Provincial Expenditure Patterns for Conditional Grants for Sport

Sports, Arts and Culture

22 October 2008
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Minute contains a presentation on the Limpopo Province Expenditure patterns that was presented late on 21 October, but interrogated during this meeting. The Committee discussed the use of funding allocated to provincial sports departments under the Division of Revenue Act.  There were problems in that Provinces were not communicating effectively with the national Department, and there did not seem to be sufficient accountability. Committee felt that there was a danger that funding could be cut by National Treasury if they did not see the money being put to use.  Poverty remained a massive problem. The Siyadlala campaign was envisaged as a programme to include every person in a form of physical activity, and was discussed and described.

Some problems within the North West Province were discussed.  The province intended to spread mass participation programmes to the rural areas as the main focus at present was in urban areas.  Volunteers needed to be trained in all aspects of the sports codes including rules, technical aspects and the correct use of equipment.

It was noted that investigations were being conducted into various issues identified as Emphases of Matter by the Auditor General.  Corrective measures and disciplinary action had been taken where appropriate.  Members queried the fact that the Auditor General had expressed an opinion in cases where investigations were still not complete.  In some cases unauthorised expenditure was the result of criminal or negligent activity by officials. This might be creating unnecessary problems for the Department.  There was a suspicion that officials from within the Department might be leaking information to the Auditor General and the media.

The different Directorates within the Department of Sport and Recreation then briefed the Committee on the activities covered by the Annual Report.  Statistics were presented on staff issues.  There were some problems with integrated technology and a plan to improve network security and the security of data was being introduced.  Some problems were being experienced with the current building due to space constraints and poor access for those with disabilities, but the Department was looking to build new offices at the University of Pretoria.
Members felt that labour issues were taking too long to be resolved.  The Department needed to be more efficient in collecting royalties on the sale of replica clothing carrying the official national emblems.  It seemed that football authorities were shirking this responsibility.

The activities of the service providers and statutory entities were reviewed.  The club development programme had established. 366 new clubs and officials had also been trained.  Members requested a breakdown of where these clubs were located.  Members also requested to know the demographics of these clubs.  They suggested that the Department should strive to break down the mentality that certain codes were owned by particular racial groups.

The exhibition presented by the Department at the Beijing Olympics was discussed.  It was felt that the media had used criticism of this exhibition in order to deflect attention away from the poor performance by South African athletes.  There were mitigating factors such as problems with customs clearance and an unfortunate choice of venue.  Much of the cost was for accommodation and other government departments had failed to arrive resulting in wasted money.

 It was finally noted that programmes in facilities management were being presented to municipalities and sports councils.  The question of the leasing of community facilities to federations was being addressed.

Meeting report

Expenditure Patterns in Limpopo Province (presented on 21 October)
Ms Kelly Mkhonto (Director: Community Sport, SRSA) said that SRSA made transfer payments to the provincial departments on a quarterly basis. The first of these for the current FY had been done on 15 April 2008. Limpopo was due to receive R28 million for the year, of which 10% had already been transferred. SRSA calculated the amount that was needed. Limpopo had requested R6 million for the first quarter, of which only 1% had been spent. By the end of September the province had only spent R2.2 million.

She said this was a worrying situation. SRSA had sent a team to investigate. They needed to evaluate the situation at the end of the FY. The team’s findings were that the province had not taken advantage of the offer to using 5% of their budget for the employment of administrators. The provinces were generally not ready to manage funds, and were allowed to use 5% to employ managers. Limpopo had not done this. Hopefully the team’s report would cover the second quarter.

Ms Mkhonto said that the Division of Revenue Act (DORA) required that the second transfer should have been made on 15 October. SRSA had decided to withhold this payment but was still committed to assisting the province.

She said that all provinces had been called to attend a workshop. Limpopo had been represented and had been asked about the blockages they were facing. Their response had been that a key issue was procurement. Their supply chain system was not in place. Equipment for the hubs was of poor quality. SRSA had engaged with Adidas and had been given footballs at a cost of R69 whereas the province had been buying plastic balls for R145. The internal supply chain was discussed, and SRSA would assist Limpopo by procuring on behalf of the province. SRSA would therefore not be making the second quarterly transfer. The third quarter transfer would be to assist with delivery and training and would be made.

Mr K Baloyi (Acting CFO, Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC), Limpopo) said that R7 million had been received in July and R12 million in the first quarter.

Gen Holomisa asked if this was part of the audit query or if there had been a complaint from Limpopo.

The Chairperson said that there was a problem with the DORA grant funds. Provinces were only spending 40% of what was being allocated to them. There was no need to increase funding on this evidence.

Ms Mkhonto confirmed that payments of R12 million and R7 million had been made. The province had spent 1% of their first quarter funding and 15% of the second quarter funding. This indicated that the province was just not ready. SRSA had requested a training schedule and a capacity building plan. These documents had not been received.

Ms D Nyatikozi (Head of Department, DSAC, Limpopo) said that their report differed to that of the national department. They had not been notified that the transfer payment would be withheld. The team sent by SRSA had not even visited her office. They had spent 25% of their allocation. There were two programmes under their MPP. On the Siyadlala aspect, 46% of the allocation had been committed and 45% on other aspects. The legacy project was taking up 25%. Of this 14% had been spent by the end of the second quarter, which amounted to R11 million. R6 million had been set aside for two tartan athletic tracks. Tenders had been invited but the estimates had shown that the province could only afford one.

She said that the comments on human resource issues were not true. Advertisements for these managers had closed in May but there had been no applicants. An appointment had been made on 1 October. She agreed on the poor quality of equipment. The footballs and netballs could not be used after one game. The remainder of the province’s budget would be used.

Gen Holomisa said the Committee could not do justice to the report made by Limpopo if no written report was received. The Limpopo and national versions could then be compared. An in loco inspection could be held.

Mr Louw said there seemed to be no communication between SRSA and provincial structures. He asked if Ms Mkhonto had been in touch with Limpopo.

The Chairperson said that Ms Mkhonto was at pains to get the different reports. She was getting battered by the province while she had different information.

Mr Dikgacwi said that the province had serious problems. Unemployment was high and yet money was being sent back to NT.

The Chairperson asked what the advertisement had said about the stipend. He asked if it was necessary to have a Bachelor’s degree to organise MPP events. The province should rather accept applicants with lesser qualification but with the love of sport as their basis. They should go to the community. Limpopo would be requested to attend the Committee again.

Ms Mkhonto said that the figures she had were authentic and had come from NT. They were correct as at the end of September. She encouraged provinces to send the same report to SRSA as they were sending to their provincial treasuries. The NT co-ordinated reports. The Department was ending up with three different sets of figures, which was problematic. The building of tartan athletic tracks was not covered by these grants. The money was for programmes and not facilities. If they did not comply then the Department would face another qualified report at the end of the current FY.

