Minister EN Mthethwa 's Budget Vote Debate Speech

Speech by Hon. EN Mthethwa, on occasion of the Budget Vote Debate: Sports, Arts and 
Culture. Old Assembly Chamber, 17 July 2019

Theme: Sport as a vehicle for Nation Building and Social Cohesion.

•    Chairperson
•    Deputy Minister, Honourable N Mafu
•    Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MECs and Honourable Members
•    The Chair of the Portfolio Committee 
•    The DGs Mr. Alec Moemi and Vusi Mkhize and officials of Sport, Arts and Culture, as well as Provincial HoDs
•    The leadership of SASCOC and provincial sports confederations
•    Leaders of National Sport Federations, community clubs and sporting entities, Athletes, Sporting Legends, the media and all stakeholders and partners in the sport and recreation sector
•    Ladies and gentlemen

Let me pass our condolences to the families of the late James Small, a South African rugby hero and the late Marc Bachelor a prolific football striker. We also pass our condolences to the family of the late Johnny Clegg a musical icon of our country who passed away yesterday. May their souls rest in peace. 

Sport is a significant part of any nation’s culture, health, education, economy and social upliftment. In this regard, South Africa is no exception. Sport touches people at an emotional and personal level that gives meaning to everyday life.  Due to its profile, sport enjoys immense media attention and captures the hearts of our nation.  It appeals to people from all walks of life – from the most remote village where people gather around an open field to watch a local soccer game, to mega international events hosted in our world class sport stadia. 

In this regard President Mandela had this to say:
“Sport has the power to change the has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair”. 

In the same vain, the NDP says this:
“Expanding opportunities for participation in sports will help to ensure sports teams represent all sectors of society. It will also ensure that South Africa produces results that match its passion for sport”.

The impact of sport, in all its facets, places a considerable responsibility on the national Department to ensure that sport and recreation are administered and governed in the best interests of all participants and stakeholders.  To this end the Department will continue to transform the delivery of sport and recreation by ensuring equitable access, development and excellence at all levels of participation, thereby improving social cohesion, nation building and the quality of life of all South Africans.

In order to achieve the desired results, we have to invest in world class sport academies. We therefore announce that, during the current financial year, the Department will spend over R80 million to build phase 1 of the National Training and Olympic Preparatory Centre in Mangaung. This world class academy will become a key jewel in our crown of sporting excellence. It will be built in phases over several years. Provinces have committed 10% of their grant to ensure the building of this academy.

The country has also not seen good results in the main sporting code of Football. Football is the biggest sporting code of our country. The performances of Bafana Bafana has left a lot to be desired. We have seen spectators dying at football events. We have to attend to the challenges plaguing this sport code in its entirety. 

While we accept that teams lose or win, it is when there is the absence of a fighting spirit in a loss, that a country offers nothing than criticism. Teams that represent their country as soldiers, gets the sympathy of their country men and women, who see themselves as one with their teams. 

The overall poor showing of our football teams in their respective world cups, requires us to self-reflect and chart an inclusive way forward. 

To this extent, we will host in the current financial year, a National Football Indaba to address the key issues and challenges dogging this sporting code and seek to put it on a path of success and financial sustainability. 

•    what is holding the growth of football in our country back; 
•    the role that various stakeholders should play; and 
•    how best we can support the development of football at grassroots level and at professional level to not only conquer Africa, but the world as well.

Pursuant to our quest for sport development, the Department will continue to invest in the School Sport programme. We believe that this programme is the Bedrock of our entire development continuum. 40% of the Grant to provinces has been ring-fenced to deliver on this programme. The funds are intended to support the training of teachers as coaches, delivery of teams to tournaments, provision of sport equipment and attire to quintile 1 and 2 public schools.  

The Rural Sport Development programme will be expanded to 5 Traditional Councils per province in the current financial year. Our target remains to grow the programme to reach at least 50 000 participants over the next three years of implementation. 

Since the adoption of the National Sport Facilities Plan, work has been continuing to ensure that the facilities are provided. The pilot programme has been under implementation over the last 3 years with funds ring-fenced on the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG). An amount of R263 million has been ring-fenced for the current Municipal Financial Year. In addition, we will continue to roll-out Outdoor Gyms, Multi-purpose sport courts and Children’s Play grounds. 

The backlog on sport infrastructure provision is huge, it’s a matter that requires further engagements with stakeholders and partners and a new commitment towards the provision of these key facilities. Sport facilities remain a key catalyst for sport development. 

