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
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.
Solly Msimanga MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sports
060 558 8308