DA queries SAPS over Velaphi Khumalo investigation

By Paul Willemburg MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture:

The DA today wrote to Gauteng SAPS commissioner Lesetja Mothiba to query whether police are investigating Velaphi Khumalo for inciting violence against white South Africans.

Last week the Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SRAC), suspended Khumalo over social media posts calling on black South Africans to do to white people what “Hitler did to the Jews” and cleanse the country of white people.

Inciting public violence and murder are Schedule One offences as laid down in the Criminal Procedure Act, and police are bound by law to investigate, arrest and charge Mr Khumalo as such.

The DA will not stand by and let a small minority of individual South Africans incite hate speech and violence against their fellow countrymen who are committed to building a peaceful and prosperous nation.

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DA welcomes GSARC inquiry into racial comments by Velaphi Khumalo

By Paul Willemburg MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Heritage:

The DA welcomes the inquiry by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Art, Recreation and Culture (SARC) – into the racist comments made by one of the departments’ employees, Velaphi Khumalo, which was posted on social media.

The DA condemns any form of racism and anything that incites violence and hatred towards others.

Section 16 of the Bill of Rights, on freedom of expression, states that the freedom to express oneself does not extend to propaganda for war, incitement of imminent violence, or advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

We are encouraged by the department’s swift action against its employee and we look forward to learning the outcome of this internal inquiry.

I am heartened by the MEC for SARC, Faith Mazibuko’s, immediate response in this regard as her department’s key mandate is in fact nation building and social cohesion.

Racism has no place in a democratic South Africa.

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DA debates Gauteng 2014/15 SRAC Annual Report

The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on 02 December 2015 by the DA’s Paul Willemburg MPL and Kingsol Chabalala MPL during a debate on the Gauteng Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage department.

Speech by
Paul Willemburg MPL

“In SRAC, “you gotta have faith”

  • Supply Chain Management regulations were not adhered to by the departments’ accounting officer which resulted in non-compliance with the relevant legislation.
  • Poor monitoring and evaluation of conditional grants paid to municipalities to build and maintain much needed libraries.
  • Poor Expenditure Management that resulted in irregular expenditure in seven cases amounting to R88.4 million. One of these is for an amount of R68 million relating to a tender.
  • Community Hubs should provide sporting facilities and areas where the creative can practice their talents and crafts.

The full speech can be obtained here

 

Speech by

Kingsol Chabalala MPL

“Prioritise grassroots development in sports, arts and cultural activities”

  • Underspending in departments should be classified as an epic and a tragic incompetence or crime against humanity.
  • Sporting facilities and cultural centres are non-existent in township schools, equipment used by our children in the townships is nothing to write home about.
  • The ANC government has failed dismally in developing a new and diverse talented generation of athletes.
  • DA calls on the Honourable MEC to prioritise grassroots development of Sports, Arts and Cultural Activities and not focus on entertaining, wining and dining with sports celebrities like her predecessors.

The full speech can be obtained here

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Department of Sports must plan to get Pumas into rugby tournament franchises

By Jane Sithole MPL, DA spokesperson on Culture, Sports and Recreation:

The following motion without notice was delivered by DA spokesperson on Culture, Sports and Recreation, Jane Sithole MPL, during a sitting on questions for oral reply to the MEC’s at Ehlanzeni District Council Chambers on 01 December 2015.

Honourable Speaker.

I rise to move a motion without notice on behalf of the Democratic Alliance, noting that:

The expansion of the Super Rugby tournament has seen the re-inclusion of the EP Kings in the South African pool. In the build up to the tournament the EP Kings has unfortunately been marred with controversy surrounding unpaid salaries, which has led to the exodus of key players.

This presented an opportunity for the Pumas’ to launch a bid to be a replacement team for the EP Kings. The bid was unfortunately unsuccessful as the South African Rugby Union opted to put the EP Kings under administration and push for their inclusion in the tournament.

Further noting Hon. Speaker that, even though the bid was unsuccessful, the DA would like to commend the Mpumalanga Provincial Government for supporting the Pumas’ bid to be a replacement team for the financially strapped EP Kings.

