School Sports Challenges: Departments Of Sports & Education Briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

06 February 2008
Chairperson: Mr BM Komphela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Sport and Recreation and the Department of Education briefed the Committee on their work to create a viable structure for the management of sport in schools. All participants recognised the need to promote sport and physical education in schools. This would benefit the learners by developing a healthy life-style and providing an opportunity to use their spare time productively. Physical education would be re-introduced to schools, with a minimum period of 45 minutes per week for each learner.

There were structural problems. The NACOC confederation was seen to be unrepresentative of the sporting codes, and to be dominated by bureaucrats. Its predecessor, the United School Sports Association of South Africa had been seen to cater only for competitive sport. There was a need for any new structure to have a mass participation element as well. It was felt that while the Department of Sport and Recreation had to have some involvement, school sport should be run by educators with minimal involvement from civil servants. The Committee was informed of the fact that teachers were expected to perform 320 hours per year of extra mural activities, although this was not solely for sport. The departments were attempting to create a new structure that would be more representative.

One option was to create a Section 21 company. The Committee opposed this vigorously as it was seen as a move towards outsourcing and privatisation.

Various resolutions at the recent ANC conference emphasised that sport was viewed seriously, both as a means of healthy recreation and also as a means of nation building. One emblem was to be used for all sports teams in future. Sport and other extra mural activities must be offered by schools, and physical education must be added to the curriculum. Sports programmes must be prioritised, with an emphasis on women and the disabled. All funds for sports facilities previously included in the Municipal Infrastructure Grant would in future be diverted to the Department of Sport and Recreation for the building of facilities.

The Departments were still reviewing the White Paper on sport. The envisaged new structure was still the subject of negotiation, and a policy document would be prepared for the Committee’s scrutiny. Further meetings and workshops would be held. All parties present, including the representatives of certain national sporting codes, were in agreement about the importance of the issue.

Members compared the situation in state-aided schools to the much more positive attitude towards sport in the former Model C schools. Resources were a problem in the poorer schools, some of which had no sports grounds available to them nor sufficient equipment to practice the various codes

Meeting report


Chairperson’s opening remarks: LoveLife, Athletics SA, petition around rights granted to SuperSport, Readiness for 2010 World Cup
The Chairperson said that 2008 would be a year of mass mobilisation for the Mass Participation Programme (MPP). He welcomed the members and representatives from the Departments of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) and Education (DoE). A difficult year lay ahead. One of the problems was with the LoveLife Fund. Government had decided to stop its funding. LoveLife was a franchise, and government’s view was that it had no impact on sport, nor was it accountable to Parliament for the public funds it had been receiving. SRSA had a formidable structure, and the contributions of R35 million and R45 million would now be channelled directly to SRSA. National Treasury (NT) had communicated with him in this regard. .

The Chairperson reminded all those present that Parliamentary privilege applied to all matters to be discussed. He recounted an incident involving Athletics South Africa, which had occurred at the end of 2007. The Committee had received a 45 page letter from the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) in which disciplinary action was listed. This action was being instituted against a member who had made statements to the Committee. Parliament might have no option but to charge SASCOC as an explanation was needed. He said that counter-revolutionaries were present at all levels. It was an unfortunate situation.

The Chairperson said that in terms of the rules of Parliament, any person could submit a petition to Parliament or to the Committee. Recently some of the provincial rugby Presidents had written a memorandum to the Committee on the subject of broadcast rights being granted to SuperSport. The Minister had released a statement in which he urged caution in the privatisation of sports issues. This had been seen in soccer with the award of broadcasting rights to SuperSport. It was becoming difficult for the people to access live soccer on television.

He said that momentum was building for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Involvement in the tournament would be expanded into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. It would be an African World Cup. The question was one of how to deal with the neighbouring states. The dream of an African World Cup rested with the Committee. The current problems with the electricity supply warrant continued progress reports. The Committee would soon be checking with the host cities as to what the impact of load shedding could be on the tournament, and what measures were being taken, to determine if load shedding was a threat.

He bemoaned the fact that there was never positive reporting on the competency of the country to host the tournament. This was an insult to Nelson Mandela, who had advocated the granting of the World Cup to South Africa. The Committee had interacted with Mr Sepp Blatter, the President of FIFA. He had said that he had no doubts regarding the country’s ability to host the tournament. Indeed, it seemed that only South Africans doubted this situation. The first challenge would be the Confederations Cup in 2009. The Committee would have to check on the progress of the various stadiums, and if deadlines would be met. Evaluations would be undertaken every six months. There were no threats at present. He was confident that the tournament would be a huge success. This was especially important, as it could be both the first and the last World Cup to be staged in Africa. South Africa was ready.

He cited the example of a major train station in Germany which had not been completed just three months before the 2006 World Cup. Some of the stadiums had not even been finished at that time. The government was carrying the hopes and wishes of the people.

Sport in schools: Progress report from Departments of Sport (SRSA) and Department of Education (DoE)
The Chairperson said that the Committee had met on 6 June 2007 when school sport was discussed. SRSA had attended, represented by Mr Greg Fredericks, who was an Acting Head of Department at the time. Certain agreements had been reached. Mr Fredericks had requested a postponement, which had been granted. The Acting Director General (DG) of SRSA had briefed the Committee on that occasion. A number of issues had arisen regarding the management of NACOC and SRSA. Mr Fredericks had been given instructions to discuss matters with the DoE. A school sports commission would create a linkage between the different bodies. The matter had been raised in Parliament and there was no protest, then it was fair to assume that the parties were in agreement. All the issues related to the Mass Participation Programme (MPP).

If the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SRSA and the DoE was still creating tension, it should be cancelled. The Committee had presented this position at the ANC study group. There was a memorandum about the challenges facing school sport. A meeting had been held, at which a complete breakdown had been reported between the parties.

Mr Thembinkosi Biyela, Chief Director: Mass Participation, SRSA, apologised on behalf of those members of the Department who were unable to attend this meeting. He had received a report that confirmed the statement made about the breakdown in negotiations between the parties.

