The South African Hockey Association gave a presentation to the Committee. Transformation and development were being conducted in all member provinces, but this sport suffered from financial constraints and lack of cooperation from some of the provincial governments. The men’s and women’s teams were being prepared for the Olympic Games. Transformation targets had been set in place for a four year cycle for both players and management teams. The major issue was the selection of the teams for the Olympics. There was an agreement with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee that a maximum of half of the squad would be white if the team was not a medal contender. The Executive had received a concession that the target for the men’s team could be relaxed to a minimum of six players of colour.
Members questioned the Association’s commitment to transformation. Not enough was being done. Members felt that hockey had reneged on its promise on the 50/50 principle of selection. They felt that there were enough male players of colour to justify a 50/50 selection although the same was not yet the case with the women. A resolution was passed that the Minister of Sport and Recreation should issue a directive through the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee that the men’s hockey team for the Olympic Games be selected on a 50/50 basis.
Various groups then commented on transformation issues and side issues. The Transformation and Anti-Racism Committee Secretary was concerned that black rugby was going backwards. Black clubs were struggling as they did not have the same resources as the white clubs, who poached their talented players. People were aware of the position but did not dare speak out. Some form of government support was needed. The unity agreement reached in 1992 needed to be reviewed. Federations had bypassed one of the important steps which had been outlined then by going ahead with readmission to the international scene before ensuring that their organisations went through a democratisation process.
Members agreed that a sports indaba was needed to review the unity agreement, as this had not been done in 1997, as had been part of the agreement. This should be called by the government, as the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee should itself be reviewed. Another concern was that players were not being developed. Their education was poor and they were not trained for life once they retired.
Ex-Professional Soccer Players reported that little was being done to develop the game of football in the country, and in cases like the demise of the national first division there was signs of regression. Football was the first code to unify, but the South African Football Association did not show trust in local coaches. In the recent history of international competition local coaches had achieved more success than their foreign counterparts. Clubs were partially to blame for putting their interests above national interests by, amongst other things not releasing players for international matches. The body did not follow its own constitution. Development was being done to a degree and there were some high performance programmes. Government was making the major contributions to the 2010 World Cup infrastructure and at lower levels whereas the South African Football Association did not build its own facilities.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation had a mandate to broadcast sports of national interest, and had devised a categorisation system to decide the level of coverage. It struggled to compete with SuperSport to get the rights to sports, particularly rugby, and often had to rely on sub-licence agreements. Conditions were attached to these. It looked forward to the launch of a dedicated sports channel in the near future which would provide a platform for increased coverage.
Issues surrounding the development of a junior league within the Premier Soccer League and the appointment of the new national soccer coach were not discussed
Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson said that in terms of the Constitution and the Rules of Parliament, all persons present were free to speak their minds. The same protection did not necessarily apply outside of the building. Sport was a national subject, and everyone was interested. It had a role in developing social cohesion and the economy. Certain codes found it difficult to break through to the first economy of sport. The Committee had called almost every federation to make presentations. He hoped the presentations would be honest and convey the opinion of the federation concerned, and would assist with the budget process. The unity talks had taken place seventeen years previously. Sport was to be a tool to achieve national and social cohesion. Sportspeople had discussed the way sport should be run in the country. He asked if those objectives had been achieved.
He said that hockey was the most untransformed code, and was even worse than cycling. The South African Hockey Association (SAHA) had been called to explain the situation. There had been a 50/50 vision regarding the racial make-up of the Olympic team. In terms of the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Act (NSRAA), no South African team could ever again not be representative of the population. Government feared that federations would try to select lily-white teams. Hockey had agreed to the 50/50 principle for the Olympics, but was now reneging on this commitment. The 50/50 principle was the correct vision, even though the population was not 50/50 but more like 80/20 in the ration of black to white citizens. Every team should mirror this, and development programmes should be put in place to achieve this.
The Chairperson said that there would be a series of meetings with the different federations. The Committee had to report to Parliament on 27 May. Binding decisions would be made by the Minister of Sport and Recreation. The federations needed to talk about their budgets, facilities and school sport. People brought petitions to Parliament, and these were referred to the Committee by the Speaker.
Presentation by South African Hockey Association (SAHA)
Mr Dave Carr (President, SAHA) introduced his delegation. He apologised that they resembled a boys’ choir, but this was unintentional. None of the female members of the SAHA Executive Committee (Exco) was available to attend.
He said that there was a transformation strategy for disadvantaged communities. SAHA was aligned with the Mass Participation Programme (MPP). There were workers in many areas, and he singled out the efforts of Mr Gary Dolley in this regard. The MPP was included in the activities of all fifteen hockey provinces. SAHA had appointed a full-time Youth Manager, and this person was working well with government structures.
Mr Carr said that a good meeting had recently been held with Ms Shamiya Khan in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). However, the efforts of hockey were not always supported by local government. Provincial federations often struggled to make contact with local and provincial government officials. The school bodies did not always work in conjunction with provincial and national federations. School hockey was run by teachers, and they tended to want nothing to do with SAHA except when they needed some form of assistance. Some people in the school structures wanted change, but there was generally a reluctance to accept change.
With the permission of the Committee, Mr Carr summarised the written presentation distributed to the Members. A coaching education manager had been appointed on 1 February 2008 and was providing good work. Courses were being presented from a Level 0. This was mainly the result of an initiative from the Dutch government.
Mr Carr then outlined the preparation for the Olympic Games. The men’s team had qualified by virtue of winning the African qualifying tournament held in Nairobi in July 2007. A squad of 32 had been in training in a series of camps and international matches. Of these, twenty players were white and twelve were persons of colour. The women’s team had also been victorious in the Kenyan qualifier and had selected a squad of 31 for Olympic preparation. Of these, 21 players were white. The lower number of players of colour was disturbing, but SAHA had no magic wand to produce such persons.
He said that in a region like the Eastern Province (EP) there should be a large number of players of colour, as hockey had been played, in the coloured community in particular, for many years. Sadly, the EP team had been forced to withdraw from the ladies inter-provincial tournament (IPT) being held currently in Durban due to player non-availability and costs.
Mr Carr said that the ladies enjoyed more training camps and international exposure thanks to a generous sponsorship from Spar. There was currently no national sponsor for the men’s team, which impacted on their preparations. Transformation was close to his heart.
The Chairperson said that it was not a matter of transformation being close to the heart. Transformation was a directive of the Constitution.
Mr Carr said that SAHA had not had a transformation document in 2007. When he had been appointed as President, he had co-opted a person to draft a document. On a number of occasions transformation guidelines had not been followed. There had been considerable discussion on the issue at the November Council meeting. The provinces generally accepted the principle. Policies had been accepted regarding targets for numbers of players of colour in teams at various levels.
