Gauteng Department of Sports fails to fill 257 vacancies while unemployment soars

The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) has failed to fill 257 vacancies while the provincial unemployment rate soars, with many people, particularly the youth, struggling to make ends meet.

This is unacceptable and indicates that this department cares little about reducing unemployment in the province and opts for consultants. The department’s failure to fill vacancies impacts its ability to fulfil its larger mandate in arts, sports, and recreation which have the potential to play a vital role in boosting the economy.

This information was revealed in the department’s annual report for the 2022/23 financial year. According to the annual report, the department only reached 69% of its 129 targets because the high vacancy rate severely affected the implementation of the annual performance plans.

The department has indicated that it is in the process of filling these vacancies; however, there are no timelines.

The DA will be tabling questions to the Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture, and Recreation (SACR), Morakane Mosupyoe, in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to ascertain whether these posts have been advertised, how many have been filled, and whether these are permanent or contract posts. We also want to know how much the department spent on consultants for the period under review, the nature of the work that the consultants were hired to do, and the current vacancy rate in the department.

Gauteng Department of Sports denies youth access to information by failing to build libraries

The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) continues to deny youth and children access to information and a safe place to search for job opportunities by failing to build libraries across the province.

According to the department’s 2022/23 annual report, zero libraries were constructed against the target of six. This is due to late approval of reports and challenges in creating purchase orders.

The department also failed to meet its target of people accessing the Gauteng virtual library due to a failure to renew the subscriptions.

This is unacceptable and indicates a lack of planning and consequence management by the department.

Furthermore, the department failed to meet its target of developing 15 outdoor gyms and 20 sports and recreation facilities (combi courts).

This shows that this government cares little about the wellbeing and future of the youth and children, particularly in the township. The youth and children are forced to commute or travel long distances to access libraries, sporting facilities, and outdoor gyms at the nearby suburbs.

The DA demands the Gauteng MEC for SACR, Morakane Mosupyoe, to prioritise the department’s core mandate and deliver the libraries and sporting facilities. This department should stop wasting money on social events instead of ensuring access to resources to youth and children to advance their future.

Gauteng Department of Sports spends over R70 million on unknown equipment

The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) has failed to outline exactly the type of equipment purchased for over R70 million in the past three financial years.

This raises questions about whether the money has been spent on procuring the equipment or has been looted.

This information was revealed in a written reply by the Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR), Morakane Mosupyoe, to questions tabled by the DA in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to the department, they are in the process of consolidating and verifying procurement information over the past three years.

The department spent the following monies for sports and recreation and cultural affairs equipment in the past three financial years:
• 2020/21 financial year: R20 115 586,95 was spent on sports and creation equipment, and R5 382 099.73 on cultural affairs equipment.
• 2021/22 financial year: R22 538 661,15 was spent on sports and recreation equipment, and R4 297 274,09 was spent on cultural affairs equipment.
• 2022/23 financial year: R19 111 401,93 was spent on sports and recreation equipment, and R3 320 254,81 was spent on cultural affairs equipment.

It is concerning that the department is only verifying now after we have tabled questions. This shows that this department is failing to follow proper internal procurement processes.

The DA demands that the department fast-track the consolidation and verification processes to provide details of the purchased equipment.

We will also table follow-up questions to ascertain when will the consolidation process be completed. We need the details of all the equipment that was procured and the list of beneficiaries.

Should it be found that there is no equipment that was procured and that there was no value for money, the officials involved must be disciplined.

Gauteng Department of Sports wastes R13 million on two-hour exercise sessions instead of maintaining sporting facilities

Gauteng sporting facilities are in a dire state and lack much-needed resources, yet the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) has spent over R13 million on the Hanyane Wellness Programme in the past two financial years.

The purpose of the Hanyane Wellness Programme is to encourage and heighten the importance of living a healthy lifestyle by hiring service providers to conduct two-hour exercise sessions in communities.

However, residents won’t be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle or put it into practice as sporting facilities in our communities are in terrible condition.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR), Morakane Mosupyoe, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Mosupyoe, the department hosted 39 programmes in the 2021/22 financial year and 11 programmes in the 2022/23 financial year.

