Budget public hearings:National Lottery, SA Schools Sports, SA Gymnastics and Boxing SA
The Committee continued to hear presentations from various codes and institutions. National Lottery said that the lottery grants for sport and recreation organisations were mainly given for projects to develop sport and uplift disadvantaged communities. Distribution agencies controlled the granting of funding in four sectors. The sport and recreation sector received 28% of available funding. Any recognised body could apply for funding. There were other requirements such as the furnishing of audited financial statements. Mother bodies could endorse the applications of organisations which did not comply with these requirements. In the last financial year 613 grants had been given to sports and recreation organisations, amounting to R422 million, but 373 applications had been declined. Sports codes were divided into four categories with the more popular codes being entitled to bigger grants.
Members stressed the need for a sports White Paper to guide policy. There was concern about the ability of poorer organisations to access funding, possible corruption and the possible conflict of interest in the distribution agency committee.
Comments were made around the rugby process, noting that since the unity process in sport in 1992 black rugby had suffered. Many promises surrounding rugby had been broken and the sport was still dominated by whites. Too little money was being committed to development. The resolution that the Springbok badge would be abolished had still to be implemented. Television had to be used to bring the game to the people. A body was needed to monitor the transformation process. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee had failed to do this. Members agreed that public hearings into the state of sport in the country were urgently needed. The Committee would have to lead the process. The unity process had largely been forgotten once international re-admission was achieved.
South African School Sport was trying to fill what was perceived as a vacuum. There were a lot of questions about the organisation of school sport, which the body was trying to address, but it was receiving no support. There were many problems in school sport, both at local level and in terms of national events. The Director-General of the Department of Sport and Recreation had allegedly told the body that it was not recognised, and did not have the authority to do so. Members questioned the poor planning of the Department. One of the issues was funding for a tournament which should have been included in a long term plan. The importance of school sport was recognised by government and was therefore well funded.
The South African Gymnastics Federation had gone through a redesign process. The code was taking strides to market itself and had successfully engaged with the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Coaching was important and much work was being done in this aspect. Funding was critical for further development. A setback had been experienced when an administrative problem had delayed the finalisation of a lottery grant. Members were interested in the status of gymnastics on the continent. There was little competition outside the men of northern Africa. However, South African gymnasts battled to qualify for world events. The federation shared the Members’ concerns over the need for development in the rural areas and for the body to play a part in the HIV awareness initiatives.
Boxing South Africa was struggling to run all their programmes due to a shortage of funding. They had been tasked to bring back minority groups into the sport and had done so. Many white boxers were active and attendance at tournaments was very good. Many title fights were taking place. There had been meetings with boxers and promoters. There were grievances with prize money and the way in which promoters handled boxers. Boxing South Africa was looking at ways in which fighters would get a fair deal. The promoters were reluctant to cooperate and had called for the resignation of the Chief Executive Officer. Members reminded the body that reports and databases of members were to be submitted annually. There was satisfaction that boxing was moving forward but at the same time concern over the exploitation of boxers by promoters. More needed to be done for women’s boxing. There was also concern about the way in which promoters were allocated televised fights. The imbalance was partly due to the fact that some promoters had more champion fighters on their books and thus commanded more television exposure.
The Chairperson commented that there was a need for clarity on the allocations for sport; the late Minister Steve Tshwete had said that there were huge social inequalities. He had discussed with the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industries the possibility of draft legislation for Cabinet and funding for sport. This Committee had asked three years previously so as to how money was allocated. There was a long list of federations which looked for funding from the lottery, while such diverse programmes as graveyard fencing were supported. He also wanted a breakdown of allocations in each province. Some were getting funds while others, such as the South African Hockey Association, were still waiting.
Presentation by National Lottery Board (NLB)
Mr Joe Foster, Chairperson, National Lottery Board, welcomed the opportunity to address the Committee. There were a number of issues, and he did not know what information the Committee needed. The scope of funding went beyond national federations and included schools. Policies had been issued in September 2007. Priority areas were the establishment of projects to develop sport and recreation facilities, the funding of disadvantaged communities and the development of community facilities including those for children and the disabled. The NLB did not give sponsorships. Grants were basically for development. The Minister had to be advised on policy formation.
He said that the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) should produce the policy for sport funding. The NLB could then align its grants to that policy. The NLB relied on applications to allocate funds. The Board itself did not make decision on the applications. Trustees were appointed to ensure that due process was followed. Applications were adjudicated by Distribution Agencies (DAs) in each sector.
Mr Sershan Naidoo, Beneficiary Relations Spokesman, NLB, said that Mr Gideon Sam, who headed the Sports and Recreation DA, could not attend this meeting. The NLB had been established by Parliament, which had an oversight role. The trustees served on the National Lottery Distribution Trust. The NLB reported to Parliament annually. Decisions as to funding were made in the DAs. Giyani, the appointed operator, handed over money into a fund for allocation. The allocation agency was appointed by the Minister of Trade and Industries after a public nomination process. The persons serving on the DAs were not employees of the NLB. There was a central application office, which provided administrative support to the DAs.
He said that there were five sectors which benefited from Lottery funding. These were the arts, culture and heritage sector, which received 22% of the funding. Charities received 45%. The sports and recreation sector received 28%. The miscellaneous sector was allocated 5%. The Renewal and Development Programme (RDP) had no allocation at present. The good causes fund was split between these sectors. The RDP fund had been identified by the Minister but at present did not receive an allocation. These percentages were determined at a meeting of the DAs. Once agreement was reached, the proposed distribution percentages were forwarded to the Minister of Trade and Industries as a recommendation. The final figures were published in the Government Gazette.
Mr Naidoo said that the Sports and Recreation DA (SRDA) considered requests for various projects. These included new facilities, priority sports development, team delivery major events, high performance (HP), administration, sports kit and the upgrading of existing facilities.
The Chairperson remarked that this was a much diversified spread.
Mr Naidoo said that the targeted bodies were the macro bodies, national and provincial federations, academies, municipalities, tertiary institutes and clubs. The focus of macro bodies was on delivering Team South Africa for major events. National federations should have a four year plan for HP. In applications for new and upgraded club facilities the responsible provincial or national body had to endorse the application. Municipal facilities had to be part of their Integrated Development Plan. The application had to be supported by a Council resolution and the municipality had to make an undertaking to maintain the facility. Basic facilities and sports kit were supplied to schools. Tertiary institutions were funded for the upgrading of facilities but there had to be unhindered access. Sport specific research was conducted. Clubs could apply for equipment, playing kit, basic and upgraded facilities.