He said that in national senior teams, the target for 2007 had been a minimum of six players in a squad of eighteen. This increased to seven in 2008, eight in 2009 and nine in 2010. These were short term plans. At national Under 1 team level, the numbers were eight in 2007 and 2008, and nine in 2009 and 2010. He emphasised that change could not occur overnight. The incoming Exco after the elections in June might increase these targets.
Mr Carr said that the targets for the national Under 18 team were eight in 2007 and nine in the remaining three years of the policy. In provincial teams, the numbers, which might be revised by Council, were two in 2007, three in 2008, four in 2009 and five in 2010. He added that at IPTs all players were expected to spend at least 40% of the time on the field. In the past token players had been selected who made only brief appearances while still having to pay their way. It was difficult to monitor such abuses. In terms of management teams, the figures were one in 2007 and 2008, and two in 2009 and 2010.
He said that the breakdown of the number of players of colour for each team taking part in the recent senior and Under 21 IPTs were included in the written presentation. He acknowledged that some provinces had broken the rules, mainly in the composition of the management teams. In other cases the targets had been surpassed. At the current women’s IPT only one province had not met the target.
Mr Carr said that SAHA had met with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). There were two criteria for quotas within teams. One of these was government-sponsored events such as the Olympic and Commonwealth Games; and the other was for all other international events. After qualifying for the Olympics, SAHA had met SASCOC together with both national captains to motivate why both teams should indeed go to the Games. The captains felt that if selection was done purely on merit, then between six and eight male and between five and eight female players of colour would make the teams. SASCOC then issued a memorandum of understanding. They said that they would consider it sufficient if South Africa qualified as the best team in Africa, and agreed that the targets of six to eight men and five to eight women should be set.
The SAHA President said that this was then discussed with the SAHA Exco and the selectors. The feedback was that a minimum of six players of colour could be selected without weakening the team, and the Exco had made a decision to set a target of a minimum of six men of colour. Exco was subsequently told it was out of order to make this decision, as Council had made an earlier decision that the 50/50 principle should apply. He had then written to the provinces to explain the circumstances under which this decision had been taken. The convening of a Special General Meeting of Council was put on the table. Most provinces had responded, and the majority supported the Exco decision.
Mr Carr then discussed developments with the High Performance (HP) programme. This had not yet reached its desired potential due to funding constraints. With the Under 18 and Under 21 men’s groups, coaches had been sent to the provinces to conduct HP sessions. This had started in 2007, and the Under 18 groups would be accommodated during 2008. With the women, the system had been implemented at Under 21 level but not yet at Under 18 level. Provinces were also running their own HP programmes, although some had no manpower.
He said that the priorities in 2008 were the Olympic Games and the African Junior World Cup Qualifier for the Under 21 teams. The 2008/09 budget made provision for a HP manager, but funding was still a problem. A further challenge was that he did not know to whom schools hockey reported. They tended to do their own thing.
Mr C Frolick (ANC) said that earlier SAHA had made a special request for an audience with the Minister. He gave permission for details of the discussion to be divulged. SAHA had made certain undertakings and commitments. A separate bid had been made for hockey to be allowed to compete at the Olympic Games. They had noted difficulties with transformation, and that there was a lack of assistance at provincial government level.
He said that government did not make the final decision. The plan put forward by SAHA made sense, as neither the men’s team nor the women’s team was a medal contender, but their inclusion in the Games would contribute towards the universality of the event. It was arranged that Mr Dolley would attend the MinMEC meeting, where the Minister met with all the relevant provincial Members of the Executive Committee (MEC) and Heads of Department. Mr Dolley was doing sterling work, but there were still concerns about transformation in hockey.
Mr Frolick said that SASCOC had made a pronouncement on the composition of the Olympic teams the previous week. SAHA was now going back on its word by rejecting the 50/50 principle. The submission was not made in good faith. SASCOC denied that it had agreed to the target of six players. The Committee was waiting for a response from SASCOC. It seemed that SAHA was more interested in the Olympic Games than developing the sport on the home front. He was not convinced of their intentions. It was not a problem to apply the 50/50 principle to the men’s team so that SAHA would fulfil the commitment it had made.
Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) asked for some clarity. He asked how many players constituted a hockey team, and what the duration of a match was. He noted that target numbers had been given which increased annually. He also asked how many persons comprised a management team.
Mr T Louw (ANC) thanked SAHA for its presentation. He also had no confidence in the body on the transformation issue. The Committee dealt with many federations, and some only paid lip service the transformation imperative. He saw another example of this. By increasing the target only by one each year it showed that SAHA was not serious about transformation. He asked why it was so difficult to achieve given the pool of players available. He asked what the demographic content of the Exco was. He asked what SAHA defined as a person of colour, as this was a loaded term.
He noted that a policy had been drafted but there were problems implementing the policy in the provinces. He asked what these problems were. Exco was elected to lead the federation, and provinces should be expected to implement policies. He wondered why the national federation had to persuade the provincial affiliates to adopt national policy. There seemed to be another mandate at provincial level. It was the same situation in rugby and cricket, codes which were also not serious about transformation.
The Chairperson said that he liked the Afrikaans translation of affirmative action, which was “regstellende aksie” (corrective action). Apartheid had divided society into layers. All strata of society had to strive to correct these apartheid distortions. The goal was that that those who had been consigned to the lowest level of society had to reach an equal level. The apartheid society had to be redesigned.
Ms M Ntuli (ANC) asked about the demographics of hockey. Mr Carr had been elected in 2006. She asked if he could compare the situation which had existed before his election to the current situation. The numbers had been presented, but there should be a recruitment strategy to boost the number of black players. It must be understood that the Committee was not saying that white players should vanish, but black players’ interests must be consolidated and advanced. SAHA should be able to report on the achievements of their transformation policy as well as the challenges it faced. She did not see that scenario.
She noted that one province was short of women players, and asked which province that was. .
Ms Ntuli added that transformation should not be a “by-the-way” issue. It was a serious one. If merit was the only criterion then black players would continue to be at the bottom of the ladder and white players at the top. Intervention was needed to motivate players. SAHA had presented to the MinMEC, but it was clear that the speed of transformation was not sufficient. Fast-tracking was needed. She assured SAHA that government would not issue a speeding ticket if they moved faster.
Mr Carr said that the 50/50 principle was a guideline given to hockey by SASCOC for the last Commonwealth Games. The men were not regarded as medal contenders and were thus expected to apply a 50/50 selection policy. The women were thought of as medal contenders and SASCOC set no target, making an all-white team a possibility. The then President of SAHA, Mr Charles Smith, had however insisted that a target of about four players in a squad of sixteen should be maintained. SAHA had gone to SASCOC on the Olympic selection and told the body what they could do. As he recalled, no minutes were taken at the first meeting, but SAHA had received a document from SASCOC which condoned the target of a minimum of six to eight players of colour.
