Speech by the Hon. Nocawe Mafu, Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts & Culture, on the occasion of the Adjustment Budget Vote, Parliament of RSA, Cape Town

Chairperson
Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, the Honourable Nathi Mthethwa
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee
Honourable Members
Chairpersons and Chief Executive Officers of our Public Entities
Distinguished Guests
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
 
Please allow me too, to also extend my very sincere and heartfelt greetings to all of you who are keenly following these proceedings. As the Minister has already intimated, these are indeed extraordinary times requiring human effort that cannot be anything less than extraordinary
 
 

Given this new global reality, and as part of our consultative process with the sector, we have had to create a special COVID-19 Relief Fund for arts and culture and as well as for the sport and recreation fraternity..
 

The relief effort appropriation is not being made possible from additional resources but rather from internal savings from within the Department – meaning, that for some key areas of work and delivery, there has had to be cutback, as has been already confirmed by Minister.
Given that the Honorable Minister has already tabled the adjusted budget at length, mine is just simply to lay further emphasis on mainly two areas of work and attendant budget appropriations These two key areas of work are recreation development and sport promotion as well as administration (which is geared at ensuring that there is optimal support in terms of financial, human and infrastructure capacity to ensure effective, efficient and impactful programme implementation).
 

As part of our contribution to the Social Cohesion Programme of Action of government, we have continued giving support to our sport academies. High performance athletes have also been adequately supported, with financial assistance also being given to national sports federations who were meeting their transformation targets.

In view of the aforementioned, Honourable Chairperson, may I also just allay any concerns on sport transformation that may arise as a result of the budget adjustments we are tabling here today before this House. Let me unequivocally and without any fear of contradiction categorically state that neither COVID-19 itself or attendant budget ajustments would in any way adversely affect our determination to ensuring that there is transformation in sport. We will with more added energy implement, in consultations with our national sport federations, the  recommendations from the 2019/2020 report on sport transformation by the Eminent Persons Group.

In giving traction to transformation in sport, we recognize that as government, we must also provide the necessary legislative and policy tools, that would ensure that transformation in sport happens. In that regard, we further acknowledge that “inequality of opportunity” in sport, is also regrettably “gendered”. We will therefore move with added pace, in concluding the remaining stakeholder consultations on the draft Women in Sport national policy. It is envisaged that the Department will by no later than March 2021 have this policy unveiled and officially gazetted.

In making a cogent argument for sport as one of the foremost levers to foster unity, cohesion and national reconciliation, Tata Nelson Mandela once said:

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. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.

In line with Madiba’s vision and his heartfelt conviction in the power of sport of sport to unite our people, we have taken the challenge and are putting into full practical effect Madiba’s vision in terms of the role of sport in bridging socio-historical divisions.

Honourable Chairperson, please allow me then to spell out the budget adjustment in terms of this key area of delivery for the Department i.e. recreation development and sport promotion.

For 2020/2021, the programme was allocated R1.4 billion. After the budget adjustment exercise, the final appropriation now stands at R1.09 billion. The difference is part of the Department’s contribution in cushioning the adverse effects of COVID-19 on the masses of our people. In terms of this bigger programme on recreation development and sport promotion, the following breakdown should be useful in giving more clarity to allocations per sub-programmes, as I shall now do in the foregoing section:
 
§  Winning Nation: R93 937 000 adjusted to R88 437 000
§  Active Nation: R723 157 000 adjusted to R466 657 000
§  Sport Support: R166 422 000 adjusted to R235 922 000
§  Infrastructure Support: R476 804 000 adjusted to R308 971 000.
 
Also due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mass Participation and Sport Development Grant was reduced by R224 million. Since the grant is regulated through the Mass Participation and Sport Development Grant Framework, a reduction of the grant amount and the amended use of allocated resources, means that the conditions of the grant in the framework now have to be reviewed.
 
For their part, provinces have since requested a deviation from National Treasury through the mother Department, to be able to utilise part of the allocation to support provincial relief efforts. A total of R85 million was cut from the ‘transfers of infrastructure grants to entities’, for the purpose of infrastructure development. As a result, the overall impact will be shortfalls of the budget in outer years of project implementation, and the achievement of the initial infrastructure plans.
 
Honourable Chairperson, we can confirm that the initial allocation for the support function was R451 million, which has now been slightly adjusted down to R449 million. Key expense items here include the compensation budget, office accommodation, goods and services, equipment (mainly IT infrastructure) and the annual transfers to implementing agencies of the Department
While understandably our focus has been outward in terms of the overall COCID-19 response, we have had to also look inward, not just simply to comply with the regulations, as all employers must, but rather because there is a moral and ethical obligation to provide a safe working environment for all our officials. Thus, as part of the goods and services budget, we made the necessary allocations  ensuring that we are able to bolster the Employee Wellbeing programme, including procurement of mimimum Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs); decontamination of the environment as may be necessary; that there is mimimum screening conducted on all persons entering our buildings – officials and guests alike.
 

 
In conclusion Honourable Chaiperson, please allow me remind Honorable Members, members of the media and members of the public who are tuned in and listening, that this July month is Mandela Month. We are therefore called upon to reflect on and embody his values of service, sacrifice and selflessness.
 
July is also a month for men to pause and reflect on their role in respect of Gender Based Violence and violence against children, especially young girls. I found it opportune to make this impassioned plea to men on this Men’s Month, so that they too begin to progressively internalise and put into practical effect the values Madiba stood for and epitomised.
 
Gender Based Violence should not be seen to be a women’s problem – and therefore for the women alone to solve. Women did not create patriarchy, which in turn, buttresses Gender Based Violence. Patriarchy is a system of unequal power relations between men and women, of which almost all men, consciously or unconsciously, act as benefactors.
 
It therefore stands to reason that if this system, which is largely responsible for the scourge of Gender Based Violence, is to be dismantled, altogether, those that unfairly continue to benefit from it must tackle it, by standing in solidarity with their womenfolk.
 
Honourable Chairperson, I therefore humbly commend this House to pass the budget as tabled!
 
I thank you for your attention!

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