Ms Sumayya Khan (HoD, KZN Sport and Recreation) said that volunteers should be hired from the ranks of the unemployed in the communities. An advertisement in the newspaper was not necessary. Such advertisements could be placed on community notice boards. As these volunteers were trained they developed skills which made them employable. This did result in a high turnover which had both positive and negative results. It was necessary to keep a record of all the people who had gone through training.

The Chairperson re-iterated the need to keep a database. A positive contribution was being made even if SRSA had to keep recycling volunteers. A contribution was being made to job creation.

Ms Nyatikozi said that the same report had been given to the provincial treasury. She could not understand how SRSA had received different figures. They used volunteers in the same way as other provinces. The 5% of the budget was meant for appointment of staff at a managerial level, hence the need for a higher qualification. There was a problem with the turnover in staff. The advertisements were for deputy managers. They needed to sit down with SRSA to determine why the discrepancies between the different versions of the report existed. They had not had an opportunity to prepare a report for the current meeting.

The Chairperson agreed that communication was a problem. All the reports meant nothing if the NT was getting incorrect information. There should be a common way of submitting reports with a simple format. He supported Ms Mkhonto’s position on the third quarter grant to Limpopo, and requested that SRSA discuss this further with the province.

Continuation of discussions on Limpopo allocations (22 October)
Ms Kelly Mkhonto. Director: Community Sport, Department of Sport and Recreation, said that R19.5 million had been transferred to the Limpopo provincial government from the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) in the current financial year (FY).  Of this, 36% had been spent to date.  The Eastern Cape (EC) was in the same position.  Spending by the provinces should have been 100%.  This was the case in Gauteng, but the transfer of funds to this province had been limited due to other reasons.  SRSA wanted to analyse the programmes taking place in the provinces but people were not accountable.  In order to receive the conditional grant, provinces had to enter agreements with the Director General (DG) of SRSA.  Provincial Heads of Department (HoDs) also had to sign a Programme Implementation Agreement (PIA). 

She said that all provincial HoDs had done so at a recent meeting, except for the HoD of North West, who was overseas.  Limpopo had been represented by the department’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  A full day workshop had been hold but there was a lack of clarity on the outputs.  Some broad statements had been made.

Ms Mkhonto said that one of the problems with the provinces’ utilisation of funds was the purchase of items which should not have come from this funding.  She appreciated that cars were needed to overcome the challenge of distance in the rural areas, but the National Treasury (NT) had ruled that the conditional grants were not to be used for capital expenditure.  This had been explained at the workshop.

The Chairperson said that he agreed that the provinces were not accountable.  The agreements had been signed by the DG but he wondered if there was a way that SRSA could communicate with the provinces.  The processes had to be managed.

Ms Mkhonto said that the HoDs were responsible for the PIA on transferred funds.  The DG still had to account at the macro level.  The department was involved with the implementation of projects.

The Chairperson commented that provinces did not seem to understand the arrangements.  There was poor communication between the provinces and Ms Mkhonto.  The national Department had a role in supporting the provinces.  The provinces had a degree of independence but they were still part of a unitary state.

Ms Mkhonto said that national government could not tell the provinces what to do.  However, if the conditional grant performance was not up to scratch, then the Minister would have to account for this.

The Chairperson said that if the provinces were not making use of grants under the Division of Revenue Act (DORA) then their budgets would be cut.  If they were, for example, only spending 36% of their budget then that is all that they would receive in the next FY.  The poverty in the country made it even more serious that money budgeted was not being used.  This was a political issue.  Money was appropriated through the Committee.  The provinces did not have the capacity to use it.

Mr N Dikgacwi (ANC) said that this was an important issue.  Where unemployment was worst was where the least money was being spent.  A workshop had been held for councillors without any improvement in performance.  Practical work was needed.  Even if volunteers were trained and moved out of the system again, trained people were still being produced.  Referring to the previous day’s discussion, he said that he was not convinced about the job advertisements placed by the Limpopo government.  An elaborate recruitment process was not needed.

The Chairperson said that those advertisements had been targeted at management level recruitment.  At lower levels a simpler process could be followed.

Mr T Louw (ANC) asked how many provinces were in attendance at this meeting.

The Chairperson said that not all the provinces had been called.

Mr Louw was concerned that the Committee must engage with these provinces so that they could explain their tendency to under spend.  Members could ask the questions now but would not be doing justice to the matter.

The Chairperson said that it would be unfair to criticise Ms Mkhonto.  The provinces should be held to account.  All parties would need to be in attendance. Provinces must explain why allocated funds were not being spent. The DORA allocations were part of SRSA’s Annual Report.

Mr Louw asked if there was a verification system, and, if so, asked for details.

The Chairperson said that the Department should first present its report.  Some issues were part of the queries raised by the Auditor General (AG).

Ms Mkhonto said that there were a few shortcomings at national level.  Programmes needed to be fast-tracked.

The Chairperson said that provinces could now point fingers at SRSA.

Ms Mkhonto explained how the budget had been allocated over the five year period.  In 2004 R20 million had been budgeted for the conditional grant, R30 million in year 2, R119 million in year 3, R194 million in year 4 and R290 million in year 5.  The national Department had retained R11 million for central training programmes.  National Treasury (NT) was impressed by this planning.  The basis of the conditional grant was a baseline figure for each province, after which funds were allocated according to the equitable share formula (ESF).

The Chairperson asked how much Gauteng had been allocated in the 2006/07 FY under the ESF, and how much had been returned.

Ms Mkhonto said that R2 million had been returned.  SRSA only retained limited funds, and relied on the provinces to deliver the Mass Participation Programme.  In the previous year 98% had been transferred and only 2% retained.  Limpopo had asked for an additional R194 000 and Gauteng for an additional R4 million.  Of the other provinces, EC had in fact spent 101% of their budget, which had raised the national average.  Only one province had spent less than 90%.

She said that there were both financial and non-financial conditions to the DORA grants.  She had met with programme co-ordinators to address financial issues.  They said that they had spent the allocated funds, but the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) had reports that indicated otherwise.  There were communication problems.  Better control was needed over the voted funds in the conditional grant.  There were posting problems.  In Gauteng there had been mistakes in the capturing of expenditure.  Provinces had to adhere to both the financial and non-financial conditions.  The key performance indicator areas were the Siyadlala campaign, school sport and legacy projects. 

The Chairperson asked about the legacy projects.  In school sport the issues were clear.  Members understood the concept of the Siyadlala programme.  However, the legacy projects covered a wide area and there was some confusion.  He was not sure about what Limpopo had done in this regard.  A workshop was needed to define the legacy concept.