He said that the requirements were that an application form 051 had to be submitted. The applicant had to be registered as a non-governmental organisation, Section 21 company or a non-profit trust. Audited financial statements for two years had to accompany the application together with the applicant’s constitution. A business plan and costed budget was needed. The application had to be endorsed by a provincial or national body. Unregistered organisations, private entities, profit-making organisations and consultants did not qualify for funding.
Mr Naidoo then described the application process. There was an annual invitation to submit applications, although there was an attempt to make a second call. Applications were processed by the office then referred to the respective DAs. A review committee of the NLB ensured that regulations were met, there was fair treatment for applicants and there were no loopholes for litigation. Applicants were informed of conditions and were requested to provide any outstanding information. The applications then went back to the DA when the conditions had been met, and were then forwarded to the NLB for payment. Applicants had to furnish progress reports.
He said that in the last financial year (FY) that ended 31 March 2008, the entire disbursement had been R972 million, of which the sports and recreation sector received R422 million. A total of R658 million had been available to the sports sector. However, the lottery had been suspended for part of the FY. The NLB had recommended to the DAs that only 70% of the budget should be used, which equated to R461 million. A total of 613 organisations had received a total of R422 million, which was 92% of the revised budget. There were 373 declined applications.
Mr Naidoo then presented the grants in each province. These figures were being audited and would appear in the Annual Report. Since March 2000 the SRDA had made 3 260 grants to a value of R1.86 billion. He said that there was a high rejection rate in applications from the poorer provinces. Consultants were used to fill in the forms and charged a fee for this. They would also charge a management fee while the project was in progress. Some organisations gave no recognition to the lottery for its contributions. There was a sense of entitlement, and this was true with some of the biggest beneficiaries. One federation that had received over R25 million gave recognition to its sponsors but not to the lottery.
Mr Naidoo said there were complaints about late allocation of funds. Grants were processed in batches. Applicants sometimes submitted reports later than required, which resulted in funding being withheld. Processes had to be followed and payments were not made immediately on application. One of the problems was that applications were not related to the project being considered. Some of the applicants were not registered organisations. Audited financial statements were not provided.
The Chairperson asked how applications were invited.
Mr Naidoo said that advertisements were placed in newspapers, on the radio, during the lottery draw programme and on the website. Notice was given to the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) to inform their members. Notification was also given to SRSA to advise its stakeholders. Applicants sometimes did not meet the deadline. This was usually when the NLB had requested extra information, although a period of grace of four to six weeks was given. There was an evaluation process in place, which was to be re-engineered, which would help. Turnaround time had been reduced.
He then listed all the codes recognised by the NLB. These were divided into four categories. The major codes were in the A Category. Up to R6 million could be approved on each application. Category B sports could receive R5 million, Category C sports R2 million per application and Category D sports R875 thousand.
Mr Foster acknowledged that there were problems. In 2000 a group had gone to the United Kingdom to study their lottery. There the Board received all the money and handed over a percentage to the sectors. In South Africa it had been agreed to establish the central office for administration. They were trying to establish a paperless system. Applications were all scanned onto disc and called be called up at any terminal together with all supporting documents. In response to new demands consultants were being engaged to re-engineer the system. Some processing time would be saved. There were still lengthy processes and communications delays in place. More people had been employed, and Mr Jeffrey du Preez had been appointed as Chief Operations Officer.
The Chairperson said that the approach was to inject efficiency.
Mr C Frolick (ANC) noted the comments about the lack of a White Paper to inform the agency. This would set out government priorities. The lack of a blueprint for sport made life difficult. Plans were doomed without a funding model. A White Paper was long overdue. This should even have preceded the formation of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). He noticed that sheep-shearing was one of the listed sports. He asked what determined the categories listed by Mr Naidoo. He asked who the stakeholders were. He had travelled through the country and had observed that people had very little information about the process of application and the reason why applications were rejected. He asked why so many applications from the poorer provinces were rejected. There were many stalled projects where money had been allocated but the projects had never been completed.
Ms M Ntuli (ANC) returned to the poor provinces that never had access to funds. Audited statements were often a problem. She asked what the miscellaneous category of allocations included.
Mr J Masango (DA) said that newly formed organisations would not have financial statements. They might have to borrow money in the meantime until they could produce statements. He asked if consultants were hired because of the number of rejections in the hope that the application would be successful. He asked what the NLB was doing to look for real charity organisations that operated on meagre budgets. It seemed that only the smart organisations could access lottery benefits. He asked if the figures presented for each province showed the allocations per project.
The Chairperson asked what the entry point would be for a new applicant who could not produce a financial statement. He mentioned the example of a small settlement in Zululand where a vegetable garden was maintained for HIV-positive children. He felt that an initiative like this was more deserving of funding than a white old aged home.
Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) discussed the plight of clubs in the townships and rural areas. They never had bank statements because there was no money. He had checked on sports facilities in the Western Cape, and had found them depleted. These were so depleted. He had been called by three clubs in particular. He asked if municipalities could apply on their behalf. He noted that Mr Sam was the chairperson of the SRDA. He was also the president of a federation. He asked if this was not a conflict of interest.
Mr B Solo (ANC) aligned himself with what had been said previously. The biggest problem was one of awareness and the empowerment of the community. There was a crisis in the rural provinces. There needed to be a careful look at the advertising strategy. Those who were in dire need had to know what avenues they could follow. He asked what strategy was in place to intervene. He noted that SALGA was a statutory body and asked if they qualified for funding. He asked about the toll free enquiry number. He asked why the example of the burial societies had been raised. These had arisen from times of exclusion and depended on themselves alone.
Mr Foster appreciated the commitment to proceed with the White Paper. On the point of stalled projects, he said that the lottery operated on a different basis of other funding organisations. They did not manage projects. The DA would decide to finance a project fully or partially. The extended compliance section checked on progress. They had auditors but they concentrated only on the financial aspects. The new lottery operator had offices throughout the country. The NLB had asked for the use of spare office space at all the branch offices so that they could put people in place that could assist applicants in the area. He understood the plight of new and poor organisations in terms of financial statements. It was a chicken and egg situation. Federations could underwrite projects requested by their members.
The Chairperson asked about the process of endorsement. In the Free State there had been such a situation where the Cheetahs Rugby Union had endorsed the application of a smaller club and had proceeded to swallow up all the money when it was granted.
Mr Foster said that there was nothing stopping organisations who felt they had been robbed in these circumstances from approaching the NLB, which would investigate and take corrective action if needed. There had been an investigation into a grant given to a branch office of a society against animal cruelty, where there were allegations of corruption. A similar situation had happened with Free State netball. Mr Sam was head of the swimming federation. He should recuse himself from the meeting if applications from swimming were to be considered. The NLB would check the minutes of the meeting to ensure that this had happened. There was a problem with swimming at the moment. This was the body that was not giving the lottery the due recognition. The NLB had threatened to withhold further payments. The response was that swimming had not been given money for advertising.
