Sports and Recreation SA: 2007-10 Budget Vote & Strategic Plan briefing

Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


10 May 2007

Mr B Tolo (Mpumalanga, ANC)

Documents handed out:
SRSA Strategic Plan 2007 – 2011
National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill [B17B-2006]

Audio Recording of the Meeting

The Department of Sport (Sport and Recreation SA) briefed the Department on its Strategic Plan and Budget for 2007.  The Department was in the process of revising the White Paper and the first draft should be able to be presented by the end of November. He set out the aims and objectives of the Department, and aligned them with the strategic priorities of government. He outlined the role of the Department. All of the priorities and objectives for the next years aimed to maximise success of the country’s teams, to encourage a more active nation and to have a successful 2010 World Cup. Other services offered by SRSA were summarised. A Service Delivery Plan had been drawn to ensure continuous improvement in service delivery, to address the gap between the current and desired situation, and to inform the strategic process. The budget and allocations were outlined and it was noted that the allocation would rise from R959 million in 2006/07 to R3.15 billion in 2007/08. R194 million had been transferred to Provinces in a Division of Revenue Grant and it was hoped to increase this. The organogram was tabled and vacant posts would be filled by June.

Questions asked by Members included the provincial breakdown of the grants, whether the transfer would cover construction of stadiums for 2010, whether the department was addressing indigenous games, the need for further assistance for school sport, and whether a Director General had yet been appointed, as the lack of appointment was hindering the Department. Members also enquired about the possibility to intervene where some schools were not getting access to sports grounds, the host cities for the 2010 World Cup, golf programmes, payments to LoveLife, and the role of the National Department and Provincial Departments. Members stressed that the responsibility of the provinces should be emphasised. Further questions related to the hubs, transformation in rugby, whether South Africa would be ready for 2010, the limited number of tickets available for the World Cup matches, levy payments and the filling of posts.

Sport and Recreation SA (SRSA) Budget and Strategic Plan 2007-10 Briefing

Mr Greg Fredericks, Chief Director: SRSA, noted that there had been some slight amendments to the strategic plan in order to align it with the current sporting environment. He also advised that SRSA was in the process of revising the White Paper and the first draft should be able to be presented by the end of November. He said that sport had the potential to build cohesion, that all three spheres of government bore a responsibility, and that SRSA had the responsibility to develop programmes. Two public entities existed to help it in its task and the key initiatives were to ensure that as many people had access to sport as possible, and that sport and recreation clubs be developed in disadvantaged communities. It was also to subsidize sport foundations, to work with the Department of Education, Department of Provincial and Local Government and the Olympic Committee, be an active member of anti-doping bodies, strengthen international sports relations and focus on line function responsibilities for the FIFA World Cup. The priorities identified by the President were summarised.

Ms Alison Burchell, Chief Director, Client Services, Liaison, Event, Facilities: SRSA, continued with the presentation, and presented both the objectives and the projects simultaneously, as well as the White Paper priorities. All of the priorities and objectives aimed to maximise success of the country's teams, to encourage a more active nation and to have a successful 2010 World Cup.

Mr Fredericks then highlighted the other services offered by SRSA. These included supporting stakeholders, providing support to provincial governments, ensuring integrated sports management information was available, interpreting broad government policy, initiating legislation, ensuring intellectual property protection, subsidising clients, acting as communicating agent for government, and liasing with parliament.

Dr Bernadus van der Spuy, Director: Strategy, SRSA explained that the Service Delivery Improvement Plan aimed to ensure continuous improvement in service delivery, to address the gap between the current and desired situation, and to inform the strategic process.

Mr Makoto Matlala, Chief Financial Officer: SRSA, stated that the budget and Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) allocations had been growing over the years. It was R959.9 million in 2006/07 and R3.157 billion in 2007/08. The budget allocations were set out. SRSA transferred an amount of R194 million to the provinces in a Division of Revenue Grant, and was hoping to increase that amount to R402 million.

