Speech by Hon MM Dikgacwi in the National Assembly on National Sport Indaba

15 November 2011

Honourable Speaker
Honourable members and Guests

Today marks an almost second last month before we celebrate our centenary as the liberation movement both in South Africa and the continent of Africa. Kulilixa kengoko okokuba siqwalasele isivuno esithe sasifumana ekuphuculeni intlalo yoluntu olumnyama nelihlelelekileyo apha emzantsi Afrika. Kwananjalo kunyanzelekile ukuba siqwalasele ubume bethu nendima yethu esithe sayidlala kwizwekazi lase Afrika ukuba iinjongo zethu nemimiselo yethu ihambe njani na, kwaye ingaba sisesemqokozweni na.

The governance of Sport in the country by respective federations poses real challenges and is becoming hostile to the key agenda of transformation and development. We need to be agents of change in the sport, recreation and social transformation of South African society. It becomes crucial that we confront the issues that are hindrances in our quest to get the South African sport fraternity to focus on what is beneficial for the growth of the sport and dealing with the imbalances of the past. We should understand that the sport set-up for previously disadvantaged are historically structured to serve specific purpose in our society. They are generally separated in terms of operations primarily because there is no coherent rationalizing under the past system in South Africa, which therefore becomes a challenge on Ministry of Sport and Recreation, Sport and Recreation South Africa and this Parliament.

If left unchallenged and not addressed it will be clumsy, inaccurate in some respects and inappropriate and therefore we should constantly assess our progress and never compromise on the issue of transformation and development.

Our Sports apparatus are so deplorable (shocking), not to say wretched (pitiful), that we must first think very carefully how to combat its defects, bearing in mind that these defects are rooted in the past, which, although it has been overthrown, has not yet been overcome, has not yet reached the stage of a culture, that has receded into the distant past. I say culture deliberately, because in these matters we can only regard as achieved what has become part and parcel of our culture, of our social life, our habits despite the ‘others` that seem to undermine these processes.

As I continue to reflect and remind this house that we are not moving with expected speed in Transformation, members will recall that; during 1992-1995 National Sports Unity talks and lengthy resolutions were taken but clearly to reform was the cutting edge of the whole process, which would have given birth to a total transformed national federation teams which deepens more lack of development, transformation and social cohesion and unity.

I therefore call all those who lead sport to face increasing scrutiny which I have no doubt will inevitably result in questions of governance practices. The transition of many sports from predominantly volunteer administered organizations anchored in an amateur ethos, to professionally managed entities catering to a more sophisticated market place has created unique challenges for the governance of sport sponsorship. The above statement gives birth to possible conceptual linkage between sport sponsorship and corporate governance principles such as Accountability and Transparency or none thereof.

  • How do we explain the issue of Sponsorship Commissions through sponsorship negotiation/ brokering at the expense of broader development in South African Football by this PSL wing?
  • The last week has been a circus, how do you explain the manner in which the country has been held at ransom by PSL clubs who blatantly refused to release players for the U/23
  • How do we explain undisclosed bonuses in Cricket? These are challenges of governance.

As I reflect, I arrive at a point of saying; there is lack of integrative thinking and application of common sense by relevant stakeholders, particularly the decision makers on issues of broader development when it comes to sponsorship transaction commissions, bonuses & national interest.

With a beautiful benefit of hindsight this maybe ignited by the loophole in Sport and Recreation Amendment Act (Act No 18 of 2007) with specific reference to accountability framework or clause on issues pertaining to sponsorship: it is not clear what significant role both Department of Sport and Recreation and Treasury is playing on major sponsorship transactions, in terms of oversight. This we need to look at and I concede, but with the assistance of those who mistakenly believe to be entitled on millions of commissions.

Commissions can`t be ingredients for individual wealthy. We rather spend these millions on broader development with precise reference to school sport expansion and progress. Hence we in the ANC Polokwane conference affirmed that at some point Government would have to integrate Ubuntu principles into public policy so as to comprehensively correct the distortions and imbalances not only in our heritage landscape but also in our social, economic and industrial relations.

When the ANC did this was essentially saying we need to:

  • Encourage mass participation and ignite school sport
  • Involve women and people with disability with a view to promoting equity
  • All schools must offer a minimum bunch of extra mural
  • Physical education must be offered as a compulsory subject for learner`s grade 0-12.

Izibhambathiso esizithathayo mazibenamazinyo ngoku, ukwenzela ukuba zilume xa kufunekile. Ixesha looxomoyi noonomoyi abangalufuniyo utshintsho hayi hayi liphelile - is klaar, uzakuqhawuka ujingi abantwana bedlala ngoku, kuf`ayayo makwedini.

Connected to the above; it gives me a pleasure to attest to this house that some of the projected intentions of Polokwane Conference have been meaningfully executed and a case in point is the establishment of School Sport whereby two Departments namely Basic Education and Sport and Recreation and their respective Ministers did indeed institute and approved the planning framework and further developed an action plan on the 22 June 2011. On the 23 June 2011, the interdepartmental task team met to consolidate the document and agreed on the implementation plan.

As we speak today a plethora and multiplicity of several aspects have been covered, this include the launch of school sport.

I thank you speaker.