Ms Mkhonto said that the focus of the Siyadlala campaign was on the community and grassroots development, for people of all ages.  As many people as possible were involved.  SRSA had started with the Siyadlala campaign in the first two years of the DOR funding.  School sport had been brought in after that.  The federations, however, focussed on vertical development of talent.  Members of the community had to articulate their needs.  One specific need being addressed was children being taught to swim in communities bordering on the sea, rivers and dams.  There was also a focus on indigenous games.  The poorest of the poor should be targeted.

The Chairperson said that everybody should be involved.  There was a dichotomy in school sport.  Siyadlala should be for those outside school, but there was an overlap.

Ms Mkhonto said that many school sports programmes had been introduced.  Additional grants had been given.  It was a mistake to assume that the poorest of the poor had no access to physical education (PE).  The resources of SRSA were being used as a substitute for PE.  Sport should in fact complement PE.  South Africa was teeming with talent and as many as possible should have exposure.  This was why the hub system had been introduced.  Any open area within a community could be used.  Such public spaces should be within five kilometres of the community.  The Department had issued guidelines on how hubs should be established.  Stipends were spent mainly on transport.  In high intensive types of exercise like aerobics the participants needed to eat and drink afterwards to restore their energy.

She agreed that legacy was a broad term.  Areas had been identified for the provinces in Limpopo and the North West.  Facilities were being built as a result of the 2010 World Cup.  Participatory programmes were in place.  It was tempting for provinces to use the conditional grant funds for facilities rather than programmes.  It was more important to organise activities for children, and these could be conducted in any open field.

The Chairperson was shocked that the conditional grant funds were being spent on facilities.  However, there was a lack of space at schools.  In many cases no provision had been made for playing fields.  Facilities should be addressed in the Integrated Development Plans (IDP’s) that municipalities should have set up.  Wonderful progress had been made in the provision of facilities under the Building for Sports and Recreation Programme (BSRP).  He realised that 75% of schools would never have their own sports facilities.

Ms Mkhonto said that provinces needed to be creative.  Training programmes had been conducted for referees, coaches and technical officials.  SRSA needed to look at the quality of this training.  Such training should not be done just for the fun of it or to generate numbers of trained volunteers.  Capacity talked to skills development and skills capacity.  For example, in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) the provincial department had focused on developing the sports goods industry at community level.  It was time to empower communities.  SRSA was waiting for ideas on how this could be realised.

She said that spectator mobilisation was an area of concern.  All South Africans were in 2010 together.  Legacy funds would be relevant here.  South Africa was the host for the World Cup, but it was also an African World Cup as six teams from the continent would be taking part.  Provinces were doing a lot of work to prepare themselves for the tournament.  Large promotional events were being held but media coverage was poor.  The vibe was not being caught yet.  She was glad that the mascot Zakumi was available and was being used as part of the road show to promote the event.

The Chairperson asked how many of these events had been discussed with the media.  In various previous World Cup host countries expectations had been huge but these had not been well accommodated.  Children should be taken on tours of the stadiums under construction.  It would be good to provide this opportunity to track programmes.

Mr Dan Moyo, Co-ordinator, 2010, SRSA, said that it was correct that the programme of mass mobilisation had not yet started.  The Green Point Stadium had started to conduct stadium tours and all other host cities should follow suit.  This was a vehicle for involving schools and the elderly.  The South African Football Association (SAFA) had taken a decision to provide free tickets to World Cup matches for all workers who had been involved at any stage of construction.  He applauded this initiative.

The Chairperson expressed pride at this initiative..

Ms Mkhonto said that this was one of the creative ideas she was calling for.  She said that North West had wanted to use some of its conditional grant to buy cars and to transfer funds to federations.  This could not be done.  Funds transferred to provinces could not be transferred to another entity.  If they wished to fund the federations then they should use their allocations for goods and services.  Agreements had to be reported otherwise the arrangements would be illegal.  NT would be happy if these arrangements were honoured.  Public participation would be increased.  However, conditional grant funding could not be used for facilities.

Expenditure Patterns in North West
Ms Mkhonto said that North West had received transfer payments to the value of R12 million, of which 49.78% had been spent to date.  One person should be held responsible for the programmes in the province, but different names were being put forward.  The provinces’ inability to identify a single point of contact resulted in a lack of reporting and SRSA had to rely on hearsay in order to compile its own reports. 

She said that the province was using the cluster system based on local government wards.  Information was being provided by the Member of the Executive Council for sport, but departmental officials were telling a different story.  SRSA had found it necessary to send an evaluation team to the province.  The DG had sent a letter to the province outlining the procedures to be followed.  The Department had requested that HoDs attend a workshop, but junior officials had been sent instead.  SRSA wanted to assist and was prepared to spend money on behalf of the province to achieve its objectives. 

Ms Mkhonto said that there was a need to engage with the media.  At the workshop, there had been an agreement on the need for intervention by SRSA.  Blockages included confusion over the nature of the legacy projects and the lack of knowledge of some officials about what procedures were to be followed.  A follow-up meeting had been called, but only four provinces had attended.

She said that SRSA would assist the provinces in managing the supply chain.  The Eastern Cape had identified the issue.  A large portion of their budget had been set aside for a particular tender.  This amounted to 36% of their transfer funds.  The tender had been awarded but proceedings had been halted due to a conflict of interests.  The five provinces who had failed to attend the workshop would have their third-quarter transfers delayed.  They had to learn to toe the line.

Ms M Polweni, HoD Sports, Arts and Culture, North West, said that delays in implementing programmes had been due to a restructuring process.  The intention was to reach the poorest communities, as the province was 90% rural.  Previous programmes had only looked at major towns like Potchefstroom and had not gone into the deep rural areas.  The cluster system was linking 99 wards in 21 municipalities.  Training was needed and the 5% concession was being used to fund the process.  Programmes were being managed far away from the provincial government headquarters.  Sport development officers and project managers had been appointed at remote locations.  They wanted these people to be accountable for their projects.

She said that several activities had taken place in the province.  Indigenous games were being promoted and preparations for the Olympic Games were under way as the province was working towards its role as one of the hosts for the Confederations Cup, the 2010 World Cup and the Zone 6 Games.  The Province had only recently become aware of their status as a host venue for the Confederations Cup.  Some legacy considerations had being used to advance programmes. 

Ms Polweni said that the purchase of equipment and related items had to be funded, as well as capacity building and training.  The province had to know how it could use the funds granted to it. There was a need for control as all the money was being placed together. A holistic approach was needed in that leaders had to have knowledge of the rules and techniques of the different codes.  If not, then equipment would gather dust because no-one would have knowledge of how to use it.

The HoD said that there had been some recovery.  She assured the meeting that her team understood the system.  There was a link between equipment and training.  Moving into the third quarter of the FY, structures were in place and training had started.  The Mandela Cup would be staged in the province and would be used as an opportunity to mobilise Bafana Bafana fans.  The media was involved.  They were also working closely with Botswana.

Mr Louw needed clarity on what the Ms Polweni meant when she said the province was strategically traumatised.  She and Ms Mkhonto were telling two different stories.  He asked what had been bought with the R6 million that the province had spent.

