

The Chairperson asked Mr Fredericks why he did not tell Mr Matala about the exclusion of Lovelife from the budget.

Mr Fredericks stated that they were aware of the Committee’s issues with Lovelife and that they refused to pass the budget until the issue were resolved.  This was reported to the Minister as well as and SRSA had facilitated meetings between Lovelife and the Committee.

The Chairperson stated that the minister agreed with the Committee’s viewpoint.

Mr Fredericks felt it pertinent to look at the background.  The funding was not initiated by SRSA. They were given funding as a line function by Treasury. It seemed as if Treasury had a soft spot for Lovelife, in terms of the funding. They had interacted with Lovelife, which had just submitted their business plan, and the Department was not happy. Their programs needed to correspond with those of the Department. These issues needed to be addressed with the CEO of Lovelife.

The Chairperson stated that the issue with Lovelife needed to be managed.

Mr Frolick remarked that those concerns still stood.  It could not only be this Committee that picked up problems. There was an invitation issued to interact with the Committees in the Social Transformation cluster.  These issues could then be put directly to Lovelife.

Mr Fredericks said that SRSA had been assured that our money was not used on the billboards.

Mr Frolick commented on the allocation for the mass participation programmes, which was seen critical in its role it to get young people involved. He visited some of these hubs and noted that it was important to get the young people to play, but they needed to go onto another level, therefore they need to involve people who could assist in talent identification. There was no structure in the hubs and for such a huge amount of money quality needed to be ensured. Provincial government saw this as an added responsibility and did not want to get involved. As a result it was disempowering for the individuals involved in the hubs. Although it was gratifying to hear about the number of participants in these programmes the Committee also wanted to know what happened to the previous years’ participants.

Mr Fredericks realised that this was an issue.  He had sent through a proposal that every head of Department in every province should accept their responsibility and take ownership. All recruitment of young people and all equipment must be purchased before the end of June 2007.

Mr Fredricks stated that he was glad those points were raised. Programmes should lead to lifelong participation. He commented that there was a fine balance that one must maintain between a programme where the participants took part for the sake of participation, and those that were identifying promising talent. Sometimes if the focus shifted to those with talent, those without would lose interest and not want to participate further. In the impact study report, the programme developed in two directions. The numbers differed from those that did the programmes for enjoyment and those that just participated for competition. SRSA had recognised the need for talent recognition. They had also recognised the need for sustainability. There was a weakness in some federations and it was proposed that the Department should put a small team of about three members per province in the field to monitor, evaluate the situation and send reports as required. This would ensure a link with the federations.

A representative of SRSA said that while the Department was trying to create an enabling environment,  this was addressed within a challenge. It had been noticed that the areas that had been chosen for club development were different to the hub areas. In terms of the grant now, only clubs which were within a hub area would qualify.


The Chairperson asked how the Department was going to deal with the Minister of Finance’s statement  that those federations that did not had a development plan would be taxed 45%. This would ensure that those who did not had a development programme would be taxed and those with one would have an incentive.

Presentation on upcoming Legislation

Mr Fredericks then went on to summarise his presentation regarding legal services. Inclusive was the Promulgation of the Amendment Act, Safety at Sports Stadiums Act, and the Sport and Recreation Amendment Act. These acts would increase the efficiency and effectiveness within government, ensure safety of spectators and bring sport and recreation in line with the changed environment allowing the Minister to intervene in sport and recreational related matters.

Boxing SA presentation
Mr Dali Mpofu (Chairperson, Boxing SA (BSA)) noted that the Committee had been shocked at the extent of their previous year's budget. He hoped that the Committee would be pleased with the budget as it now stood. The most important development was the fact that in the restructuring they would like to strengthen the Baby Champs programme. He felt that the Department should give direct assistance to that programme. If they could take one or two items and coordinate them it would lighten the load. However, it should be noted that the provincial government had assisted when sponsorship had waned or not performed, as they should. Their nett budget was R10 million and their current budget was R6, 5 million. There still were problems with the Lotto fund. They had committed money for training and it had not yet been received. This had delivered quite a blow. It resulted in having to redirect funds from the normal operational budget. There were two areas, financial management and the issue of boxing development that were emphasised. They hoped that for the first time boxing would be able deliver their books on time. On the development front, things were moving smoothly. Boxing was at one of its highest levels at the moment. The remarks received from people indicated that BS was producing a serious development program.

Discussion

Mr Dikgacwi commented on the popularity of boxers. There was an increase, and there was a lot that had been improved. It was worrisome not to see white boxers but he was pleased that had changed.

Mr Chairperson applauded BSA. He wanted to know how much was usually given by the Lotto fund and for how long had they been giving BSA these funds.

Mr J Steyn (Chief Financial Officer BSA) said that the government grant had increased from the R1.7million to R1.8million and then to R1.9milliion. The Lotto Fund also increased gradually, from R600 000 to R800 000 and then to R880 000, depending on the plan.

