The following speech was delivered by Katlego Suzan Phala DA MPL, to the Limpopo Provincial Legislature on 22 September 2015 during the Snap Debate on Sports , Arts and Culture.
Ladies and Gentlemen –Good afternoon
Hon Speaker Apartheid was the cruellest, most barbaric system designed to remove the human rights of an entire race; black people of this country suffered and were separated by the hands of Apartheid.
This separation was not only on sitting benches but also in Sport, a black child was only good enough for soccer. In order to redress this separation, the Department of Sports Arts and culture has to play a big role in our province, it is the one department that should glue us together as citizens through ensuring social cohesion. Multiple studies have shown the important role of sporting activities and the arts in successful social cohesion.
Hon Speaker The National Development plan has identified Recreation and leisure as one of the core elements of a decent standard of living. With that said the dept. has underspent in programme 4: Sport and Recreation.
This underspending worries me as sports is still a form of seperation in this day and age of democracy. It is not through legislation that this separation is created, but through the lack implementation of governing legislation. Some sporting activities are still seen as white and elitist, this is simply because the department has failed to develop, even though they have the budget, the sporting fields and equipment in our township and rural schools.
A simple example of this is that swimming pools are still only found in former Model C schools. There seems to be no desire to develop ALL our children to be the very best they can be, neither a desire to allow our children to be united in team sports.
Those who promised to liberate and unite us have been in government for more than 20 years, yet they fail to deliver on this basic service, this basic way to build social cohesion. We still do not see the promised swimming pools or tennis courts in our rural and township schools…why are the black children still being neglected by this government?
Hon Speaker this department has not only failed to look after the physical development of the children, but have neglected to address the intellectual development of the children. While the department claims to be updating libraries in our government schools and community libraries, Former Model C school libraries are far better equipped than our libraries. Ga Molepo community and Mankweng community library are still sitting with old books on their shelves, Ga Molepo community library still has no librarian.
The words of one of the staff members truly pained me when I visited the library he said “I wish I could get transfer to work in the city, as the library is far more equipped than our rural one, its demoralizing to have gone to varsity and still work under such conditions.”
By conditions, he pointed out water was not available and electricity was not available, although computers had DATA they are of no use without electricity…the rural child will still fail to make a well researched assignment compared to the child in the former Model C school, with that in mind the major under expenditure incurred on programme 3; library and archives services and programme…why are the black children still being neglected by this government?
As the DA we find it unacceptable that the department still fails to meet targets. We believe that good governance, which means the implementation of good legislation, can over ALL children the freedom to follow their dreams. Whether it is to be a sports hero, a concert pianist or a brain surgeon.
The fact that the department has not spent the allocated money on narrowing the gaps in our society shows that they are uncaring and do not want to deliver on the promises of dignity made in 1994 when they stepped into government.
It is because we care and because we believe that the implementation of good legislation is the bedrock of good governance that adds dignity and unity to all in South Africa that we urge the dept. to comply with the Auditor Generals recommendations to ensure that the forgotten are remembered in sports, arts and culture.
And that this department fulfils its vital role in creating a province that is united in our diversity.