The Chairperson said that the Committee was wary of conflicts of interest. Swimming and athletics were the codes that produced the most medals at the Olympic Games, but he did not feel comfortable with this situation. He advised the NLB to be aware.
Mr Foster agreed that it was a problematic situation. Mr Sam might recuse himself when matters affecting swimming were discussed, but might still influence the thinking of the DA. The same problem had been experienced with another of the DAs.
Mr Naidoo said that the categories were based on the Olympic codes and were determined by the DA. He named the members of the DA committee. Stalled projects should be avoided by more regular checks on projects.
The Chairperson noted that all the people mentioned were part of federations. This might be a long term problem and was a bit scary.
Mr Foster said that the members of the DAs were appointed by the Minister of Trade and Industries. They were nominated by the public. The Department vetted the nominations. The appointments were made in consultation with the Minister of Sport and Recreation. The process took a long time. The latter Minister was not happy. Many of the SRDA members were involved with SASCOC. There would not be a quorum if they all had to recuse themselves simultaneously.
The Chairperson said that there was a legal opinion on Boxing South Africa (BSA). Certain persons were member both of the Board of BSA and of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Both Boards were established by Parliament. There was conflicting legal advice on the issue.
Mr Naidoo said that the poorer provinces could be addressed by partnerships. The miscellaneous purposes sector of allocations covered all other categories not covered by the other three sectors. The NLB itself formed the DA for this purpose. A recent recipient under this category was the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. The requirement for audited financial statements had been reduced from three years to two. The Department of Trade and Industries (dti) had conducted research into the NLDTF procedures and obstacles. The South African Institute for Fund Raisers had guidelines for consultants. Some charged higher fees and worked on hourly rates. The norm was to charge a fee of 10% of the value of the project. This was an area of concern.
He said that the NLB could to solicit applications. The federations had to filter the call to submit applications down to their members. The DA tried to give a minimum of 5% of the grants to each province, but the process was based on applications. The NLB would engage in road shows to publicise their activities. They were looking at deserving welfare cases. Municipalities could get involved with township clubs. They were normally located on municipal property, so the municipality had to become involved. Maintenance was necessary. An e-mail was sent to SALGA each year. It was an advisory organisation. The toll free number was used to advise the public. He appreciated the role played by burial societies. However, their applications for projects outside their normal mandate such as the running of sports clubs would not be considered.
Mr Masango asked what sanctions were in place for non-compliance. He asked if there was a benchmark figure for consultancy fees.
The Chairperson realised that funding would be stopped if there was a problem with a project. However, he asked what would happen if the money had already gone.
Mr Foster said that applicants had to sign grant agreements. The uses of the funding were specified. The funds must be returned if they were not used for that purpose. Surplus funds at the completion of a project had to be returned. Interest had to be paid if applicable. Non-compliant applicants could be placed on a blacklist.
The Chairperson asked if there were any other sanctions.
Mr Foster said that the NLB could interact with the intended beneficiary. Organisations used consultants when they did not have the capability to undertake tasks such as quantity surveying. However, provinces and municipalities did have in-house capacity. Consultancy fees were allowed for schools.
Mr Masango asked if there was any cap on the consultancy fee where it was allowed.
Mr Foster said that the DAs had conducted workshops. He thought the figure was 10% of the grant.
Ms Ntuli asked more about the requirement for reports and business plans. This requirement meant that poor organisations could not benefit from the lottery. The lottery was the hope of the people. The NLB must find a way to redress the imbalances of the past. She asked if there was a strategy to develop the poorest of the poor.
The Chairperson said it might be hard to conceptualise a business plan. The NLB should give guidelines. Some flexibility was needed.
Mr Foster said that the NLB did not expect a fancy business plan as would be generated in the world of big business. Discussions had been held about academies. Each province had an academy that was funded by the lottery. Mr Sam had thought that the academies should serve rural communities and would so assist the development of the codes using them. However, this was not happening. The SRDA was reluctant to continue funding under the circumstances.
Mr Frolick said that rugby was one of the A Category codes. He asked if the R6 million limit applied to rugby as a whole or was for individual grants to the national and provincial federations and clubs. Rugby said that all its income was generated from its own sources. He asked if information could be provided for the last five years. He would also appreciate a breakdown by province, and if possible what percentage went to clubs and development. There was a problem in the Eastern Province. Clubs were suffering the most due to a lack of equipment. He had watched a match the previous weekend where a white club had played a black club. The white club were immaculately dressed while the black club had to play in frayed jerseys.
He said that Members were often requested to solicit sponsorship for disadvantaged clubs and organisations. He talked about a stalled project at Galvandale in Port Elizabeth. The lottery had funded an artificial hockey field and a cricket field had been provided with partial help from Cricket South Africa. A facebrick structure had been erected at the entrance with the NLB logo. However, this structure was a stalled project. He asked if there was supplementary funding, as the man in the street would get the perception that the lottery funding had dried up.
Mr Frolick pointed out that any infrastructure work on state owned property required the approval of the Department of Public Works Department (DPW). This applied to schools whether or not they fell under the provisions of Section 21. DPW had the capacity. The money schools requested for outside consultants could be better employed on the project itself. On the question of procurement, he said there should be a database of suppliers. It was often a question of transparency.
Mr Naidoo said that cooperation between schools and the DPW was an issue. Procurement was normally decided by the choice of three quotes. Where there were approved service providers this could cut out the costs of middlemen.
Mr Foster cited the example of a rugby club at Goedverwacht. The club was funded directly by the NLB. Grass had been planted and an irrigation system installed. A slab was laid for a netball court. A small dressing room was built.
The Chairperson asked if provincial federations were funded.
Mr Naidoo replied that they were. Funding was decided on an application basis.
The Chairperson countered that some federations had the impression that nothing was being given. Some tried to have two chances at procuring funding by applying through both national and provincial structures.
Mr Foster said that the lottery operator had started a sports stake draw, which was similar to football pools. The Premier Soccer League had wanted to charge the NLB for the use of the fixture list, despite so much being given to soccer at various levels. He estimated the amount granted was R400 million. He would provide the information.
The Chairperson said that visibility was needed.
Mr Naidoo pointed out that the South African Football Association (SAFA) was responsible for the provincial structures.
The Chairperson said that SAFA had obligations to the national teams, especially the women’s team.
Mr Naidoo said that there was a problem with the display of branding on competitors’ playing kit at certain events.
The Chairperson asked about a small club that might only need playing kit. They might not be in a position to supply two years of financial statements.
Mr Foster said that the statements were used to assess the financial position of an organisation.