Ms M Ntuli (ANC) said that Ms Mkhonto’s concerns had been answered.  It was clearly not easy for the province.  SRSA had run workshops, as it was not easy to understand the terms of the conditional grant.  She was worried that problems were been identified at such a late stage.  Training was under way and the Committee expected the good work to continue.  She asked which of the four provinces had attended the last workshop.  Perhaps a province like Gauteng did not need national government funding. She was concerned that farm people were being ignored.  She asked what strategies were in place to bring the other provinces on board.

Ms W Makgate (ANC) noted that he HoD signed the implementation agreement.  She asked what monitoring mechanism was in place.  Conflicting reports were being received and she wished to know how reliable these reports could be.

Ms Mkhonto said the reports were not conflicting; in fact they were non-existent.  Her information came from the report of the evaluation team.  The response of the HoD was not conflicting information but additional information to that provided by the team.  There was a need to incorporate information from the province in compiling SRSA’s quarterly reports.  Good work was being done in mass mobilisation by the preparations for the Mandela Cup match.  The submission of reports was a requirement of the DORA.  SRSA had to comply with these requirements.

Ms Polweni said that the experiences in the poorer provinces were quite different from provinces like Western Cape. North West suffered from a lack of community fields, facilities and halls.  They first needed to sort out these facilities before they could address programmes.  She asked how the ward system could help.  The local government system could help with sport administration.  It was a question of how staff were distributed.  Transfers would be delayed while staff were orientated.

She said that it had sounded like a strategic presentation, but this was what government was putting into place.  There were questions about and programmes concerning the unblocking of the exclusive use of facilities.  Some scarce facilities were the property of white schools and were not made available to the community.  Money was being spent on sporting attire and training.  Volunteers were trained as referees, in first aid and event management, but were unable to organise a match.  SAFA structures needed to assist.  Meetings had been held with this body and they were beginning to help.  Accreditation was needed.

Ms Polweni said that knowledge was needed to build capacity, particularly in the technical aspects and equipment for the different codes.  The North West University was involved.  Provincial government was in partnership with SAFA and the High Performance Institute at the University.  A monitoring system was being put together.  Reports were the subject of internal arrangements.  Institutional capacity was hampered by the lack of infrastructure.  This was a special challenge in the deep rural areas.  A strong debate was needed.  Artificial playing surfaces had to be considered.

Mr Louw said that the presentation had started with a bleak picture.  Journalists thought that government was doing nothing.  It was not such a hopeless area.  Over the last fourteen years the BSRP had built community facilities.

Ms Polweni said that she was not saying that nothing was being done.  It was crucial that existing facilities should be shared to the benefit of the community.

Ms Makgate agreed that the focus should be on the rural areas as all the existing facilities were in urban areas.

The Chairperson said that a communication problem had been highlighted.  The DG was giving Ms Mkhonto the green light to communicate with HoDs directly.  There was a looming threat.  If provinces did not spend the money allocated to them the impression would be given that the money was not needed.  NT did not have the background to understand the reasons.

Mr Makota Matlala, Acting DG and CFO, SRSA, said that SRSA required the province to include a commitment.

The Chairperson said that the issue had been agreed to at the MinMEC meeting.

Ms Mkhonto said that all provinces had attended the first workshop.  The second had only been attended by the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu Natal (KZN) and Northern Cape.  There were monthly monitoring information systems and templates were being developed.  People should be captured in a database.  There was some paperwork such as a joining form, participation form and monthly report.  On site visits were needed.  Some form of identifying participants was needed, as there were cases where the number of participants was inflated.  A pilot programme regarding biometrics was being developed.

The Chairperson asked when the next quarter would end.

Ms Mkhonto said this would be from October to December.  North West needed to submit written reports to qualify for the grant.

The Chairperson said that moves must be made to unblock the backlogs before the end of the year.

Ms Mkhonto said that funds had not been transferred to the five provinces who had missed the workshop.  Three of them had not accepted the invitation to attend the meeting.  SRSA needed guidance on how to proceed with them.

The Chairperson said that he agreed that information was not being transferred.  The Committee would report this to Parliament.  They needed to understand the problem and there should be a soft lock on funding until the problems were corrected.  He was happy that funds were being distributed correctly.  He asked why so little was being forwarded to the areas where a dire need existed.  Government had moved away from distributing resources based on statistics.  The level of poverty in the Northern Cape was compounded by the vast open spaces in the province, which would remain poor forever.  A developmental state could not work like that.

Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) Annual Report 2007/08
After the break, the Chairperson asked the SRSA delegation to address the emphases of matter as identified by the Auditor General (AG) in the SRSA Annual Report.  He asked who the culprit was in the payment to members for unpaid leave.  He asked if indeed any one person could be blamed or if the problem had arisen due to poor record-keeping by the Department.

Mr Matlala said that the amounts of unauthorised expenditure would be reduced as investigations and repayments progressed.  The amounts quoted were stated as at the end of the 2007/08 FY, and had already changed since then.

The Chairperson said that it was good if the number of claims were to be reduced.  He asked why the issue had been flagged as an emphasis of matter.  If the actions by SRSA to address the situation were still ongoing, then the AG should have withheld his opinion until such time as the Department had resolved the matter.

Mr Retief le Roux, Acting Chief Director (CD): Corporate Services, SRSA,  said that the problem had arisen when human resources (HR) had informed the staff of SRSA that all outstanding leave had to be taken by the end of June 2007.  This announcement was only made on 1 June 2007.  At that stage the Department was busy with an interview process and it was difficult to release staff members for leave.  There had been 29 applications for leave, of which 22 were declined.  The leave application forms were endorsed to this effect.  There were no records of the other seven applications.  Five of the people involved had now repaid the leave money.  He disagreed with the AG’s opinion that this was unauthorised expenditure.  The DG and Acting DG had approved the payment of the unused leave.  He had only been the Acting CD in this Directorate for a week, and was not acquainted with all the background information.

The Chairperson said that he had gleaned the impression that Mr le Roux was the CD from reading the Annual Report.

Ms Ntuli asked when a request would be valid.

Mr Moyo said that the situation would differ from one week to another.  If the unit was very busy it would be up to the relevant CD to make a decision, and it was a problem to generalise.  The 2010 Unit was project-driven and was staffed by people in specialist jobs.  It was not possible for one person to cover for another in this situation and sometimes it was simply not possible to allow people to take leave depending on the status of particular projects.  There was a different situation in other units.

Mr le Roux said the process within the human resources division was that they would circulate the statistics on leave owed to staff members and they would then be given an approximately six-month window to take the leave due to them.

Ms Ntuli said that the unit would know what the duration of projects would be.  They could then manage staff leave accordingly.

The Chairperson said that whether staff were on a contract or full-time basis, the mechanisms of labour relations applied across the board.  All staff members were entitled to leave.

