Beijing Olympics Team Preparation: Input by SASCOC and SRSA; SABC Siyanqoba Campaign; SA Football Supporters Association

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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

19 June 2007

Mr B Komphela (ANC)

Relevant documents:
Beijing Olympic Games preparation
South African Football Supporters Association presentation
Amalgamated Soccer Supporters and SA Soccer Supporters
SABC media release on broadcasting rights for South African soccer (see Appendix)

Audio Recording of the Meeting
Part 1
Part 2

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) were charged with preparing the South African team for major events such as the Olympic Games and All Africa Games. An 'Operation Excellence' was in place to develop top athletes. Funding was received from the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Lotteries Board to run these programs. There was reluctance from Treasury and sponsors to invest in administration and the Committee was asked for support on this issue. It was emphasised that not all athletes or teams which qualified for events would actually be selected. Representivity would be part of the selection criteria.

Members questioned some of the allocations from the Lottery, and thought that more should be given to sport. Funding by the Lottery should follow a four-year cycle so that there was financial certainty for planning purposes. Some members felt that the current programs were not benefiting the black population. There was a need for decentralisation of academies and the high performance program. National federations were criticised for failing to transform adequately. On the issue of the double sports councils in Port Elizabeth, SASCOC reported that it was being resolved.

Two different supporters’ organisations appeared before the Committee. The South African Football Supporters Association hoped to have 10 million organised supporters by 2010. It also wanted to have some insight into the management of football in the country. The Amalgamated Soccer Supporters group was more concerned with insurance issues and compensation for fans killed or injured at matches or en route to matches. The Siyanboqa campaign, a project of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, was also looking to mobilise support for the South African team for the 2010 World Cup.

Members felt that the two organisations should work together. The Siyanboqa Campaign should provide a leadership role to bring the groups together. It was emphasised that the South African Football Association was still the mother body, and supporters groups should not interfere with its administration.

Broadcasting rights for South African soccer
The Chairperson noted a South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) media release which explained the situation about the Premier Soccer League (PSL) selling its broadcast rights to a pay-television channel, SuperSport, for five years. SABC would not be present at this meeting (although a representative did arrive later) due to legal issues. A process of arbitration between PSL and SABC had been started but had been stalled. The Premier Soccer League (PSL) was not acting in good faith. The arbitrator's judgement had been made in favour of the SABC the previous week. If the arbitration process was successful, then the deal concluded with SuperSport would be nullified. Even if it was unsuccessful, the PSL was still obliged to accommodate the SABC.

Mr C Frolick (ANC) noted the contents of the media release. Many things were not as clear as had first been thought. The Committee would have to call all affected parties in at some stage. This press release conflicted with previous statements.

The Chairperson said that this was information for the members of the Committee. The SABC was obliged to discuss the situation. However, the first item would be the preparation of the South African team for the Beijing Olympics.

Preparation of South African team for Beijing Olympics: presentation by SRSA and SASCOC
Mr Greg Fredericks, Acting Head of Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA), said that SRSA and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) had decided to prepare a joint presentation. He introduced the members of the two delegations.

Ms Hajera Kajee (First Vice-President, SASCOC) apologised on behalf of the organisation’s President who could not be present. She said that SASCOC was responsible for team preparation, with the assistance of SRSA funds and logistic support. They would also set up a hospitality centre in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games. These would run from 8 to 24 August 2008. There would be 28 sporting codes presented. The Paralympics would follow from 6 to 17 September, encompassing twenty codes. SASCOC had designed logos for both events.

She said that funding also came from the International Olympic Council (IOC), the national lottery and sponsors. They hoped to have concluded agreements with two sponsors by the end of the week. However, she compared the local situation to Australia, which had invested Aus$200 million into the 2004 Olympic Games. Australia had achieved 49 medals. By comparison, South Africa had invested just R60 million, and only won five medals. It seemed clear that more resources would produce better results.