He said that a maximum of eighteen players was selected to attend a tournament, of which sixteen could be registered for a particular match. Due to constraints of numbers, only sixteen were selected for the Olympic squad. A match lasted 70 minutes. A management team was a minimum of two persons, being a manager and a coach. If the province had the resources, it might also include and assistant coach, video analyst and medical person in the management team. Indeed, the national team would have five management members (coach, assistant coach, manager, video analyst and medical person).
Mr Carr disagreed that SAHA was not serious about transformation. This was why the document had been produced. He acknowledged that the first draft might not be perfect and might contain flaws, but it could be improved. A start had been made, and transformation was being enforced. There was an agreement at national level but not yet at provincial level. This was now being introduced. SAHA needed to do an audit on its player pool. He guessed that 20% of the players at IPTs were of colour. The numbers differed from province to province. In the Western Province, EP and Border areas there were many coloured players as the sport had been played traditionally amongst the coloured community for many years. This was not the case in other provinces.
Mr Carr said that SAHA’s understanding was that the majority of players were white. Of the “players of colour” group, most were coloureds, followed by ethnic Africans and there were only a few Indian players. He noted that the sport had historically only been played to any extent in the former white and Model C schools. Some black clubs had been formed although SAHA would prefer to see integration at club level. There was still a tendency of “soort soek soort” (translatable to “birds of a feather flock together”) and SAHA needed to look at this.
Mr Carr said that the Exco was elected by the fifteen provinces which formed the Council. Of the eight members, there was currently only one person of colour, which was Mr Cecil Rhodes (Exco Member responsible for coaching). All the rest were white. Three members were women and the rest were men. There was generally a lack of nominations when elections were held.
The Chairperson said that there was a national question. While government could not dictate to federations, there was a fraud of democracy. Clear strategic intervention was needed. Government could not just let democracy take its course within federations if national imperatives were being ignored. If federations were allowed to go their own way then they would go in the direction of rugby. Pure democracy could not be applied in this situation.
Mr Mickey Gordon (SAHA Exco Member) said he was white but also an African. This was the most important thing. He had been elected to the Exco and he supported transformation.
Mr Carr said that all Exco members were volunteers. They had received no payment until 2007, when a President’s salary of R6 000 per annum was approved and other Exco members were given R4 000.
The Chairperson suggested that SAHA should learn from the South African Football Association (SAFA) and Premier Soccer League (PSL) about how to make millions.
Mr Carr replied that he had obviously chosen the wrong game. There were no major sponsors for national tournaments with the result that players had to pay about R5 000 to attend IPTs. Provincial government was only paying for tournaments at school level.
The Chairperson was not aware of this, and said this was only being highlighted now.
Mr Carr said that schools liaised directly with government. On the question of Exco taking the lead, he would invite the Members to the next Council meeting. This was the supreme body of hockey in the country, and Exco had to carry out their instructions. A recent example was in the way Council had voted to change a tournament structure which had been planned four years in advance in order to best prepare national teams for major tournaments. In the women’s IPT, Eastern Province had withdrawn at short notice while Free State and Border had withdrawn from the men’s IPT held recently. The question of merit was difficult to answer. It was a difficult matter to interpret. His own interpretation was that merit selection was the process of choosing the best person for the team. He admitted that Exco had been thrown off balance by the letter from SASCOC. Each person had his own ideas and would select a different team. He agreed that transformation should be speeded up but that he would need a magic wand. A basic requirement for hockey was a smooth playing surface and equipment such as sticks and balls, and this already posed challenges. Artificial surfaces were needed for international competition, and the cost of such a facility, which had a maximum life of ten years, was R5 million.
Mr B Solo (ANC) said that transformation was no joke. Selection was partially governed by mindsets, and he wondered what the demographics were at national and provincial level. The demographics within teams would come back to haunt SAHA. He wondered how transformation could be managed if there was an influx of foreign players.
Ms W Makgate (ANC) asked what structures existed in previously disadvantaged schools. Hockey was played mostly in the so-called white schools. She asked how popular the game was in black schools.
Mr Louw noted that all officials were amateurs. He felt that they were in comfort zones in an all-white Exco, and were comfortable in their positions. They thought that transformation was a favour to some. It was dangerous to talk about democracy in this situation. If this meeting were to elect a committee, he suggested that no white person would be elected due to the demographic make-up of the meeting. It was a question of mindset. He said that Mr Gordon should meet an African like himself half-way. It was more mindset than a mechanical process.
Mr Dikgacwi had a number of questions. He noticed that South Africa had played in a four nations tournament in December 2007, where South Africa was placed last. The team was not winning, and yet an all-white team was still being selected. If South Africa wanted to be on a par with other nations, the people had to be given a chance. If there were eighteen players in a squad, he assumed that the eleven white players took the field and the rest sat on the bench, as was the case with the Springbok rugby team. In the management teams, if only one person of colour was included the majority of officials would be white still. There was no movement whatsoever, and targets were not being exceeded. There would never be transformation under these circumstances. Mr Carr’s statement that the national federation could not dictate to the provinces was noted, but he asked how the Constitution catered for this situation. Provinces should just be toeing the line set by the national body. The same occurred in rugby. There was no mechanism to push transformation.
Mr Carr said that there were four selectors for the senior men’s team. Of these, three were white and one was a person of colour. It was the same with the senior women’s selectors, but there the one person of colour had resigned from the panel due to time constraints. For the under-21 teams there were more whites than persons of colour. He could not comment on what was happening at provincial level. Selectors served on an availability basis. Most sports faced this problem. He did not think that the Exco members found themselves in a comfort zone. However, there was a lack of nominations. At the last election, there had only been a need to take a vote on one of the eight Exco positions.
He said that it was unfair to say that the eleven players starting a match would be white while the players of colour would make up the reserves. Sometimes as many as five players of colour were in the starting line-up. Both national captains were persons of colour. This was not window-dressing, as the women’s captain, Marsha Marescia, had been named in a world team which showed that she was one of the top players in the world at present. If the Committee had a method to get more persons of colour involved in the sport, he asked them to reveal it to him.
Mr Frolick noted that Mr Carr had been shocked when told that the target could be a minimum of six players of colour. He asked why this was the case.
Mr Carr replied that SAHA had understood that the 50/50 principle would be upheld. The coach was not happy with this situation, but Exco had felt that they would just have to live with the decision and plan around it.