Mr Moyo said that project deadlines were planned by the day, and the posts were filled by specialists.  Leave applications for members of the 2010 Unit had been declined due to work pressure at the time. They were paid out for the leave that they had to forfeit.

Mr Louw asked if it was a general practice that workers could take money in lieu of leave.

Mr Moyo said that this did apply.

Mr Louw asked what problem the AG had with this arrangement in that case.  There was no representative from the AG present to answer this question.

Mr Matlala said that the AG acted independently.  The issue had been under internal investigation by the risk management section of SRSA at the time. The figures involved might change as corrective measures were taken.

The Chairperson said that SRSA officials could not speak for the AG.  The AG was now creating a problem for the Department.  He asked why the AG had declared this unauthorised expenditure while the matter was still under investigation.  Even if evidence of fraud was uncovered, the matter would only be settled when a resulting criminal case would be concluded.  The AG could not just declare this unauthorised expenditure.  He asked the SRSA team to move on to the issue of the promotional items, and asked who had compiled this part of the report.

Mr Matlala said it had come from risk management.

The Chairperson asked if this was at the initiative of the AG or SRSA.  The AG could not take disciplinary action against members of the Department.

Mr Louw said that the Annual Report spoke to this matter as if it were an AG investigation, and yet it was clear that the Department had instituted disciplinary action.  There was a concern but nobody could explain what had happened.  SRSA was unable to answer the question on who in the Department was linked to the Seventh Day Adventist Church, whose Youth group seemed to be the beneficiary of this funding. They had given a strategically evasive answer.  There had been no satisfactory response and he felt that a thorough investigation was needed.  The Department was being evasive.  This indicated that something was wrong.  The disciplinary action taken was an indication that SRSA was aware that some form of wrongdoing had occurred.

He said that when the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) became involved it would call both the Chairperson of the Committee and SRSA officials to explain.  It was best that the Committee be given the facts so that the matter could be dealt with at this forum.  The Members wanted SRSA to reveal the information, and expected the Department to be open with them.  He asked how a religious body could be involved in sport.  He wanted to know who in SRSA had the links to the church and who had authorised the transactions.

Mr Matlala said that the problem had been noticed at the end of the last FY.  Disciplinary action would be taken.  While he was Acting DG a charge sheet had been received.  A certain official of the Department had been charged.  The sum of R675 000 was the total of more than one transaction.  The charge sheet did not show who the members of the church were, but it was known that another official was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

The Chairperson asked if the authorising official was responsible for the entire R675 000.

Mr Matlala said that this was the total amount.  The official had authorised the transactions for promotional items.  This person had authorised the requisitions.

The Chairperson said that serious discussion was needed before SCOPA questioned what had happened and he would not pre-empt that discussion.  He closed the matter for the present.

Mr Moyo made a humble request to suggest that it was important that the Members familiarised themselves with the investigation first.

The Chairperson said that certain assumptions had been made in the Annual Report.  These could not be ignored.  He could not make a judgement until all sides of the story had been heard.  Things were happening within SRSA and people would find out about events.  For example, while he was in Durban for the National Sports Indaba, he had received a call from Mr David Isaacson, a journalist at the Sunday Times.  Mr Isaacson had asked the Chairperson how much had been spent on the indaba.  It would have been better if he had rather asked if the expenditure had been worthwhile.  Another example resulted from the advertisement of the post of CD: Corporate Services.  The AG had written to the Department to request some more details and the Z83 form.  The Department had not yet responded.

Ms Noziphiwo Lubanga, Director: Internal Audit, SRSA,  asked if the AG was suspicious of this appointment.

The Chairperson said that it was an administrative matter.

The Chairperson then said that a ministerial car had been put at the disposal of the Deputy Minister in the Eastern Cape. This arrangement had run for five years before being questioned by the AG.  The intention was to save money, as a vehicle would have had to be rented otherwise, but the AG deemed this to be an unwarranted saving.

Ms Ntuli said that the Committee was not trying to grill SRSA but to help them.

The Chairperson said that when an explanation was received from the Department it would enable the Committee to intervene with SCOPA.

Mr Louw said that he suspected the AG was being fed information from someone within the Department.

The Chairperson said that the AG wished to examine the details of the position being advertised.  A horizontal transfer could not lead to an upward promotion.  The AG would be able to tell if everything was in order or not by examining the information.

Ms Ntuli asked why the information had not been available the previous day.

The Chairperson said that the Department was right.  The Committee would be acting like the media if they were to accuse SRSA of misconduct.  If the Department wanted recourse in the face of decisions against them then they would have to work through this Committee.  By discussing the issues further they might be seen as taking sides. 

He ruled that the names of the officials mentioned regarding the unauthorised expenditure investigations should not be made public as the cases were still sub judice.

Mr Matlala went on to the emphasis of matter regarding training courses.  This had been deemed to be irregular expenditure due to the questioning of the amount involved.  An amount of R475 000 was tabled.  The problem was that people who had authorised this expenditure had not been delegated to do so.

The Chairperson asked why such a straightforward problem should have had to be investigated.

Mr Moyo said that the training had been assigned to a service provider.  A certain number of courses were scheduled and the parties agreed on the amount.  At some later date a junior official had extended the number of courses, which resulted in an additional cost.  This had become a big amount.

The Chairperson said it was then correct for the DG to launch an investigation.

Mr Matlala said the investigation was to find out who had mandated the official to increase the number of courses.

Mr Moyo said that the Department was alerted when they noticed the invoice had been changed from the agreed amount for the training.

The Chairperson said that SRSA must verify if the service provider was at fault and if the services charged for had indeed been delivered. 

He then asked about a sports event which had produced an unknown unauthorised expenditure.

Mr Matlala said that he still had to find out which sport event was the subject of this emphasis.

The Chairperson then turned his attention to a loss of equipment.

Mr Matlala explained that this was the result of the Department moving offices.  A service provider was appointed to install Integrated Technology (IT) equipment.  When SRSA moved into the new building it was discovered that certain pieces of equipment were missing.  The service provider had wanted to shift the responsibility for the loss onto the Department.  An investigation had been concluded, but it was difficult to identify the culprit.  The company was liquidated in the meantime.  Eventually SRSA, State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and the company had agreed to share the loss.  The equipment was replaced.

Mr Moyo said that no SRSA officials were present in the building at the suspected time of loss.  Only the contractors installing the equipment were on site.

Mr Matlala said that SRSA had not paid for the equipment at that stage.

The Chairperson asked how they could then have reached that conclusion.  If the service provider had delivered the equipment to the wrong address, then it was not the Department’s fault.  It was the company’s negligence.  The goods had simply not been received.

Mr Matlala said that it was a very big project.  The total expense on equipment was approximately R7 million, of which some had gone missing.  Queries had been raised with the contractor.  One SRSA official had been tasked with overseeing the installation and disciplinary action had been taken.

