Members of the Committee met with various provincial Ministers (MEC) and Heads of Departments (HOD) responsible for Sports, Arts, and Culture. National Treasury in their presentation noted that provincial expenditure totalled R2.3 billion, which was 97% of the Sports, Arts and Culture recreation budget. Limpopo Province, Free State, Eastern Cape, North West, Gauteng, and the Western Cape all provided presentations detailing the Sports and Recreation and library services budget for financial year, conditional grants received, the general trends, and the plans that had been implemented in order to address the short comings.
Members asked Limpopo province to comment on what had been done in order to ensure that development had taken place. The Department was also asked to provide clarity on why R5.1 million was not transferred. The Chairperson felt that the challenges faced by Limpopo needed to be looked into and appointed various members of the Committee to visit the province in order to hold further discussions. The municipalities should also be invited to meetings.
Members were impressed by the Free State presentation, and said that it was the best report. However, they did raise some concerns around the libraries as it was not clear what the joint management of libraries meant.
The Committee commented that the report of the Eastern Cape was inadequate and demanded that a better report be produced before Members of the Committee visited the Eastern Cape to investigate the issues. It was felt that all problems were simply being blamed on the Department of Public Works, and the Committee appointed Members to go and visit the province to deal with the challenges.
It was noted that the North West had spent 84% of the total budget allocation during the financial year, and had completed some minor repairs on six community libraries, as well as purchasing and delivering sports equipment. The Committee noted that it would also visit this province and discuss the municipal infrastructure grants. Questions were asked around the withholding of R5.4 million by the National Department.
Gauteng had also spent 92% of the total allocation that had been transferred by the National Department of Sports and Recreation and had allocated R18 million to the recapitalisation of libraries, of which 98% had been spent. However, there had been underexpenditure in the fourth quarter. Members noted that they would forward a list of municipalities needing assistance to the Department.
There had been underexpenditure in the Western Cape, although the Department had overspent in some areas, using savings that had been transferred. Members questioned why there seemed to be leniency shown in respect of non-performance, and questioned the lack of allocations to certain municipalities
Sports, Arts and Culture Provincial Departments: Spending for 4th quarter 2007
National Treasury (NT) Presentation
Mr C Adams, Director, Provincial Analysis, National Treasury, and Mr Spencer Janeri, Director dealing with Education, Arts & Sports, National Treasury, noted that provincial expenditure overall for the fourth quarter totalled R2.3 billion, which was 97% of the Sports, Arts and Culture recreation budget. This was an increase of 26.8% compared to the audited outcome last year. Despite the increase there was preliminary under expenditure of R77.8 million in 8 provinces. The provinces that recorded a low rate of expenditure included Gauteng and Limpopo. Free State and the Western Cape recorded the highest rate of expenditure.
The Chairperson said that part of the problem was that some of the provinces were funding professional clubs. The matter needed to be investigated and it was not encouraging as far as the Committee was concerned. The issue of the “Dream Fields” programme by the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) also needed to be investigated. During the previous hearings, Members were upset by the issue of club development, where it became apparent that clubs were just buying kit. These were matters that urgently needed to be looked into.
Limpopo Provincial Department Presentation
Ms Dikeledi Magadzi, Acting MEC, and Ms Deliliwe Nyathikazi, HOD, Provincial Department noted that the province experienced challenges in spending the conditional grants. During the third quarter report, it was reported that the spending for Community Library grant and Mass Participation Programme (MPP) were 14% and 35% respectively. However at the end of the financial year spending was at 51% and 90% respectively.
The Department had been plagued by a number of challenges. These included the transfer funds to municipalities not materialising. The major under-spending was as a result of the failure to purchase library materials, due to late deliveries, and the lack of maintenance of libraries by the Department of Public Works. Some of the achievements included the installation of library security systems in eleven libraries and the purchase of new library furniture. The Department also provided Information Technology (IT) network services to fifteen libraries.
For sports and recreation the Department had established hubs and appointed coordinators in various municipalities. The Department also managed to purchase new sports equipments and apparel, and also trained coordinators in various sport code and other life skills. Some of the challenges faced in sports and recreation included the supply of inferior quality equipment, and the resignation of coordinators in the middle of the programme for greener pastures.
Mr M Goeieman (ANC, Northern Cape) asked for comment on what had been done in order to ensure that development had taken place. The Department should provide clarity on why R5.1 million was not transferred, and what would be the possibility of the department spending all the money before the end of the financial year. The Department should state how much it was spending on community libraries and why Department of Public Works (DPW) was not used for the design of the Department’s buildings. On the maintenance of libraries, he noted that the R1.3 million allocated had not been used and he asked that the Department should provide clarity on what happened to the money.
