Budget speech to the NCOP by Reverend Dr Makhenkesi Stofile (MP) Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa
20 May 2010
On the 15 May 2004 South Africa had the humbling honour of being awarded the right to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This was the historic moment as it marked the first time an African country would host the biggest sport event in the world. The FIFA World Cup in Africa for the first time in more than 80 years of the tournament. This singular announcement by FIFA made South Africa the stage and Africa the theatre where our people assumed their rightful place in the family of nations.
The question, honourable chairperson, which buzz was bigger, the 2004 one or the 2010 one, you be the judge. One thing for sure, hosting the World Cup infused our people with great hope and unleashed untold creativity, “To ensure that the 21st century unfolds as a century of growth and development in Africa,” President Thabo Mbeki, 2003.
The FIFA Would Cup presents us with an ideal forum to extend an unforgettable South African welcome to the world. It offers us a golden opportunity to collaborate with all stakeholders in a dynamic partnership based on integrity and excellence. It is a strong catalyst towards the building of national and continental pride and unity.
The South African economy and tourism are already benefiting from the advent of the tournament. President J G Zuma graphically describes our hosting and participation in the FIFA World Cup as follows, “we have been working hard towards bringing the event to Africa. We have built and revitalised our existing stadia and we have upgraded our transport and accommodation facilities. We have demonstrated our pedigree by successfully hosting the 2009 FIFA Confederation Cup and the final draw for 2010.” Here the President opens a window for all see the huge investment our government and our people have made in infrastructure and skills development. Our young people are learning new languages and are being exposed to other nations’ cultures. This is good for non-discriminatory and non-xenophobic attitudes. It is good for peace in the world. It is here!!
I will not mention the cynics and prophets of doom who accompanied us these last seven years. Hope far outweighs cynicism and envy. In three weeks time the kick off will usher in the last lap, the last two months of this African journey of hope.
Progress in transformation
The opposite of transformation is entrenchment. Given where we come from as a nation, none of us can support the entrenchment of that past which none want to be associated with these days. As such, the reconstruction and development of our country towards the non-racial society of our dreams continue to be non-negotiable. How to get there is what divides us and drive us to our ideological corners.
Our position as the ANC government is that the state must consciously intervene to narrow the gap of access and of opportunities. We do not believe that individuals can fully prosper in the midst of community conditions that pull them down or keep them out. The legacy of the Group Areas Act and the Separate Amenities Act continue to play a negative role to equitable access to opportunities.
It is common knowledge that the economy of this country continues to favour some but not all our communities. This in turn is reflected in who dominate top positions in our economy, sport, education etc. For serious transformation in access to facilities, amenities, science and health support services, coaches and top athletes to happen, there need to be real change in the racialised nature of our economy and communities.
After six years of launching MPP, we are satisfied that good results have been achieved in reviving interest in sport and recreation among our people. We are now challenged to lift the bar and transform mobilisation to organisation for excellent performance. This takes us back to access to resources.
Our strategy is to pay focussed attention to organised school sport and organised community sport.
I am thrilled, Honourable members, with progress being made in the Free State in the organising of schools sport and community sport coordination. They are our no1 province, and MEC Khothule is our gold medallist among the nine MECs Free State leads. Others must follow. The Northern Cape is doing well in the development of community clubs. Distance between their communities is the biggest and most expensive challenge. South Africa should have an official schools sport structure by the end of this year. MPs will do well to assist in this effort. Policy issues should be completed by the end of June 2010.
Progress in the development of our sport is largely dependent on local and international partners. The fiscus is simply overwhelmed by socio-economic needs of SA to make sport a priority. Synergies with Departments like Health, Basic Education and Social Development help us reach out beyond what our budget allows. Companies like Super Sport, Vodacom, Nike, Yellow Pages, Absa, FNB, and Coca Cola are the pillars that sustain our work. United Kingdom (UK) Sport, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) are also valuable partners. They fully understand the importance of sport in creating better citizens and nations.
An accelerated construction of seven sport facilities will be completed before the World Cup. These facilities are in Ikwezi Local Municipality, Jansenville; King Sabata Dalinyebo Municipality, Qunu; Mangaung Local Municipality, Batho Location; City of Tshwane, Winterveld; KwaDukuza Local Municipality, Melville; Polokwane Local Municipality, GaManamela and Rustenburg Local Municipality, Lekgalong Village.