The Chairperson moved onto an unauthorised expenditure of approximately R200 000 for accommodation.

Mr Matlala said that a Zone 6 meeting had been scheduled in Potchefstroom.  There was some missed communication regarding the bookings. The bookings had been made, but the hotel’s security was found to be below the required standard when the delegations had arrived.  The amount of R202 000 was a non-refundable deposit.

Mr Moyo said that SRSA had been charged for rooms that had been reserved but not cancelled.  The Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers had only objected after the staff had already booked into the hotel.

Ms Makgate confirmed that this had been reported in the media.

The Chairperson asked about an amount of R1.4 million due to a fraudulent bank account.

Mr Matlala confirmed that a bank account had been opened in a fraudulent manner.  This was referred to as the Lichtenburg incident.  The money had not been lost.  Two officials had been apprehended.  Disciplinary action had been taken which had seen one official being dismissed and the other was placed under suspension.

The Chairperson said that the R1.4 million had been paid into the bank account, which had been opened in the name of a statutory body.  The full amount had been recovered.  The South African Police Service (SAPS) had intervened and internal disciplinary action had been taken.  He asked why this should be classified as unauthorised expenditure.  The only relevant issue was the criminal conduct of the staff.  Nothing had been spent. This should be discussed with the AG.

Briefing by Office of the Director-General (DG)
Mr Mandla Sibanyoni, Director: Office of the DG, SRSA, said that a top management team had been raised.  Initially they had met weekly under the chairmanship of the DG, but the meetings were now bi-weekly.  The Management Committee met monthly.  The Stakeholders Review Committee met on a quarterly basis.  Relationships were maintained with the different entities that fell under SRSA’s control.  The DG met monthly with the Chairperson of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of each entity.  Departmental spending had been expedited.  Better relationships were being maintained with the provinces.

Briefing by Corporate Services
Mr le Roux said that Corporate Services included six directorates.  The main achievement of the Auxiliary Services Directorate was the move between offices.  There had been challenges such as crime prevention as access to the building was too easy.  Size was also a problem as the building had been planned to accommodate 195 people but there were now 228 occupants.  This did not include temporary staff working on ad hoc projects.  Eleven interns were employed and this number was increasing to 25.  The Disability Desk in the Office of the President had queried the limited access for disabled persons.  There were admittedly some shortcomings that were being addressed by the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the landlords.  The end of the FY served as a basis for benchmarking on rates and service charges.

He said that the Labour Relations Directorate had ensured that 75% of staff were trained in grievance procedures.  The General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council (GPSSBC) had settled one dispute in favour of the Department. Seven placement grievances had been heard of which two had been settled to date.  One official had been suspended for a total of 188 days.

Mr le Roux said that the Human Resources Directorate had seen SRSA meet its equity targets.  It had provided 225 training opportunities and 32 bursaries during the 2007/08 FY.  SRSA had evaluated 25 posts of which 14 had been upgraded.  Of 228 approved posts, 37 were vacant at 31 March 2008.  SRSA had promoted 26 staff members.  The Department had appointed 85 new employees while 12 had left its service.  A total of 666 days of sick leave had been taken with an estimated value of R588 000.  There had been 2 354 days of annual leave taken by staff members which represented an average of twelve per person for the year.  Two written warnings had been issued and two final warnings.  Seventeen grievances had been lodged of which seven had been resolved.  Ten disputes had been lodged of which seven were dismissed.  SRSA had lost 21 days to strike action and the Department had recovered R34 000 from employees due to their resulting absences.  Two persons had been injured on duty.

Regarding the Legal Services Directorate, he said that the Sport and Recreation Amendment Act had been promulgated in December 2007.  An intellectual property register had been established.  The use of the king protea emblem had been negotiated with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and Cricket South Africa (CSA).

Mr le Roux said that the Communication & Information Directorate supported the Minister and departmental programmes.  It was responsible for branding at events.  It also produced SRSA documents such as the Annual Report and the quarterly Your Sport magazine.

Finally, he said that the Information Technology Directorate had identified a lot of problems and several IT related weaknesses of access security and back up procedures. An audit had been done.  Plans were being put into place to address these problems.  A network security plan was being put in place including aspects such as backup security and disaster recovery.  User accounts would be better managed with users being required to change passwords regularly.  A proper help desk was being implemented.  Daily backups would be made of data and off site storage would be used.

Briefing on Strategic and Executive Support
Mr Bernardus van der Spuy, Director, SRSA,  said that the Strategic and Executive Support Directorate was responsible for the updating of the White Paper on sport and recreation.  The strategic plan for the period 2008 – 2012 was being updated.  A business plan had been developed for the 2008/09 FY.  Quarterly status reviews were a key element in compiling an executive report for the Minister.  A policy register was being developed.  To date no policies had been officially approved by the DG.  A management letter from the AG had helped to identify the gaps.  They were now preparing 49 policies for approval.  They were finalising the “A Case for Sport” framework.  They had compiled a list of all external forums where SRSA was represented.  The MPP would be subject to a monitoring and evaluation programme in five provinces.  Three service delivery improvement plans had been completed for programmes and another two were being finalised.

The Chairperson asked who was dealing with labour relations.

Mr le Roux said that that the Director was Ms Monica Mabuya.  She had one staff member to assist her but SRSA was looking to appoint two more.

The Chairperson said that there was a challenge, as evidenced by the long time span to resolve disputes.  He asked who had been responsible for selecting the current office building, as it seemed the building was not ideal.

Mr le Roux said that none of the current management staff had been involved.  They had inherited the decision from the former DG, Prof Denver Hendricks.  The current office space was one of three options.  They had been forced to move.  The offices of the former Sports Commission had been in Centurion, but there was no real scope for the installation of IT systems.  National Intelligence and the SAPS were not happy with the present building as there was a problem with access control and the security of the Minister was not satisfactory.  They were getting poor co-operation from the Metropolitan Police.

He said that SRSA was talking to the University of Pretoria.  Some land was available on their campus near the High Performance Centre.  There was the possibility of a land swap with the Tshwane Metro.  This move might have political consequences as DPW preferred departmental offices to be in the inner city, but there was already a precedent.  The Department of Science and Technology had relocated its offices to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research premises on the outskirts of the city.

The Chairperson observed that one official had been suspended for a year and a half.  He asked if this was due to the failings of the Human Resources Directorate.  This lack of action could result in a query.

Mr le Roux agreed that investigations were taking too long.  The company involved in this particular investigation had gone bankrupt.  The Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee had withdrawn from the case, and the accused had been sick for a long time.  These circumstances had delayed the work of the Disciplinary Committee.  He did not think that any queries would result from this.