Mr B Mkhalipi (ANC, Mpumalanga) asked whether the IT in libraries was fully functional and serviced, and who was responsible for the maintenance of facilities. In the area of sports and recreation, the Department was asked to comment how its sports programmes spoke to the healthy lifestyle programmes headed by the Department of Health.
Mr D Botha (ANC, Limpopo) noted that the Department had not been spending on sports for the past two years. Clarity should be provided on whether there were business plans in place to spend in the new quarter and whether the business plans were working. The HOD should also supply the Committee with the names of the libraries she claimed had been assisted. The Committee needed to know what the timeframes were for service providers, and whether there were any business plans in place, as there was no spending during the financial year.
Ms D Robinson (DA, Western Cape) was concerned about the planning issues and asked why there was no proper planning taking place.
Ms A Mchunu (IFP, Kwazulu Natal) asked the Department to comment on what was done to monitor the rooves of certain libraries as criminals were breaking in through the roof.
The Chairperson stated that Ms Mchunu’s question was interesting, but irrelevant. There were many processes that had not been followed, and the Department would go and check whether the necessary processes would be followed.
Ms Magadzi replied that some of the issues raised would assist the Department in trying to find a way forward. The issue of the planning was one that has been raised many times and there was no excuse for poor planning.
Ms Nyathikazi added that the Department had always been known for telling the truth and would account for all that was reported. The Department went to the rural areas and rehabilitated sports grounds that were not being used. Coaches and managers had been employed in order to assist with the rehabilitation. In terms of the targets, the Department was supposed to develop five clubs per code, but since the necessary facilities were unavailable soccer was the only sport that had been developed. She noted that in respect of the transfers, the R1.9 million that was unspent had been surrendered to National Treasury, and it was these funds in respect of which the Department was asking for a roll over. One of the reasons why the R5.7 million had not been transferred was the fact that the project manager had not been appointed, and there were also capacity constraints. National Treasury was involved in assisting with the utilisation of funds, and the plans that had been put in place to fast track the infrastructure had been implemented.
It had already been indicated at the beginning of the financial year that the planning was not correct for the library conditional grant. That issue had now been corrected and there were necessary business plans in place. The Department hoped to spend all the funds, including the roll over, before the end of the financial year. The Department was hoping to fully staff the libraries before the end of the financial year. It had indicated that the resignation of coordinators was one of the challenges and it created a negative contribution to departmental services. Information pertaining to the equipment would be forwarded to the Committee. The Department admitted that there had been poor planning and assured the Committee that this would not recur during the financial year. In respect of the question on the roof, the Department was merely referring to this as part of the protection of assets. It was confirmed that there had been many delays with DPW on the buildings and maintenance. There were however many engagements that started in September of last year.
The Chairperson said that it was important to get this Department and DPW under one roof. The Limpopo provincial DPW had under spent, and in terms of the law there was a provision for public works to be capacitated. The Committee therefore appointed Ms Robinson, Mr Mkhaliphi, Mr Botha and Mr Goeieman to go to the province over a weekend in order to discuss ways of ensuring everyone was capacitated.
Mr Goeieman noted that there was a different understanding pertaining to the meaning of club development. He said that club development was more than just organising a tournament. The Committee was not satisfied by the statement that most of the funds had been committed. There were instances where municipalities were being given responsibility yet they did not execute what they were mandated to do. Clarity should be provided on the performance of the municipalities.
The Chairperson said that it would be useful to have a sense of ongoing support from beneficiaries when it came to club development. The resuscitation of sports fields was not club development. When the Committee undertook its next visit, municipalities should be invited.
Ms Robinson stressed that the Department needed to purchase books in indigenous languages and clarity should be provided on what the percentage allocation of the budget was for those indigenous language books.
The Chairperson said that the question should be raised when the Committee visited Limpopo, as it was indeed a critical matter that needed to be prioritized. The interaction in Limpopo was meant to assist the province and it would most likely take place within the next two to three weeks.
Free State Presentation
Ms R Sempe, HOD, Provincial Department, provided a detailed presentation which outlined the Sports and Recreation budget for the 2008-09 financial year, the conditional grants received by the Department, library services, sports and recreation, the general trends, the plans to address the short comings and the assessment of the Department’s monitoring capacity. She noted that the Department had spent R130 million of its total R285 million budget on sports and recreation, and R63 million on library services. The R285 allocation was inclusive of the R157 million conditional grant. In library services the Department faced challenges in utilising Free State based publishers, hence late payments occurred during the third and fourth quarters. The Department however managed to provide 45 community libraries with Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, and 138 libraries received new books by local authors. In respect of sports and recreation the Department had achieved the establishment of 33 hubs across the province, and 69 clubs had been established through its Club Development programme. For school sports, 90 schools had been identified, which were provided with equipment and attire.