The Chairperson said that the ANC had taken certain resolutions during the recent conference in Limpopo. The question of sport had been discussed, and it was agreed that it was a critical factor in nation building. Funding must reflect this reality. However, the Minister of Finance had said that no money would be forwarded if a business plan was not in place. This was not an antagonistic position. He pointed out that formerly schools had played games against each other on a Wednesday afternoon, but this was no longer happening. Teachers were no longer organising sport, and he asked who was doing this in their place. It would be a problem if there was no sport. If children were inactive after school hours then there was a possibility that they could fall prey to drug abuse and other social evils. Some schools, however, did not even have playgrounds. Even drum majorettes had disappeared from many schools. He felt that they should be used to bring some more glamour at big games. He had discussed this with Mr Danny Jordaan of the World Cup Local Organising Committee and he was not opposed to this suggestion.

The issue of the re-institution of physical education (PE) at schools had been adopted, and was to be implemented by the DoE. The responsibility had been assigned to the DoE on a full time basis. He asked what the problem was with school sport.

Mr Biyela sketched the background. There had been a meeting with Mr Fredericks. When Mr Biyela had taken over from Mr Fredericks there had been some major issues. There was a co-ordinating committee for school sports, but no issues had been raised at the time. The structures were not effective. Meetings were not held on a regular basis and there was a lack of direction. There was an alienation from the national sporting federations. The position had been exacerbated by the teachers’ strike during 2007. The recovery plan to remedy the effects of the strike had included a moratorium on school sport.

He said that there was an issue of turf wars between the different departments and a lack of convergence. SRSA had called for a joint meeting between the parties. This meeting would establish guidelines for co-operation between the two departments, and would report back within six weeks. An outline plan for school sport would be presented together with proposals for an appropriate structure. A task team had sat and there had been wide consultation to create a discussion forum. However, there were difficulties. If SRSA was to be true to its mission of producing winning athletes then it would have to cultivate a culture of athleticism at an early age.

Mr Biyela said that clarification was needed on the roles of the two departments. One of the challenges SRSA faced was that Mr Fredericks had left the department and had taken a lot of knowledge with him. A new DG had been appointed and the process had slowed down as she had found her feet. Another challenge was that SRSA was in the middle of a review of the White Paper on sport. He feared that they might be putting the cart before the horse. They were still waiting for the White Paper so that they could process the issues.

He said that the role of educators had been discussed. SRSA had taken cognisance of the need for PE, and there was a link to the new policy.

However, Mr Biyela said, the six week period was long over. Up to now they were not at a stage of making reports to the Technical Inter-Departmental Committee (TIC), but it was a TIC resolution that there should be clarity on the roles of the respective departments. SRSA had hoped that the task would have completed by the end of 2007. A meeting had been set up to achieve this. However, there had been a breakdown that was mainly due to the role players. Some of the school sport codes felt that they had not been consulted enough, and that the inputs they had made had been ignored.

The Chairperson asked if the code representatives felt they had not been consulted fully.

Mr Biyela said the matter had been referred to NACOC. The task team was a sub-committee of NACOC. Some codes had wanted to be a part of the task team.

The Chairperson had another question of clarity. The issue of non-cohesion had been raised. He asked why the matter was only being resolved now. Mr Fredericks had been present at some meetings. He asked if the current position was an indication that matters were not proceeding correctly.

Mr Biyela replied that SRSA’s “cup was overflowing” at the meeting. Officials of SRSA were also sitting on structures promoting collaboration. The systems were all on course. However, there was unhappiness amongst some codes. They were unsure of the way forward.

The Chairperson said that one of the goals of sport was to build social cohesion. A number of resolutions had been taken at the ANC conference on the issue of sport. Resolution 93 was unanimous to direct government that one emblem had to be used for all national teams. There was no dissenting voice in this regard. Resolution 94 was that all schools must offer a range of extra mural activities. There had been a social transformation meeting, at which the Minister of Sport and Recreation had been present. There had been no argument on this issue. The ANC was bound by the decisions made at the conference.

Resolution 96 stated that sports programmes had to be prioritised, particularly those for women and the disabled. Interest had to be boosted. SRSA was saying that there was no model of funding for the disabled. This was discriminatory. It was a technical matter and not one of policy. SRSA must fund the disabled, even if they were still attending school. The DoE had said that sport funding was not its core function. SRSA had to do this. Sport was an “orphan child”, and had to be maintained.

Mr Biyela said that the point was well understood. The challenges had been raised. NT must have clear priorities for funding. The role of SRSA had increased. There was a need for reorganisation. SRSA was zealous in creating new structures. The Department had dealt with the issue of vacancies. It was now facing a huge administrative matter. The new DG was unravelling issues. The 44th TIC had been held the previous day, and several issues had been embraced. The model only covered certain skills. Everything would be done to make sure that the school sports programme succeeded, with or without the co-operation of the DoE.

The Chairperson said that Resolution 97 of the ANC conference was that funding under the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) intended for sports facilities should be channelled to SRSA and not the DoE. This is what the position had been when the MIG had been introduced. SRSA had the infrastructure to handle the MIG funding. It had previously run the Building for Sports programme. In the past, SRSA had managed to construct an average of 144 facilities annually but had not been able to construct a single facility in the previous three years. This was a great loss. It was SRSA’s responsibility to create playing fields. There was an urgent need to proceed at speed.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) asked about the number of vacancies at SRSA. This had been a challenge facing the Department for some time.

The Chairperson said that new challenges had developed once the vacancies had been filled.

Mr Dikgacwi felt that the vacancies had then been filled incorrectly if restructuring was still needed. There had been a meeting with the Minister. Although 2007 had already passed, the report promised by SRSA had still not appeared. He wondered if it would ever be written. In France there was a scheme whereby sports federations were required to adopt a school. If the codes were not involved, then he wondered where the children would proceed with their sport after school. He asked how far SRSA was with the review of the White Paper.