The National Sport and Recreation Act (1998) ensures that sport and physical activity contribute to social cohesion by legislating on sport participation and sport infrastructure.  A few generations ago, physical activity was an integral part of daily life. Unfortunately, in the name of progress, we have chipped away at it so thoroughly that physical inactivity, actually seems normal.  We need to make it a priority to break the cycles of inactivity where they are already deeply entrenched, and prevent them in our emerging economy, while we still have time. Special emphasis is being placed on the youth.  

Our citizens do not only want to participate in sport and recreation; but they also want to see those who represent them internationally, raise our flag high, with pride. We have recently seen our Under-20 national football team, Amajita, eliminated from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup; the senior cricket team struggling to stamp their authority at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup; and Banyana Banyana also failing to proceed to the second round in their maiden year of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

We must however acknowledge that despite their lack of experience at world cup level; they fought a brave fight and showed rare stoicism. 

Despite this overall failure to set the world scene alight, we must acknowledge the lessons learnt and appreciate the efforts made by our teams. While Amajita and Banyana know how to conquer Africa, their challenge remains closing the gap between continental and world success. 

Our Cricket team has a healthy boardroom behind it and a good talent pipeline. We must therefore, find out after the world cup, what caused the imbalance that we saw in the team. 

We continue to see Caster Semenya rising above her challenges and refusing to be defeated by matters off the racing track. Her resolve and tenacity gives us hope as South Africans to unite for a common cause and reason to support her even more. Our Department remains fully behind Caster as she challenges a female classification rule imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). It remains the stance of the Department that Ms Semenya, like all other athletes, is entitled to compete the way she was born without being obliged to alter her body by any medical means.  

Let me use this opportunity to thank all South Africans, the legal practitioners, scientists, politicians, and human rights activists here at home and abroad, for their undying support for Caster and the other athletes who are also negatively affected by the draconian regulations of the international athletics federation. It is only when we stick together against the evil that is directed at one of our own, that the world will take note of our social coherence as a nation. It is this unity behind our flag, despite our diversity, that makes us South African.

On another front, we congratulate our elderly soccer players, Vakhegula Vakhegula FC, for their participation in the 12-team international soccer tournament organised by Little Miss Soccer in France, ahead of the Women’s World Cup in June 2019." Vakhegula had earlier also been to the United States of America, where they won the Veterans Cup, playing countries such as Brazil. We applaud Vakhegula for serving as an example to other senior citizens on how they can improve the quality of their lives through physical activity. Their story is a story of hope. Vakhegula chose to be active; and we too, can.
Despite the challenges we might have encountered in other sporting codes at the global level, our Netball Team has since inspired the nation through their performances in the field of play claiming amongst its scalps the highly rated Jamaica.  

We also pin our hopes that our teams will better perform in the upcoming tournaments such as the 12th African Games taking place in Morocco from August to September, and the Rugby World Cup scheduled for Japan between September and October. 

As South Africans, it is upon us to support our teams not only when we see them winning, but also to encourage them to win when the odds are against them.

South Africa will host the Netball World Cup in 2023, in Cape Town. This is a historic first for the sport in Africa. This event is a fantastic platform to cultivate sporting talent and encourage excellence. The Department will continue to provide institutional and intra-governmental support to events, such as these, approved in line with the Bidding and Hosting of International Sport and Recreational Events Regulations. As the host of the 2023 Netball World Cup, at the closing ceremony of the World Cup, we will accept the official hand-over from the United Kingdom to South Africa. 

Participation in all these events, the creation of an enabling environment for sport and recreation, and the overall support to athletes, require funding.

The budget:
The total budget for 2019/20 to Sport and Recreation South Africa is R1.154 billion.  Of this R744 million is allocated to mass participation sport and recreation activities implying that 64% of the budget goes directly to sport development, with R239 million being allocated specifically for school sport. 

The total allocation for transfers and subsidies stands at R855 million (74% of total budget). Of this, R620 million is transferred to Provincial Departments by way of conditional grants to support sport and recreation delivery in the provinces. Various sport federations will collectively receive R109 million; the Sports Trust will receive R24 million and loveLife will be supported to the tune of R45 million. The two public entities, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport and Boxing South Africa will receive R26 million and R13 million respectively, to carry out their mandates. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee is allocated R11 million for the 2019/20 financial year towards their responsibility of high-performance sport.

