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SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
10 October 2001
SOUTH AFRICAN FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION: BRIEFING
Documents handed out:
Project 2010 the Vision of the South African Football Association.
South African Football Association Annual Report 2000-2001.
The South African Football Association gave a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on the organization mision, structures and Project 2010 which is the federations strategic plan for the next ten years. They said their ultimate goal for the next ten years was to bid and secure the right to host the soccer world cup in 2010. In terms of development SAFA said they are realising an increase in number of women playing soccer and they were also excited at the fact that physically disabled soccer players will be joining their ranks as members. They made a plea to government to encourage local authorities not to deny previously disadvantaged communites access to better soccer facilities because this was hindering development especially in rural areas.
On representivity they said they were the most well representative sports body in the country, reflecting the demographics of South Africa. SAFA asked the committee why it did not announce an official statement on the sport bodies and the National Lottery issue that was raised in the media. The chairperson said they would make an official statement after the matter has been investigated. However, she said the problem seems to be a lack of understanding on how the money would be distributed by the distributing agency between Welfare , the Sport Department, the RDP and other projects determined by the Minister.
The Chairperson of the committee welcomed the South African Football Association (SAFA) delagation and she asked Mr G E Baloyi(UCDP) to give a few words of condolences on behalf of the Committee to Mr Jordaan whose parents recently passed away.
The delegation of SAFA was led by its president Mr Molefi Oliphant. The delagation consisted of Mr Danny Jordaan (CEO), Mr Reuben Mahlalela (Vice-President), Leepile Taunyane(Vice-President), Mrs Natasha Tsichlas (Committee Member). They were also acompanied by SAFA presidents of Kimberly and Southern Cape regions.
The President of SAFA started the proceedings, by taking the committee through a summary of SAFA structures and their Operations which are in the Federations annual report of 2000-2001 pg 8. He said he believed this was important because his Federation has been criticised in the media and the public who do not understand how this federation functions and how it is structured.
He took the committee throught the mission statement of SAFA and its components.
The Mission Statement of SAFA expresses their commitment to:
Promoting and facilitating the development of football through sustainable infrastructural and training initiatives;
Engaging in pro - active dialogue with the government to generate a partnership in recognition of football as a national asset;
Creating an image as being a stable, progresive and innovative institution;
Creating a mutually beneficial relationship with the corporate world;
Contributing to Africa's ascendancy in world football through the hosting of major events in Africa, while aspiring and striving to become a leading football nation.
He told the committee that SAFA has a total number of 25 regions throughout South Africa and these regions are led by their rigional presidents. Due to time constraints he asked the committee to go through the Federations Annual Report of 2000-2001 for a more complete view of SAFA.
He said he hoped that by the end of the SAFA presentation the committee would have a different view of SAFA to the view normally painted by critics.
Mr Danny Jordaan continued proceedings by introducing the committee to SAFA's Project 2010 which was launched in 2000-2001. He told the committee that Project 2010 is a programme that outlines the challenges and opportunities for South African Football over the next 10 years. He said some of these challenges included the transformation of how SAFA is currently administered, he said this was important because SAFA was a R100m business and hence needed to be run like a business. He said they also wanted to build a world class office block for the Federation, they also want to acquire assets ie the First National Bank stadium and reduce the current number of executives from 24 to 10.
He said SAFA was faced with having to develop the tallent in all of its regions, and allow for a gradual movement of players through the ranks of its soccer levels starting from the under 12 national team to the senior side. He said the ultimate goal of Project 2010 was to secure the right to host the Soccer World Cup of 2010, hence SAFA raised the question of sustainable relations between it and government in terms of how government can contribute to securing and hosting this event.
Mr Jordaan told the committee that SAFA has an actual membership of 1,8 million which makes it the biggest sport body in South Africa. Referring to the numbers on the Annual Report 2000-2001, he said the numbers of women playing soccer was on the rise and they(SAFA) were also excited at the prospects of being joined as members by Federations representing physically and mentally disabled soccer players.
Mr Jordaan said he was suprised by the uproar over the lottery money given to sports bodies - in his view more money should also be given to sports bodies. This is because whilst charity organizations focus on rehabilitation measures, sport was a constructive means for people to spend their time productively. He repeated his belief that sports should be allocated more money from the lottery fund.
Mr K Moonsamy (ANC) told the SAFA delegation that he has noted with concern the fact that Whites and Indians are poorly represented in South African football. He said he found this suprising because in the past these groups were well represented in football.
Secondly he asked how SAFA dealt with the question of soccer fans misbehaving at soccer matches? He made the example of fans in England who are well known for their unrully behaviour, he said he wouldn't watch a match in Engaland even if the trip was fully paid for.
Mr Jordaan replied that when the winds of change came to South Africa in the late 80's the minority groups that were leading soccer in South Africa began relinquishing their stronghold on football in this country. The few that remained behind left because they did not command the same influence as in the past. However in terms of players he said, minority groups were very much part of the South African soccer scene. He used the example of places like Chartsworth in Durban where there are evry many Indian soccer players. White people made up most of the youth soccer scene in South Africa. He said it would be very unfair for them to select players to the national team, that are not playing proffesional football.
Mr Oliphant said playing soccer was a voluntary matter and if there are groups of people who dont want to play soccer then that is their decision to make. The soccer federation should not be held responsible for that. He said they had no specific program for specific groups of people to encourage them to play soccer. He said questions of representivity in its leadership should not be posed to SAFA because this was like preaching to the already converted because one only had to look at the various committees of SAFA and one would see that it reflect the demographics of South Africa.
