Hon Chairperson, the IFP supports Budget Vote No 20. The support of the IFP for this Budget Vote is based on the premise that the failure of government hits hardest the ordinary citizen in the street, who bears the brutal brunt of that failure. Our support for this Budget Vote is in line with our firm commitment to constructive opposition.
Minister, there comes a time when enough is enough. Quite frankly, South Africans have had enough of the chaos, mudslinging, instability and child- like behaviour currently characterising the SA Football Association. The state of affairs in Safa is totally unacceptable, and whilst we welcome the intervention of the hon Minister and the extent of the trouble to which he went, travelling to Zurich to engage the Federation of International Football Association, Fifa, the leadership drama we witnessed before the start of Afcon was at best regrettable, embarrassing and plainly disgusting. The SA Football Association is not a spaza shop, and as such should not be run like one.
In the same breath the chaos at Athletics South Africa is equally disturbing. This Budget Vote comes hot on the heels of the glorious success of our Olympians and Paralympians in London last year. Once more, on behalf of the IFP, I congratulate all of our athletes for having represented our country with esteemed success.
Their success, of course, is not in a vacuum nor is it sheer luck. It is the result of hard work and access to quality sporting resources and infrastructure for training purposes, which enabled them to compete favourably on the global stage.
There is an urgent need for a massive roll-out of quality sporting infrastructure, which is easily and readily available throughout the country, particularly in rural areas, where athletes still find themselves trailing behind when it comes to access and development.
Sporting infrastructure is an underestimated catalyst for transformation. No effort should be spared in levelling the playing fields to ensure that those from previously disadvantaged communities, which still find themselves presently disadvantaged, are on par with those coming from previously and presently privileged communities. Transformation will remain elusive against the continued absence of sport infrastructure. We therefore welcome the initiatives of this department and the Sports Trust in this regard.
The infrastructure should be coupled with the necessary human resources in terms of coaches and mentors. With unemployment standing at a staggering 25,2%, the IFP expects the Department of Sport and Recreation to come to the fore and also create jobs through programmes of its own.
South Africa is riddled with idle youth, who have turned to drug and alcohol abuse, threatening the wellbeing of many communities throughout the country. We rely on sport and recreation to be deterrents and give the youth purpose and direction. Therefore, sport should not be approached, Minister, with a humdinger or razzmatazz attitude, but with the seriousness it deserves as an agent for social change and nation-building.
School sports need to be instilled fully as part of the school curriculum to enhance sport development and fight the looming crisis of obesity. We must at the end of the school career have developed young men and women who are academically and socially fit, and are healthy.
Since 1994 promises have been made that every school will have a sports facility, yet this has not happened. The continual absence of these things entrenches inequality.
The IFP congratulates and offers its full support to Netball South Africa for its hard work and efforts, even given the challenges, towards netball development, which contributes positively to women emancipation. [Applause.] The IFP looks forward to the Netball Premier League, and we urge the private sector to support, fund and sponsor this all-important initiative of women development.
Many of, if not all, the sporting bodies and federations that have come before the portfolio committee have made a clarion call for more funds. Whilst we understand the money constraints confronting the department, the IFP calls on the department to set up a fundraising unit within itself, specifically to assist cash-strapped federations, and also to avoid the squabbles at SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Sascoc.
The department must be applauded for its drive to celebrate and reward the achievements of our sports heroes. However, the reported plan of spending R65 million on an awards show is beyond excessive. If we want to celebrate sports in this country, Minister, we must do so by giving the different codes all the resources they need rather than throwing an extravagant party that caters to the desires of the elite.
Minister, the IFP wishes you and your department well with your plans and endeavours. We hope that your energy and that of your department will be translated into visible programmes at the grassroots level, where sport is most alive and appreciated. [Applause.]