Mr M Robertsen (ANC, Eastern Cape) asked whether there was enough capacity in the municipalities to run the library services. She noted that there were a number of savings that had been made during the quarter, but asked for clarity on what the savings were
Mr Goeieman said he was impressed by the Department’s report, which was one of the best. His only concern related to the libraries. It was not clear what the joint management of libraries meant and clarity should be provided on this matter. The issue of sports attire still remained a concern and the Department should comment on the situation. The Department had its provincial capacity expanded, due to the appointment of staff. Clarity should be provided on what happened to individuals after they had been trained. According to the presentation 90 schools had been provided with attire. Clarity should be provided on the remaining schools that were not catered for, and whether this was because they were previously advantaged.
Ms Sempe replied that the last time she appeared before the Committee she indicated that there were 164 libraries. However the Department would provide the Committee with a full list of all the libraries. This Department did not provide mobile libraries.
Mr Robertsen asked the Department to comment on how the deep rural communities would be served if there were no mobile libraries.
Ms Sempe replied that she would answer on how the Department planned on tackling the mobile libraries issue in writing. In regard to the capacity of municipalities, she said that the issue of funding was very critical. The large municipalities, who had funding, had the capacity to pay staff and were responsible for the running of the libraries. The Department had also undertaken the appointment of new staff in all new libraries, and this appointment would be done through the conditional grant. The Department was also appointing additional staff who would provide support to the existing libraries. In regard to the savings, the Department would provide the information in writing, once all the relevant information and correct figures were collected. In forming partnerships, she explained that the Department was driven by the fact that different institutions would have specific needs. Therefore the emphasis was to focus on the special needs. The amount for attire was R1.3 million, and this was reported during the previous meeting. The attire covered various sporting codes, including soccer, netball and athletics. It had been indicated that 163 people had been trained. The training intervention was designed to promote capacity in terms of administration, coaching, and refereeing. The people who were trained mostly went back to their communities but some went to sports clubs and schools. In respect of the schools she confirmed that indeed the focus was on the disadvantaged schools, and the Department was happy to report that 40 additional schools were catered for during the financial year.
Mr Dan Kgothule, Chairperson: Finance Committee, Free State Provincial Legislature, noted that the Department ran budget briefing sessions in the provinces over the past month. An issue that was picked was that the Department procured equipment with the intention of taking this to the hubs, but that most of the equipment ended up in storage. He asked that the Department should comment on the matter. He noted, in respect of the training, that there were no sports and recreational facilities in the provinces, and the Department should comment on what was the point of training people when they could never cascade their training. When the Department submitted its budget to the provincial legislature, it indicated that it would build a library in Parys but instead had decided to build a library elsewhere. He said that therefore the legislature had been misled, and the people of Parys were still demanding a library. He noted that in this province there was consistent under expenditure on the compensation of employees, and machinery and equipment. Clarity should be provided on why there was such under expenditure. One of the challenges that was faced was with approval of business plans. However there was a feeling that the Department was not spending in line with the business plans that had been approved by the National Treasury. The Committee for Finance in the Free State had established that the Department did not have money to spend on sports and recreation.
The Chairperson asked Ms Sempe to respond to these questions in writing.
Eastern Cape Presentation
Mr B Mfenyana, HOD, Provincial Department, outlined the Department’s cash flow and transfers and reasons for the under expenditure. He stated that the Department only managed to spend R17 million of its R22 million allocation to library services. The Department also received a conditional grant of R28.3 million during the financial year for sports and recreation, in which 43.6% had been spent in the fourth quarter. The reason for the high expenditure during the last quarter was as a result of outstanding transport and travel invoices from previous quarters, and the postponement of the national club development. The total expenditure for the financial year on sports and recreation amounted to R29 million. There had been incorrect payments that had been made to permanent staff.
The Chairperson said that engagements with the Eastern Cape must continue. The Committee was going to send Mr Robertson, Mr Sogoni and Ms Mchunu back to the Eastern Cape and would also address the issues that had been faced. It was important to engage with the National and Provincial Departments of Public Works, Provincial Treasury, and the Sector Education and Training Authorities. Public Works was in urgent need of assistance in order for them to build in-house capacity.
Mr Goeieman added that the Department needed to go back and structure its reports differently. The Committee needed a very detailed report so that the Committee could monitor the improvements that had been made. There were many issues that the Department was raising, for which it was simply blaming DPW. The Department needed to get focused and stop shifting the blame.
Mr Robertsen said that the report was very inadequate and it was of great concern. It seemed as if some of the Departments did not take the Committee seriously. It seemed that this report was probably done at the last minute, and before the Committee travelled to the Eastern Cape, a completely detailed report needed to be provided.