I move that this house:

Mandates the Department of Culture, Sports and Recreation to liaise with its national counterpart, the Sports Ministry, to work on a plan that could see the Pumas’ being included in future additions of the best Rugby Tournament franchises.

I so move.

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Gauteng MEC misleads Legislature on Emfuleni libraries

By Kingsol Chabalala MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage:

Gauteng, arts, culture, sports and recreation MEC Faith Mazibuko has deliberately misled the Provincial Legislature by claiming that only two of Emfuleni’s 13 libraries are without internet access, despite the DA having confirmation that 11 have no access at all.

Installed four years ago, kiosks at these libraries sit unused because of the department’s failure to deliver.

Libraries allow residents access to government portals to register as jobseekers and make general use of the internet.

The only two internet kiosks that are in working condition are those that were sponsored and recently upgraded by a private donor.

If the MEC was more attentive to her portfolio, she would understand how dysfunctional her department actually is.

I will write to the Legislature’s Privileges and Ethics Commitee and request an investigation into the MEC’s remarks, which I believe were a deliberate attempt to mislead the house.

Members of the executive must at all times be accountable to the public, whether the truth hurts or not.

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Game Changing Scottsdene School infrastructure handed over to community

By Premier Helen Zille, Minister Debbie Schäfer and Minister Anroux Marais:

Yesterday,  Premier Helen Zille; Minister of Education, Debbie Schäfer and Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais officially handed over a Game Changing infrastructure development to the Scottsdene school community.

The infrastructure forms part of the Mass participation; Opportunity and access; Development and growth (MOD) Programme, which provides after-school sport and recreational activities to learners from communities where these opportunities are needed most.

The Scottsdene facility is worth over R28 million, and will benefit the communities serviced by Cavalleria, Parkdene and Watsonia Primary Schools, and Bernadino Heights and Scottsdene High Schools. Learners at these schools now have the opportunity to participate in the following activities:

  • Athletics
  • Cross Country
  • Cricket
  • Chess
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Debating Society

The sport infrastructure is complemented by academic and eLearning support. This first-class educational support for learners will be provided by our Year Beyond (YEBO) mentors – a group of dedicated, competent graduates and matriculants who have dedicated a year of their lives to leading other learners in their school careers. Further homework support is provided by the various partnering NGOs.

Learners will also get the necessary life skills training at the clusters. This will include health and career awareness to help learners secure jobs once they leave school.

Safety remains a priority for all the learners and support staff involved.

That is why the Scottsdene MOD Cluster has well-lit promenades linking the infrastructure, so that learners can feel safe on-site, and in the vicinity of these facilities. Our work with neighbourhood watches and the recently launched School Resource Officers (SROs) will further assist to boost security. We will also continue speaking to SAPS about the need for greater resourcing in the areas where it is needed most.

The facility in Scottsdene is part of a group of “MOD Clusters” that will be rolled out across the province. Communities include Paarl East, Atlantis & Manenberg, Franschhoek and Nyanga junction.

These facilities enable a cluster of schools to create an educational environment that is safe, encourages participation, develops skills in sport, arts and culture, and provides the opportunity for quality education and career training.

Premier Zille said: “A key objective of our MOD clusters is to crowd resources into schools. The infrastructure and support will give learners the opportunity to access tutoring, career advice, sports facilities, and the arts. Parents, principals, school governing bodies and the school community now have the opportunity to do their part by encouraging learners to participate and excel. Our government is working tirelessly to create opportunities for learners to be competitive in the world after school”, said Premier Zille.

Minister Marais said, “We encourage excellence and inclusivity in sport and culture through the effective, efficient and sustainable use of our resources, and through creative partnerships such as this. As a result of the partnership with the Education Department we have handed over these remarkable facilities to the community and enabled the conditions for access and mass participation, talent identification and skills development”.

Minister Schafer said, “Sport assists us as a nation in fostering a vision of unity of purpose, social cohesion and inclusivity. These are values that are enshrined in our Constitution. This centre was conceptualized in order to create a safe space for our learners after formal school hours. As a Government, we prioritise sport and constructive after-school activity, youth development and initiatives that bring about safer environments for our learners. Sport not only teaches our learners to maintain physical stamina, but also teaches them discipline, will power and determination. As the Provincial Minister of Education, it is my hope that this new facility will help to develop our young people through excellence in academics and sport.”