Ms M Ntuli (ANC) wondered if there would ever be a report back on the meetings between SRSA and the DoE. She asked if SRSA was working within any timeframe, or if it would be a never-ending process. The meeting had been in June 2007, but nothing had been implemented. Now new resolutions were being made. She asked if SRSA was lacking the capacity to implement the process. The agenda would always be one of filling the gaps. The future of the country was being held back in this way. SRSA had been nursed through 2007, and now it seemed that things had been turned upside down. She repeated her concerns over the timeframes and capacity of the department.

The Chairperson said that SRSA was being proactive. The Ddepartment would hold a workshop with the Committee after the State of the Nation speech. The Committee could then engage with SRSA on the issues.

Mr R Bhoola (MF) said that his party believed that South Africa would be the best host for the World Cup. He needed clarity on some issues. He asked if the reports were in line with the meetings and activities of the task team. He noted the new ANC resolutions. It was a bold decision to deal with sport at a central level, and he complimented the party for this. There had been specially-trained PE teachers. He asked how the numbers of PE teachers could be regenerated. He asked what the challenges were, and what resources were available. In KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) inter-provincial sport was taking place. The national department wanted to have their provincial counterparts involved. However, the NT was saying that there were insufficient funds.

Mr L Reid (ANC) said that all the problems stemmed from the dissolution of the United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA). Officials had been driving the organisation rather than teachers. The establishment of NACOC had been an ill-conceived idea. USSASA had presented courses for teachers to develop their administrative skills. He felt that school sport should follow this route again. He said that nobody was taking active control of the activities of disabled athletes.

Mr C Frolick (ANC) agreed with the last statement. The sports plans must be implemented whether or not the DoE became involved. He had evaluated school sport in the Port Elizabeth area. Nothing was happening. Money was being wasted, and a cherry picking approach was being followed by SRSA. This was very far from the concept expected by government. Learners belonged to DoE. Teachers involved in school sport acted on a voluntary basis. The role of SRSA should be to spread sport and to ensure skills transfers took place. Teachers could be linked to federations. The only incentive for teachers was to have the opportunity to accompany teams to tournaments. He asked where the practitioners would come from, if not from the ranks of teachers. Budgets did not allow for fees for co-ordinators, but only for expenses. School sport should be administered by interested teachers at schools, not by outside officials. He asked if they could afford to re-invent the wheel.

Mr Biyela said that SRSA had now received its orders, and would proceed to execute its mission, with or without the help of NACOC. Vacancies were no longer an issue, as they had all been filled. There was, however, still a normal process of labour turnover. A challenge would be to see if the structures to utilise the MIG would be sufficient. A number of policies had been introduced under the new DG. The Department could ensure a good distribution of resources. The approach of moving resources from rural to urban areas was being followed. It was essential that the task team must report when it was ready. A lot of work had been done. Some persons had not yet become sufficiently involved.

The Chairperson said there had been a complete rejection of NACOC by the federations. The report had tried to close the glaring rift, but there had not been consultation with the other codes.

Mr Bafundi Makubalo, Director: Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Sport & Recreation, said that there had been a meeting with the provincial Heads of Department. Good progress was being made on the White Paper. He hoped that the process would be finalised at the TIC the following week.

Mr Biyela said that if they were not working with the codes, then he did not know where they would go. Sufficient discussion had to be held. In terms of timeframes, because SRSA did not always meet their deadlines. There were a number of policies that had a short span or suffered from limited capacity. The Department had been briefed on the resolutions taken in Polokwane. A joint workshop would be held with the Committee on 21 and 22 February. Once the strategy had been agreed upon the report would follow. There was a question still about the source of the skills needed to run sport in schools.

Mr Ivor Hoff, Chief Director: Gauteng Department of Sport & Recreation, said that there was a misconception. PE was not the same as sport. There were different outcomes involved. PE was to be re-introduced into schools. This was non-negotiable. Movement, agility and exercise were not currently being addressed, and these were educational imperatives. Sport was a by-product of these skills. Putting PE back into schools would be a means of producing well-rounded members of society, and this would not be achieved if the PE programme was not put in place.

The Chairperson said that it must be made clear that the correct term was sport in schools, not school sport.

Mr Hoff said that a move forward might be to declare a Section 21(b) company, which would enhance the educational experience. Extra mural activities were to be encouraged and school leagues had to be established. SRSA would play a significant role in competitive sport in schools. The TIC had given strategic indicators. Government had a role to create an environment for sport; thereafter it was up to civil society to manage the process.

Mr Biyela said that the forthcoming workshop would be a unique opportunity. A clear strategy was needed, and this would instil confidence.

The Chairperson regretted that the Western Cape was so distant from the rest of the country. Provincial representation was needed at the workshop. All provinces had to subscribe to the vision of the national department.

Mr Biyela confirmed that the invitation had been extended to the provincial departments.

The Chairperson said that input would also be needed from the DoE.

Mr Mzwandile Matthews,Chief Director: Social Inclusion, DoE, said he was in a quandary. He had a clear mandate to brief the Committee on the challenges faced by school sports. He strongly believed that there were signs of agreement. He had to acknowledge the champions. He had a sense that in the absence of an alternative, the DoE’s marching orders were in the document. There was nothing wrong with the document, but the problem lay in its interpretation.

He said that it was government’s task to build a non-racial society. This was a goal of transformation and would lead to national conciliation. The Ministers agreed that the transformation of sport was integral to the transformation of society. Transformation must become embedded. There were two important processes. Firstly, the Ministerial Task Team (MTT_ process and secondly the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) report. It was important to bring the interest groups together. Broad consultation was needed on how this could be achieved. A broad national road show had been held.

Mr Matthews said that a new approach was emerging from the consultation process. The Ministers had agreed on the modalities of NACOC. In education the main problem with sport was related to co-ordination. There was a lack of transparency in terms of information management. He did not know about some of the meetings the Committee had called. The body that controlled the funds controlled the rules of engagement.