She listed the codes that would be taking part in the respective Games. South Africa would not necessarily be represented in all of these. A meeting was being held soon to address qualification and selection criteria. Just because an athlete qualified for an event did not necessary imply automatic selection for the team. The All Africa Games (AAG) were to take place in Algiers between 11 July and 23 July 2007. It was planned to send a Team South Africa of 514 athletes and officials to Beijing in 2008, which would be South Africa’s largest Olympic team.

Ms Kajee said that Operation Excellence was currently being presented to 74 athletes. SASCOC had defined four categories. In individual sporting codes, Category 1 was defined as being potential medallists, and applied to those who fell in the top five in the world rankings. These athletes received an allowance of R10 000 per month. Category 2 was defined as being potential finalists, and applied to those in the top eight. Their monthly allowance was R7 000. Category 3 was defined as potential participants, and applied to those ranked up to sixteenth in their events, and carried a monthly allowance of R4 000. Finally Category 4 was a development category, and their monthly allowance was R2 000. There were also two categories for team sports. Category 1 applied to teams ranked in the top six and were deemed potential medallists. Category 2 applied to teams regarded as potential participants. Of these teams, 40% of the members had to be historically disadvantaged South Africans. Of the 74 athletes in the program, 28 were black and 46 white. There were 47 males and 27 females.

She said that there was also an Olympic solidarity program, which was giving scholarships to six athletes. Eight national federations had each received R70 000 for technical training. SASCOC had received R16 million for the national academy. Training was being given at the High Performance Centre (HPC) in Pretoria. However, the contract with the HPC was only until March 2008. They were presenting preparation programs for a full range of sports offered at the Olympics and the AAG. She clarified some confusion over the way statistics were presented. There were 254 members of team sports in the program and 356 individual sportspeople. Various associations were also applying for funding from the lottery.

The Chairperson observed that Ms Kajee was one of the members of the lottery’s distribution agency. He asked if lottery funding was fulfilling the agenda of sport generally. The Lotteries Board had been called to talk with the Committee, but there had been no response. There was very little money for sport while lottery funding was being given to maintain graveyards and other activities. The ANC’s policy was that lottery funds should go purely to sport.

Ms Kajee replied that the distribution agency had a mandate to provide sports funding at all levels. The criteria were changing at present. The Lottery Board was suffering from a lack of resources, as it could not monitor how its grants were being spent. Organisations were entrusted with spending funding for the purpose reflected in the application.

The Chairperson said that allocations were unfair. The Committee would get the details from the Lotteries Board. There was a lot of money potentially available, almost twice the national budget.

Ms Kajee said that the latest allocation of lottery funds was R400 million.

Mr Frolick noted that this meant nearly R1 billion had been granted over two years.

Ms Kajee replied that a challenge to SASCOC was the late start they had had. There was a roll over of unspent funds. The budget for 2007/08 was R17 million. This would mainly be spent on the Olympic team, as the Paralympic team had its own sponsors. Athletes would be assessed. A four year funding cycle was needed, and the SASCOC system needed to be integrated.

The Chairperson asked about the projection for the work required to prepare the team. Government generally followed medium term predictions.

Ms Kajee replied that their plan was to sign sponsorship deals for four -ear periods. This was a fundamental point being made to the Lottery that funding be on a four-year cycle. SASCOC needed to know what could be expected in the medium future.

Ms Alison Burchell (Chief Director: Client Support, Liaison, Events and Facilities, SRSA) said that this was a challenge to SRSA as well. There had been a late start to their procedures as well, and the tender for the national academy had only been issued in January 2006. As a result, R9 million had not been spent. They had requested National Treasury to allow a roll over. She hoped that they would allow this as the funding was directed towards continuing projects. The lack of four year planning was a severe problem. SRSA’s budget was being realigned away from national federations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). There was no specific budget for SASCOC although R9 million of R22 million had been given to them. SASCOC had received R2 million for the preparation of the AAG team while their budget was R27 million. The same situation applied to Olympic team funding.

The Chairperson said that R9 million was therefore allocated to SASCOC programs. He asked if this was just for funded projects.

Ms Burchell said that it was likely that there was some overlap.