Mr Frolick said that the target was six to eight players. Six would become a maximum as well as a minimum. He asked why SAHA did not stick to its own policy and had instead accepted the minimum of six. He asked what bearing the coach had on the make-up of the team. Government must move towards convening a sports gathering. The constitutions of various federations were not geared to transformation, and some were not even in line with the national constitution. SAHA had immediately fallen in line with the chance to drop the target to a minimum of six players.
Mr Frolick asked what the position was with sponsorship. Hockey received a lot of money from government, and the allocation in the previous financial year was about R14 million. He asked who the key sponsors were. He said that some persons believed that merit only resided in white people. Players of colour were only included by some form of special accommodation. These players competed with honour in the various codes, and often produced better performances than their white counterparts. He proposed that a way forward should be laid out, as there would not be agreement at this meeting.
Mr Carr said that SAHA did not see the figure of six as a maximum number of players. The coach was part of the selection panel but did not have a vote. The government grant of R14 million had not been received. SAHA had received R3.3 million from the lottery in the current financial year (FY). The Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) had given a grant of R950 thousand. Spar had contributed R1.4 million as a sponsorship for the women’s team and senior tournaments. Resolution Health had sponsored the senior men’s team by R100 thousand. An Olympic Solidarity Grant of R700 thousand had been received from the International Olympic Committee, which was used mainly for the preparation of the women’s team. Furthermore provinces contributed a subscription fee to the national body. An outreach programme was in place, and there was a development officer in each province. Equipment funding had been stopped, and was now being provided by provincial government. This was used for equipment such as sticks, and for transport.
Mr Rhodes said that the confusion over government funding had perhaps arisen because of government’s support at school level. The national Under 16 and Under 18 IPTs had been fully funded by government.
The Chairperson referred to the NSRAA. One of its provisions was that federations must provide a database of their membership. Government could then assess whether the codes were developing or moving backwards. Section 11 made provision for the federations to submit an annual notification of this, as well as the names of clubs and representatives. This information had to be submitted by April each year. This was the strategic impact which government wished to make.
He said that Section 14 said that the Minister must issue guidelines in terms of equity, representivity and redress. Teams had to follow these guidelines, and would be breaking the law if they failed to do so. Every sport and recreation body had to submit a written report on its progress. SAHA must say if the national government funding was not enough. It had to be used to spread the game. The Committee had the constitutional right to adjust appropriations if needed. The lottery should be a source of funding for sport. It would help if the funds could be channelled to sport, and whatever was given now was better than nothing.
The Chairperson said that provinces must take the responsibility to foster transformation. Government was funding youth tournaments and coaching clinics. This would help the growth towards a non-racial society. The 50/50 principle was addressed in the NSRAA. The Committee had been told by SASCOC the previous week that the team would be selected on the 50/50 principle, but it seemed that hockey was opposed to this. It seemed that SASCOC had passed the buck, and was now saying that hockey was reneging on its promise. Mr Dolley had said that the targets could be met, but SAHA was creating a situation which would allow for a lilywhite team.
He said that financial assistance could be given. A player audit must be done. Players had to be given a chance to stay in practice if merit selection was to be done. He compared a newly selected player to a batsman starting his innings in cricket or baseball. He had to be given a chance to get his eye in before he could flourish. Therefore truly merit selection could only happen when all persons enjoyed equal opportunities to develop their talents. Equipment and nutrition were issues which caused distortions. The Committee would do oversight on the Act.
The Chairperson invited the SAHA delegation to make some concluding remarks. They requested a chance to discuss these remarks in private.
The Chairperson asked, on resumption, how hockey conducted its budget. He asked if it was done on a medium term or only an annual basis.
Mr Paul Richards, General Manager, SAHA, said that SAHA had submitted a five year plan to government, which was revisited annually. However, allocations were only announced on an annual basis. SAHA could therefore not base its long-term programmes on these allocations as the amount changed every year in an unpredictable way.
The Chairperson agreed that SRSA and the federations must have a medium term plan, whether for three or five years. Guarantees were needed. The Committee wished to influence funding from the lottery.
Mr Richards said it would be wonderful if this happened. In May 2007 SAHA had applied to the lottery for a R3.4 million grant in order to prepare the Olympic Team. The lottery board had agreed to this, but the money had yet to arrive.
Mr Carr said that SAHA had heard much constructive criticism. There was a need to engage with SASCOC. If SASCOC had said at a meeting two weeks previously that the 50/50 principle was still to apply, then there had been no correspondence. He would hear the resolution to be tabled by the Committee, and would seek a meeting with Mr Moss Mashiyi himself.
Mr Frolick tabled a resolution that SASCOC should engage with SAHA on the 50/50 principle. It was SASCOC’s duty to engage on such matters. The Committee noted the prior commitment by SAHA regarding transformation in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams. It noted a decision by the SAHA Exco to reduce the target to a minimum of six black players, and that the decision was agreed to by a simple majority of provincial members. It was not unanimous. Both the men’s and women’s teams were not medal contenders at the Olympics, but would participate on the basis of universality. He noted SAHA’s commitment to the 50/50 principle. The Committee resolved to instruct the Minister and SASCOC to enforce the 50/50 principle in the selection of the national hockey team.
Mr Dikgacwi seconded the resolution.
Mr Carr said that the Committee wanted to see the 50/50 principle apply to the men’s team. He asked if the same would apply to the women’s team.
Mr Frolick said it had been made clear that the 50/50 objective could not currently be reached by the women’s team. It could be done with the men’s team.
The Chairperson said there was an emphasis on the undertaking made by SAHA. This would be revised when SAHA met the Committee in April 2009.
Mr Carr said that the way forward was then through the Minister and then by consultation between SASCOC and SAHA. His executive would wait for the directive.
Mr Frolick said that the resolution would be delivered to the Minister that very afternoon. Copies would be forwarded to SASCOC and SAHA.
Mr Carr thanked the Committee for the opportunity to state SAHA’s case. Hockey had learnt a lot from the engagement. He looked forward to the next meeting.
The Chairperson wished SAHA well in their run-up to their elections. He had been shocked by cases of changing of political allegiances in federal elections, as had happened with Athletics South Africa, and the media should be exerting an influence to this extent.
Presentation by Transformation and Anti-Racism Rugby Committee
The Chairperson said that organisations presenting to the Committee should explain how the budget could influence their activities.
Dr Asad Bhorat, Secretary, Transformation and Anti-Racism Rugby Committee, said that he would have two angles to his presentation. The first related to rugby and its failure to implement transformation. The second angle would be a broader one. He referred back to the Kimberley agreement of 1992. The South African Rugby Union (SARU) was structurally defunct. The difference between hockey and rugby was that hockey administrators were volunteers while those in rugby where highly paid professionals. However, there was no common vision as the power lay in the provinces.