The Chairperson then turned to the question of royalties receivable by SRSA for the use of the national emblems.  Mr Louis Luyt had reacted to a statement made by the Minister the previous day regarding the ownership of the springbok emblem.  Mr Luyt had said that the Minister lied when he said that the government owned the rights to the emblem.

Mr le Roux said the royalties issue was more towards the king protea emblem.  The question of ownership was being investigated by the Department’s lawyers and the International Marketing Group (IMG).

Mr Louw asked how much was being received in royalties.

Mr Matlala said that the approximate figures were R500 000 per annum from rugby and R80 000 from cricket.

Mr Moyo said the figures were different from one year to another.  There were different sales patterns, particularly in World Cup years.  The question was on how to increase monitoring to ensure that the correct amount of royalties was paid.  Goods bearing the logos were shipped from the manufacturer to the wholesalers and from there to retailers.  At present the Department had to rely on sales figures released by SARU and CSA.

The Chairperson said that the certificate issued by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) should be used.

Mr Moyo said that the international trend was that royalties were based on the volume of manufactured goods rather than retail sales.  The situation was still being developed in South Africa.

Mr Louw said that cricket and rugby were being monitored.  He asked about royalties being received from SAFA.

Mr Moyo said that SAFA had refused to sign a contract. In the past the national team had only worn the SAFA logo on their playing kit.  In about 2002 SAFA had been instructed to incorporate the king protea.  Minister Stofile had insisted that the king protea be worn in its rightful place.  Adidas was the kit supplier at the time, and had been instructed by the SAFA CEO to incorporate the king protea.  The plan was that the king protea would appear on the left of the shirt and the SAFA logo on the right.  There was no agreement yet on royalties.  SAFA said they were not selling anything.  This was not true.  Nothing was coming back from Adidas.  The situation could not be compared to rugby and cricket.

Mr Louw felt that this issue had to be taken up with SAFA.

The Chairperson said that the legal process had to be given a chance before the Committee dealt with it.  He noted that the soccer bosses had been paid another huge amount of money.  He asked when “A Case for Sport” would be finalised.

Mr van der Spuy said that he had received the first draft.  The second draft was expected in mid-November.  It would then be distributed for key role players.

The Chairperson said that this document would be a blueprint on policy issues.  Interaction was needed on this issue.

Briefing by Sport Support Services
Ms Noma Kotelo, Director: Sport Support Services, SRSA, said that Programme 2 was a Directorate under Ms Alison Burchell.  There were three sub-directorates.  The first was titled Sport and Recreation Service Providers.  There were four people under this Deputy Director.  Their main function was to transfer and monitor funds, which were disbursed to 64 organisations, including public entities.  These organisations included national federations, non-governmental organisations, LoveLife and the three statutory entitles – Boxing South Africa (BSA), the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). 

She said that SASCOC had been given funding for team delivery.  Major events included the All Africa Games and Olympic Games.  A subsection of this was the national academy programme.  The tender to operate this programme was won by the University of Pretoria.  The sub-directorate assisted with the development of athletes by providing financial aid.  The relationship with LoveLife was decided at a higher level.  The Department functioned as a post box, but did manage the transfer of funds and monitored the manner in which they were used.

Ms Kotelo said that SAIDS had conducted 2 million tests.  Educational workshops had been held which had been attended by 5 000 people.  The major theme had been raising awareness of drug abuse.  A pilot programme had also been held at the South African Games in September 2007 on the theme of awareness.  SAIDS had played a part as the regional World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) representatives.  They had also taken a part in the development of the anti-doping capacity on the African continent.

She said that the number of licences issued by BSA had increased from 857 to 1 047.  There was an agreement with the Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Educational and Training Authority (Theta) for capacity building projects.  The number of boxers had increased by a hundred to 685.  BSA was running a development programme called the Baby Champs League.  There had been increases in the numbers of ring officials, support staff and promoters.  BSA had received an unqualified report for the first time in years.  A new CEO had been appointed.  A strategic planning workshop had been held.

Ms Kotelo said that the Club Development Programme had a staff of three, namely a Deputy Director and two staff.  They had established 366 new clubs in areas identified by all the provinces and with the aid of the DORA grant.  This was a key performance indicator within the legacy programme.  They would need independent help and would be developed through the communities they served.  Apparel and equipment had been provided and 356 team managers had been trained.  The codes involved were mainly football and netball.  Coaches had been trained.  Some of these training programmes were being hampered by sufficient funds not being available to transport students.

She said that the Education and Training sub-directorate was co-ordinating the writing of programmes, which would be aligned with the structure of the National Qualification Framework.  Theta was assisting with a capacity building programme.  Some 3 500 people had been trained in coaching, team management, administration and event management.  Some 450 volunteers had been trained to assist with the preliminary draw for the 2010 World Cup.  Money was requested from NT for training programmes.  The subject was worthy of lengthy discussion.  There was a joint implementation plan with SAFA.  Products and materials were being manufactured for use across the country.  They had co-ordinated a national education and training conference which had been attended by 108 delegates.

Mr Louw questioned the number of dope tests conducted by SAIDS.  If 2 million had been done it would indicate an active sporting population of at least 20 million.

Ms Kotelo corrected herself.  The actual number of tests conducted was 2 953.

Mr Louw asked how many SRSA officials had attended the Olympic Games in Beijing.  The promotional stall set up by SRSA had been a disaster.  R10 million had been spent.  He asked what had happened there, and what role had been taken by the delegates.

Ms Kotelo said that she had not been part of this team.  It had been a partnership with the 2010 Unit.

Mr Dikgacwi asked where the 366 new clubs were located.  He asked if they were still in existence.  He asked for a breakdown by gender and race of the 356 trained managers.  By race he understood the category of black people to include Africans, Coloured, and Indians, but not Chinese.  He asked if the database was being kept up to date.  SRSA should keep track of where the trained volunteers were now and what they were doing.  There was no data to track sportspeople.  Rugby was biased in its record keeping.  They had the information on all white players, but black players disappeared from the system after they turned 21.

Mr Louw asked for a breakdown of the 366 clubs by code, especially soccer.

Ms Kotelo said that the clubs were located in all nine provinces.  She would get the database the next day with details of the different regions and races involved.  Attendance registers were kept of training sessions.  99% of the clubs had been established in rural areas.  This was a conscious decision.  The database was not inclusive.  The one objective of training should be for the student to sign a contract to plough something back into the Department’s service.  This was not being achieved due to a lack of staff capacity.  The numbers had increased but were not reflected in the database.

Mr Louw said that SRSA had to understand the process of nation building.  He suspected that part of the problem when clubs were established is that old mentalities were being enforced, such as that only whites knew how to play rugby and cricket.  Part of the strategy should be to unlock these mentalities so whites could not claim ownership of these codes.  The notion that blacks had ownership of codes like soccer would also be dispelled.  This was why Afriforum made the claim that whites were not allowed to play soccer.  It should be part of the initiative to get whites to play soccer in numbers again.  There had been a marked dwindling in the numbers and no-one was doing anything to correct the situation.  Indians should also be encouraged to play soccer.  There had been some good Indian players who had represented the country in the recent past.