The Chairperson said that small clubs had problems complying. There was a case of a small club asking a bigger club to endorse their application for funding. Suddenly the big club became a benefactor and displayed an arrogant attitude.
Mr Foster said that the NLB had purchased and distributed equipment directly. However, this had led to problems with the Auditor General. Such equipment would remain an asset of the NLB but they had no capacity to monitor the equipment once it had been handed over. The Lotteries Act said that the applicant must be a juristic person. There were angels of mercy who made charitable contributions out of their own pockets but could not apply for lottery grants. By opening up the application process to such people there was a possibility of abuse but the process could be monitored. Small amounts could go a long way. There must be scope for ordinary people rather than the definition of a juristic person. They were trying to get the Act amended.
The Chairperson said that the opportunity had now arisen.
Mr Foster said that the presentation had been drawn up at short notice. He said the key to success was that people played the wrong numbers. They could not expect to win if they continued to do so.
Presentation by Border Rugby
Mr John Ncinani, Chairperson, Amatola Sports Council, said that after unity South African sport was initially led by the National Sports Commission (NSC). The goals were to improve, transform and democratise sport. Part of the process was the merger of the former South African Rugby Board (SARB) and the South African Rugby Union (SARU). This had happened in March 1992. The unified SARB had advocated the same goals as the NSC.
He said that the NSC had since been disbanded. The codes now did as they pleased. There were a few negative points. The former SARU provinces had been swallowed by the SARB provincial structures. Black clubs had been forced to merge. The league systems remained the same as had been the case under the former SARB. There were no fresh appointments of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) or General Managers. In fact, 90% of the white leadership did not change and white clubs were still in the majority. There had been no changes in the ranks of coaches and managers.
Mr Ncinani said there was still a national schools rugby structure, but this was exclusively for the white Model C schools. This was killing the backyard of rugby. It was difficult for black people in rural areas and townships to get delivery. Sponsorship could be used to aid change. Rugby people did not want to change their mindset. The SARU budget at present was R350 million, of which only R50 million trickled down to the amateur arms at provincial level. This was grossly unfair. He did not know if other provinces received any income from the Super 14 income. The rural unions only received 14%.
He said that development had been a key element of the Kimberley agreement of 1992. Things had become worse in rugby between 2001 and 2005. SARU had set development aside and the money had been used for other purposes. There had been a promise that former members of SARB and SARU would have a 50/50 representation in the unified structures, but this had disappeared. After five years the unity process was to have been re-evaluated, but it was still business as usual. After the 1995 Rugby World Cup the Springbok emblem was to have disappeared, but a blind eye had been turned to this proposal. It had been agreed that the names SARB and SARU must never be used again. However, the national federation was now known as SARU. This was undermining the unity process.
Mr Ncinani said that the President of SARU had said that the matter had been discussed. Other international bodies used the “Rugby Union” title and the change had been made to come into line with this trend. The development department was under-resourced. All fourteen provinces had been given a grant of R8.6 million of which R3.6 million was for use by the development officer in that province. This was a drop in the ocean.
He recommended that SRSA must ensure that rugby was televised nationally. The pay channel was only available to 2% of the population. It was not about making money. The game should be accessible to the poorest of the poor.
Mr Ncinani said that sport in the country needed a radical revamp. A viable amateur board of control was needed. SASCOC had failed the people of South Africa. They were not using their resources to dig out talent. Mr Moss Mashishi was dragging the organisation into the mud. An investigative unit was being used against some administrators. This had happened to the President of Athletics South Africa. He called on the Minister to appoint a monitoring committee with teeth. This would ensure that transformation plans were followed strictly. This Committee needed to monitor SARU’s budget and ensure that there was a bias towards rural areas.
He said that a serious review of unity was needed. Sponsors needed to be summonsed to Parliament. Money was being used to promote white rugby and destroy black rugby in the process. Sponsors were supported by the government. SARU must be held to account otherwise there would be boycotts and disinvestment targeted against these sponsors.
Mr Ncinani said that there should be links between SRSA and the Department of Education (DoE). There should be incentives for teachers. He knew that there was a heavy academic curriculum, and this diverted teachers from sport. Women teachers should be attracted to coaching rugby as there were very few male teachers.
He said that the Springbok badge must be abolished as soon as possible. This was the subject of a resolution at the ANC conference in Polokwane. He asked why rugby was the only one of 150 codes that was allowed to use this symbol. President Mandela had asked that the Springbok should be retained only until the 1995 World Cup. Rugby’s leadership should be brought to book. Rugby was a national asset, not someone’s personal property.
Mr Ncinani said that the new Super 14 franchise should be fast-tracked. This would be formed by South Western Districts, Eastern Province and Border. These were 98% rural areas. A rugby conference was needed. This should be jointly financed by SRSA and SARU. Flesh had to be put on the bones of resolutions. The vision of unity had been lost.
The Chairperson said that the proposed public hearings into sport would be more than an academic exercise. A fundamental topic of the re-examination of the unity agreement would be the historical agreement which had been reached. The revolution had to be defended against its opponents. It would be back to the drawing board. His intention was to bury the enemies of revolution.
Mr Dikgacwi said that the issues raised confirmed the need for a sports indaba. This did not stem from the discussions of the last few days. The issues debated in 1992 had to be revisited. In the absence of the NSC this would have to be the responsibility of the Committee.
Mr Frolick said that Mr Ncinani’s comments captured the essence of what people were feeling. What had happened was not unity but rather a hostile take-over. The main reason that unity had happened was for the country to be re-admitted to international participation. Since unity, those advantaged people were far more advantaged than before. The gap between rich and poor was growing through democratic processes in sport. He agreed that a monitoring committee was needed. Funding was a challenge and it must also be determined who would be responsible.
Mr Ncinani said that it should report either to the Minister or to the Portfolio Committee. All codes should be covered. He had spoken to the Minister two years previously, and felt that the Minister thought along the same lines. SASCOC was not linked to the provinces. A failing within SASCOC was that each code had one vote. Issues were lost and the body should be disbanded.
The Chairperson said that a Ministerial Task Force had established SASCOC on the recommendations of Dr Basson. SASCOC should be disbanded in the same way that government was going to disband the Scorpions. The same issues had been raised at the hearing the previous day. Promises of a 50/50 dispensation had been made in 1992, but black involvement was only 5%. Black sport was endangered, especially rugby. The democratic representation aspect had to be emphasised. After unity re-admission had been achieved, but all other things had being forgotten. The undertakings had been falsified.
He said that the ANC resolution taken at Polokwane about a single sporting symbol should be fast-tracked. A mandate had been given by 85% of the people. The target date for the implementation of this resolution was June 2008. He did not care for the pain that some people would feel. There would be no referendum on this issue. In terms of the National Sports and Recreation Amendment Act (NSRAA), SARU had to present its budget on 1 April each year. All federation had to report to Parliament no matter what the source of their funding was. The bias towards rural areas was very important. The Springbok issue had not been negotiated by anybody.