The Chairperson asked if the problem lay in the constitutions of the federations. Provinces could not supersede the national Act. He asked how the situation could be corrected.
Dr Bhorat said that in rugby it was a matter of the provinces deciding who would sit on the President’s Council (PC). The provinces put these people in their position, and could take them out again. Representatives were accountable to their provinces. This was opposed to government which was elected from the ground. This made things more confusing. The provinces were the centre of power. The PC was defunct. It had no common vision. Members used power-jockeying for self-preservation. There was no shared responsibility. This seemed to be the intention in rugby. There had been a prediction at unity that white resources would consume black rugby, and this was coming true.
He said that there was an entrenched mandate from the old order. He thought this was by design. There was no shared responsibility, which made manipulation easier. Rugby was unable to adhere to constitutional imperatives. The sport was not doing its job in terms of the Constitution. Black rugby was going backwards, being marginalised, and had limited resources. They had to compete in unified leagues where the fields were not level.
Dr Bhorat said that white clubs were stealing black talent. Black clubs were haemorrhaging resources, and were becoming an endangered species. They were also facing competition from other sports. There was a migration of people away from traditional rugby areas due to business. Black clubs were facing a lost generation of players and supporters. This was all playing into the hands of white rugby. Black rugby did not have the resources to counter these threats. It was dependant on handouts from SARU and the provinces, which were unions controlled by whites. Nobody dare criticise the situation, and so the black threat was being eliminated. People who spoke out were sidelined. He called for government intervention. There was a mandate now at many levels. He made a proposal that government should create an intervention programme to support black clubs. This could break the cycle in which black clubs found themselves. The Committee’s input was needed. There had to be a voice on the ground. A grassroots programme was needed.
The Chairperson asked if black clubs were being blackmailed, and if government support was needed.
Dr Bhorat said that SARU had done away with club aid. Support would have to be given at a different level. Perhaps the correct route would be to ensure empowerment at club level.
The Chairperson asked about the fourteen franchises and the national team, specifically as to the number of black and female Chief Executive Officers (CEOs).
Dr Bhorat thought there were none. The history of rugby was portrayed as being white. Expert commentators were always taken from the past, and the history of black rugby was being erased. This was an intentional and deliberate process. Naas Botha was always the one approached for expert comment. A pilot project for the support of black clubs was being introduced. He had a vision that historically disadvantaged communities would have the ability to realise their full potential. Partnerships with government were essential. He noted that the lottery would present on the second day of the public hearings programme. He identified two critical steps. The first was the securing of government funding, and the second was the creation of a black rugby structure. There was a common thread in the transformation debate, and there was a need to review the 92 units involved in the agreement.
Dr Bhorat said that there had been major promises made at the time of unity. Three steps had been agreed upon at the time. There had been a promise of a 50% partnership, but in rugby blacks had only a 5% stake in the sport. The other promise was that there would be a review of the agreement in 1997. This had never happened. Three steps had been set out to achieve unity. The first was that all federations would become single federations, which had happened. The second was that there would be democratic representivity in all codes. This had never happened. The third step was the readmission to the international sporting fraternity. What had happened was that the codes had jumped to step three before undertaking step two. It would be difficult to go back now.
He made two proposals. Firstly, there should be a review of the unity agreement. A sports indaba was needed. It should be determined if the constitutions of the different federations promoted the national constitution. The second proposal was that the unity agreement should be revisited.
He said that the process had been a learning experience for the administrators. Many were oblivious to relevant legislation. Federations should be realigned, and SASCOC had a role to play in this. There was a need to reach key agreements. The Minister should give a mandate for intervention. SARU had published a wonderful strategic plan, but this was just a dream. He knew that they would still be discussing the same issue in 2011.
The Chairperson asked for an appreciation of how the budget could improve black rugby.
Mr Zola Dunywa, former SAFA Director of Development, who described himself now as independent and unemployed, said that he had three points to make. The first was that government had blundered by dissolving the National Sports Council (NSC). It had been left to SASCOC to promote unity and development, but its structures were focussed on elite sport. He asked if SASCOC was in any position to monitor development within federations. The Committee had to tell SASCOC, which was the mother body, to do this. He asked if SASCOC had interrogated the Constitution. His second point was that people of Indian descent were not accommodated anywhere. He asked if SASCOC could provide information on this. His final point was that the indaba was a good idea. He asked if SASCOC would convene this.
The Chairperson replied that this would not be a SASCOC responsibility, but would be conducted in the form of a public hearing called by the Minister.
Dr Bhorat felt the need for a review of SASCOC as well.
Mr Solo commented on the Department’s budget vote. Programme 2 was for Sports Support Services. He asked if this programme was not in a better position to assist in this regard. The MPP was an important structure. He appreciated this because he played rugby at school. It was a pity that SRSA was not represented at the meeting. He should be deployed to the Department as the figures were not close to what had been asked for. Every federation was complaining about SASCOC. The indaba should be called, but there was no policy directive.
Mr Dikgacwi said that these issues had been raised with SARU. He had made observations about the way black players were being developed in the Western Cape. Franchises like the Lions and the Bulls did not develop their own players but rather bought up the talent from the Western Cape. The provinces did not want federations to have a power of veto. Presidents were abdicating their responsibilities. There was a problem with selectors, as there was nobody there to fight for his people. He did not know how the Minister of Sport could be told to stay out of the process. He supported the issues raised by Dr Bhorat. SASCOC was not transformed, as it was dominated by small bodies. White teams swallowed black teams. He recalled the huge derby day in Oudtshoorn between the leading black clubs, but this had now been stopped.
Ms Makgate said that it was unfortunate that SRSA was absent from this meeting. She agreed that there was no proper monitoring of the unity agreement. This cut across all codes. There would always be a skewed allocation of resources.
Dr Bhorat looked at Vote 17. Programmes were set up to support what was being said. There was an infrastructure which could be resuscitated, and it would be better to take the approach of taking from the richer sectors to assist the poorer at provincial level, but the larger unions did not care.
The Chairperson said that it was SRSA’s intention to fund club development. There was a lack of capacity to implement these programmes. The Committee must revisit the agreement with SASCOC, and this would be discussed later. It was clear from Section 2 of the NSRAA that the Minister must recognise a sports confederation, but this did not necessarily have to be SASCOC. Government was not married to this confederation. He said that any federation that did not have a development plan would be subject to 45% taxation on its earnings. Other bodies only had to pay a voluntary association’s tax rate, which was minimal. Academies must have a common standard. It must be determined who could give this kind of accreditation. Government was pushing for uniformity.