The Chairperson enquired on the status of the Baby Champs League.  He asked if they were amateurs or professionals, because it could be linked up with the mass participation programmes and it would save money. The Baby Champs League was more structured than the mass participation programme.

Mr L Mtya (BSA) stated that Baby Champs programme were considered to be mass participation. BSA trained officials themselves, together with the promoters. Boxers that participated in the Baby Champs were termed professionals. In terms of trying to lay down a safety net for the losers, a lot of them could be seen as good prospects. They were looking at finding ways to move the losers upward as well as. Baby Champs were new professionals.

The Chairperson asked how much was the salary of the CEO.


Mr Steyn replied that it was R2million included in the operating cost of R4.6million.

The Chairperson enquired about the South African Boxing act and how it related to the provinces.

Mr M Ngatane (BSA) stated that the controlling Act of BoxingSA actually set the guidelines for BSA. It had turned  into a parastatal organisation. They had to go through a number of Ministers for approval on the hiring of staff.

Mr Fredericks stated the Department never really funded professional boxing. They eventually decided to help them, when they had some problems, to become a self-sufficient outfit. The Department wanted to decrease their financing gradually. Their understanding was that it had always been that BSA was a regulatory authority. The problem could be that there had not been a close relationship between BSA and SRSA. He suggested that they work together on a few issues. The allocation to BSA was already in the draft bill and that information should had been relayed to BSA.

The Chairperson recognised these problems. He realised that it was a government entity and it needed to dealt with as such.

Mr Mpofu stated that the workshop should take place. The bureaucracy was defeating the purpose and lengthening the processes. The Boxing Act was a national act, and was an attempt to centralise control of the sport. BSA had now tried to give some powers back to people on the ground.

The Chairperson stated that Mr Fredericks should work at formalising the workshop. The Committee sympathised with BSA and realised that changes needed to be made.

South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport presentation
Dr Shuaib Manjra (Chairperson, South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) wanted to echo some of the sentiments, such as the fact that they also had no CEO due to the prolonged process they had to go through while trying to appoint one.

The Chairperson interrupted, stating that there was a Bill that stated that the acting CEO should remain until the new CEO took up the position. Removing the CEO with no replacement had created a vacuum.

Mr Manjra agreed. He stated that there were some legal issues with the previous CEO. Once they received permission from their Director General the CEO left immediately without accepting their finite extension. The Department was keen on re-evaluating their job grading.  This agreement then had to be signed by three Ministers which resulted in a delay. This had put them in a difficult position and the situation was beyond their control. Their strategy plan had four main objectives: to ensure they had effective doping control programmes which were unpredictable and independent; to implement comprehensive national awareness programmes on prohibited substances; to source and initiate research doping issues to enhance their effectiveness; and to participate in international anti-doping alliances for the purpose of harmonising with the international community. The critical elements include a target of 2500 tests from government funding. Additional tests would be done with other funding. Of the 2500 tests they hoped to produce equal results both in competition and out competition. SAIDS wanted to had a maximum of 2% of tests to be done outside standard procedure. They want to start their listing of athlete whereabouts information that would be strictly maintained in 2007. All athletes registered in the testing pool would be put on this database. They had 60 doping control officers, some of whom they would want to train to become educating officers.

Their role in the 2010 seemed a bit uncertain. FIFA brought in their own doping officers, however this would not be necessary as they can provide trained doping officers. They were also audited on a regular basis.

Dr Manjra said that SAIDS would be initiating an education programme, which was a new programme. It was computer based for the athletes to test themselves in a quiz. SAIDS would also conduct research in terms of their educational awareness. They would appreciate it if national federations appointed an individual to be responsible for anti-doping methods.

Their research would expand to include knowledge, attitude and behaviours regarding doping. A multi-centred trial had been held in school sports regarding doping as it had come to light that school sports were experiencing problems in this area. Focus would be given to traditional medicine in Africa, some of which tended to give positive doping tests. Research needed to done to find out which substances did this and methods had to be found to deal with it.

Dr Manjra said that SAIDS was increasing their international cooperation with partners around the world. In addition they were attending a symposium to increase harmonisation. A regional anti-doping organisation had been formed. Their budget was estimated at R5.2million, 36% of the budget was for administration, 54% was set aside for doping control, 5% for education and research and 3/% for international cooperation.

Discussion

The Chairperson asked if in the R1.9 million, the CEO salary was included.

Mr Manjra indicated that all salaries were included in that amount.

The Chairperson commented on the school sport doping issues. He stated that since the Department had a vested interest communication should start between the two institutions. South Africa was one of only thirty countries that had a lab for anti-doping.  SAIDS could not be seen as inferior, and he would speak to the Minister if FIFA seemed to be against working with South African labs. He commented on the signing that was required, that it could be seen as inefficient and that it had to be dealt with.

Mr Manjra corrected the Chairperson stating that the role he spoke about was the one of doping control officers. As far as he was aware lab would be fine.

The Chairperson, would talk to the Minister, and thought he could handle that issue.

The Chairperson then adjourned the meeting.

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