We need to ask why, almost six months later, have they not been paid the R18 000 they were promised? We need to seriously look at how funds are being managed and administered.
Hon Minister, considering that the 2016 Summer Olympics is just three years away, South Africa's preparations should already be well under way. The DA believes that, by now, Athletics SA, ASA, should have a high-performance programme in place to support South African athletes in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Hon Minister, your assertion that ASA athletes also qualify for the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee's Operation Excellence programme is little consolation, if we consider the fact that the programme only supports the handful of South African athletes already in the top world rankings and not the scores of others struggling to get there and to the Olympics.
The Road to Rio is already a long and arduous journey for most of our athletes and, at the moment, it would appear that ASA, an organisation meant to support them, will be their greatest obstacle. The DA is very concerned and wants the way to be cleared for our athletes to ensure that all deserving athletes make it to the Olympics and bring back medals. [Interjections.]
Our municipalities have a history of failing to deliver services for our communities because of incapacity and corruption. Mass participation programmes account for more than half of the total sport budget, and the DA's concern is that not much is happening in previously disadvantaged areas, particularly the rural areas.
We have been relying on the 15% our municipalities ring-fenced for building facilities throughout South Africa. I know the hon Minister is equally concerned about this particular matter, about whether the step to take away the 15% from the municipalities is a relevant one.
The DA's response to this is that if we have competent people in place to manage the funds, there would be no need to take away the 15% for the benefit of all our citizens in this country. We need seriously to address the issue of mismanagement of funds. If funds were used appropriately instead of on activities that do not add value for the greater South Africa, such as the SA Sports Awards, there would be sufficient money in the budget to assist in the progress of developmental initiatives such as the Mass Participation, Opportunity and Access, Development and Growth, MOD, centres, in addition to the building of new facilities in areas that have none.
There are currently 174 MOD centres in the Western Cape that provide sport and recreational activities to over 12 000 learners from disadvantaged communities. The programme has expanded dramatically since 2010, and now provides employment and skills development to over 500 community members. MOD centres provide access to the following: recreational and sports skills development, development of life skills, healthy lifestyle initiatives, community-based facilities, safe environments, employment and training opportunities, etc. Ke fetsa ka gore jaana motsogapele a tleng a re: "Susu ilela suswana gore suswana a tle a go ilele". [Nako e fedile.] [You need to respect others in order for them to do the same to you. [Time expired.]]