Note to Editors: Below are quotes from the Principals of Bernadino Heights SS, Watsonia PS and Cavalleria PS for use.

Mr HT Alexander, School Principal of Bernadino Heights Secondary says “The school and broader community are extremely proud of the world-class facilities that have been built on the premises of Bernadino Heights High School and Watsonia Primary School.  We would like to thank the Western Cape Education Department and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport for the construction of these facilities. We now have a synthetic hockey field, synthetic 400 m track, rugby/soccer field, cricket nets, a tennis court and a pavilion. Our goal is to ensure that learners from the four neighbouring schools utilise the opportunity presented by these facilities, to develop their talents.  How many undiscovered Wayde van Niekerk’s are possibly wandering around?  With the necessary encouragement and coaching, learners’ lives have the potential to be transformed – the excellent sporting facilities being the instrument of change.  It can be the catalyst which can steer the community into a new direction and create a positive environment for learners to excel academically, as well.”

Mrs. F.S. Prince, School Principal of Watsonia PS says “We as a school community are very excited about the development and we trust that it will serve as a major boost for the sporting achievements of our community. We trust that it will keep more children off the streets and busy with extra-curricular activities. This project gives our learners the opportunity to train and use facilities of a high standard.”

Mr H. Carolissen, School Principal of Cavalleria Primary School says “These facilities are a major investment in our youth. It augments well for our future when our learners are afforded the opportunity to hone their skills and nurture their talents at world class facilities such as this. Government should be applauded for this initiative; it can only lead to healthy productive citizens.”

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Western Cape Premier and Minister’s to officially handover new MOD facility in Scottsdene

Media Advisory:

Tomorrow, Saturday 28th November 2015, Premier Helen Zille; Minister of Education, Debbie Schäfer and Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais will officially hand over the Scottsdene MOD Cluster facility to schools in the community.

The Scottsdene Facility Development Project, totalling just over R28 million, is an extension of the MOD Programme to provide much needed facilities to the MOD centres and its schools.

The schools benefitting from the new facility include: Cavalleria, Parkdene and Watsonia Primary Schools and Bernadino Heights and Scottsdene High Schools.

Tomorrow, the Premier and the two Ministers will officially handover the new facility. Learners of the schools will be partaking in a joint sports day throughout the day.

The details are as follows:

Date: Saturday 28th November 2015

Venue: Bernadino Heights Secondary School, La Boheme Road, Scottsdene

Time: 12h00

All media are invited to attend.

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R10 million for frivolous Gauteng Sports Awards

By Kingsol Chabalala MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage:

In a written reply to a DA question on the costs of hosting the Annual Gauteng Sports Awards, MEC for SRAC, Faith Mazibuko, revealed that the total cost to the taxpayer for the extravaganza was R7.8 million and will cost R10 million in 2016.

The department together with the Mogale City municipality spent a total of just over R9.3 million on the event. The city paid R760 000 to Silver Star Casino for the venue and catering.

Furthermore, the pre-production and the final production which included technical and creative producers’ costs were just shy of R5 million.

(Click here to view the reply)

By rewarding Gauteng’s sports stars for their efforts we collectively promote the ideals of aspiring to lift oneself out of poverty and staying away from drugs and alcohol abuse.

However, these funds could have been used for sports development and to supply equipment and other sporting paraphernalia to support local teams who cannot afford sport kit.

MEC Mazibuko has committed in her response to source additional sponsorships, but she would do well to ensure that the full cost of the annual event is not borne by the department.

The DA will submit further questions to ascertain what the processes were in awarding of the tender to a single management company to the tune of R7.8 million and what specific sponsorship initiatives the MEC will be taking to ensure the department incurs no further costs.

The Gauteng Provincial government simply cannot afford to throw money at glamorous events when communities are suffering from chronic under-delivery of basic services such as water, sanitation and adequate housing.

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Debate on Sport Arts and Culture

The following speech was delivered by Katlego Suzan Phala DA MPL, to the Limpopo Provincial Legislature on 27 October 2015 during a debate on Sports, Arts and Culture.