Below is a list of service providers appointed and the monies paid for these one-day events:

Enzomonde received R991 00,00 for an event in Klipspruit,
Thabora Project received R852 429,16 for an event at Altitude Beach,
Nyakubatsi received R893 240,00 for an event at Nkomo Village Mall in Atteridgville,
Cosmetic World t/a Flaaz Blismilla received R901 600,00 for events at Tswelepela Sports Grounds Tembisa and Zonkiziwe Sports Grounds,
ALONA Trading & Projects received R495 519,00 for an event at DKNY in Dayveyton,
Road Show Marketing received R495 181,25 for an event at DH William Hall.

It is concerning that thousands of rands have been spent on two-hour exercise sessions instead of spending the money wisely by maintaining the existing sporting facilities. This shows that the department’s priorities are skewed and lack proper planning and financial management.

Projects like the Mabaleng Sports Complex are still incomplete, the Kagiso Memorial is still not fully functional, and the residents are forced to pay to utilise the gym services.

This money could have been used to ensure that these sporting facilities are completed and fully functional to benefit its residents.

Gauteng residents need service delivery through fruitful spending of money, not this reckless and irresponsible expenditure by the department on a programme that has little to no impact on their lives.

The DA believes that Gauteng residents can only be encouraged to maintain good health, only when government provides well-equipped sporting facilities.

The DA will be writing to the Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi seeking his immediate intervention to stop the department’s reckless spending on programmes that do not have an impact on the lives of Gauteng residents.

Gauteng Department of Sports spends over R115m on catering, venues, and promoters yet sporting facilities are in a terrible state

The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) continues to waste taxpayers’ money on non-essential items which do not benefit the residents of Gauteng.

The department has spent R115 541 890.38 on service providers, which has exceeded R500 000.00 in payments within 12 months.

This money has been spent on catering for departmental activities, venues and facilities, promoters, electricity, and toiletries.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Morakane Mosupye, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

MEC Mosupye has indicated a list of 136 service providers that were appointed. Of these service providers, Tebohotsampendulo appeared many times and, at some point, was paid R7000 for toiletries.

Please find the replies here:

Furthermore, the list of service providers appointed has exposed that the department has been paying Ascension Properties Limited various amounts of money for waste removal, including R335 998.62 for sewer.

This raises eyebrows as to whether this money was used for these items or something else, as there is nowhere that the department can pay for sewer while they have paid for the usage of the venue.

This exorbitant and ridiculous spending by the department is unacceptable while our sporting facilities are in a terrible state and our monuments are still incomplete and not fully functional.

In addition, according to the department’s annual report for the 2021/2022 financial year, the department has spent R23 954 000 for departmental catering and R12 382 000 for facilities.

This shows that the commitments made by Premier Panyaza Lesufi during his State of the Province Address to use sports and arts as a vehicle for economic empowerment and transformation will not be fulfilled as long as this department continues to spend unnecessarily and not benefit the residents.

For far too long the DA has advised this department to consider utilising public community facilities in hosting events instead of hiring venues to save costs. We also plead with the department to reduce spending on catering, promoters and facilities.

We propose that the department engage local artists to provide entertainment in certain areas where events will be held instead of hiring renowned artists. This will help to promote and market local artists by giving them exposure.

Residents were extorted to pay R200 monthly subscription to use the public Kagiso Memorial gym facility

Community facilities are meant to benefit its residents and there is no rule which says that the residents must pay a certain fee to access such facilities. However, this is not the case for Kagiso township residents as they continue to be forced to pay R200 monthly subscription fee to access Kagiso Memorial and Recreation Centre’s gym facility.

The residents have been paying a monthly subscription fee of R200 and an R150 joining fee since 2017 to utilise the gym equipment that belongs to the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR).

This money is paid to the Good Example Fitness Solution, which is operated by Mokhomotsi Phasha and Christina Maeto, who are utilising this community facility.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) MEC, Morakana Mosupyoe, in a written reply to the DA’s question tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

The DA tabled this question following numerous complaints from the concerned residents of Kagiso and following the DA’s oversight inspection at the Kagiso Memorial and Recreation Centre.

According to MEC Mosupyoe, there is no lease agreement and no contract in place between the department and Good Example Fitness Solution. However, the department had an agreement with them to utilise the venue to protect it from being vandalised. They are not paying rent to the department and the department is aware of the monies they are charging the community to access the facility.

This is unacceptable because they are utilising the department’s equipment and venue, yet they charge community members access to the facility.

This is a clear opportunistic move by the Good Example Fitness Solution to rip off poor members of the community who must be benefiting from this facility free of charge.