Presentation by South African School Sport (SASS)
Ms Martha Stroom, Treasurer, South African School Sport introduced the delegation.
Mr Daniel Jones, Chairperson, SASS, apologised that he could not stay for the full presentation due to a prior commitment. He was happy that SRSA had budgeted R39 million for school sport, and R220 million for the Mass Participation Programme (MPP) in which schools were included. Sport was an important component in the development of learners. The transition from USSASA to NACOC had caused school sport to suffer. The bureaucrats did not understand the situation. One consequence was that the winter codes had not had their national tournaments.
The Chairperson remarked that this was the second year in succession that the winter codes had missed out.
Mr Jones confirmed this. The Secretary of SASS had written to government but there had been no response. The body wanted to be able to deliver at a national level.
The Chairperson said that SASS must use the lottery for funding. Clubs could be supplied with kit. Suppliers could be contacted directly.
Mr Jones said he had noted the information in the NLB presentation.
Mr Ismail Teladia, General Secretary, SASS,said that there would be no transformation unless there was regular inter-school competition. At present inter-school sport amongst the former Model C schools was well organised. There should be organised sport in the township on a weekly or fortnightly basis. If there was a strong school sports programme then the federations would smile. Hockey was one of the sports which had traditionally only been played in the former white and Model C schools. SASS had been established at a meeting on 15 February. They had tried to have meetings with SRSA and the DoE, but this had not gone the way that had wanted. Since USSASA had been disbanded school sports had gone backwards.
The Chairperson said that there was freedom to establish SASS. He asked if they were struggling to set up meetings. It could not be correct that they had to wait for so long. The Minister had not seen the letter requesting the meeting.
Ms Stroom said there was good communication with members of PROCOC and NACOC. The Director-General (DG) of SRSA had told SASS that they were not a recognised body. She undertook to forward this email to the Committee. They were told that the Minister had never given permission for the body to be formed.
The Chairperson said that a DG had no right to change the decision of the Minister. There could be another structure for school sport, and SASS had been created on their initiative. The DG had overstepped her authority.
Mr Teladia said that all documents would be forwarded to the Committee. He had spoken to the Minister and he was willing to meet with SASS. He had requested a meeting with the DG the previous evening, and this had been scheduled for the following week.
The Chairperson said that the DG was seizing the opportunity, but it was a year down the line. A quick response was needed.
Mr Teladia said he was concerned about the turnover of officials, particularly within SRSA. This was also the case to a lesser degree at the DoE. The only constant presences were the code representatives. Relations between NACOC and executive members were strained.
He said that the best development programme was regular inter-school competition. Talent identification would be made possible and the level of competition would increase. Without regular competition development would be reliant on once-off events. The School Sports (SS) MPP had failed to a large extent. Some programmes were not sustainable and were only once-off festivals. Codes like volleyball and netball did not work with the SSMPP. Coaching workshops had been cancelled. Delivery was chaotic. The SSMPP must be brought in line with the codes.
Mr Teladia said that one of the tragedies of the post-USSASA era was the demise of the farm and rural schools festival, which was an indictment against the funding organisations. He recalled the debacle about the aquatics championships and athletics events that had almost been cancelled. In the case of the aquatics, SRSA had told organisers five days before the event that there was no funding despite having confirmed the event five days previously. SASS had managed to make these events happen. There had been no meeting of the local organising committee for the winter games. It was the work of the respective codes to keep things going.
He said that USSASA had kept a transformation committee in places. Representativity targets were set for the different codes, but now this had fallen by the wayside. Hundreds of teachers, all volunteers, had been lost. It would be difficult to get them back. They wanted to see a credible organisation in place. He invited Members to attend the SASS conference to be held on 25 and 26 July 2008. The theme of the conference would be “Let the Children Play”.
The Chairperson asked that the whole Committee be invited. In the past three years NACOC had been involved in a juggling act. Things had been going well in the MPP and inter-provincial games but there were still flat spots. The issue was close to the Minister’s heart. He hoped that he had not heard correctly when being informed that boxing had been banned as a school sport.
Ms Stroom said that NACOC had addressed the priority codes as identified by SRSA. The DoE had defined certain codes as crime inviting codes, of which boxing was one. Mr Teladia was bemused as the South African Police Services chief in Mitchell’s Plain was adamant that shooting should be re-introduced as a school sport.
The Chairperson had heard two weeks previously that people wanted shooting to be recognised. They could not go to an overseas tournament without endorsement. He asked which activity was worse, shooting or boxing. The Department needed to interact on this issue. Karate, kick boxing and judo were still accepted by SRSA and SASCOC, but boxing was not acceptable.
Ms Stroom said that SASS was trying to change facilities. They were fighting against drugs. There was a lack of integration. There needed to be a strategic focus on development in partnership with communities. Some codes were preferred to others in certain communities. The establishment of basic communities was encouraged. Some 300 MPP and talent identification centres had been established on a cluster basis. The number of codes catered for was limited. A massive development programme was needed before athletes could move on to the HP stage.
She said that the problem in athletics had been that the only recognised age group was Under 17. She asked how athletes could reach this standard if their talents were not developed before then. The federations did not have age limits. The codes had only been informed about this on the eve of the event. There was a lack of consultation. SRSA was running sport and should have been aware of the age limit problem.
Ms Stroom said that the SSMPP relied on the efforts of sports assistants. There was always communication with their provincial counterparts. Some periods set aside for sport at schools were used for Life Orientation lessons. She asked who monitored this, and who monitored the schools. SASS interacted with national and international federations. New techniques were always being introduced. She asked if the sports assistants were doing any good. They had a role in talent identification. She asked if competitions were being run for their own sake or to bolster development. MPP facilities were often in dire condition.
She said that since the formation of NACOC most provincial representatives were from the former Model C schools. Racial quotas were fine, but there were very few children from the townships. USSASA accounts had been frozen when the new body was formed, and this also posed problems with applications to the lottery.
Ms Stroom said that schools should become the centre of community life. Equipment had been bought from grants, but was often locked away in storerooms and never used. She thought there might be a move to kill school sport. SASS was trying to get sponsors involved. Companies had social responsibility programmes. It was symptomatic that she was using her personal laptop computer to deliver the presentation as there was no funding for SASS. Provinces were not aware of the winter games developments. Parents were blaming the codes for what appeared to be a chaotic situation.
Ms Di Woolley, Executive Member, SASS, said that the problem lay between the Gauteng Department of Sport and Recreation and the provincial Department of Education.