The Chairperson concluded that SRSA knew what the situation was with SASCOC funding. Perhaps money was being given separately for SASCOC’s operational funding needs.

Mr Fredericks replied that it was correct that money was being given for programs, such as Operation Excellence. SRSA would not make funds available for individuals or teams who wished to train overseas. All the programs were presented at the HPC. SASCOC also had a responsibility for sending a team to the World Student Games. Money was provided for projects. However, there was a need to spend money on administrators. National Treasury was reluctant to provide this, and it was also very difficult to persuade sponsors to provide money for this reason. Administrators had to be professional otherwise the programs they controlled would fail. SRSA needed the Committee’s support for this.

The Chairperson said this was right. Policies did not seem to be in place. Policy should never pronounce itself by leading to a reduction in investment. If a political push was needed then SRSA could talk to the Committee. Funding could not only be for programs. It was correct that R9 million should be given to SASCOC to prepare the Olympic team.

Mr Fredericks said that there were no unconditional grants.

Ms Burchell took note of what was being said. There was a need to realign the budget to support national federations. The Lottery was providing more support to these federations. The National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill currently before Parliament would cause SRSA to reprioritise its budget, as there was a greater emphasis on club sport. SRSA’s position was that it should remain involved with High Performance training. There was a view that SRSA should concentrate on transformation. However, they still had a role to play with international events in South Africa. Proper coordination was needed to balance Lottery and government funding. She felt that the Committee could facilitate discussions. There was a lot of money available, but it was not being properly utilised. Some provinces said they did not want to use part of their Division of Revenue Grants (DORA) grants, as the implication was they could not then use their people to control the spending. The Lotteries Board had stated that it would not give money to administration. The distribution agency was not the issue.

Mr Fredericks said that there had to be engagement with National Treasury from the beginning. SRSA knew what was wanted, and a plan would be in place by November. This would give clarity on all aspects.

The Chairperson said that he would check with the ANC policy documents. They would share information with SRSA after the forthcoming ANC policy conference.

Ms Burchell said the last component was to make sure that the academy program tender was extended, as it was due to end before the 2008 Olympic Games. SASCOC had a budget of R17 million, which excluded disabled sport. They needed funds too. There were indications of the level of demand.

Mr Komphela said that support for disabled sport and the promotion of gender equality were not negotiable. The Committee would pass on the imperatives for the equality of opportunities.

Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) said the comparison of funding was between South Africa and Australia. What would be more relevant would be a comparison between South Africa and other African states such as Kenya.

Mr R Bhoola (MF) agreed with Mr Dikgacwi. It was unfair to compare a developing country like South Africa to Australia. South Africa still had to deal with major problems of transformation and mass participation. The comparison was misleading.

Mr J Masango (DA) asked about the comparison of spending on athletes to that on administration. He asked SASCOC what they meant by saying that not all athletes that qualified for the games would be selected. He also asked if all 74 of the athletes in the Operation Excellence program would be going to the Olympics.

Mr Frolick said that the budget was skewed at present, and that miracles could not be expected. He queried the outcomes from the academy and HPC programs. He asked if this concept of development was doing enough to ensure faith in the system.

Ms N Ntuli (ANC) asked what strategy was being used to involve previously disadvantaged individuals in the Olympic preparations. The demographics of Operation Excellence were still unpalatable in terms of black and female participation. Upliftment was needed. These programs needed to be revisited.

Mr D Lee (DA) noted that six scholarships had been granted. He asked what means had been used to determine the recipients.

Mr Fredericks replied that the reservations regarding the comparison to Australia were understood. Public expectations were huge. He cited the example of Cuba, which had a population of 11 million. However, they had produced eleven gold medals despite the country's poverty. They had done exceptionally well.

The Chairperson commented on the issue of merit. He agreed that South Africa needed to be compared to other African countries. Nothing about Australia inspired him. He noted that there had been no complaints when Australia had cancelled its forthcoming cricket tour to Zimbabwe. The team going to the Rugby World Cup in France would be furthering the agenda of race. The DA was complaining about government’s view on this. He would use his privilege to speak out on this matter. There was pressure to compare South Africa to Britain and the United States of America.