Presentation by Mr Zola Dunywa
Mr Dunywa said that some of the issues which he wished to raise had already been addressed. He was honoured to be making this presentation. The late Minister Steve Tshwete had spoken about merit selection, but had said that all sportspeople should first reach a state of equilibrium before merit selection could become a reality. It was the philosophy of the South African Council on Sport (SACOS) that there could be no normal sport in an abnormal society. The situation in South Africa now was that there was a normal society but sport was still abnormal. The Committee and the Minister were the last hopes that this situation could be redressed.
He said that the NSC had put forward three legs for the normalisation of sport, but these had never been evaluated. Football had been the first code to unite. Some issues were not being monitored or checked. There was no organisation to safeguard the process. For example, the NSC had managed to remove Dr Louis Luyt, former rugby administrator, without the aid of an Act of Parliament. The NSRAA was now in place, and it should be possible to address some codes where intervention was needed. This was an issue at present as the country moved towards 2010.
Mr Dunywa wished that SAFA would support local coaches. Many had been successful at club level but were overlooked for national appointments. South Africa was becoming a country which did not believe in itself. Firstly there was an issue of management and organisation aspects. Second there was an issue on non-availability of players. This occurred with local clubs not releasing players, as well as overseas clubs. A match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates was scheduled on the same day as a South African match in Botswana. He also could cite a few friendly matches, particularly one in Ethiopia where players from one club had represented the country. There was little international exposure for players and administrators. There was no regulation of the process of releasing players. This was deliberate as it served the interests of the clubs.
He said that the whole country was being colonised. A player could only represent the country if he came from one of the academies. In this way, the PSL clubs seemed to be in charge of both professional and amateur soccer in the country. There was a lack of monitoring of players. He feared that South Africa would be humiliated on 1 June 2008 when they played Nigeria in the first match of the 2010 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers. There was a technical committee at SAFA, but it was dormant as it never met. Carlos Pareira was thinking for the country. He asked if there were normal and emergency procedures, as there seemed to be none evident in the appointment of the new coach. SRSA was quiet on the issue.
Mr Dunywa said there was interference in selections. There was no technical director and such matters were left to administrators. Judge Pickard had told SAFA that they tended to make decisions which conflicted with their own constitution. They were still doing this, for example there were eighteen regions whereas there should only be nine. SASCOC should monitor this, but no one was monitoring SAFA.
On development issues, he said there was a lack of budget to prepare young players. The HP programme was very limited, and dealt only with life skills. This was only done at a high level, dealing with issues such as diet and medical processes. Football facilities were not being delivered at a lower level. All soccer regions might say that the World Cup would be beneficial for them, but he asked what it would do for the regions. There were very few organised national leagues. There were 52 regions.
Mr Dunywa bemoaned the fact that local coaches were not considered for major appointments. He predicted that Mr Santana would not still be the national coach in 2010. The success or failure of a coach was often judged on one match. The new coach had never coached a national team and did not know the players.
His third point was the allocation of lottery funding to SAFA. They had begged for funding and had been given R4.8 million. This was used to fund HP programmes at lower levels. Beneficiaries had been the Under 15 girls and Under 17 boys. Medical checks had been done at the University of the Witwatersrand. One of the boys was found to have a hole in his heart. He came from a poor family who could not even afford to take him to hospital. A special account had been started to assist with such cases, and when he had ended his involvement with SAFA there was still some R2 million in the fund. There had been a national programme but this had been allowed to die. One solution was to unite the legends.
The Chairperson said there should be two legends involved in each province.
Mr Dunywa said there were about four involved at present. There should be a regional legacy from the 2010 World Cup. Local coaches were being ignored. South Africa had won the AFCON under Clive Barker, and the performances of Jomo Sono, Trott Moloto and Shakes Mashaba were good. Mr Maglodi had taken the Under 12 team to the World Championships. South African coaches were depressed by the emphasis on foreign coaches. The best performance by a foreigner was by Mr Queiroz, who had reached the AFCON quarter-final. It was difficult to judge performances.
He said that they were working on uniting the legends. They should adopt schools and development programmes. The whole country was being colonised. A player should go to a coach on his doorstep. No previous government had been so supportive. Every penny had been delivered, but he questioned the efficiency of performance.
The Chairperson said that many people were angry. The NSRAA had not arrived by accident, and had been designed to combat the anarchy in sport at present. The government had put up R50 billion for 2010 preparations. The media had written that government as the custodian of sport must come to the party, but an apology was owed. Government was building the stadiums, and he asked what legacy SAFA was going to leave. A simple basic facility cost approximately R2 million, and this was happening every day, yet SAFA officials were quite prepared to accept a R7 million bonus per person. He asked what facilities were being built by soccer. When the Cricket World Cup had been held in the country the cricket authorities had built and upgraded facilities at their own cost.
Mr Dunywa said that Mr Sticks Morewa had built a facility in Pimville.
The Chairperson said that every football facility was built by government. Former Model C schools also built their own facilities. Government was giving assistance, and he was fed up with lies. Government was also paying for the upgrading of private facilities such as Loftus Versveld and Ellis Park stadiums, and there should be some contractual obligation. People thought that Soccer City was SAFA property, but this actually belonged to the Department of Public Works. Even when it was still branded as the First National Bank Stadium government had been a 55% shareholder.
Presentation by Ex-Professional Soccer Players
Mr Mike Mangena, Vice Chairman, Ex-Professional Soccer Players, said that corporate governance in sport was a burning issue. It was about time that this Committee should take steps to combat conflicts of interest. The PSL Board of Governors could not be both referee and players in running the league. There was a time that he had wanted to lead a march to SAFA headquarters because of their absolute lack of development programmes. Players were not being educated and had a lack of life skills. He cited the case of Jabo Pule. Clubs should be forced to go to the schools. Development was only being used to foster one element of the game, and complete players were not being produced. He asked how many players were in possession of a degree. Players were being groomed but at the same time were being set up for failures. The number of destitute ex-players was a serious matter.
He said that SAFA had no development programme. There was no academy in Soweto to serve a population of eight million. Academies were not accessible to the poorest of the poor. So many people wanted to play, but had no opportunities. The national junior team had not reached their World Cup, which showed that the structures were wrong. The administrators shared a commission of R70 million amongst themselves, but development was dying. There was no sponsor for a national first division. SAFA had been forced to turn back the clock by reverting to inland and coastal streams.
He asked what kind of leaders SAFA possessed. There was no integrity, and the leaders were being seen to enrich themselves without leaving a legacy. South Africa had a serious problem with infighting. When Mr Trevor Phillips had been appointed as CEO of the PSL, someone should have been groomed to take over from him in time. Mr Sizwe Nzimande had been pushed aside. The same had happened with the management of the first division. It was sad that there was no-one out of a population of 45 million which could run the PSL.
