Question NW2401 to the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

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30 October 2020 - NW2401

Profile picture: Hendricks, Mr MGE

Hendricks, Mr MGE to ask the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

(1) Given that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department of Basic Education and Sport and Recreation South Africa regarding an Integrated School Sport Framework that provides for clarity on roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders in school sport was signed on 30 May 2018 in Cape Town, which currently is not being followed, what steps will he take to reclaim full autonomy over school sport by stopping federations from discarding the well-organised school sport bodies to start their own sport bodies; (2) whether his department has been informed of the division and confusion the discarding of the specified MoU is causing amongst schools, as they do not know which school sport body they need to affiliate to; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether his department has been informed of the extent to which the specified problems are disadvantaging learners; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) whether he will intervene to stabilise the situation so that learners can once again enjoy school sport; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?


1. The former Department of Sport and Recreation and the present Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) continues to implement its responsibilities as indicated in the MOU signed on 30 May 2018.

This is illustrated by the fact that DSAC has aligned its Mass Participation and Sport Development Conditional Grant funding on School Sport, to ensure that the outcomes as it relates to its roles and responsibilities in the MOU are effected. It should be noted that DBE is responsible for levels 1-3 of the MoU and DSAC is responsible for levels 4-6. and to this effect from the Conditional Grant funding, School Sport has a ring-fenced 40% allocation, which is further allocated as follows:

Provinces MUSTring fence R10 million to provide transport, attire and delivery of provincial teams to the National School Sport Championships. An allocation to a province will include all funds that are necessary for the hosting of the National Schools Championships and will include accommodation, breakfast and dinner for the provinces that will be hosting the 4 segments of the National Schools Championships a year, (Autumn, Winter, IG Festival and Summer).

The remaining School Sport allocation is further allocated as follows:

  • 10 % for training of people to deliver school sport;
  • 20% to purchase equipment and or attire for schools below quintal 1- 3 identified through participation in leagues;
  • 40% to deliver district and provincial competitions;
  • 15% to remunerate co-ordinators who co-ordinate, support, monitor and evaluate school sport at district and local level; and
  • 15 % to support school sport structures.

School Sport is a joint co-operation between the Department of Sport , Arts and Culture and Department of Basic Education and thus each has a responsibility to ensure that School Sport is fully implemented as indicated in the MoU. National Sports Federations are recognized in terms of the Recognition of Sports Bodies Regulations and are custodians of the code of sport. School Sport is a critical pipeline for the honing of skills talent identification and it forms the foundation of the athlete development pathway. No School Sport structure can function on its own, without the support of the Federations. Federations are the custodians of their codes and must take ownership to ensure that there are school sport structures and School Sport has representation within the Structures of the Federation.

There is no intention to close school sport structures, however all school sport structures must adhere to the guidelines for the establishment of school sport structures, must be recognized and an affiliate of the Sports Federations and must be representative of educators for the purpose of accountability and safeguarding. The Department provides dedicated, ringfenced funding to the priority codes for School Sport. There is an allocation of funding within the Conditional Grant allocated to provinces for the establishment of School Sport structures.

2. The stakeholders meet regularly on a quarterly basis as an Extended Joint National Task Team comprising Federations, National Departments of Sport and Education, Provincial Departments of Sport and Education, Teacher unions and School Governing Bodies Associations to discuss programmes and policy matters related to the MoU. Progress reports from all stakeholders are shared.

To date there has not been any indication of confusion about structures. The only matter that has been a challenge is with regard to Athletics SA and their affiliate School Athletics. All School Sport structure know that they must account to the Federation, as the custodians of the code and also report quarterly to the extended JNTT.

Schools Athletics had sought to operate outside the mother body with disregard to resolutions taken at a Council meeting. They were subsequently suspended by the Federation. All our operations regarding sporting codes is done through Sport Federations and not School Sport structures.

3. Indeed, the challenges in School Sport have far reaching implications for the learners. We are guided by the National Sport and Recreation Act which empowers the Minister to recognise one sporting body per code. There is also the Recognition of Sport and Recreation Bodies Regulations, which gives effect to that act. Resources are provided to Federations to implement school sport and work through them to ensure that school sport structures are accountable. We also acknowledge that the active teachers play a central role in the structures and their participation in the programme is important. The resistance of some of the School Sport structures to adhere to this principle creates a challenge that ultimately leads to other undesirable effects. In an effort to sustain such autonomous structures, learners / parents are expected to pay for participation. This, then creates a wide gap between those who have and those who have not. The far-reaching consequence is that athletes participating outside the Federations jurisdiction do not gain official recognition for achievements, setting new records and the awarding of National colours which falls within the jurisdiction of the National Federations.

4. The department stands ready at all times to intervene in resolving these matters and we have intervened previously where there has been misunderstanding between structures and federations. As indicated above, the Department convened a meeting with Athletics SA, the Department of Basic Education and the Teacher Union to resolve the impasse around the Schools Athletics Championship that was disrupted by COVID-19 Lockdown.

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