Ms Kajee pointed out that Kenya and Ethiopia earned all their medals in athletics. Team South Africa competed on a broader front.

Mr Fredericks added that Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes trained and competed exclusively overseas. The state paid for all their expenses.

Mr Kaya Majeke (Manager Team Preparation, SASCOC) commented on the question of qualification and selection. Some predominantly white codes were looking for easy ways to qualify. They took note of the strength and weaknesses in Africa to qualify. Representivity would be part of the selection criteria. Codes would have to show demographics of at least 50/50. Some codes complained that they had no players of colour, but SASCOC’s answer was that they must simply be found. There were players of colour if they looked hard enough. Federations had to be sensitive of criteria.

Ms Kajee said that the scholarships were provided by the IOC in consultation with international federations. The individuals were being trained until 2008. They needed to be exposed to international competition to develop.

Mr Majeke said that SASCOC had applied for over 50 scholarships, but only six had been selected. Two had been placed overseas. Their preparation needs were covered until the 2008 Olympics.

Ms Kajee commented that the federations had been tasked to look at gender representation. Most academies were run on a commercial basis. There was a need for a national academy, but SASCOC wanted to concentrate on the provinces for the meantime.

Ms Burchell said that there were distinct disadvantages to the provincial academies. SRSA was frustrated at the response of some of the provinces, which took the attitude that the national department should not tell the provinces what to do. Sport was a unitary system in the country.

Ms Kajee said there were huge challenges in the redesign of school sport.

The Chairperson emphasised that SASCOC was the mother body for all sport in the country. People would only appreciate the value of the law if they were punished severely for non-compliance. Sportspeople seemed not to realise that the buck stopped with government. The country had a unitary system of government and not a federal system. A harsh awakening was coming.

Mr E Saloojee (ANC) said that the demographic breakdown of Operation Excellence showed that there were 37% black participants and 63% white. This showed that the HPC program was benefiting the white group predominantly. South Africa had advanced tremendously. Finances now allowed more to be spent on black sport at every level.

Mr Fredericks replied that there were two things to be looked at. Firstly, the bulk of SRSA’s funding was directed to the Mass Participation Program. Approximately R160 million was being spent on this, and this happened exclusively in previously disadvantaged areas. Athletes at the high performance stage were selected on their performance. Work had to be done at the bottom levels in order to develop more black champions.

The Chairperson said that Mr Saloojee was well aware of this situation. He asked what results had been produced over the last thirteen years. This was a very fundamental aspect. The figures as quoted should be reversed by now. Blacks were not benefiting. The figures were still skewed. It was not about merit.

Mr Frolick said that the biggest mistake had been placing hope in the national federations. They had proved to be a dismal failure. SRSA should play a role in identifying talent through their school program. A process must be in place. Some codes were reluctant to participate. Financial support was coming from the private sector. He asked how successful SASCOC was being in achieving its objectives.

Mr R Reed (ANC) said that there was disparate black and white representation. This was still happening despite calls for transformation. The bulk of black athletes were runners, but there was no technical training in field events such as pole vault and high jump. Only whites participated in field events. In cricket, for example, blacks were only used as bowlers.

Ms Kajee said that private funding was coming from Telkom and Vodacom. Up to now only SRSA, the lottery and IOC had provided financial support. It was very difficult to obtain funding for Operation Excellence without government involvement.

Mr Frolick said that the media should note this. There were allegations that government was doing nothing to promote sport.

Mr Fredericks asked who the corporate sector was funding. The Minister had suggested holding a function with members of the corporate sector to discuss the issue. Athletics South Africa was working hard to capacitate black athletes in field events. The problem lay with the most disadvantaged sector. Many schools were dysfunctional. It was a major challenge to bring them back into line.