Mr L Taunyane replied that South Africa did not really have a problem with unrully fans at soccer matches. Referring to the Ellis Park staduim disaster where people lost their lives he said this was not a result of unrully suppoters but rather a question of staduim or crowd management.
Mr J Louw (ANC) thanked the SAFA delegation for coming to present in front of the Committee. However he said he was dissapointed at the lack of preparation in terms of the copy of the presentation given to members, in which some of them contained typing errors and were unclear. He said he hoped that this was not a reflection of how the Federation is administered.
Secondly he said he was unclear on what SAFA would be presenting on, because the presentation given by SAFA's was on its mission statement and not the Development and Transformation of Sport and challenges faced regarding continental and international relations and problems they were faced with in this regard.
In responce to Mr Louw first question, the president of SAFA said, the member has gone down to the lowest degree of critism. He said it was unfair for SAFA to be criticised on typing errors. He said the member should rather look at what was presented and ask questions accodingly.
On the second question from the member Mr Oliphant responded by saying, theirs was a clear presentation on their plans and if they did not highlight problems in the federation its propably because there were no problems.
Mr Jordaan added to this by saying it was untrue that SAFA did not reflect on international relations because on his presentation of the Project 2010 he said he constantly reflected on internation matters and some of these issues as he mentioned were in the Annual Report.
The Chairperson intervened by cautioning the SAFA delegation not to view the process as a question of us (SAFA) against them (Committee members). She said the tone of the briefing should be one of sharing information, and she told SAFA that these questions about representivity were very crucial because members are constantly asked such questions when they go to their constituencies.
Holding out a booklet of the last census taken in South Africa she told the SAFA delegation that it was those figures that informed many of their policies on sports. Figures contained in that demographic book should be reflected in all the federations of sports in South Africa, she therefore said SAFA had a responsiblity to create an interest in all the people to play football.
She said the question raised by Mr Moonsamy was a fair one because if all the different federations were unified in 1991 as SAFA mentioned in its presentation the questoin then becomes what happened to those people?
A committee member (ANC) asked wether SAFA was making effective use of stadiums by taking football macthes to the rural areas bacause he believed this would promote development in rural areas.
Secondly he asked wether SAFA were intending to engage the media on how the media constantly releases reports that discredits the federation?
Mr Jordaan told the committee that stadiums were a huge challenge to SAFA and clubs, because in the past all the good stadiums were built far from where people stayed. Now people have to travel long distances to watch their clubs play because the stadiums in their communities were not up to the standard proffesional football required.
Mr Jordaan, Refering to the problem SAFA faced with Newlands stadium where the national soccer team was refused permision to play because they applied late, said provincial and local authorities were making their work of development and bringing football to the people very difficult.
The president of SAFA said the media all over the world was vigorous on its reporting of events in football, because they were in a business of selling papers and soccer commanded a great share of their readership. However he said they have engaged with the South African media on a common strategy in an attempt to have a calibre of reporting that is fair and one that would not jeopardise their chances of winning the bid to hold the World Cup in 2010.
Mr Ntuli M B(ANC) jokingly told the committee that he would try to be as polite as possible, he asked how the busses given to the regions were utilised? He said he asked this because people in the area where he came from always have difficulty with transport to matches played in other areas.
Mr Oliphants responded to Mr Ntuli's question by requesting him to give him the details of the area he was talking about in order for him to look it up. He said busses were given to regions for the sole purpose of development and if these were not being utilised for this purpose then he would contact the presidents in that region for an explanation.
Mr E Lucas (IFP) asked whether SAFA was making use of teachers at school to encourage development of football in rural areas.
Mr Jordaan responded by saying that teachers were not really encouraged by the Department of Education to attend coaching clinics and courses that SAFA organise. Hence he saw a great need for the Portfolio Committee on Sports and Creation to engage the Education Department to come up with a common approach on this matter.
Mr Jordaan asked the chairperson why the Sports and Recreation Committee or the Minister did not make an official statement when the question of the lottery money being given to sports bodies was raised in the media. He said that the Act made it clear that proceeds from the Lottery would go to Welfare, Sports, RDP and other projects as determined by Government.
Ms Bhengu (Chairperson) said the Portfolio Committee and the Minister will make an official statement after they have investigated the matter. She said however it has become apparent that there was a misunderstanding between the distribution agency, welfare and the Sports Department on the criteria that would be used to distribute funds between Sports and Welfare.
She thanked SAFA for making the presentation and she told them that the committee would make an official anouncement on the lottery.
She went on to explain to SAFA that the committee visited the provinces looking at access to facilities, quality of facilities and the geographical location. Their visit has shown that many of these facilities are small in size and inadequate. It also became apparent to them that there was a lack of, or no consultation at all, with local interest groups by local authorities. The committee also made an assessment of the relationship between sports bodies, local authorities and schools.
She said the committee has noted the plea for government assist in the current negotiations between SAFA and First National Bank to transfer ownership of the FNB soccer stadium over to SAFA. The government she said, had a clear goal of rezoning facilities such as Newlands to make them accesable to other sport codes.
She said they were also looking to meet with all sports federations and the media with the view to engage them to show events of national interest to the broader community of South Africa.
The meting was adjourned.
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