With these funds, where will our focus be this year?
The National Development Plan and our National Sport and Recreation Plan clearly recognise sport and recreation as a way to foster nation building and social cohesion. To give expression to the visions of these plans over the medium term, the Department intends to continue broadening the participation base in sport and recreation, cultivating sporting talent and encouraging excellence in the international sporting arena, pursuing the delivery of sport infrastructure, and championing transformation in sport and recreation.

For us to have a chance towards the socially cohesive nation we aspire to, we intend to broaden the participation base in sport and recreation. This much, we will do through our Active Nation Programme that the Deputy Minister, Honourable Nocawe Mafu, will elaborate later on.

Cultivating sporting talent and encouraging excellence 
For nation building to improve, the demographics of our national teams need to improve so that as a united nation we can support a united, demographically representative team.  We need to be proud of our national sport teams and support them collectively.  To do this, we need to ensure that we develop a steady stream of talented athletes and support them to achieve in international sport.  The National Development Plan acknowledges the significant role that sport plays with regards to fostering nation building and it envisions a South Africa where all will be more conscious of the things they have in common, rather than their differences, where their shared experiences will cut across divisions of race, gender, space and class. 

Ministerial sports bursaries are awarded to young, talented athletes to enable them to attend verified schools that focus on sport. These bursaries are available for high school learners and are valid for the duration of their school careers if they maintain their sporting achievements. In 2019/20, a minimum of 50 qualifying learners, including learners already in the programme, are expected to be supported through the payment of school fees, the provision of school uniforms and sport clothing, sport scientific support, and event attendance.  The core consideration made in identifying the sport focus school is that it should be excelling academically; have a rich history of sport; and have the required sport infrastructure as an enabling mechanism. 

Our specialized programmes aimed at supporting upcoming athletes are beginning to bear fruits.  To mention a few, the budding future stars supported through the Ministerial Bursary Programme;

Jade Simons a swimmer from the Eastern Cape Province who entered the Ministerial bursary support in 2015 has proven to be one of the best when she was selected to participate as part of the South African Senior Squad at the Open Water Championships held in Algeria in September 2018.  She has received trophies for her best performances in 50m and 100m breast stroke.  She went further to receive the Pea Presidential award for her outstanding swimming achievements.

Tsepiso Lesudi from Limpopo who started in the program only in 2018, is proving to be a great find.  Within a short period of time in the program, she has already been selected to play for the Blue Bulls Rugby Union U18 girls’ team.  What is remarkable about Tsepiso is that she also excels in other codes and has been awarded with Provincial Colours for ladies football and athletics.

Doctor Nkuna another brilliant soccer player from Mpumalanga who entered the program in 2014, has proven himself and went ahead to be awarded the best player from Lowveld High School for the Kay Motsepe Schools League.  Doctor is a technically brilliant soccer player, with the highest goals scored.  He already by virtue of brilliance is a Vice Captain for the Lowveld High School 1st team.

The Andrew Mlangeni Golf Development Day aims to expose amateur golfers to a professional tournament and to give them the opportunity to play alongside professional golfers. It is organised on an invitational basis only with a field of approximately 50 golfers. The funds generated from this golf development day are channelled into programmes to honour the life of Andrew Mlangeni as a national hero of our people and a true embodiment of the philosophy of life-long participation in sport and recreation. A portion of the funds raised from the Andrew Mlangeni Golf Development Day are also channelled into the Andrew Mlangeni Chapter of the South African Golf Development Board. This Chapter is based in Soweto and will provide approximately 50 young and aspiring golfers the opportunity to receive professional coaching and assistance with the equipment and attire required.

In 2019/20, 39 provincial and district sports academies are expected to receive R68.2 million from the mass participation and sport development grant to provide specialist training and sport scientific support to a projected 3 700 talented athletes.  

The district academies of sport are an integral part of sport development, as their scope is directly linked with community sport and the school sport programme.  The district sport academies play a key role in talent identification, selection and development. They facilitate access to communities’ sport facilities and to specific scientific and medical support. 

The provincial academies of sport serve as a reservoir for the talent development of high-performance elite athletes. This fosters synergy and linkages to the national sport academy system. The national sport academy is at the core of high-performance sport, and is responsible for athlete and team preparation. In consultation with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the Department will oversee the establishment of the National Training and Olympic Preparatory Centre (NTC), based in Bloemfontein.

The Department will transfer R11 million to the SASCOC to deliver Team South Africa to the African Games (Equatorial Guinea); the COSSASA Athletics Championships (South Africa), the ISF Swimming Championships (Rio, Brazil) and the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games (Switzerland).  Preparations will also be intensified as Team South Africa prepare to participate in both the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan.  Funds from other sources are also used in conjunction with government funding for these events.