He said there were structural arrangements below provincial level. A code committee of education and state representatives had controlled USSASA.  It only existed at a national level. The statement was made at the meeting that teachers delivered school sport, not public servants. There had been failures in the delivery of competitive sport in schools, which had been part of the mandate of USSASA.

Mr Matthews said that six provinces had signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). There were ad hoc arrangements in the other provinces. There was co-operation in the public service. NACOC was not involved. The sporting codes wanted to prepare a manual. Inputs had never been submitted. There was a lack of communication regarding policies. The co-ordination of meetings was a problem. The manual was still not completed. NACOC must take responsibility. Some of the procedures fell outside the framework of NACOC. Important elements could not be ignored.  

He said that it was painful that the department was operating on a basis of suspicion and disrespect, especially after the moratorium had been imposed. Issues had become personalised even amongst NACOC members. During a meeting held over 25 and 26 January the sporting codes had walked out. People should engage on issues, not run away from them. Some public servants were involved in the walkout, together with some educators. The Vice Chairperson had been humiliated.

Mr Matthews said that administrators were always hammered. Often the problem lay with service providers responsible for transport, catering and accommodation. Often they did not learn from mistakes. The procurement process was a duty of the Department. Minister of Sport Mr M Stofile was concerned about the number of national tournaments staged by NACOC. He felt that there were too many. Mr Matthews asked what the value of these tournaments was, and how sport in schools contributed to nation building. They were expensive to run. He asked what talent identification could be carried out in the mass games. It was a challenge to be looked into. There was a need to streamline tournaments.

He said that many children were obese. The related expenses were too much for the fiscus. Therefore there was a need for sport. PE would be included in the Future Education curriculum, at a minimum of 45 minutes a week. This was non-negotiable.

Mr Matthews said that there was a need to realign the school sports framework. There was still some policy from the Stellenbosch policy conference regarding the role of sport in social cohesion. There were linkages between the schools and the federations. The document issued was a discussion document, and had no status in law. They would still consult widely. The development of learners was a continuous process from Grade R to Grade 12. Clubs had to be created. Children needed to have play spaces, but it was up to clubs to bring them through to higher levels of achievement. The question was where to get the educators to administer sport. It was not the DoE that had done away with PE.

The Chairperson said that there had been no resolutions regarding sport at the Stellenbosch conference.

Mr Matthews continued that Life Orientation (LO) was not a discretionary subject. The DoE might need to look into the curriculum. He was not thinking about Outcomes Based Education. Some subjects like LO were non-examinable. Discussions had been held with some universities, and some professors had been seconded to the DoE to assist. One other crucial challenge was the provision of PE. It was necessary to develop healthy souls, as illustrated by a recent stabbing incident at a Gauteng school. In the words of former President Mandela, what was needed was an RDP of the soul.

He said that there had been no union representatives at the meetings. Negotiations were needed on occupational specific remuneration. Teachers were expected to work 1 800 hours per year. Of these 80 hours were set aside for personal development and 320 for extra mural activities. This allocation included time for marking and lesson preparation. The occupational specific dispensation was still under negotiation. He did not believe that all was lost. The framework document would be used until it was dismissed. Any plan could not be implemented without the DoE.

The Chairperson said that the onus was on NACOC, not the DoE.

Mr Matthews said that the Minister had said otherwise. The framework could be substituted by another school sport statement. There were possibly areas of disagreement and misinterpretation of the principles on which school sport was delivered. Gains had been made during the early days of NACOC. It would be fine if the representation was a 70:30 split between educators and School Governing Body (SGB) appointees. Structures had to be created from the ground up. Regulations could be rescinded if necessary. Some of these had contributed to a list of failures.

He said that the DoE’s intention was to mould school-going children. This involved the embracing of constitutional values and social cohesion. United symbols were needed. This must be achieved in his lifetime. An enabling environment had to be created. Bureaucrats must stand back. They could not be allowed to stifle school sport. The DoE could not submit to blackmail.

The Chairperson said that if the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) was a stumbling block to development, then it would have to be reshaped. The intention was not to stifle delivery, but the PFMA was a dispensation to ensure proper accounting; it could be amended if necessary. Parliament would act as it saw fit. The MoU and framework document were in a similar position as the PFMA. There had been unintended consequences, and the documents were subject to scrutiny. He realised that there were problems, and a review was needed. He said that if Parliament deemed it necessary to get rid of NACOC then it would do so. If the majority view was taken, then all had to fall in with it. It was wrong to form splinter groups.

Children would be the winners. The study group would be used as a think tank to determine policy. The Committee had asked the former DG, Professor Denver Hendricks, where the problems had arisen in the past. There had been a complete hostile take over by the DoE and SRSA was uncomfortable with that. When SRSA was uncomfortable to the point that there was a complete breakdown, then perhaps it was time to separate the bodies. The Minister had heard about the problems.

The Chairperson said that the challenges raised were correct. One could not work in a climate of suspicion and lack of transparency. Communication was often the problem. The central message was that a non-racial, non-sexist society could be built through sport. The practices at the former Model C schools must end. Their policy could not be contrary to national policy.

The Chairperson said that there had been a road show on NACOC. It was unfortunate that this kind of breakdown could occur. SRSA had to learn from this experience, and face the challenge of co-ordination. Another new dispensation could be put in place, but the same problems would still be faced. A lack of transparency was a problem. A new organisation built at any future time would be subject to the same problems. The situation had to be created where learners at school should enjoy sport. The responsibility lay with the DoE, whereas the resources rested with SRSA.

Mr Dikgacwi asked where the problem lay in the challenge of implementation. He asked if it was with the two departments, or with all stakeholders. He asked what had been done to arrest the situation. During the preparation for the Sport and Recreation Amendment Act, the NACOC issue had been raised in the provinces. It operated at a national level, but was unknown on the ground.

Mr Bhoola said that the greatest challenge was alignment. Inroads had been made into the problem and matters were proceeding favourably. Some sort of merger was needed which could create an enabling environment. Previously disadvantaged individuals needed to enter the sports economy. The system had to be made lucrative to attract skilled persons. Previously, professional people had been used to teach PE. Many of these had accepted Voluntary Severance Packages. He asked where skilled persons would be found.