Ms Kotelo said that SRSA was in partnership with SARU to develop rugby, especially in the Transkei area.  The game was spreading into Limpopo and Mpumalanga as well.  The Minister wanted to see the MPP spreading into schools and for soccer to be an inclusive sport.  The legends programme was in its infancy still.  There was a project to utilise the legends to develop sport.

Mr Dikgacwi spoke about soccer tournaments held over Easter.  Barriers would remain firmly in place in the country as long as separate tournaments were being held for black, white and coloured players.  The tournaments should cut across the races.  The same should apply at schools.  In some areas whites did not want to help black clubs, but this did not apply in all cases.

Ms Kotelo said that there was a strategy within the partnership with SARU with that exact objective.  She was not aware that there would be insufficient funds for this programme and had not given up hope of success.

The Chairperson asked about service providers.  He wished to know if the draft master plan incorporated SAIDS.

Ms Kotelo said that SRSA had a co-ordinating role to deliver the service.

The Chairperson asked what the cost implications would be of having more awareness campaigns about doping.  While the South African government was entering into protocols with international bodies, the rules of Parliament still applied.  The Minister could go overseas to sign agreements, but these were just pieces of paper until the agreements were ratified by Parliament.  He asked if there was an old or recent protocol in force regarding the Zone 6 games.

Ms Kotelo said that there was an existing protocol.  She did not know if the new protocols had been ratified.

Mr Moyo said that the Chairperson was correct.  There had been an agreement to host the Zone 6 games but this had only become official after Cabinet had approved a memorandum to host the games in June 2007.  There were no bilateral protocols in place.

The Chairperson warned the Department not to be caught sleeping.  They must check all bilateral agreements and protocols.

Ms Kotelo said some of these had been passed at Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) level.

The Chairperson said DFA might have protocols, but the Department itself could not ratify them.

Mr Manase Makwela, Director: Marketing & Communication, SRSA, said that the issue of the Beijing exhibition was still being investigated by the internal audit division.

The Chairperson asked how many people had travelled to China.

Mr Makwela replied that five officials had been sent to set up the eKhaya project.  They went to provide a marketing service.  The exhibition centre had been due to be opened on 6 August.  However, the material required for the exhibition had been held back by Chinese customs.  Media interest had been stimulated by some differences with the South African ambassador to Beijing.  The purpose of the exhibition was twofold.  Firstly it was a promotion for the 2010 World Cup.  Secondly it was part of the celebration of ten years of South African diplomatic links with China.

Mr Makwela said that several dignitaries had been invited, including Mr Sam Ramaswamy, now a member of the International Olympic Committee, and the President of SASCOC.  On the day there were some key events in the athletics competition and the opening had been shifted by an hour.  Invitations had been extended to the other embassies and it would have had a negative impact if these invitations had been withdrawn.  A total of 200 invitations had been sent out, but it transpired that only ten had reached the addressees.  The South African embassy had been responsible for their distribution.

He said that daily meetings were held by the SRSA team.  These meetings were attended by a SASCOC board member and media and liaison representatives.  The event had happened and had been a success.  SRSA was held liable to pay for the venue whether it was used or not.  There was limited accommodation in the city and it had been preferential to pay in advance.

Mr Moyo said that the hostility of the South African media had shifted with the time change of the opening event on 9 August.    They had then reported more on the hospitality stand than on the team’s performance.  There had been an outside person in the government delegation.  This was the second leg of the celebration of ten years of diplomatic links between the two countries, with the Department of Trade and Industry having taken responsibility for the first.

He said that the team had raised matters with the ambassador.  The SRSA delegation was unhappy with the presence of the SASCOC media liaison official as they felt that he had no place being part of the meetings.  Another problem was the visit of President George W Bush.  He had stayed at the hotel in which the exhibition was being held.  The USA security team had sealed off the hotel during his stay and the SRSA delegation had no access to the exhibition venue.  The delays with the required equipment being held back by customs had also caused problems.

Mr Moyo said that the ambassador had recommended this hotel.  He should have known that President Bush would be staying there, with the attendant problems of access.  The hotel was far removed from the Games.  It was well outside the Olympic Ring in which all of these types of events were normally held.  The media did not understand the challenges that SRSA faced.

He said that accommodation had been booked in advance and a deposit paid in August 2007.  SRSA had booked sufficient accommodation for their own needs.  Bookings had also been made for the provinces, the Department of Arts and Culture and South African Tourism, who would have assisted with the exhibition.  None of these bodies had turned up in Beijing and SRSA was left carrying the can.  The media had gone overboard in their criticism.

Mr Louw remarked that Natalie du Toit could not find accommodation in the city while there were unused rooms at SRSA’s hotel.  He noted that an investigation had been launched and he hoped that the accommodation problem would be part of these investigations.  He asked if the provinces would be billed for the unused accommodation.

Mr Moyo said that the investigation would answer this question.

The Chairperson said that these events would result in a disclaimer from the AG in the next FY.  They needed to tie up the loose ends.

Mr Frolick said that he hoped that there had been written requests for the bookings which could be used as evidence.  The provinces and other entities would have to explain why they had not gone to Beijing.  He could see how the relations between SASCOC personnel and journalists had been used to deflect attention from the team.  Mr Isaacson had picked this up.

The Chairperson said that nobody had known about the stall in Beijing but the South African media had picked up the issue.  It seemed that information was leaking to the AG and the media.

Briefing on Facilities
Mr Popo Ndlanya, Deputy Director: Facilities, SRSA, said that facilities workshops had been held in all nine provinces, and had been attended by 158 municipalities and 28 sport and community organisations.  The unit was conducting research on existing facilities and a wish list from the community.  Training programmes had been arranged.  There was a two-day course for facilities management as well as a six-day course.  A pilot course had been presented already and the second would be presented in November.  The Tshwane University of Technology and Cape Peninsula University of Technology were partners.

Mr Dikgacwi noted that the Basic Sport and Recreation Facility Management Programme had been presented to 73 municipalities.  He asked which municipalities had been involved.  There was a national problem where government facilities were leased to federations who then did what they liked with them.  People could not afford to make use of such facilities.  The Department had to investigate this trend.

Mr Ndlanya replied that they had gone beyond this request already.  They would present a written submission to the Minister on the subject of lease agreements.  There had been a successful arrangement with the JG Strydom High School in Frankfort.  The Minister would be approached to appoint a task team.
Mr Ndlanya confirmed that the 28 sport, recreation and community organisations which had attended the programme were in fact Sports Councils.

The Chairperson wanted information on how funds from the BSRP had migrated into the Municipal Infrastructure Grant.  He wanted to know how many facilities had been built.

The meeting was adjourned.



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