Ms Stroom wanted to know who was responsible for what. A grassroots model was needed. Most Olympians had developed their talents through school sport. Financial allocations had to be revisited. SASS had been told to find service providers for the summer games, but some of these providers had still not been paid.
Ms Woolley said that SASS had a comprehensive database for educators and children who had participated in major events since 1994. There was a database for fourteen of the sixteen priority codes. Smaller codes battled to keep such records. Funds should be channelled through SASS rather than through government.
Ms Stroom said that there were also lifestyle issues. LoveLife had not been killed together with school sport. She showed pictures of a programme in Port Elizabeth where the South African National Defence Force had been involved. A career path was shown at this programme. Children would be celebrating Africa Day. Social development had to come up with applicable age groups. The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport was tracking participation levels for unnatural changes in the physiology of children.
The Chairperson said that public hearings would be a good option. He asked what the optimal outcome would be for SASS.
Mr Dikgacwi asked about the circumstances in which funding had been withdrawn from the events mentioned.
Mr Teladia said that one of the SRSA officials, Mr Biyela, had been out of his office since 6 February. This left many unanswered questions.
Mr Dikgacwi asked what the normal procedures were surrounding the winter programme. He asked what the interactions were, and if this programme was something new.
Ms Ntuli said that the codes would not develop sport. She noted the description of crime inviting sports, but said that boxing was a form of self-defence just like karate or judo. Declining programmes were a disaster. The Department should have been present at this meeting. She asked if USASSA was still operating, as people were still wearing their shirts. It seemed that the deliberations had not been taken seriously. She asked about the percentage of quotas and players of colour.
Mr Frolick said that it was a year since the last budget hearing, and there had been no improvement. It was the role of government to create a conducive environment and support structures. The Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) was over a four year cycle. The Department knew what its budget would be and should plan for a four year period. It seemed this was not being done. SRSA should be able to determine priority categories, venues and focus areas. It was an ongoing discussion and it was up to the codes to see that events happened. It was not government’s business as it did not have the capacity. The situation was unacceptable. The monetary allocation was growing.
He said that there was a difficult environment in school sport. There was a fusion of the MPP and school sport. More established codes were better off than others. No progress was being made to close the gap. There might be things happening. Parents often wanted to attend events to support their children and travel plans had to be made in advance. Sports people could not operate in this haphazard way.
Mr Masango asked about the relationship with NACOC. He asked how government could determine the age groups.
Mr Teladia said that relations with NACOC officials had been strained since 2006. Venues had been identified for the tournaments according to a five year plan. It was unacceptable that SRSA should withdraw funding after confirming the venue and dates ten days previously. SASS was corresponding with SRSA on technical requirements. The venues had not been confirmed yet, and the tournaments would be happening in six weeks. SASS had engaged with government.
He said that squash operated totally on its own. SASS meetings to date had been self-funded. They wanted to work with government. The clock had been turned back between five and ten years. They wanted teachers to be part of SASS. It was business as normal in the former Model C schools, but there was a drop in participation in others. People must be brought back to sport. A five year calendar was in place.
Mr Teladia gave a simple example of the confusion in government circles. The Western Cape Sport School had won the national volleyball championships. This qualified them to take part in the World School Championships in Italy. However, it was subsequently decided that not enough teams had taken part in the competition and it was not recognised as an official event. As a result of this, the invitation was withdrawn. Some time later the Western Cape Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) for sport had made a speech congratulating the team on winning the gold medal in Italy, but they had not even left the country.
Ms Stroom said there was a lack of interaction. Reports were being sent saying that relations were good, but this was not so. Disadvantaged children could not get special coaching. Window dressing should be addressed. All codes had met with Mr Greg Fredericks while he was still at SRSA, and a plan had been drawn up until 2010. The codes had subsequently not been recognised. The problem with the athletics event was that the event for primary schools had been dropped by SRSA. It had gone ahead after outside assistance was obtained. The reason was that COSASA only recognised the Under 17 age group.
She said there was an issue of the silence of the codes. The national federations were responsible for all provinces. The budgets went to the provinces. Athletes in North West did not know who supported them. Clubs in the province were surviving. Centres of excellence had been established, but were only accessible to those who could afford them. This province was being targeted for assistance together with the Western and Eastern Cape.
The Chairperson said that the more Ms Stroom said, the more issues that were raised. The budget did not assist school sports. The amounts allocated were R400 million and R33 million. This was a huge amount of money. There was a close relationship between the MPP and school sport. The Department had been told that MPP started at schools. The diversity was too big, and there was a hit and run approach.
He said that SASS had a right to exist. Only the Minister could recognise them, not the DG. This amounted to misconduct. He would better judge this situation once he had read the relevant documents. Sports people could be vicious. SASCOC was not the alpha and the omega of sport. The NSRAA did not specify which confederation should be recognised. The Committee would meet with SRSA on 3 June. He wanted to lay the matter to rest at that meeting. He was shocked to hear that SRSA was running events when it should be the teachers. It was clear that Ms Stroom cared about children.
Mr Teladia thanked the Committee for its support. The situation was reverting to the position of 1994. Funding was an issue especially if a road show was to be held and if the codes were to be called together. This would put sport back where it belonged.
The Chairperson said that school sport was a key element to sports development, and that was why government funded it so heavily.
Presentation by South African Gymnastics Federation
The Chairperson welcomed the delegation from the South African Gymnastics Federation (SAGF), especially as they were in the middle of hosting international visitors. He congratulated them on receiving a R5 million grant from the lottery.
Mr Jerry Magia, President, SAGF, introduced the delegation and listed some achievements of the younger members.
The Chairperson said that it was good to see that the SAGF was giving the youth a chance to inspire others.
Ms Elizabeth Cameron-Smith, CEO, SAGF, said that the federation had commissioned Mr John Atkinson to conduct a review of the organisation. He had indicated the level of success in the organisation. Volunteers were making a significant contribution. He predicted that the federation’s successes would plateau out and start declining unless a new approach was adopted. This would be achieved by a partnership with SRSA. Performance and coaching rewards were needed together with incentives and recognition. The only successes had been where provincial government was involved. It was clear that government funding was essential. Talent identification was important. A HP culture was needed so that all could share in the glory. Long term planning was needed to develop gymnastics. Realistic priorities were needed. Three key areas were needed. These were marketing, education of coaches and HP.
Mr Tseko Mogetsi, Manager: HP, SAGF, said that Mr Atkinson was a former British HP Director, and had 53 years experience in the sport. He had developed the British HP programme. He was an authority on world best practice. South Africans were currently only participating in international events and not really competing. The staff involved in the British HP programme had started at 2 and increased to 130. More were still needed. The organisation had been transformed from a voluntary to a professional one. In South Africa gymnastics relied on passion. There were one or two successful individuals. Rewards and incentives were needed both for gymnasts and for coaches. There was a need to restructure coach education. Previously disadvantaged individuals had to be funded. There were seven disciplines in international competition and not all gymnasts could be taken to events. Many had to fund themselves. Money was needed at grassroots level. The funding from the lottery had not yet been received, and this was hampering SAGF’s plans.