The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) manages the implementation of a drug deterrent and prevention strategy that is compliant with the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) International Convention against Doping in Sport, and the world anti-doping code. 

SAIDS will receive R26 million in 2019/20 as the government fulfils its responsibility towards supporting an ethical, anti-doping sports sector. Expenditure is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 4.7 per cent, from R31.2 million in 2018/19 to R35.8 million in 2021/22.The institute derives 95 per cent of its revenue from transfers from the Department. 

Guided by the core values of an athlete-centered and excellence-driven sport system, the Department aims to provide incentives and to applaud individual athletes and teams who continue to make our nation proud by displaying exceptional performance and attaining remarkable results. The Department will continue to provide opportunities to acknowledge sporting achievements, both contemporary and past performances.  The highlight will again be the hosting of the prestigious Sports Awards in November 2019.  

Building on the inaugural women's month programme that the Department hosted in 2014 to honour the role of women in sport, the Department will again in partnership with the GSPORT Trust, highlight and celebrate the role that women play across the entire value chain of sport. The intention is also to place women in sport on the same pedestal as women in other sectors and strata of society as the entire nation celebrates their achievements during the month of August. 

Sport Support
The National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) enjoins the institutions leading the sector, particularly the Department and the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee to maximise the return on investment by prioritizing sport codes best suited to broaden the participation base or achieving international success.  Considering limited resources and realising that we have to aptly define that which is important for the country and that which we believe we are good at and excel in, the Department has prepared a Draft Policy on the Prioritization of Sport Codes.  Consultation with relevant stakeholders is ongoing. We plan to conclude this Policy before the end of the current financial year.  

Boxing South Africa, a public entity of our Department, contributes to nation building, healthy lifestyles and social cohesion by promoting participation in boxing, especially among youth and women; strengthening the boxing regulatory environment; and ensuring the effective administration of the sport. The organisation derives 81.6 per cent of its revenue through transfers from the Department, amounting to R40.6 million over the medium term. It also expects to receive revenue of R9.2 million over the same period, mainly from fees for the sanctioning of all bouts. Expenditure is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 5.2 per cent, from R15.0 million in 2018/19 to R17.5 million in 2021/22.

In terms of international relations our agreements and Programmes of Action will continue to be informed by the international relations strategy. We will continue to build and strengthen international bilateral relationships to support sport and recreation development in South Africa by continuing existing engagements with international partners, including Jamaica, India, Russia, and Cuba.  During 2019/20 engagements will be expanded to China, Palestine and Kenya to identify areas of potential cooperation.  

In addition, the Department will continue to strengthen bilateral sport ties with countries on the African continent that are emerging from conflict to enable their sports sector to be self-sustainable, e.g: Burundi and DRC.  

Furthermore. we are required to fulfil our responsibilities in international fora such as UNESCO, the UN Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group and the World Anti-Doping Agency amongst others. South Africa is well represented in multi-lateral fora, and we will continue to play a very active role in the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region Five.  South Africa is also represented on the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and on the Confederation of Southern African National Olympic Committees (COSANOC). 
Pursuing the delivery of sport infrastructure 
Sport and recreation teach discipline and it is an integral component of a healthy lifestyle and enables South Africans to share common spaces. Daily interactions on an equal basis build social cohesion and common understanding and these interactions will be promoted effectively when South Africans share more public spaces. 

By definition, sport is a facility dependent activity, and in terms of the NSRP, provision of sport facilities forms the foundation of the entire sport and recreation sector and serves as an enabler for achievement of our targets in respect to transformation in sport, development of sport and increased participation. In this regard the Department has, since inception of the ring-fenced MIG sport infrastructure grant in 2016/17, allocated 94 projects between the inception year and 2018/19 financial year.

Additional 22 projects have been allocated for the current financial year and implementation in terms of procurement of professional service providers to do designs have commenced in most of these projects. This brings a total number of sport infrastructure projects allocated by Department of Sport to a 116 located in 112 local municipalities throughout country. 97% of these projects were identified by municipalities and their respective communities during integrated development planning process, thus promoting a constitutional principle of a democratic and participatory government. 

The facilities are not only platforms of talent identification and development for participation in competitive sport and active recreation, but they also serve as social spaces for interaction, integration and socialisation amongst different races and classes in our communities, and therefore promote creation of a cohesive society envisaged by the NDP. 