Ms Lulu Sizani, Chief Director: Corporate Services: SRSA, tabled the organogram and stated that . the structure that had been created was required to help achieve the goals of SRSA. These included the 2010 World Cup, which was in the process of being revised. SRSA was in the process of appointing and filling all the vacant posts, which would be completed by June. Three Bills had been promulgated; the Safety at Sport and Recreational Events Bill, the SA Institute for Drug Free Sport Amendment Bill, and the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill.

Mr M Sulliman (Northern Cape, ANC) asked for a provincial breakdown of the  R194 million.

Mr Fredericks stated that there was a slide that would be made available to all members. He continued that the equitable share formula usually used did not provide adequate funds for all the provinces.

Mr Sulliman then asked if the transference of payments would create sufficient funds for the construction of 2010 stadiums, and if not would there be plans in place for the shortfall.

Mr Fredericks responded that initially during the talks there were plans made for the construction, which involved many "trimmings".  A competent team was appointed by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to ensure that funding would be sufficient.  Cape Town, however, managed to obtain a sponsor to pick up the costs in case of a shortfall.

Mr Sulliman then asked about indigenous games, and whether there had been anything done for people at the grass roots level.

Ms H Lamoela (Western Cape, DA) expressed her concern regarding children living in the rural areas and enquired what was being done to accommodate them.

Mr Fredericks stated that indigenous games were growing. The SRSA has also assisted the Department of Education on an annul basis to host school games.  However, the Committee must keep in mind that there was a huge challenge when it came to school sport. There was a total of 28 000 schools in the country and a large amount of money had been introduced into the school sport mass participation programmes.  Unfortunately 70% of the schools desperately required assistance from the government.  The budget that had put aside R70 million was only sufficient for 798 schools, which was an indication of the enormous amount of funding that would be required.

Mr Fredericks added that it was not easy to reach agreement with the Department of Education, which considered itself the custodians of schools, while the SRSA considered itself to be custodians of sport. Differing priorities as well as the differing opinions were problematic but SRSA had spoken to the Ministers about the issue.

Mr Fredericks felt that it should also be stated for the record that the mandate given stated that SRSA should target the poorest of the poorest schools. It had to be remembered that with the money at its disposal only a certain amount of schools could be reached by SRSA.

Ms Lamoela then enquired if a Director-General has been appointed for the SRSA yet and if not how had this affected the Department.

Ms Sizani responded by stating that there was a candidate but Cabinet had rejected him. This had negatively impacted the SRSA, but it should be noted that the hiring of a Director-General was the Cabinet's prerogative.

Ms F Mazibuko (Gauteng, ANC) discovered that there were still schools that were requesting payment for use of sports grounds, and she wanted to know if the SRSA can intervene on these matters.

Mr Fredericks stated that SRSA realised this was a problem.  There had been some instances where facilities were locked and people were paying to use other grounds. SRSA had spoken to the local authorities. It did not make sense that one level of government was utilising funds to make people active, while the other level was attempting to make money out of the process. The SRSA had advised provinces that as a condition of the fund they would have to sign an agreement with the local authorities to make their facilities available.

Ms Mazibuko enquired how many cities would be host cities for the 2010 World Cup.

Mr Fredericks listed the host cities as EThekwini, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Tswane, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Mafikeng. The only province left out was the Northern Cape, because of the sparse population and no available accommodation.

The Chairperson stated that the sooner the Director-General was appointed the better because there had to be some time limit on the making of decisions.

Ms Sizane stated that the impact was huge because the Chief Operating Officer position could not be filled until the Director-General position was filled.

Ms F Masilo (Gauteng, ANC) enquired about the golf programmes, noting that this was a very expensive sport and was difficult for children from less advantaged areas.

Mr Fredericks acknowledged that golf was an expensive sport.  Fees were charged because it was the only way to maintain facilities.  There was progress in the form of the golf foundation and golf board who were assisting young people to play golf.

Ms Masilo wanted a follow up on the transfer payments specifically on the payment to LoveLife.  She wanted to know what impact LoveLife had had on sporting facilities.

Mr Matlala stated that transfer payments fell into two categories, being funds put into the provincial fund and then the bulk given for construction of the 2010 stadiums.