Mr Frolick asked Mr Majeke to answer the Committee’s questions within 24 hours. He thought it was obvious that Mr Majeke was referring to Hockey when he talked about codes trying to qualify through Africa. He asked if this applied to both the men and the women. He acknowledged that South Africa did have good cyclists.

Mr Masango referred to the breakdown of spending. He asked if there was any benefit in spending money on athletes who would not be allowed to go to the Olympics. Athletes should not be punished for being white. The federations should rather be punished for their failure to transform.

Ms Kajee replied that 15-20% of the R16 million went to sport directly, and the remainder to the organisation of SASCOC. Money was spent on team sports as well. Selection of athletes could depend on how they qualified for their events. It is possible that some black athletes were from privileged families. There was a need to balance the provisions of the Act. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000 the men’s hockey team was not allowed to attend. It had been felt that being champions of Africa was not sufficient qualification, as only six African countries played the game. The then National Olympic Committee of South Africa had accepted the decision. The federation had not transformed.

Mr Frolick said that he was not convinced that cycling had become a model of transformation overnight. Hockey had appeared before the Committee and stated its case. He asked what the difference was between the two bodies. Cycling could not complain that they had no black riders, as two black riders from the Boland had been excluded from the team going to the AAG.

Mr Majeke replied that cycling was performing well. The AAG team had to be representative. It was not Boland but SASCOC that would pronounce on this. There was always a draft memorandum of agreement between SASCOC and the federation. Cycling had to comply with its agreement. The team for Beijing had not yet been selected.

The Chairperson was happy with the team preparations. He asked if the team would be as lily white as in the past. This would never happen again. This would be part of the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Act. There would be measures to punish any federation moving in the wrong direction. The government might not be able to confiscate passports as had been threatened. He asked what would happen with the children who came back from Beijing. The Under 19 Rugby World Cup teams had won the tournament twice, but the players seemed to disappear into the cracks. He looked at the HPC, and wondered where the money was for team preparations. The technology there was good, but he asked why this could not be duplicated in a place like Port Elizabeth. They also needed resources, and not all could go to Pretoria. There should perhaps be a move to other centres. He was a proponent of giving resources to areas where they were absent. There was also a government-sponsored Sports Science Institute in the Free State, but this was not being used with all testing being done at the Sports Institute in Cape Town.

Mr Fredericks explained that the invitation to tender for the renewed contract would be specified differently. One centre should not be allowed to cater for all codes. However, if a number of institutions were used, then there should be common objectives and accreditation.

The Chairperson said that the question of standards had been raised. At the next discussion the issues of auditing and qualification should be raised. Academies would be closed down if they defaulted.

Problem of the two sports councils in the Nelson Mandela Metro
Mr Frolick asked if there had been any resolution to the problem of the two sports councils in the Nelson Mandela Metro (NMM). The Committee had visited the city to meet with them.

Mr Kaya Majeke (Manager Team Preparation, SASCOC) said that he had gone to NMM to resolve the dispute. A meeting would be held the following Monday, where both sports councils would be present and the process of their dissolution would be finalised. Mr Odolo would assist with this. A later meeting would be held to form a single council. Tremendous progress had been achieved, although SASCOC had needed to take a hard line with the separate councils. The process was intact now.

Mr Komphela said that if the process had to be referred back to SASCOC after being decided by the Committee, then there would be a parallel process. The Committee’s decision could only be resolved by itself. They were still uncomfortable with some other bodies, quoting the example of Karate. The body had collapsed three times, and would probably still do so again in the future.

South African Football Supporters Association (SAFSA) presentation
Mr Josh Nocando (SAFSA) introduced his delegation. He stressed the importance of supporting all national teams. Most spectators did not wear the team’s colours nor did they sing the national anthem. SAFSA wished to engage the media on the issue. He asked why spectators did not wave the national flag. There was also a case of managing of players.  It seemed that the national team did not want to meet the media. This was leading to a breakdown of brands.

He said that SAFSA wanted to have a say at the South African Football Association (SAFA). They were aware of the current controversy surrounding broadcast rights. He said that SAFSA had done well as a benchmark. There were already 88 branches. Big sponsors were needed to attract attention. Therefore the help of the Potchefstroom Business School had been called in.