We made a commitment in 2018 to make Softball South Africa a priority Federation and provide them with necessary support to ensure revival of this code. Through our engagements, they advised that Polokwane is a preferred location for a construction of their national facility, and Polokwane local municipality has availed land in this regard. Tennis South Africa and Mahikeng local municipality have also been engaged regarding the refurbishment and upgrading of the tennis precinct next to Mmabatho Stadium. Both projects are at a design stage.

During their construction phase, these projects will continue to create employment and sub-contracting opportunities for local communities. 

The Department will continue with construction of community outdoor gyms and children play parks in the recreational spaces created by municipalities. 

We will implement this in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries as part of the greening and beautification of open spaces. The Department intends to provide 10 community gyms and children’s play parks across South Africa in 2019/20 to give community members and athletes in disadvantaged areas access to opportunities to exercise and improve their health and fitness. R12 million is allocated for the provision of these facilities.

Furthermore, the Department facilitates the delivery of specialised multipurpose sport courts and other infrastructure projects to improve access to sport and recreation activities through a partnership with the Sports Trust. In 2019/20, the Sports Trust will receive a transfer of R24 million to build 10 multipurpose sports courts.  

As investments are not available to be equally expended in all Provinces for all codes, we will continue in 2019/20, to identify the home of each priority sport code. The intention is to align future facility investments to these priority codes in specific Provinces, and ensuring that such facilities are world class.  

Development and transformation in sport continues to mirror and reflect the state of the socio-economic status of our country notwithstanding the great efforts made by the Department as well as the key stakeholders in the sporting sector.  

The latest transformation status reports of each Federation indicate that nine (9) of the nineteen Federations achieved 50% or more of their targets. This is a great improvement overall. In the 2018 reporting period, we signed with fourteen (14) more Federations, with four (4) of those achieving 50% or more of their self-set Barometer targets in the first year. We are enthusiastic about the areas in which we have made the most progress, including:
•    The number of black Presidents of National Federations,
•    Representability of blacks on the Boards of National Federations,
•    The appointment of Black CEOs, and
•    The election of Women on the Boards of National Federations.

This is significant as leadership carry the responsibility of philosophy and culture in the organisation. These performance measures must serve as milestones and signposts of the Federation’s transformation journey towards an accessible, equitable, sustainable, demographically representative and competitive sport system. Federations must guard against conservative and possible ‘safety-first’ Barometer target setting. We are however still concerned about the area of coaches and referees within National Federations. This area remains largely unchanged since the process started in earnest in 2012, and changes need to be effected. We believe that we ought to be seen from the grassroots to the elite levels.

As our focus on women in sport continues, this has to be an area that is regularly assessed and monitored. There are so many impediments to women’s participation in sport and we have a responsibility to create an enabling environment for women’s participation in sport to thrive.

Despite more women than ever playing sport and working in sport structures, gender inequalities continue to exist in participation opportunities, support for athletes, and jobs for women as well as generally in the administration of sport. Gender equity will never be complete without changes in how people think and act about masculinity and femininity and in how sports are organised and played.

During 2017/18 financial year, the former Minister of Sport and Recreation, Minister Nxesi, established the SASCOC Committee of Inquiry to investigate and report on numerous alleged irregularities and malpractices in the governance and management of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, which have tarnished the image and integrity of SASCOC and sports fraternity in general. Subsequently, Minister Xasa approved the report and all the recommendations of the SASCOC Committee of Inquiry. The Minister also appointed an administrator to oversee and report on the execution and fulfilment of all the recommendations. We are confident that in implementing the recommendations, SASCOC will emerge a better organization for the benefit of the whole sport and recreation sector. 

Honourable members, South Africa is undergoing a renewal - a new dawn that reverberates across all sectors of our society. Sport is no different in this. The sport sector too has to cleanse itself from all the negativities of the past. The sporting bodies, should become part of the solution to embrace this new dawn. This new dawn provides us with an opportunity to further deepen our vision of building a diverse nation, cohesive for a purpose of achieving equality and prosperity. 

We therefore call upon all the role players in sport and recreation sector, to re-dedicate themselves towards ensuring that we are at the forefront of all efforts to help us achieve the transformation objectives of our country. We have been at this for some time now; it is now time that we infuse some speed into our efforts. We cannot only raise our hands to be sent; we must, while we are at it, Khauleza with purpose and focus, towards the destination.

I Stand for a Socially Cohesive, Winning Nation; and 
I Choose to be Active – How About You?

I Thank You.


SRSA has many events happening throughout out the year and we need volunteers!

Major Stakeholders