Mr Fredericks said that LoveLife had emanated from an agreement with the Kaizer Foundation which stated for each R1 that the government gave they would donate R3, and it was on that basis that LoveLife was established. When they identified the different projects that they would be working on, these had included school sport and so this programme was taken completely away from the SRSA. After three years it was decided that they must work closely with the Departments of Health, Education and Social Development.  It had to be noted that LoveLife's main concern was not sport, but rather making interventions, which might include sport, that would help to decrease the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. SRSA had welcomed the programmes which would assist in removing children from the street. Lovelife claimed that they were making a difference but there were no conclusive studies to this effect.

The Chairperson wanted to know what was the role of the National Department in relation to sport in comparison to the Provincial Departments. He noted that the constitution assigned a role to the Provinces, together with the local authorities, to cater for sport and recreation. They did not seem to be doing that.  Sport was not a concurrent function for the National Department.  In terms of the equitable share, it seemed to be that after all other departments were given money, the left- overs would be allocated to sport and arts and culture. He wanted to know what could be done to ensure that the provinces were budgeting for sport, because they would expect the National Department to consistently help them.

Mr Fredericks responded by stating that after there was a study made on Provinces it became clear that some of them had no funds for sport, except for the appointment of officers. Because of this National Treasury was asked for funding. It was realised that if there was no movement at grassroots level then there would be no movement further up the chain. However once a lump sum of money was given to the provinces, it was the province that had to use it.  It was difficult to argue for sport when there were other more important needs in the province.  It was then that the funding was given in a conditional grant format, and here some progress could be made.  It was realised that SRSA would have to work closely with the provinces in order for hubs and clusters to be identified.  Members were invited to meetings with the provinces in order to ask them these important questions.  For the current financial year there would be a total of 350 hubs.

Ms Burchell continued that the reason that the Club Development Program was established was to be able to make some inroads into sustainability of sport and recreation in the community.  However there had to be a volunteer culture and the Municipalities would have to provide commitment to sport to provide sustainability. The Minister stated that if there was no movement in the provinces the grant would be taken away.

The Chairperson then stated that the responsibility of the provinces should be emphasised.

Mr Fredericks remarked that SRSA acknowledged that there was a gap on the ground and realised that there had to be some major changes.
The Chairperson enquired about the R2 billion and R3 billion shown in the budget and asked if it was part of the R9 billion that was given yearly.

Mr Fredericks stated that it was part of the R9 billion.

The Chairperson remarked that sport was not the municipality's priority, and yet SRSA was still putting money in.

Mr Fredericks stated that it was a mistake to take the fund away from the Department because the municipalities had other priorities.  There was a Cabinet Memorandum in preparation to attempt to change the situation.

The Chairperson enquired about the hubs, as he had not heard anything about them.

Mr Fredericks stated that the hubs were growing.

The Chairperson wanted to know about transformation in rugby.

Mr Fredericks stated that the under-19 and 21 teams there seemed to be better representation, but that the players seemed to disappear before they got to the national team. The South African Rugby Union (SARU) had to find out what exactly the impediment was.

The Chairperson wanted to know about the alternative places for the World Cup.

Mr Fredericks stated that it was mentioned that there were alternative places lined up for the World Cup but that there was no doubt that South Africa would be ready for the World Cup.

The Chairperson wanted to know about the limited amount of tickets available for the 2010 World Cup.

Mr Fredericks stated that access to stadiums was problematic.  Germany had launched the idea of a fan park, which proved successful. He also stated that there would only be 3 million tickets available for all the games as that was the only amount of space available.

Ms Masilo enquired about the percentage on page 21 under the heading of "Other"

Mr Matlala stated that this represented levy payments.

The Chairperson then asked Ms Sizane to confirm whether by June all the posts would be filled .

Ms Sizane stated that definitely on 15 June all the posts would be filled, except for those who might resign in the meantime.

The Chairperson commented that it usually took eight months to fill a post and that June seemed rather optimistic.

Ms Sizane reiterated that this could be done. There were 229 posts available and already 124 people had been identified.

The meeting was adjourned.


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