Gauteng Sport Department Parties on While Athletes are Short-changed

Gauteng Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SRAC)Solly Msimanga DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sports

The Gauteng Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SRAC) is more focused on hosting lavish events than nurturing young sporting talent in Gauteng.

In December 2014, the Department spent R3,9 million over two days to host a “Gauteng pre-camp” event for athletes attending the SA Schools Championship to be held in 2015.

According to the Department this event hosted 1 266 people.

This number seems extraordinarily high considering that only 250 young athletes qualified for the Gauteng team to attend the SA Schools Championship.

No Funding Secured

In March of this year, letters were sent out to the parents of the 250 qualifying learners indicating that funding had not been secured to supply transport, accommodation and food at the event hosted in Rustenburg.

While this funding comes from the National Department of Sport, the Gauteng SRAC Department should have made up the shortfall, as many qualifying learners could not afford to attend.

Instead, the department sees fit to utilise its budget on costly events.

The DA has for years been calling for the re-prioritisation of the department’s expenditure from hosting lavish events and overseas trips for MECs to focussing its attention on budding young talent.

A Crushing Blow to Sport Development

Gauteng Sports MEC Molebatsi Bopape, like her predecessors, continues to ignore this advice – dealing a crushing blow to sport development.

The DA will demand MEC Bopape provide more detail of the event hosted in December – and whether it entailed coaching, whether coaches were certified and how the event prepared learners for SA Schools Championships.

The DA will continue to pressurise MEC Bopape until this department re-prioritises itself from being a “department of events” to one that develops and nurtures the province’s sporting talent.

 

Media enquiries:

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sports

060 558 8308

[Image source]

Gauteng Sports MEC Prioritises Events over Development

Gauteng Sports MEC Molebatsi Bopape today showed her disdain for sports development in the province through her misguided belief that hosting events hold more importance than purchasing sports equipment.

Oral Questions in the Gauteng Legislature

Solly Msimanga DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sports

During her response to oral questions on funding for the Gauteng Sports Awards, the DA asked the MEC why more than R25 million was spent on events in the first three quarters of the 2014/15 financial year, but only R591 000 on sports equipment.

In an amusing attempt to wriggle out of what is clearly an embarrassing situation, it became quite clear the MEC had no idea of the affairs of her department, when she said that “The Department of Sports is a department of events”.

Repositioning Gauteng Sports Department Expenditure

The DA has for years been calling for the re-prioritisation of the department’s expenditure from hosting lavish events and overseas trips for MECs, to improving sports infrastructure in our communities and to provide equipment to the disadvantaged youth.

And while MEC Bopape, like her predecessors, continues to ignore this advice, school athletes chosen to represent Gauteng at the South African Schools Championships in Rustenburg were informed two weeks ago that they would be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.

The DA will submit further written questions to the MEC, asking for a detailed description of every event hosted, when they were held, and whether any talent identification took place.

We will also ask the MEC to provide us with details of the department’s talent identification systems across the major codes, individual and group coaching clinics, as well as long and medium term mentoring until athletes start competing at major events.

 

Media enquiries:

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sports

060 558 8308

[Image source]