Mr Nocanda said that a full time Women’s League was needed. A preparatory indaba was needed. Issues to be discussed there included the nicknames given to the national teams, national symbols and the bad reputation of African football. The situation needed to be compared to that before 1994.

Prof Jan Kotze (Potchefstroom Business School) referred to the document that the Members of the Committee had received the document which had been sent out earlier. There was a plan to grow the number of branches from the current 88 to 12 000. Membership would be increased to 2.4 million, but it was hoped to have 10 million people involved by 2010. This was quite a challenge. Strategic plans were described in the document as well as a multitude of special projects.

Prof Christo Bisschoff (Potchefstroom Business School) described the developments at the North West University. Hockey development was being done at the Astroturf facility, and there were housing facilities attached together with a HPC. There was also development with the university’s rugby section. There was also considerable growth in soccer and hockey at the Mmabatho campus. He agreed that football supporters needed a voice.

The Chairperson supported SAFSA. This was the first of a team effort.

Mr Fredericks said that good supporters could become a well structured unit. He had first thought that this might be some sort of superbody to control SAFA. They wanted a say in SAFA’s executive elections, the media and team colours. They should only be organising supporters. There were so many organisations now, and he felt that each should focus on its niche area.

The Chairperson was concerned that SAFSA could create a problem. He asked if the clubs were represented at its Annual General Meeting, and who the representatives were at its election. National colours were determined by the Colours Board, and their responsibilities were defined in the Act. This Board had the full right to assign colours, and not even SAFA was above them. However, the initiative was good. Recognition of federations rested with SASCOC. SAFA must be recognised by SASCOC as the national federation controlling the sport. He asked how SAFSA related to the SABC’s Siyanoqa campaign.

Mr Nocanda said that it was important that supporters should be given observer status at SAFA. Mr Michel Platini had called for this in Europe. Issues existed where fans were frustrated. This included matters such as the debate on foreign or local coaches and the venue for the Nelson Mandela challenge match. All the clubs’ Number One supporters should be on board. This should apply to all sixteen clubs in the Premier League. There were so many campaigns now. People should earn their tickets. Groundwork was needed, but the SABC should be engaged as well.

Mr T Louw (ANC) said that the idea was good. However, SAFSA should not encroach on the territory of other people, such as in the administration of SAFA and the PSL.

The Chairperson agreed. There had to be respect for the mother body. In essence SAFSA should be a supporting body under the control of SAFA.

Mr Masango agreed. However, Mr Fredericks was also right. This body should not only be there to support clubs, but also the national team in which various clubs were represented. The club base should be ignored when the national team played. There were already many branches.

The Chairperson said that the supporters of the eighteen PSL clubs must form part of a national supporters’ organisation.

Mr B Solo (ANC) asked if SAFSA was interacting with existing club supporters’ clubs.

Mr Nocanda replied that they had an organogram. Branches must be started. They were recruiting members in the townships. Interaction with SAFA was good. However, they had requested a meeting in October 2006 but had not had much response to this request.

The Chairperson said that SAFA was the mother body for football, and fell under SASCOC. The Committee had asked SASCOC to facilitate a meeting with the supporters.

Ms W Makgate (ANC) asked if there was any plan to develop supporters clubs in the schools.

Mr Nocanda replied that the initiatives were all part of a strategic approach. There had been the Milk Cup at schools. Tournaments were held throughout the country. A national sponsor was needed for this. There also had to be interaction with school associations.

Mr Solo said that there was a lot of activity in KwaZulu-Natal, but there was also a lot of betting on matches. These competitions had to be organised properly.

Mr Louw commented on the transformation in sport. A Bafana Bafana supporters club was needed. There was a focus on the townships, but football was no longer solely a black sport. He asked what SAFSA was doing to attract white supporters. The national committee had to represent all groups.