Ms Anne Cameron-Smith, SAGF Executive, said that most of the participants in the sport were minors. Coach education had to be in place. An elementary programme had been designed which was a basic programme for gymnastics and life orientation. This had been recognised by the North West University. More leadership was needed.
She said that there were Level 1, 2 and 3 coaching courses. The Level 3 was in international course. Coaches needed to attend annual courses. There were also FIG Level 2, 3 and Brevet coaches. One had been placed first in his class and was in charge of the World Cup, All-Africa, Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams.
Ms A Cameron-Smith said the last area of focus was marketing. The SAGF wanted to portray an image of what it was, its programmes and achievements, and to improve its image. A magazine was being produced, and this should be made available to the general public. The website had been revamped but needed to be more interactive. Sponsorship was needed. The federation’s activities should be promoted and the corporate image upgraded. The federation planned to re-introduce the South African Cup and host more international competition. Several documentary films had been made. More television coverage was needed.
Ms E Cameron-Smith said there had been a presentation to the Head of Sport at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The SABC had given a grant of R125 thousand, which had been used to upgrade the SAGF website. The federation wanted to have an hour long programme in a reasonable time slot, not the current 06h30 slot on a Sunday morning. This would be used to convey human interest stories.
She said that exposure would attract all members of the community. There would be education for the public. There were inadequate support structures at all levels, which led to a drop out of gymnasts. Transport was an issue and was a major cost. The rising cost of living was impacting on the volunteers. There was a lack of facilities and equipment.
Existing clubs were battling. There was a need to restore the coaching structures. There was too little money to fund the HP programme adequately. There had to be a fundamental understanding of costs. HP coaches were very active and needed better remuneration. The lottery funds had been delayed, as a letter had been lost in the post. There was no light at the end of this tunnel due to all the red tape involved. The SAGF requested more funding for gymnastics and sport in general.
Mr Magia said that the review had recognised that coaching and structures were major elements in achieving success.
Mr Dikgacwi asked why the delay in the lottery funding had come about. He asked if it was a failure on the part of SAGF to apply proper procedure. He asked how South Africa compared to other African states. He noted the efforts of the British coach, but said that people always wanted to compare South Africa to developed countries.
Ms W Makgate (ANC) noted the developments at HP level. She asked what was being done to identify talent in the rural areas. She noted the successes with the club in Mafikeng. This was being achieved because facilities had been provided.
Mr Masango said that facilities only existed in the big towns. Those who could afford to go to tournaments did so. He asked if others had tried to obtain funding from SRSA.
The Chairperson was concerned about the situation in the deep rural areas.
The CEO said that the financial aspects of the lottery application had been well handled. There was a backlog of applications, and that of the SAGF had been last in the queue. A letter had been sent to SAGF saying that the grant had been approved, but this was lost in the post. The SAGF had to provide information by the end of April for the grant to be confirmed. There were pending contracts. When it became clear that the letter had been lost they had tried to get another copy from the NLB. They were delighted that the grant was as big as R5.1 million was fantastic news. There was now a complicated procedure that had to be followed to get another copy of the letter.
Mr Magia said that South Africa fell within Zone 6. There was no competition in Southern or Central Africa. It was only in Northern Africa that gymnastics was strong, and even then there was no female participation.
Mr Mogetsi said that four of the disciplines controlled by SAGF were Olympic sports and four were not. To qualify for the Games a gymnast had either to be ranked within the top sixteen in the world or else be the continental champion. Odette Richards had qualified in the rhythmic gymnastics discipline. South African gymnasts did well in African competition but few had been able to qualify for world events.
He said that there were four communities in the North West where gymnastics was a popular sport. They had appealed to SAGF to assist in establish facilities in four centres. . There was no control over the clubs. Funds were spread thinly.
The CEO said that the federation’s strategic document addressed different levels. At the fundamental level it would take thirty years to develop gymnastics to a major code. This process was starting now in hubs through the MPP. At club level there were 25 community clubs in the nine provinces. There was no sustainability at present. Money would be forwarded to the provinces in 2009 to combat this problem. However, provincial governments made their own choice on where to distribute funds. Soccer was often the code of choice. The strategic document outlined a pathway to the top for a gymnast. Tremendous progress had been made over the last eight years. SAGF had appointed a provincial development officer in each province. One of these had developed into an international coach. As the sport progressed so did the problems get bigger.
The Chairperson said that life orientation training was a concern of the Committee. Athletes had to be primed to deal with fame and issues like HIV. The protea emblem for the national team was the original emblem of SAGF.
Mr Magia said that gymnastics had used the Springbok until it was changed to the protea at unity.
The Chairperson asked if SAGF was proudly South African.
The CEO replied that at a recent gymnastrada event the final item had been all participants singing the national anthem.
The Chairperson said that some federations felt it was taboo to display national symbols while others displayed them boldly.
The CEO said that SAGF took their role in HIV awareness seriously. In October 2007 a Danish team had toured the country, visiting five provinces. This tour was linked to HIV workshops. Gymnastics took a practical approach. They felt that this important message would be absorbed quicker by the public if it was presented through entertainment.
The Chairperson said there was no question of quotas. The lottery would provide funds for equipment. The endorsement of the federation could be used to fund development programmes. Academies should be multi-purpose and should cater for gymnastics. He suggested that the SAGF should acquire a bus through the lottery with which they could tour the country. The SAGF was an established body and could endorse the applications made by the provinces. South Africa should help countries in the Southern African Development Community region with humility. South Africans should never be arrogant. As a mother body the SAGF should engage with the provincial governments on behalf of their provincial affiliates. Certificates should be issued to hub coordinators to encourage growth in their numbers. He wanted to see black names in the national squad.
Presentation by Boxing South Africa (BSA)
Mr Loyiso Mtya Director, BSA, was pleased to report that BSA had enjoyed a clean audit report in the last financial year. He was sad that government had not given more money than the R2 million which had been received. Entities with far worse reports had been given more. In particular there was no provision for women’s boxing. The cost of running the Baby Champs League was R1.8 million, but the only contribution was R720 thousand from the SABC. BSA had gone to the provinces and some assistance had been provided for transport and catering. Women boxers were still amateurs although five had recently turned professional. Money was needed to bring in opponents, and the South African women were performing well. The programme was running too lean at present.