Ms Ntuli said that the DoE presentation revealed that they were not aware of the meetings that had been called. Clarification was needed on this issue. She asked if programmes were conducted directly by the provinces, or if they were disseminated to the schools. People with funds were controlling the initiatives. She asked when and how the integration process would be carried out. This was due long ago. There were physically challenged persons. She asked if special schools for these people were being targeted, or if an overall approach was being followed. Disabled people were not getting enough attention.

The Chairperson said that all people would have to be a part of the discussions.

Mr Matthews said that the MTT had recommenced that government be responsible for sport. The national federations and SASCOC were not such a problem. Sport was part of a school enrichment programme. The purpose of the consultation process was to extrapolate the concerns. There were linkages. National codes had a duty to develop skills. The report that there was a name change being envisaged for NACOC, rumoured to be something like “School Sport South Africa” was misleading. Such a body would be entrusted with the resuscitation of competitive school sport.

He said that the interpretation of agreements was a challenge. NACOC had no legal muscle, and was not a strategic body. An environment had to be created for far distant and rural people, to promote their interests through sport.

The Chairperson asked how sport could elevate previously disadvantaged people. SRSA could contribute to the upliftment process.

Mr Matthews said that he should be prepared for questions about facilities. Voluntary severance packages had had an effect. Trained people could be recruited. He asked if programmes were localised. There was a concentration on competition. The 320 hours for extra mural activities were a contractual issue. Funding was a problem for expenses such as team kit for teams participating in tournaments. Revenue had to be divided evenly. There were centralised district offices, which reported to national level.

He said that the Further Education and Training curriculum was being rolled out to Grade 12. Human movement had to be part of this. Questions would be answered further down the line. On the question of disabled children, he said there were different levels of mental handicaps. An idea was to introduce events at indigenous games where able-bodied children might have their legs bound or be blindfolded to simulate the disabilities suffered by other children. This might help children to appreciate the handicaps faced by others. At a recent athletics meeting in Sasolburg the fastest competing girl was not able-bodied. The first challenge was to find the disabled children. There was no structural formula yet. The document under discussion was a draft policy.

Mr Reid said that NACOC could be renamed School Sports South Africa (SSSA). The whole concept was based on the premise that NACOC was dysfunctional. A new structure would help to overcome this. The DoE was responsible for PE. There were enough qualified teachers, but he conceded that equipment might be a problem. There had not been enough equipment in the past, except at the former Model C schools. NACOC had no legal status. Some Boland schools were taking part in Western Province leagues, as there was no structure in their province.

Mr Matthews said that some of the issues raised by Mr Reid had been discussed while Mr Reid was out of the meeting. NACOC would not be renamed. SSSA would be a new body. There was some litigation pending, and he knew of the legal aspects. In terms of local litigation, the body could only advise, even if it was advising on what was seen as anti-transformation issues. Accountability was the issue.

Mr Sfiso Biyela, Manager Sport Coordination: KZN Department of Sport and Recreation, said he was a veteran, but at 35 years of age he still qualified to be classified as a youth. There needed to be a separation between SRSA, the DoE and NACOC. The meeting could not act both as player and referee. There had been a TIC resolution on NACOC. The conference was acting in the best interests of school sport. The problem would have to be addressed when moving towards a new structure. A review was needed on the collaboration agreement.

Mr S Biyela said that if NACOC was not working, then it should be scrapped. Government officials had to be frank. The issue of the document was a cause of concern. This proved that the meeting was acting as both player and referee. He was present as a government official, and had no brief from NACOC. He asked why the document would be tabled while discussions were proceeding. It was a form of lobbying.

The Chairperson said that the Committee could make a decision. If there was no agreement on the document, then it would not be tabled. If there was an agreement, there must be objective proof of the stated facts. It would be incorrect, and a legitimate concern, if the document were to be distributed if there was no agreement. Empirical evidence was needed. The Committee was not trying to sweep anything under the carpet, and did not want to follow a hit and run approach either.

Mr Hoff said that the only document with any status was the signed agreement between the Ministers. This was under scrutiny, as the TIC wished to nullify the agreement. Young people were not the beneficiaries of a well thought out programme. It was a simple situation, in that government had to go and create an enabling environment. Before 1994 there had been many different structures. There had been no resources, but there was a plan. Now there were lots of resources, but they seemed to be going around in circles. He asked if a structure could be created.

The Chairperson said that a major problem was being created. He was opposed to the outsourcing of sport. There was a question of creating sport, and there were certain areas of progress. He was disturbed to hear a mention of sport being privatised into a section 21 company. This was a pipe dream. Teachers should mobilise to prevent this. He was tempted to say to the Minister that the report had misled him. There had been some vested interest in the disbanding of USSASA. He asked why it had been recommended that school sport be killed. He asked why they could not go back to the old model, even though it seemed that this had been run by non-teachers.

Mr Hoff said that it was not correct that a Section 21 company was being envisaged. Any structure could be created to control sport. Mediation was needed between government and the authority that would implement the programme. They could not have government officials both dispensing funds and managing the structures.

The Chairperson agreed that this would be fertile soil for corruption.

Mr Makubalo gathered that the Committee was saying that the Departments must go back and craft a document that would describe how school sport would be given back to education authorities, assisted by the two Departments.

The Chairperson said that this was exactly the case. The matter needed to go before a multi-party forum. There was no other magic formula.

Mr Lucas Makena, Chief Education Specialist, Gauteng DoE, took comfort from the previous speaker. The parties would all go back for joint interaction. He was concerned that there was a need to plan around the programme before 1 April.

The Chairperson reminded the Committee of the budgets which would be discussed in February and March. He told Mr Hoff that the Committee would like to meet with the parties so that a framework of a model for school sport could be discussed. School sport was to be managed by teachers. However, there was a need for oversight and accountability. This had to be considered when dealing with the document. The agreement should be biased towards SRSA.