Ms Robinson added that non-financial information also needed to be provided. There was a library near Kenton on Sea, which had not been adequately staffed, and there were no books in the library. Clarity should be provided on the matter.
The Chairperson said that Ms Robinson should also go to the Eastern Cape with the other members, and Ms Mchunu should therefore go to Limpopo in Ms Robinson’s place. The DBSA should also be invited in order for them to talk about their “Dream Fields” programme.
North West Presentation
Ms Irene Mpolweni, HOD, Provincial Department, outlined the trends on grants and capital allocations, expenditure trends and the monitoring capacity. She stated that the Department had spent 84% of the total budget allocation during the financial year. The expenditure was mostly on the filling of 68 posts and the training of 307 librarians and library assistants. The Department also completed minor repairs on six community libraries and a tender had been advertised for major repairs and upgrades on eight community libraries. In respect of sports development sport equipment and attire had been purchased and distributed to clubs. Service level agreements had also been entered with the North West Sports Academy for the training of managers and administrators.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee would soon be visiting the provinces and would be holding discussions with various municipalities around addressing the challenges. Matters pertaining to public works would also be addressed and engagements with the DPWs would take place. It would be the first time the Committee discussed the Municipal Infrastructure Grants as against the allocations of the Provinces. Provincial Treasury also needed to be brought into the discussions on issues pertaining to the equitable share.
Mr Mkhalipi asked for comment on the withholding of R5.4 million by the National department
Ms Mpolweni replied that when the Department was looking at the provincial expenditure pattern it was realised that under-expenditure would take place because there were delays in the appointment of staff. One of the other delays was as a result of connectivity issues, as the Department was informed that Education was beginning with a Dinaledi IT programmes for schools, which the Department thought it could work with. The computers had been acquired but it was just the connectivity that was the problem. It was hoped that the funds would be released. She noted that she looked forward to the engagements with the Committee, as these engagements would ensure an improvement in growth and delivery.
The Chairperson added that the DBSA would be invited in order to speak to the issues pertaining to the “Dream Fields” campaign.
Ms Dawn Robertson, HOD, said in her presentation that the Department had allocated R28 million to its mass sports and recreation programme, and that the Department had completed business plans for all its recreational programmes. The Department had also spent 92% of the total allocation that had been transferred by the National Department of Sports and Recreation. The Department had allocated R18 million to the recapitalisation of libraries. All business plans for the recapitalisation had been drawn and 98% of the total allocation had been spent. It was noted that this Department had spent 43% of the total allocation. The reason for the under expenditure during the fourth quarter was mainly due to invoices being received late in the financial year from suppliers.
The Chairperson said that the Committee did not want financial dumping to municipalities taking place, and the Committee would keep the Department apprised of a list to be drawn of municipalities which required assistance with club development.
Western Cape Presentation
Mr Mxolisi Lindie, HOD, Provincial Department, noted that the conditional grants for community libraries amounted to R15.6 million. There was, however, an under expenditure of R91 000, as a result of delayed payments to Kannaland municipality. The Department overspent on the purchase of book trolleys and library materials, and ICT at selected library sites. The reasons for the over expenditure were that savings from elsewhere were transferred to purchase library materials, and increase hardware and software costs. There was, however, major under-expenditure in the appointment of monitoring and evaluation staff at library services. This was due to the delay in the recruitment process. In respect of the sports mass participation 95% of the grant was spent on equipment, clothing, and stipends for contractual workers.
Mr Mkhalipi noted that there was too much leniency being shown towards non-performance. He asked that the Department should comment on why there were no allocations made to local Municipalities as noted in the presentation.
The Chairperson said that the Department needed to comment on their generosity to certain municipalities. The Committee tended in the past to overlook the Western Cape, but would looking into playing an overdue visit to various municipalities.
Mr Lindie replied that some of the challenges faced in certain municipalities arose as a result of the capacity problems. The exclusion of certain municipalities was done at the request of those particular municipalities and the Department made a request to the provincial treasury so that a roll over to the particular municipality could take place in future.
Mr S Wehmeyer, Acting Deputy Director, Provincial Department of Sports and Recreation, added that there were certain district municipalities controlling local municipalities, hence the exclusion.
The Chairperson noted that an oversight visit was needed to the Western Cape in order to understand the issues and the challenges faced.
Ms Robinson asked for clarity on why there was a delay in recruitment processes, in terms of library services.
Mr Lindie replied that the Department would usually place an advert in the newspapers, people would apply and short listing would take place. Any delay would usually be associated with the verification of the candidate. Members however could be assured that an appointment was imminent.
Ms Robinson said that the Department should be speaking to the Universities in order to increase the funding for skills training.
The Chairperson added that the Department should try associate themselves with professional teams such as the Stormers and try to find ways in which development could take place.
The meeting was adjourned.
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