He said that he always listened to the Committee. BSA had been told to bring back the minority groups and the body had launched an initiative. This had brought a number of white boxers into the sport. Seventeen of these were heavyweights and it was a challenge to accommodate all of these new boxers. It was always said that heavyweight boxing was a different sport. Programmes were needed. A bumper tournament was being planned for 11 November when a number of heavyweight fights would be presented. This would increase awareness. It was still a question of how funding would be obtained.
Mr Mtya said that there had only been two white promoters, which were Golden Gloves organisation and Mr Branco. There were now five. Boxing was returning to a former stronghold in southern Johannesburg. The box and dine events were proving to be very popular. Wembly Stadium in Johannesburg had been fully booked for a recent tournament. BSA was still taking boxing to the people through the Baby Champs events. There were also major tournaments. There would be a big tournament later that week in which three South African and two world titles would be contested. The Free State government had provided the backing for this event. This had all been happening in the last three years.
He said that BSA had a mandate to control boxing. They were not fighting with promoters but were rather trying to persuade them to do the right thing. A new mechanism would see the sport moving towards professionalism, values and respect. Some promoters felt that they could ignore the rules. BSA had met with boxers on 14 May. They had presented the administration with their grievances before taking matters to the press. The promoters had gone to the press immediately. In their letter, the boxers complained that promoters were not paying out the purses due to the fighters.
Mr Mtya said that two other problem areas were outlined. The first was that no contracts were signed for title fights. Promoters preyed on the ignorance of boxers. Promoters misled them over things like foreign currency exchange rates. They wanted BSA to investigate these malpractices. The asked that the Minister should intervene or else they might go on strike. Another problem occurred when fights were cancelled. Boxers should be properly compensated. This was one reason why BSA had received a qualified audit report in the past, as contracts were not paid out fully. Fights were arranged but promoters changed opponents at short notice and only told the boxers involved at the last minute. According to the category of promoter a deposit had to be paid to BSA. For a South African title fight this should be R30 thousand and R70 thousand for a world title.
He said that there should be some curb on the number of promoters. Some only treated boxing as a business and took half of the money. There was a need to close the door a bit. Promoters acted as brokers and televised fight matchmakers. If deposits were paid more respect would be shown to all involved. When promoters had to pay they found a number of excuses. Perhaps the wrong approach was being followed.
Mr Mtya said that there was a meeting with promoters in East London. There was a question of what BSA would do with the money. The first option presented was to reduce the amount of the deposit. The second option regarded payments. The third option was to use the rest of the year to gather more information. There was an agreement with the Eastern Cape promoters. Another meeting had been held in Bloemfontein. BSA was looking at the third option raised at the earlier meeting. This issue was never discussed in Bloemfontein. Instead, the promoters had called on the CEO of BSA to resign. The press received a memorandum from the promoters. Since this meeting a number of promoters had started paying deposits, and it was becoming a challenge for BSA to handle this flow of cash.
He named the two main challenges facing BSA. The first was the shortage of funds. There were particular problems with the funding of women’s boxing, heavyweights, and HIV positive boxers. BSA was talking to LoveLife on this last point. Secondly, it was a challenge to move people out of their comfort zones.
The Chairperson said that there was an uproar over licensing fees. BSA had carried their plans through. He was happy to see that boxing was coming out of the incubator and was standing on its own feet. He would discuss the issues with his colleagues in Cabinet. The Committee had drawn a lot of co-operation from Adv Dali Mpofu, the outgoing Chairperson of the BSA Board. He hoped that Adv Mpofu’s successor would be as understanding. He asked what had happened to people like Gerrie Coetzee and Harold Volbrecht. He had seen a number of festivals in the Free State, and many white boxers were on show. In terms of the NSRAA all federations had to report to Parliament in April. A database would be needed of all boxers. By 1 April a written report had to be submitted to the Committee, and this should cover aspects such as women, disabled boxers, if any, and neglected areas.
Mr Dikgacwi was happy that the issued of cancelled fights was being looked at. There was an issue of exploitation. Boxers should be the main beneficiaries of the sport and not the promoters, but it seemed that the opposite was the case in South Africa. Boxers were paid very little, had short careers, and many died as paupers. They had inferior educations that took them nowhere.
Ms Ntuli observed that there was no budgetary allocation for women’s boxing. She asked if there were any strings attached. She asked who controlled the promoters. Some of them had exploited boxers for many years, and she wanted to know who could bring them to book.
Mr Mtya replied that BSA controlled boxers and promoters. They were looking into the issues. They believed that the minimum payment for boxers should increase from R1 200 to R4 000. Some defended their titles for R45 000, but said that this should be increased to R60 000. BSA controlled the promoters, and had told them about the new mechanism. Some promoters would be up in arms over this process and had friends in high places. He expected that there would be political and legal challenges. The promoters were pushing for people of their choice to be appointed to the new Board. Promoters were not permanently registered but had twelve month licences. Their attitude, however, was that they were the anointed ones. When hit with the book they had called on the CEO to resign.
He said that government grants were given and that fights were sanctioned by BSA. They had made mistakes with an application to the lottery, and had been suspended from the list of beneficiaries. Nothing had been received from the lottery for two years as a consequence. Boxers, particularly female boxers, were suffering. There was a cutback in operational allotments of funding.
The Chairperson noted that there were only five professional woman boxers. This could not be left as a by-the-way issue. There had to be a deliberate programme to encourage women to take up the sport. They were depending on benevolence at present. Membership databases had to be submitted by 1 April each year in terms of the NSRAA. He asked who determined the amounts to be paid as a security deposit.
Mr Mtya said that a new mechanism would be introduced when needed. There was a penalty of between 10 and 100% of fight fees for boxers found to be underperforming. They had not been able to introduce a similar system for promoters. They would return what was owing to the promoters with interest at the end of the licence period.
The Chairperson said that things must be done in the proper way. There must be communication with the Minister. Emotions were rising. An important issue was how fights were allocated. Some boxers only enjoyed a single televised fight while promoters like Branco were allocated thirty fights and others none at all. This was the area of Mr Joe Visagie at the SABC.
Mr Mtya replied that the SABC needed to apply a model in allocating fights. There were 39 registered promoters but the SABC had only scheduled 36 live tournaments for the year. Dates were given according to the champions’ programmes. Some promoters with more champions in their stables were given preference. Boxers could sign up with other promoters if they felt they were not getting a fair chance.
The Chairperson said he would never prescribe to BSA. A hostile take over of promoters might be needed. There was a need to discuss the issues with representatives of the promoters.
Mr Mtya said that there were lower level promoters who managed to retain their champion fighters. Promoters were in the business of making money.
The Chairperson said a member of BSA had spent R300 thousand going around the country doing nothing. This issue should be investigated.
The meeting was adjourned.