Mr Makubalo understood that the Committee was saying that the Departments must craft a guiding document. The agreement had to reflect that power was being given back to Department of Education.

The Chairperson said that the meeting must happen within two weeks.

Mr Paul Hendricks. Representative for School Sport, Western Cape Department of Education said he was from a USSASA background. There was a need to make sport grow rather than perpetuate the breakdown, and to examine existing structures and improve on them. Both Departments were busy with a discussion document. There was interaction at provincial level and at NACOC meetings. The codes had agreed to most of the document, but were concerned that they would not be represented in the structure. At present NACOC represented the teachers’ unions and SGBs. Some felt that they had no representation..

The Chairperson asked why DoE seemed to be hell-bent on determining the direction for school sport.

Mr Hendricks said that it was a problem that teachers were being taken out of the class. The DoE was not hell-bent on taking over school sport.

The Chairperson said that the DoE could not direct the process.

Mr Hendricks replied that the discussion documents arose from a situation where the Departments thought they had equal rights.

Mr S Biyela said that Mr Makubalo had made a proposal that the two Departments should take the power over school sport back to DoE.

Mr Hendricks wanted to add to the context. There was dissatisfaction with the codes in that they were not represented at NACOC.

The Chairperson said that one of the points made by Dr Basson was that USSASA was not to be run by DoE. The Committee had told Mr Fredericks that they could not be part of NACOC. He asked if NACOC was having teacher involvement, and if the federations were incorrect.

Mr Hendricks said that the report was philosophical rather than practical. Perhaps the education unions and the SGBs should be involved. The codes were not represented at NACOC level. The structure should be flat rather than hierarchical. There were attitude and personality conflicts at present. In the USSASA situation, there had only been a focus on competitive sport. It was not an environment of sport for all. NACOC must also cater for recreational sport. The federations had to come to the regions to adopt schools. A monitoring system was needed. Children were being charged to play in the Boland, and some were being deprived of opportunities.

Mr Makena said that the final decision should be based on resolutions taken at TIC level.

Ms Ntuli said that all parties were moving ahead with the process. Mr Hendricks had put his concerns forward. They had agreed on the draft proposal. While discussions were held at the forum, there should be brainstorming on the lines of what the draft should reflect, or as if there was no proposal on the table. Some things may not be in the draft,

The Chairperson said that it would not be correct for the Committee to stifle debate. All matters should be able to be raised. At last the Committee was hearing what was going on. Everybody could air his or her view. The Committee could not pre-empt the discussion. Teachers must be the custodians of school sport, but the question was on how to get this structure restarted. The basic principle was that teachers had to run sport.

Ms W Makgate (ANC) was more concerned about the children.   Some schools had no playgrounds, or if they did they were not used. She could therefore not talk about a healthy lifestyle being followed. Young children needed to be developed. Structures must not be based on personalities, rather on concerns about community issues. Personal issues should not be brought into the debate.

Mr Hendricks concurred with this view. Some issues emanated from the last meeting. There was a focus on principles. There was scope for teachers to participate in programmes and execute them. One had to bear in mind the applicable laws and regulations. There was a concern about teachers being absent from their classes due to their attendance at tournaments. There also had to be some balance between the “Sport for all” concept and elite sports events.

Ms Ntuli noted the 45 minutes of PE per week that was to be implemented. However, she felt that the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing. She asked what contribution the code representatives had made and the role of SGB’s and teachers. She asked how they would progress with the framework. She wished to know what the role of teachers would be in the new system.

The Chairperson said that the 45 minutes per week of PE was non-negotiable.

Ms Makgate asked where teachers would be out of their classes.

The Chairperson asked what was so disruptive. USSASA had seemed able to handle the process. That body had been administered by non-teachers and had therefore been disbanded.

Mr Hendricks said the issue was that teachers could be absent for up to a week, and their classes would be unattended in that time. Substitute teachers were difficult to arrange. A way had to be found so that sporting expertise was used but that children were not neglected at the same time. They were thinking of ways to solve the problems of USSASA, which had only catered for competitive sport.

The Chairperson admitted that he had never been a brilliant scholar. He said that the ministerial task team had not thought that USSASA’s focus on competitive sport was the deciding factor in the decision to disband the organisation. He asked if this had been an oversight.

Mr Hendricks replied that he had not said that USSASA had entertained the wrong focus. It was necessary to broaden the activities of the body to cover recreation. The disbandment had been a political decision, and the validity thereof could be questioned.

Ms Ntuli said her children attended Northlands High in Durban, a school that had produced outstanding sportsmen including Shaun Pollock and Neil Tovey. While the school had a strong emphasis on sport, it also maintained a high academic standard. She asked how teachers could be participants in sport.

The Chairperson said that people were doing things in one place but failing in others.

Mr Makena said that sport should be incorporated into a school’s timetable. This had to be the case with PE. There had to be provision for external sport and intra-school sport as well as inter-school sport. Sport had to be organised. Teachers might have to take leave if they were chosen to be part of provincial teams. Some form of protection should be offered.

Mr B Solo (ANC) asked if progress was sustainable, effective and producing the desired results. Proper preparation was needed.

Ms Makgate said that USSASA had been event-orientated. Tournaments were normally arranged during school holidays.

Mr Hendricks said that sport took place after hours. This was in part an attempt to keep children busy after school hours. If this was not done this might defeat the purpose of offering sport as a counter-attraction to drug usage and other social ills. Arranging multi-coded events was not the best way to identify the elite athletes. Recreational sport was geared to mass participation. This had not been part of the activities of USSASA or NACOC. He asked why school sport worked so well in the former Model C schools. Teachers were being reimbursed for their time spent after hours administering sport at some of these schools. They also found it easier to arrange for replacement teachers when needed, but this was not the case in the state aided schools. The question was how to address this problem.

The Chairperson said there was no strategic thinking in the public schools. The former Model C schools supported a wide range of interests.