This is a government facility, the youth, and residents of Kagiso should not be paying to access it. There are security guards hired to safeguard this facility from being vandalised and the presence of the Good Example Fitness Solution is a way for them to enrich themselves at the expense of the residents.

The DA demands that MEC Mosupyoe must speed up the process of ensuring that this facility is fully operational and that residents access it free of charge. She must also review the agreement between the department and the Good Example Fitness Solution.

Furthermore, the DA will be writing to the Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, to seek his urgent intervention to ensure that residents are allowed access to the Kagiso Memorial and Recreation Centre’s gym without paying these unnecessary fees.

R10 million is needed to fix the abandoned OR Tambo Cultural Precinct, Gauteng residents still not benefitting

The historic OR Tambo Cultural Precinct worth R54 million is still not operational and does not benefit the Gauteng residents as the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) will require R10 million to repair the structural defects.

This neglected historical precinct, which was named after the renowned liberation stalwart, Oliver Reginald Tambo, has been abandoned by the previous ANC-led Ekurhuleni government and SACR since 2018.

This cultural precinct has not been included in the approved organogram which means that there is no human resources capacity allocated to run the facility by the City of Ekurhuleni.

This shocking information was provided by the Gauteng MEC for SACR, Morakane Mosupyoe, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

This is unacceptable because this department has failed to fix the structural defects at this facility.

Delays in fixing this facility will result in further deterioration of the structure and incur more costs.

The DA demands that MEC Mosupyoe, must engage with the City of Ekurhuleni and prioritize the revival of this monument for the benefit of Gauteng residents.

We will also engage directly with the MEC to review the current organigram so that it includes this cultural precinct and create jobs for the people of Gauteng.

Gauteng Department of Sports blows R1 million on a cheque handover event while women in sports suffer

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng condemns in the strongest terms the irresponsible splurging of R1 million on a one-day cheque handing over event by the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR).

This money could have been used to upgrade township sporting facilities that are in a terrible state and to support local women’s sports teams.

In August, the department hosted a women’s in sports dialogue and the symbolic cheque handover event where it paid MKT IDEA an amount of R988 230.00 to host the event.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR), Morakane Moupyoe, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

Furthermore, 10 local sports teams were invited to participate in the event and zero funds were awarded to these teams to support their positive contribution to sports in their communities.

The DA propose that the cheque handover or women in sports dialogue should be held at the department’s boardroom or at the community centre or halls to save money, instead of wasting money on hiring expensive venues and sound systems.

The DA warns the new MEC of SACR, Morakane Mosupyoe, not to follow in the footsteps of her predecessors of wasting taxpayers’ money on events that do not leave a legacy in our communities but take up the DA’s proposal to reduce overspending on one-day events.

Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) spends a quarter of a million on external people to administer Covid-19 relief fund

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is disappointed to learn that the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) has spent R249 800,00 in five days on external people hired to administer the payment of the Covid-19 relief fund.

This was revealed by the Gauteng SACR MEC, Mbali Hlophe in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to the MEC, the Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation adjudication committee members who administered the rolling out of the Covid-19 relief fund were compensated on an hourly basis.

The chairperson rate per hour is R581, working 8 hours per day which equates to R4648 per day and the deputy chairperson rate per hour is R493 which equates to R3944 per day. The rate per hour for an ordinary committee member is R459 which is R3672 per day.

The MEC states that the Gauteng Arts and Culture Committee which adjudicated the arts and culture applications for five days from 24 to 28 August 2020 consisted of a chairperson, deputy chairperson and six ordinary committee members who were paid R153 120,00 in total.

The Gauteng Sports and Recreation Committee which adjudicated the sports and recreation applications consisted of the following: a chairperson and four ordinary committee members who were paid a total of R96 680,00.

It is deeply disappointing that the department outsourced the service that could have been done internally by its own staff in order to save costs.

The department budgeted R28 million for the Covid-19 relief fund which was not enough to help all our artists and athletes, yet they hired external people to administer the payments.

Furthermore, the Gauteng Department of Economic Development did not hire any external people to administer the Covid-19 relief fund, the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller’s (GEP) internal staff administered the funds which the department of SACR could have replicated in order to minimize costs.

The DA will continue to monitor the expenditure of the Covid-19 funds by this department to ensure that our artists and athletes receive the financial assistance they deserve, and that the money is spent on fulfilling the core mandate of this department.