Mr Mangena said problems like this were happening every day, but no-one was listening. One coach appointed another while the association took no action. The new coach had never coached a national team, and had a habit of hopping from one club to another, often coaching two teams in the same season. There was too much money involved. In the past two seasons the teams winning the PSL had local coaches, and in the recently concluded season the top four PSL teams all had local coaches. He asked what a coach like Gordon Ingesund had to do to be recognised.
He thought that South Africa was the only country where club bosses ran the league. There was no accountability. There was big money in sponsorship, but few benefited. The money must filter down to low levels. He had recently been in Bronkhorstpruit, where he had gone from door to door with the mayor. The soccer pitch there was in a bad condition. There was an exciting programme for AIDS awareness. There was an offer to mobilise the community to plant grass at the stadium. In this community people were not aiming at personal glory.
Mr Mangena said that the big PSL clubs ran their own academies. Their purpose was to enrich the teams rather than the country as a whole. There must be academies in townships and rural areas. This was a serious problem. SAFA was doing nothing. The School of Excellence which had been sponsored by Transnet was gone. An indaba was needed. Former professional players were being kept out of the game. It seemed like only the chosen few were able to benefit.
The Chairperson said this had been a very depressing presentation. The Committee was not in anybody’s pocket. There were cases of briefcases full of money being left in people’s homes as a bribe to stop them from telling revealing stories. The Committee would take this discussion further.
Mr Solo said that there should be a platform of intervention which could give the bodies a chance to start dialogue. The Committee seemed to be the only public forum at present. It was subject to the media. The government was not there to offer daily management to SAFA. He had seen a debate on the appointment of the new national coach on Soweto TV. There were very sketchy things in the budget. It was not a question of the country being colonised. There was a mess in Gauteng. The situation could not be allowed to continue.
Mr Dikgacwi felt as if Mr Mangena was reading the obituary of South African soccer. SAFA had been left to do things incorrectly for too long. He had spoken in Parliament and had been attacked in City Press. Mobilisation was needed in the regions or there would never be change. The Minister had to get involved in terms of the NSRAA.
Mr Mangena said it was a sad reality that those in power could manipulate the press. He had never received one of the briefcases described by the Chairperson. He wanted to leave a legacy for football. He had been self-taught and had fought long and hard. He had been the only black player in a white team.
The Chairperson reaffirmed the need for a sports indaba. The constitution of federations should be revisited, and this should happen before the end of the year. It would not be a talk show. Decisions would be made. It would be a meeting for all. Action must be taken on the World Cup legacy issue. There would be a meeting about the 2010 World Cup the following week. Grinaker was building the stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, and there was a question of social responsibility.
Mr Dunywa said that government intervention was possibly the last resort. The sport of football was so dear to the poor. In some cases bosses paid the school fees of players. The World Cup would not have been awarded to South Africa but for the leadership shown in Zurich during the final bidding process.
The Chairperson said that it was not true that the team which went to Ethiopia was a Departmental matter. The SAFA CEO, Mr Raymond Hack, had decided on the team. It was out of SRSA’s hands, but the result of the decision had never been the intention of the Minister. There should be some form of life orientation presented by the clubs, especially in terms of life skills. Top players had to learn how to handle fame, as many children admired them. They should not be poor role models. There were MPP events in Soweto, and the sustainability of these had to be judged. People expected that South Africa would be eliminated in the group stage of the World Cup. He emphasised that the sports indaba must be held. It would be a decision-making conference. The meeting would have official standing if it was called by the Minister. If the opportunity was missed today it might be missed altogether.
Presentation by SABC Sport
The Chairperson had a concern with the infrastructure carried by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), particularly with languages other than English. This did not exist at SuperSport. He noted the resolution taken at the Polokwane conference of the ANC which called for the discontinuation of the Springbok emblem. The party was unapologetic in this regard. There had been discussions during the unity process which moved towards the universal adoption of the Protea. The Springbok did not unite the country. Sponsors were arrogant. He looked at the huge sponsorships given to clubs like Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and asked why there was nothing for a code like hockey.
Mr Augustine Nethononda, Programming Manager, SABC Sport, apologised for the absence of Mr Nzimande, who had had to attend a meeting in Singapore about broadcast rights for the Olympic Games. The fundamental point of departure for the SABC was that it had a public service mandate. The Sport division in particular was a public institution which had to strive to be the custodian of compelling sport content. In order to achieve this through appropriate programming formats, sports codes and events had been divided into four main categories. The first of these was sports of national interest, as stipulated by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa. SABC Sport was compelled to deliver on these. The second category was development sport. The third was minority sports. SABC Sport had to play a role in ensuring the survival of these codes. The fourth category was other sporting events, including events which would have a large spectator appeal and would therefore contribute to the SABC’s revenue, such as horse racing.
The Chairperson said that another of the ANC resolutions at Polokwane was that the SABC should be funded up to 60% by government. This would ease the commercial pressure on the organisation.
Mr Nethononda noted this resolution. Funding was critical. There were some practical issues. The broadcasting landscape was changing and so too were the challenges. Competition was out there and the SABC needed to respond. Audiences were at stake. There was a major concern over broadcast rights. This was not a new phenomenon. The industry was not clean, and there was a lot of personal gain involved. However the SABC would not forget its obligation to the masses. Sub-licensing was also a concern, for example in the matter of PSL broadcast rights.
He said that the SABC could not be driven by revenue. There had to be certain terms and conditions. Clauses in agreements had to protect the interests of sponsors. There were exposure elements which were given free of charge. There were some tripartite agreements. There was another issue of facilities. There had to be sufficient platforms to enable the SABC to deliver on its mandate. This problem would be resolved when the SABC launched its 24 hour channel. There would be a migration from analogue to digital terrestrial satellite technology. Transformation within the SABC was a reality while the medium in general was not transformed. The story around SASOL threatening to withdraw their sponsorship from rugby if a white coach was not appointed was an obvious example. The SABC was looking at production houses which were still mainly in white hands. They would need money to develop producers. That told the story.
Mr Solo said that one issue was whether the base was broad enough, and debate should be encouraged. There was a lack of patriotism. He asked what SABC Sport was doing about this.
Mr Louw said that the SABC was in a mess. There was currently turmoil surround the Board. The presentation should have been delayed until their house was in order. He noted that eTV had overtaken the SABC, and would launch its 24 hour channel on DSTV during June. Everything happened slowly at the SABC. The ANC had decided to increase its revenue, but he asked if this would really change matters. The sooner change did happen the better. There was a huge leadership vacuum, and no-one knew who was in charge. The Board was in tatters and people were disillusioned. He observed that people enjoyed watching Formula 1 racing on the SABC.