Mr Makena said that there should be better planning at schools. Some could find replacements for teachers absent on sporting duties. This was not a huge problem. The DoE did not want to see that there was no sport in schools. In fact, sport could even be arranged during school hours if it was well organised. Parents had to be encouraged to assist. There was a problem, but not a huge one, in the selection of learners. As much sporting activity as possible should be arranged, as well as arts and culture activities.

Mr Hendricks said that a reality check was needed. The former Model C schools were well resourced, and had old money to back them up. Middle class families were sending their children to these schools in increasing numbers. The poorer schools still depended on state aid, and there was a need to find a form of redress for them.

The Chairperson said that the quintiles used to determine the status of schools were not correct.

Mr Ismail Teladia, Project Manager: School Sport District South, Western Cape Education Department; and Chairperson South African Schools Volleyball, introduced his delegation and made apologies for those persons not in attendance.

The Chairperson noted that at least one person had not attended due to financial constraints. If people lacked funding to attend meetings of the Committee, then the Committee would finance their travel costs.

Mr Teladia said that the codes had met with NACOC on 23 January, and had walked out of the meeting. There had been an MoU signed in March 2005, but there had been no real progress in establishing a school sports structure since then. The codes had engaged with NACOC members and Mr Fredericks, and some grievances had been aired. At a meeting during 2006 they had asked for an engagement document and for a review of NACOC’s structure. These requests had been shot down. The codes still wanted to engage with NACOC.

The Chairperson said there had been a meeting in Bloemfontein involving SRSA and the DoE. He asked who had shot down the requests.

Mr Teladia confirmed that it was at this meeting that the DoE had rejected the codes’ requests. Both Chairpersons had been present. There had been a number of meetings. They had been informed of the documents that Mr Fredericks had submitted to the Ministers. The codes understood that the proposed association would be a structure for bureaucrats, who would dominate the Executive Committee (Exco) of the body. The national codes would form part of the general council, but the structure would be dominated by the Exco and the Board of Directors.

He said it was clear that there were two facets to NACOC, namely the bureaucrats and the educators. He requested that the position of the codes be addressed. He made it clear that the issue had not been discussed. The document had been leaked. Meetings had been scheduled in Durban and Pretoria, but neither had happened. Many teachers who had been involved with school sport had been lost. There was a lack of structure, and members were being caught up with in-fighting. There was mistrust and aspersions were being cast. There was a lack of communication. It had been put forward that a Section 21 company should be established to determine funding and policy.

The Chairperson said there had been no mention of this possibility.

Mr Teladia said it was in the document.

The Chairperson said this had been mentioned by Mr Hoff as an example of dispensations which could be followed. Therefore this had not been presented in good faith.

Mr T Biyela said that this possibility had not been part of the discussion. The departments would bring a framework to the Committee. Not all the details had been presented. A joint meeting would be held. Not all stakeholders were sufficiently involved at present.

Mr Frolick said that this recommendation was now in the public domain. Fundamental issues were involved. Political direction was needed, and this scenario had never been envisaged. The Committee had been presented with a document with no status. He asked what direction was being followed.

The Chairperson emphasised the seriousness of consequences that could follow from such a move. It amounted to the outsourcing or privatisation of sport. He needed to know how such a proposal could be defended. Many things would be reported, and as Chairperson of the Committee he would have to provide answers. The principle was wrong, but he was happy it had been mentioned. The document had no status, but there had been no warning of its contents.

Mr Hendricks sketched some background. The Deputy Ministers had requested that the document be refined before it could be implemented. NACOC was to draft the document with input from the departments. A discussion document had been brought to bear.

The Chairperson said that he did not know the extent of the document. There would be far-reaching consequences if it was to be implemented in its present form. The Committee had told the Minister it was not comfortable with the way NACOC was dealing with sport. The Memorandum of Agreement had been completely distorted. The consequences should be appreciated before thought was given to implementing the document. The intention should be to bring harmony, not to form a superstructure. Teachers had to deal with sport, and had a clear responsibility. Human movement was the province of the DoE. The matter had been raised at a Committee meeting. There was chaos around the situation of NACOC and school sport. The document was a product of the two Ministers redoing the MoU. Things were going worse now that at the time the MoU had originally been concluded.

Mr T Biyela humbly requested that the structure should only be judged when it was complete. This was due to a lack of consultation up to the present. Embarrassing issues would be deleted from the document.

The Chairperson said that Mr Biyela should submit the document to the Minister immediately to prevent further misunderstandings.

Mr Teladia said the codes had engaged with NACOC. They had requested to be on board and to be part of the decision making process. They had warned SRSA and Mr Fredericks that they were unhappy with the situation, and wanted to work with the departments. Progress since June 2007 had not been as expected. The final straw had been the previous week. There were issues raised by the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU), which was behind the codes. A presentation had been made. Mr Matthews said that the national codes were only functional at a national level. This was not true, as there were provincial structures. The codes felt clearly that they wanted to establish a code-driven structure, which would then be affiliated to the Department.

Ms Martha Stroom, Chairperson: Drummies and Baton Twirling, said that NACOC restricted this code to two age groups, namely Under 13 and Under 17. This made life difficult for her organisation. The MPP allowed competition only at those levels. The Department was not helping. She was concerned about how to approach the matter in meetings, and the issue was discussed secretly. There had been division amongst the codes. Even if there was still dissatisfaction, sport still belonged to SRSA. Provincial departments were assisted at national level. Some codes were supported but others were not. If the codes received unequal treatment, this would be unfair. Support was only given to sixteen codes despite issues of national pride and carrying the flag by other codes. She wanted to know where to go. Her code was a member of the International Sporting Federation. She felt that NACOC’s suggestion of forming a Section 21 company was not the right route to follow.

Ms Di Woolley, Chairperson, SA Schools Netball, said that the codes were not opposed to the government processes. They were entities established to deliver sport, and their members had the necessary know-how. However, children and teachers were suffering due to the current situation. There were no guidelines to follow.