The Chairperson said that there should be interaction between SAFA and SASCOC. The Committee could then apply its mind to the issue. The concept was good. There were structural issues in the document. There were issues where SAFSA plans were overlapping other organisations, and there might be some treading on toes. It had to spread through the country, and communities had to be attracted.

Amalgamated Soccer Supporters (ASS) and South African Soccer Supporters (SASS) presentation
Mr Johannes Moseki (ASS) and (SASS) said that he was a founding member of the SASS HIV & AIDS Awareness organisation as well as ASS. SASS had been registered in 2004 and ASS in 2006. ASS was trying to address insurance issues. He was a Kaizer Chiefs fan, and knew that especially the junior teams often travelled long distances by road. They had held talks with actuaries to ensure compensation for bereaved fans after any soccer-related deaths. He remembered the disaster at Orkney in 1991, where 42 people had died. There was no compensation for victims. There had been various other incidents, and it seemed there was something happening every season.

He continued that various types of cover were needed. Firstly, there was a need for funeral cover and corpse transportation. Secondly there was a need to know more about public liability. Thirdly there was a question regarding the liability of passengers in transit. There was also scope for hospitalisation and disability cover. SASS had its origins in the very disadvantaged communities, where the people lived for soccer. Supporters contributed a lot to the teams. As the bosses moved on, the ordinary supporters stayed behind economically.

It was important that people knew their HIV status. Supporters might be lost to the disease. He had been at an HIV campaign in the Ventersdorp district some four weeks previously that noted that there had been 2 133 490 AIDS-related deaths in the country. Other issues were homelessness, teenage pregnancy and poverty alleviation. Support was being engendered in the provinces by holding tournaments where players had their HIV status tested. He did not like to duplicate services. There were many issues to address. SASS was receiving funding, but only for its activities relating to HIV awareness campaigns.

Mr Solo said that ASS and SASS were operating in the same pool as SAFSA, but had different emphases. They should be prepared to form a single body to address the serious issues. He was aware of some of the big clubs having certain arrangements.

Mr Dikgacwi said that it was a long walk to find SAFA. He agreed with Mr Solo that both groups had a similar point. Both groups should meet to find their common ground. They should move closer to each other.

Mr Moseki agreed that their aims lay in the same direction. He was aware of the insurance schemes offered by clubs like Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and others. These worried him, as there had been no proper consultation with the supporters. They generally only paid R 10 000 in the event of the death of a supporter, and very often the cost of transporting the corpse could use up this amount almost completely. He felt that these were money-making schemes.

SABC Siyanboqa Campaign presentation
Mr Webster Mfebe (Head 2010 Strategy, SABC) said that this day was like a homecoming for him, as he had been a Member of Parliament and a Member of the Executive Council in the Free State. He apologised on behalf of SABC CEO, Adv Dali Mpofu, who could not attend. He appreciated the Committee’s support for the Siyanboqa Campaign. The campaign had been launched on 15 August 2006 with the support of the national government. It was part of the SABC’s public service mandate, and would contribute to nation building. Sport was one of the best vehicles to achieve this.

The campaign had twin objectives. Firstly, South Africa should stage the best World Cup ever. Two motivating forces here would be the public, and the Bafana Bafana team. Secondly, the home team should win the World Cup. The campaign should ensure the creation of hype and excitement. The slogan was "One team, 47 million supporters". There was a strategy being communicated by roadshows. This would ensure national support.

Mr Mfebe said there had been euphoria when the announcement of South Africa as host country had been made. This had been followed by poor performances on the field. South Africa had failed to qualify for the 2006 finals, and had performed dismally in the African Cup of Nations that year. There was a need to rally the nation. A culture of patriotism had to be inculcated. Siyanboqa had spread the word with some success, particularly in the Free State. This proved that the work could still be done.

He confessed that it was a bit ambitious to expect South Africa to win the tournament, but he pointed out that no one planned to lose. Support would be encouraged. The campaign was managed by the SABC and SAFA. One aspect would be the distribution of South African flags as a national symbol. The SABC had a role to play in creating awareness of the various national symbols. The campaign could only succeed.