We have 11 students who are involved in a four years Degree in Physical Education and Sport, as part of our exchange programme with Cuba. Northern Cape; Western Cape and Limpopo have one student each, while Eastern Cape; Gauteng; KwaZulu-Natal and Free State have two each. Two students were set to graduate in 2009 (one failed); two in 2010; one each in 2011 and 2012; and five in 2015.
Chairperson, we have always reported to this house that we are meeting a brick wall in being able to influence the distribution of lottery funds and how they contribute to the national agenda of reconstruction and development. It is encouraging that the new Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Chairperson of National Lotteries Board seem to share our vision. We must all support them as they try to bring the National Lotteries Act on the right track. Section 25 of that Act must be amended.
Our fight to access the sport and recreation portion of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) seems far from over. The stark reality presented by the delivery records of our Building for Sport and Recreation Programme (BSRP) in comparison to those of the consolidated MIG, is disgraceful. Since the inception of the MIG in 2005 until the end of March 2010 (five financial years) a total of 155 sport and recreation facilities projects have been completed compared to 364 projects implemented over four financial years through the BSRP.
This, in essence, means that the MIG projects over five financial years represent only 43 percent of the BSRP projects over four financial years. Chairperson, we are not willing to give up this fight, even if it creates a lot of enemies for us. We are by all means, willing to listen to compelling arguments that can help us build the much needed facilities to improve access to sport and recreation.
Our concern is also that sport and recreation facilities’ projects in the top spending provinces are concentrated in the bigger municipalities. The cumulative amount committed to sport and recreation facilities’ projects since 2005 until the end of March 2010 is R2.6 billion. This relates to projects that are either completed; under construction; being designed; on tender; and registered. The highest share of this amount goes to Gauteng at 40 percent and the lowest to Northern Cape at two percent. KwaZulu-Natal for example, spends R482 million on 105 projects while Gauteng spends more than double the amount on only 68 projects. This says that while some provinces are for wider reach and accessibility, others are for big projects such as stadia, which may not necessarily be easily accessible to grassroot sport.
Sport and science
Modern day athletes can barely attain their maximum potential without scientific support. To this end SRSA has a special directorate to render scientific and technical support to athletics, both developing and elite athletes, for such identified athletes with potential, SRSA contracts with the higher performance centre of the universities to carry out training, residential conditioning and camps for athletes. Federations and athletes who compete in international games are beneficiary of this programme.
We are interacting with our international and local partners in our ongoing search for an affordable but effective formula. Many would like us to follow the route of Australia, or England, but we are not ready for that. We are a developing and transforming country. That is our reality. We will review our grants to federations. We will focus on funding development entities that aid transformation.
The impact and reputation of our South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) is felt by the world all over. SAIDS is South African and Africa’s flagship on anti-doping work. They are ably complemented by our Africa regional office of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Cape Town. We can be proud of our work in and through both South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) and Rodney’s office of World Anti-Doping Agency.
Our scientists have been jolted into a patriotic activism by the events surrounding our “Golden Girl,” Mokgadi Caster Semenya. The “golden lining” of the Semenya saga is that it will always be regarded as a defining moment in the history of athletics and sport. For one thing the debacle brought to the focus the subject of intersex athletes. It also taught us that anatomical, physiological and chromosomal characteristics are not suzerain. What defines a person is how she/he has expressed her/his identity since the date of birth. That is what gender is about. Laboratory tests and medical treatment deal with equity in competition, not gender.
We are pleased with the way we handled such a sensitive situation. We thank all South Africans for their support to Miss Semenya and their respect of the process of getting her back on the track. Let us resist all sensation on these personal matters. Let us also avoid going for short cuts that may nullify all our victories to date.
Boxing and combat sport
The Boxing convention took place last month. It was well attended and proved to be a helpful exercise. A lot of work lies ahead still at the level of the legislative framework, governance and alignment with the way other combat sport federations are run. We will give a comprehensive written report in these issues.
Africa and the world
South Africa is a regional and continental leader on policy alignment and getting all to pull together in the same direction. Our contribution to the African Agenda and solidarity is openly acknowledged by the African Union and Supreme Council for Sport in Africa. We are a valued member of the World Anti�"Doping Agency on which we have served for 10 years as Board and executive member. No other country in the world has achieved this so far. The NCOP can be a valuable partner in our anti-doping education initiatives. We welcome volunteers.
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.” (Nelson Mandela).
Sport is an African journey of hope to a better future. We will get there!
Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
20 may 2010
Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
20 May 2010
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