Mr Frolick, temporarily in the Chair, said that they were witnessing the birth pains of a new baby while simultaneously observing the death knell of another.

Mr Peter Vieyra, Chairperson, South African Schools Hockey, said that all codes worked according to a constitution drawn up by USSASA. Some had adopted new constitutions. Policy documents were needed, and these had been done towards the end of January 2007. Many processes and policies were in line, for example the policy on matric examinations. A lack of policy documents led to confusion. National and provincial committees would begin to lose confidence. All organised sport had to have good constitutional backing. The administrators did face liabilities, especially regarding accommodation and transport. A new constitution was not in place.

Mr Solo said there was a mess on the ground. Children did not have confidence in the politicians. People did not understand that they were coming with plans that were taking the nation nowhere. Every code was making a mockery of government. He asked why there was no support from the codes. This situation could not continue. Honesty was needed. It was clear that the structure of NACOC was being questioned. A serious indaba was needed. He did not buy the argument about the document that still had to be produced. A Section 21 company might arise from nowhere. At the end of the school day the children left at two o’clock and the teachers at 3 o’clock. Some children would stay on longer because they were hungry, or because they were abused at home, or simply because they were lonely, and they would then play at the school. The DG had said that school sports would be run by teachers. The current structure did not enjoy the confidence of its constituents.

Mr Makena said that the codes had raised significant issues. Perhaps these should be dealt with differently at a provincial level. The document was presented at a meeting. It was not an accident that the information had become public.

Mr T Biyela thanked the code representatives for the brutally honest way they had described their challenges. Flowery language would not help, and he was greatly apologetic for the way the codes had been treated. The problem lay also in the personality clashes. This meeting was not a battleground, but was more a platform to discuss matters. If they could all work together then there could be a joint solution to the problem of deciding a satisfactory structure. SRSA was not good at arranging events, but was more focussed on creating an environment for these things to happen. If this was not done then the appropriate persons must step aside.

The Chairperson said that Mr Biyela had made a strenuous point regarding the province being really helpful. The national Department were showing leaden feet when they should work the same way. It was not right to close the funding tap to provinces, as ridiculously small amounts were being granted. Most of the funding went into the MPP. Some aspects should be handled nationally.

Mr T Biyela said that it was a difficult situation. He had not studied the structure. Development had been discussed, and some R2 million had been given to the codes. This was to sort out technicalities. There was a problem in how to transfer the funds. Some core codes had been identified at national level. He asked if the full spectrum of codes could be helped. Relying on a dysfunctional structure was not helping SRSA. NACOC was dysfunctional, and there was no need to belabour the point. The funding policy was not clear. There should be areas where a province needed to be assisted.

Mr Teladia referred to a NACOC meeting where Mr Biyela said that SRSA was committed to funding for the MPP. A deviation would be required for development. Clarity was needed. Money was not being transferred to the codes.

The Chairperson ruled that the last statement made by Mr Biyela would prevail.

Ms Stroom said that prioritising codes was causing damage to the smaller codes. A child could not be forced to play a particular sport in preference to another. Six codes had been prioritised, whereas sixteen codes were recognised, and there were yet more codes that were Olympic sports. Children did not have access to some of the codes.

Mr T Biyela said he had already referred to the challenges. There was a limit to the number of codes supported by SRSA, but there was a background to this. Codes which participated in the Olympic Games should be promoted. The remainder of the eighteen codes should not be ignored. This was the correct number. There were various factors involved in this decision, which was laid out in the White Paper. There was a development case for sport. It was here to stay, and added value to the nation. SRSA could then come back to Parliament to request more resources. The return of the MIG funding to SRSA would help the department to create a spread of facilities. There would be no discrimination, but the process could not happen overnight. Progress must be made or else regression would result.

The Chairperson referred again to the resolutions made in Limpopo. There had been only one resolution made in Stellenbosch regarding sport. The collapsing of sport had led to the profound decision taken this year. There had to be an understanding of what facilities were in existence and what was still missing. Mr Solomon Pango had been extremely involved in the Building for Sport programme, and perhaps his help should be enlisted again.

He said that some 3 000 people had been consulted in all provinces, and not one person had a good word for NACOC. If people said that the structures were not right, then codes could not be compelled to be members. A turnaround would be shown in the discussion document. The federations could then be called in and interaction could happen at a national level. In the Sports and Recreation Amendment Act, Section 3, confederations were given certain listed responsibilities. SASCOC was completely untransformed. The balance of power was held by smaller codes in much the same way that 80% of the voters in the Cape Town municipality had voted for the ANC but the city was run by a conglomeration of small parties.

The Chairperson said that government was not bound to commit resources to NACOC. They must deal with the DoE. A smooth structure was of the utmost importance. The present situation was chaotic. SRSA must be in charge of the process. The DoE was not apologetic in running education, and so SRSA must not be apologetic in running sport.

The Chairperson told the code representatives that they must not get stuck with one organisation. There could not be only six sporting codes represented.

Mr T Biyela said that the matter had not yet been exhausted. Educators were running school sport, and incentives were needed. Some form of credit had to be given.

The Chairperson felt that teachers should not be paid to run sport. The DoE must see what could be done about the teachers participating in tournaments during school terms.

Mr Makena agreed with the earlier report. Feedback would be provided by 20 February.

The Chairperson said that the federations could not wait. Nothing was binding them.

Mr Teladia said there would be a meeting of the national code bodies on 15 February. This would establish an internal structure.

The Chairperson said that the committee formed at that meeting must be representative of all codes. Mr Biyela must deal with this. It was the choice of the codes if they wished to be part of this process.

Mr Hendricks asked how two processes could run at the same time. He asked if all NACOC activities should cease now.

The Chairperson said this should not happen. However, no code could be forced to become part of NACOC.

Mr Frolick emphasised the freedom of association. Once the body had been constituted then the Minister would decide on its credibility.

The Chairperson observed that the relationship between the codes and NACOC seemed beyond repair. However, the doors could not be closed to the codes.
The meeting was adjourned.


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