Mr Mfebe said that the broadcaster should cater for total citizen empowerment. He would welcome a partnership with ordinary citizens. Diverse voices needed to be heard. There should be a common goal rather than competing interests. He noted that formation of SAFSA. The campaign was now a brand name. There should be amalgamation rather than the formation of splinter groups.

He said that the campaign would run until 2010. The SABC had identified fourteen public viewing areas, which would be smaller versions of one larger fan park. Ultimately there would be one fan park in each major city. Three had been planned to date. There would be a launch for the big fan park, and the Committee would be invited.

Mr Dikgacwi said that he had heard that both ASS and SAFSA wanted to have talks with SAFA and the PSL. He feared that these bodies would only recognise representations coming from Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs. They should recognise that there were other clubs as well.

Mr Solo appreciated the advice. He asked the extent to which SABC would support the two supporter’s organisations. The Committee’s approach was that they were public representatives. It was easy for people to approach them. This would create space to talk. This encouraged the concept of government by the people. He asked to what extent the organisations were getting on board.

Mr Mfebe responded that he was not disagreeing with the sentiments of the Members. Other clubs were involved in SAFA’s supporters clubs. These organisations needed to meet him. He felt that the Siyanboqa Campaign could play a mediating role. Broad based support was needed, and no contribution would be rejected. However, there must only be one campaign. The SABC would continue to play a facilitation role.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would communicate on this matter. It seemed that the doors of SAFA and the PSL were closed to the supporter’s bodies at present. It was important that they should be aware of each other. The SABC must ensure that all South Africans were represented. When they did meet, there must be no duplication of effort. The SABC should lead the process. They should not be dictated to by SAFA.

Mr Mfebe thanked the Chairperson and the Members of the Committee. The SABC was still the number one supporter for policies of sport and recreation, and was always available to make a contribution. He accepted the mandate to lead the campaign on behalf of the SABC. It would now be implemented, and he would report back to the Committee.

The Chairperson reminded Mr Mfebe that the campaign launch would take place at Parliament. Members of SRSA would be invited to join. There would have to be sufficient supplies of t-shirts and caps.

The meeting was adjourned.

Media Statement by the Chairperson of the SABC Board on the SABC and PSL dispute
Johannesburg, Tuesday 19 June 2007:

The SABC Board is deeply concerned about the PSL’s recent announcement of its intention, in breach of contract, to award professional football rights to a pay-television channel. This announcement is a clear legal infringement of SABC’s rights. Moreover, it is completely at odds with an unspoken, but powerful tradition of the right of public access to football in South Africa. As the nation’s premier and only public broadcaster, the SABC clearly cannot accept this situation.

Football in South Africa, unlike most countries in the world, has the significance as a sport “of national interest”. It is a force for social cohesion and immense national pride. Our public, especially poor communities must have full access to watching and listening to professional football. This has been a right which the SABC has promoted on behalf of the nation for decades.

The Board calls upon the leadership of PSL to urgently meet with the SABC management team to negotiate a settlement to this dispute. We fully support our management team in their efforts to represent the best interests of the public broadcaster. Whilst we are quite clear about our legal rights, and will vigorously protect the sanctity of our legal contract, the Board wishes to see this matter amicably resolved such that the nation’s only public broadcaster can exercise its constitutional mandate of promoting public access to sports.

The SABC and the PSL have a joint and primary responsibility for promoting football in the collective interests of our nation. We firmly believe that this common agenda is shared by both SABC and PSL. This alone should be a sufficient motivation for getting both parties together in earnest to seek a mutually-rewarding solution.

The Board also wishes to thank the South African public for its widespread and unprecedented support. Apart from countless individual voices, we have also been heartened by the vociferous support shown by organisations such as the ANC, the SACP, COSATU, Concerned Artists, Communications’ Workers Union, the Freedom of Expression Institute as well as important sections of the print media. This solidarity has been a clear message that professional football must be returned to the eyes and ears of the nation – the SABC.

Issued by Mr. Eddie Funde, Chairperson on Behalf of the SABC Board


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