Madam Speaker

Hon Members of the Executive, MPLs

As we debate the 1st and 2nd 2014/2015 quarterly reports of the department of Sports Arts and Culture, we need to understand that one of the core service delivery mandate of these department is to calculate a culture of learning and reading through provision of community based libraries.

Madam Speaker , this department of Sports, Arts and Culture was the worst performer in terms of budgetary under spending for the 2014/15 financial year.

The department seems to have a habit of starting its financial year by under spending in its 1st quarter, in both the 1st quarter for the past two years , the department has been failing to spend more than 20% of its budget.

In 2012/2013,  it utilised only 18% and 2013/2014 spending only 17%, these under spending is on programs that includes three Library ,  Information Services and Program four Sport & Recreation.

Madam Speaker , program three and four use conditional grants for library infrastructure and mass sport participation, the committee pleaded with the department to increase its spending, on conditional grants but however the plea has fallen on deaf ears.

The allocated R167 million of conditional grants of the main programmes,  the department only spent R20 million which is 12,4% of conditional grants on the department 1st quarter spent.

Our communities are facing difficult challenges of having proper libraries with resources.

The department had failed the people of this province by not utilising the budget that was enough to deliver services.

Madam Speaker , due to the department’s poor performance, National Treasury has now allocated Limpopo the lowest Community Library Services Grant in the whole country at R 112 156 000.

Madam Speaker ,  the DA urges the MEC to find ways with her department to improve its budget expenditure on libraries in subsequent quarters.

We still urge the MEC to reinstate the Memorandum of understanding with various municipalities as a brief telephonic survey conducted the DA and oversights clearly proved just how our troubled libraries are confused on whom to solicit help on maintenance challenges.

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Debate on Sport Arts and Culture

The following speech was delivered by Katlego Suzan Phala DA MPL, to the Limpopo Provincial Legislature on 27 October 2015 during a debate on Sports, Arts and Culture.

Madam Speaker

The Department had no interest in solving its Asset management issues, since 20/11. The department has received four qualified audit outcomes in four consecutive years.

The department has since closed its ears from the recommendations made by auditors and even assistance from independent audit firms such as PWC, the Department . is still unable to develop and maintain a credible asset management register.

The Department inability to resolve the Asset management issue which keeps recurring in the Audit outcomes it’s a crystal clear indication that the Department lacks the relevant leadership to address this issue.

The Sports , Arts and Culture Department’s core service delivery mandate is to amongst others promote and contribute towards local economic growth, create job opportunities and also promote and contribute to nation building through sport, arts and culture.

The DA supports Art and Cultural festivals but however, we believe that there should be value for money and an opportunity for our department to partner up with local and private sectors.

What we do not support is the revenue generation drop of the Mapungubwe Arts Festival. The highest revenue collection was in 2006 an amount of R1, 3 million. It has since been dropping in revenue, it is amazingly shocking just how the department committed to more than R4 million for this expensive festival in 2014 yet could not commit itself in other programmes.

Madam Speaker , despite the 75% decrease in the past two years in revenue collection , the department has set aside R2 million aside for these years for Mapungubwe Arts Festival.

Madam Speaker with less than a month ago , the department’s spokesperson,  Malesela Ramaoka gave a comment in the media on behalf of the Hon MEC and of course, and I quote “Its intention has never been about generation of revenue” such ignorant words when taxpayers are repeatedly footing the multi-million festival bill and the Department’s core mandate being to promote and contribute towards local economic growth, surely as taxpayers keep footing the bill the revenue should justify where the tax payers money went.

It is unacceptable for the revenue to keep decreasing yet its yearly budget keeps on increasing.

Not only does the department get qualified audits and decreasing Mapungubwe Arts festival revenue generation , it has also decreased its contribution towards job creation. In 2012 /2013 financila year , 260 temporary jobs were created sadly the job creation number in 2013/14 was only 82 in a province were thousands of its youth are unemployed.

The department needs to enhance its administrative capacity within supply chain management, finance and human resources management divisions to ensure that the department spending increases to the improvement of service delivery.

It needs to stabilize the department’s leadership to ensure that the AG recommendations are implemented and followed.

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