The Chairperson said that motor racing was one of the minority sports which generated income for the SABC.
Mr Louw said that the Northern Cape had the smallest population in the country but all its citizens were involved in sport.
Mr Frolick raised the sub-licence issue regarding sport of national interest. For example, the SABC televised home rugby tests but these were delayed. He could not see the sense in this. The SABC should have known it was in trouble when it lost the rights to these events and suffered a decline in advertising venue. He wanted more information in terms of radio broadcasts.
Mr Frolick said that a certain tendency was developing, and feedback was needed before the budget vote in the National Assembly. Since Pieter de Villiers had been appointed as national rugby coach he had gone out of his way to visit the deep rural areas. When he visited King William’s Town both eTV and SuperSport had covered the visit, but not the SABC. It was the same in Port Elizabeth. The SABC had been invited but did not make an appearance. The SABC had an obligation to implement the development agenda of the country. He took exception to the lack of coverage, as he was sure this would have happened if Mr de Villiers had been white. Journalists were being used to attack Mr de Villiers to bring about his downfall. Extreme vigilance was needed to guard against this.
Mr Nethononda replied that rugby was a sensitive issue. He was hearing about this for the first time. Mr de Villiers’s travels should have been a news event. Invitations should have gone to the right people. There was a news bureau in each city in the country. Coverage should be seen in perspective. There had been a challenge in coverage of the last Rugby World Cup, and the SABC had battled. News coverage did not have the same limitations. Patriotism was an editorial issue. There was a need to acknowledge this. A new head of production had been recruited, and he wanted to believe that this situation would improve. He saw coverage of athletics of the Commonwealth Games, and had noted how British commentators concentrated on the often inferior performances of their own athletes rather than the winners of the events.
He revealed that the SABC had just signed a contract for the radio broadcasting rights for the PSL. Extra mileage would be achieved. Radio played a critical role, and he was glad the issue was now resolved. The SABC was compelled to televise South African rugby tests. The question of live or delayed broadcasts was subject to the restrictions imposed by the sub-licensing agreement with SuperSport. At present, the SABC could only begin at the moment the match ended. He acknowledged that it did not make sense, but there were so many future starts at grassroots level who appreciated the coverage.
Mr Nethononda said that Formula 1 racing had been scrapped as the contract had expired. It was not performing, and was only a means of generating revenue. There was a time zone problem. If Grand Prix races were held outside Europe, particularly in the Far East, they could be used to fill the empty morning hours.
He said that he would prefer to pass on the question of leadership issues. In terms of the boxing promoter Branco being awarded fifty televised fight dates as against the one or two awarded to other promoters, he said that Mr Joe Visagie was the person at SABC responsible for allocating dates for boxing. Some promoters had made representations for particular dates, but the fighters were not contracted to them. He said that the SABC had a role to develop and educate.
Mr Ayanda Cisha, Manager: Parliamentary Liaison, SABC, said that he would follow up on the issue of the coverage given to the rugby coach and provide a written answer.
Mr Solo said that there was a need for dialogue and debate surroundings sport. The SABC was not creating the space for this to happen.
Mr Nethononda said that Mr Solo’s remarks were fair comment but were a result of limited resources. The SABC needed to provide an additional platform for fair coverage. Radio could be used as a medium to encourage dialogue. More time was required on radio to discuss various issues. Television would not be able to deliver on this until a dedicated channel was operational.
The Chairperson said that Mr Nethononda had a bright future. Despite being young he was coherent. The saga of Robert Murdoch’s involvement in rugby was ongoing, and the rights issue was not immune to drama. The SABC should refrain from getting involved in that issue. It was a fact that rugby had gone to SuperSport, and as a result children would not see their heroes in action. The SABC would always lose big time. Only a very small section of the population had access to satellite television, and a disservice was being done to the population. SABC had to go cap in hand to SuperSport, and had to accept terms being dictated to them. It should be the other way around. SABC should engage now over the rights for rugby when these were due for renewal. It was a constitutional responsibility.
Mr Frolick pointed out that SARU had already signed a deal which would only come into effect in 2011. SuperSport would cover all rugby. He asked if the SABC had been approached to make a bid. He asked how these rights could be sold so far in advance.
Mr Louw asked, with the forthcoming change from analogue to digital technology, what was the importance of the set-top box.
The Chairperson said that the answer for the last question was not needed immediately. South Africans were not really informed about the technicalities, and public awareness was needed when the switchover approached. He wondered if people would be able to afford the new television sets that would be needed.
Mr Nethononda said that the SABC had bid for the rugby rights, but would have been unsuccessful regardless of the value. SABC Sport had been given a mandate by the Board that had been in office at the time. They had lost the broadcast rights for the 2011 World Cup, and this had filtered down. There was not a good record of promises being honoured in this sphere. The SABC could not win the battle alone.
Mr Frolick said there was a continuing discussion on sub-licences. This Committee would need to interact with the Portfolio Committee on Communications.
Mr Komphela said that he would engage with Dr Manjra. The issue of television rights was important. There was a huge outcry over the perceived bias of the SABC to those who were already well off. He did not understand how some boxing promoters could be allocated a single tournament per year. This impaired on the right of professional boxers to make a living. There were not more than three female promoters, who also had very few allocated dates. There had to be some attempt to share the tournaments equitably, and to avoid the abuse that was seeming to be rife. Boxers had to beg promoters for contracts whereas it should be the other way round. In the Eastern Cape there was a huge outcry over some promoters who were making a fortune while boxers were paupers. It would be a sad day when boxing lost the protection of the current Act. Although there was an insurance policy now in place, which would provide R50 thousand, boxers got nothing on retirement. There had been a meeting of promoters in Bloemfontein where it was clear that some were more equal than others.
Federations were signing their rights away to SuperSport. There must be protection on the exodus to SuperSport. Black faces might be on show, but their authority was only skin deep. On the question of newsworthiness, it was a question of who got the mileage. Mr Visagie reminded him of third force activity. Reactionaries were well placed in the background
Mr Solo was prepared to engage with the SABC on the issue of dialogue.
It was decided that the presentations by South African School Sport and other groups would take place the following day.
Mr Frolick said it was important to engage with SAIDS. A damaging report had been released about the abuse of substances by rugby and football players at school level, and use of steroids was ride. Dr Tim Noakes had recently reported having attended two Easter Tournaments, reporting that at least ten out of the fifty children he had spoken too admitted to using steroids. It was difficult to control this as parents had to give their consent before a child could be tested.
The meeting was adjourned.
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.