Chairperson, hon Minister, Deputy Minister, colleagues, chairperson of the portfolio committee, guests, federation heads and athletes, it gives me great pleasure to address you today on Budget Vote No 20.
Before I begin my speech, I would like to pay tribute to Donald Lee who, if you don't know this already, is retiring at the end of the current parliamentary year. Donald, I want to say that this portfolio committee will miss you and South African sport will miss you. We hope you are not going to be lost to the game. Thank you. [Applause.]
The budget sum of R1 billion is in our estimation way too low to achieve the stated goals and objectives of this department. We understand, however, that funds are in scarce supply. We are very encouraged that the bulk of these funds are going to mass participation and, therefore, strong oversight is needed in this area to ensure that we get value for our money. I must remind you that at every portfolio committee presentation from a federation, without exception, the common theme is that we do not have enough money or funds. It is problem.
To this end I would like to suggest, somewhat controversially possibly, that we consider the following solutions:
Firstly, we possibly can consider a levy on all sports tickets sold. I am not for taxes, nor is my party, but I think we have to do so in order to get extra funds.
Secondly, there should be a levy on all sports gambling and, thirdly, a levy on sports bar licences.
Fourthly, there is the Lotto. Let me say that the odd 20% we currently get from that source is totally inadequate; we believe that it should be 35%. If that is not achievable, then I suggest we have a separate sports lotto which is held on different days to the current Lotto.
Fifthly, the tax return option: In many overseas countries you can tick a box at the top of your tax return that says you can donate money for a certain event, and I will encourage us to do that.
This department has four main policy areas that align to the NDP. They obviously embrace healthy lifestyles and social cohesion, and include governance or federations; mass participation, particularly at schools; infrastructural development of facilities; and international relations.
In terms of governance, Minister, many of our smaller federations don't understand the word "governance". Their constitutions either need to be amended or completely rewritten. In this regard, I would suggest that the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Sascoc, takes the lead to assist the smaller federations to get up to speed in terms of compliance and general governance.
Sascoc also needs to engage with federations and not give the impression of interfering with the federations. Sascoc has an incredibly important role to play in the forward movement of sport in this country.
School sports is the cornerstone of this department's policy. I am very pleased that 17 sports have been prioritised. The Department of Basic Education, however, has let down school sports incredibly.
Firstly, in 2011, we issued a joint statement of intent, an agreement if you will, and to this day and this year's 2013-14 budget, not one cent in the Department of Basic Education budget has been put aside for sport. It is a shocking indictment of what is happening.
Secondly, the SA Democratic Teachers' Union, Sadtu, teachers are unwilling to support sports unless they are paid. The roll-out of school sports, although partially successful and at the encouragement of the Minister, deserves and needs full co-operation from the development of basic education to achieve its projected outcomes.
The department needs to be congratulated on the facilities database audit. I agree with the Minister, we need to make use of our existing facilities, many of which right now are either in a derelict state or hardly used at all. The problem is management and operation. In this regard ring-fencing the Municipal Infrastructure Grant fund - that is a 15% portion - and possibly transferring it to the department in your negotiations with the Treasury, Minister, must be applauded. However, we are worried that the management of these facilities needs to be a joint venture between this department, the municipalities concerned and sports federations.
Minister, the idea of a sports history museum is commendable. Sports personalities in our dark days of apartheid such as Elijah "Tap Tap" Makhathini, Precious McKenzie, Papwa Sewgolum, E G Desai, to name but a few, need to be remembered and honoured. Minister, I have listed a hall of shame and a hall of fame and excellence which has both tarnished and made us proud over this past year. Never again must there be another series of scandals and maladministration in our sport as we have witnessed this year.
One, allegations of match-fixing and financial irregularities against Safa have put a dark cloud over sport in this country and have reverberated around the world. Two, that our national swimming championships are held in a dark green swimming pool in Port Elizabeth is shocking. Three, I have briefly touched on lack of governance. Athletics South Africa, ASA, Safa and some other federations are guilty of this, often resulting in legal battles, for example, this latest ASA battle - R3,6 million. Who is going to pay for that? We at Cope say that there should be no more lawsuits but arbitration, please.
Four, our school children lack funds when undertaking local and overseas tours. I have spoken to parents, and the crying shame is that when tours are undertaken, kids who have the funds get selected, but not the ones who don't have the funds. That is a crying shame.
Five, World Cup stadiums are in disrepair, including the small ones that were upgraded in the townships during the World Cup. I am suggesting that we do a joint venture with our municipalities and sporting codes to ensure that these facilities are used. I would also suggest that we look out of the box and look at commercial ventures around those things, such as attaching incentives of high performance and possibly commercial enterprises, like retail ones, to those in the appropriate areas.
Six, the Sadtu teachers want money before coaching school kids. This never used to happen in the dark old days but is happening today.
Minister, the seventh one is really a shocker - Bokkie Week. Bokkie Week is being held this year in Naboomspruit and, I am telling you, under the guise of a cultural organisation. That week is going ahead when the organisation is nothing but a racist organisation. I am shocked to say that trials have taken place on some government school facilities around the country, and by teachers who are employed by the government. I think the government needs to do something about it. Last year it was an issue about hockey. This needs to be addressed right now.
My colleague has touched on the nonpayment of the Golden Lions gymnasts, who are from disadvantaged backgrounds and performed at the SA Sports Awards, who are still owed, I believe, R18 010. We need sponsors of the sports awards, and let me say, Minister, I am coming from a different angle. I don't have a problem with the sports awards; I am saying they should go ahead but the forty odd million ... [Time expired.] Thank you. [Applause.]