Speech Notes: Vote 14 – Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Annual & Half Year Financial Oversight Reports

Issued by Nomvano Zibonda, MPL
Shadow MEC for Sport, Recreation, Art and Culture

Greetings to the Deputy Speaker, Hon Premier, MEC’s, Members of the legislature and the staff.

The past financial year has been filled with uncertainty, as a nation we have had to readjust in the matter in which we do things and the impact has been evident.

We continue to live and learn to adapt to our “new normal” this pandemic has disrupted the livelihoods of all our people, it therefore requires that we become more aggressive and creative as a province this includes the Arts and Sporting sector. Budgets must then be able to respond to present material conditions and provide solutions to meet the needs of our communities going forward.

According to the AG’s report the department has received an unqualified audit opinion with findings. The audit outcome of the department is not improving, it is stagnating and Irregular expenditure still an issue in this department. This is a concern Hon Deputy Speaker and not an indication of good governance.

Our staff components form a crucial role in the functionality of all departments and should be compensated accordingly however compensation should not hinder the delivery of services. It is important to find a proper balance between compensating employees and ensuring that services are not compromised.

The DA appeals for a leaner staff compliment, cut the fat, cut the cadres and prioritize service delivery. A call we have been signaling for some time now but sadly falls on deaf ears as comrades are busy trying to loot as much as they can before their turns come to an end.

Working closely with COGTA is an indispensable method if we are to improve the status-quo of the sports, recreation, arts and culture industry:

According to a reply from the MEC to my parliamentary question, on the 29th of September: Which municipalities did not receive their sport, recreation, arts and culture subsidies for the 2020/21 financial year?

Her response was:
‘No municipalities have received their 2020/21 subsidies, the municipalities are in the process of submitting their compliance documents.’

The municipalities of this province are failing dismally on their mandate to provide basic services. As things stand, DSRAC is worsening the state of affairs by not transferring subsidies on time. I can’t be accepted that well into more than half of the financial year the transfers are not paid over to municipalities.

Sports infrastructure of the province: The mandate to build sports infrastructure lies with COGTA, this needs to be revisited as I foresee a problem given the state of finances in our municipalities currently. MEC Nqata’s response to my question on this matter indicated that not all municipalities follow the conditions of the MIG when it comes to building and maintaining the sports infrastructure.

The state of the sports infrastructure in the province is deplorable and a reply from the MEC of DSRAC indicated a dismal failure in IGR specifically between COGTA and DSRAC again.
I asked the MEC of DSRAC whether her Department has had any engagements with the Buffalo
City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) so as to discuss the state of sporting facilities and issues of security.

RESPONSE: ‘No, the Department has not had any engagements with BCMM to discuss the matter. The Department has for several occasions been trying to get appointment with the Municipality at both City Manager and the Executive Mayor’s level.’

The non-cooperation with the municipalities to ensure that the sports infrastructure portion of the MIG is spent accordingly is detrimental to the promotion of sports in the province.

The province prides itself for producing Bizana Pondo Chiefs, a soccer club that has been promoted but that club does not have a stadium to use for home games, I call on the MEC to do something about this because it demoralizes our sportsmen. What is your plan honourable MEC?

Libraries are still without internet Hon Deputy Speaker, for most, the Library is often the only readily available source of comprehensive information needed by people for personal, family and job-related purposes. As the DA we understand that the economy benefits when people use library resources to apply and seek employment, some use it to improve job skills, while the disadvantaged use it to help break the cycle of poverty. During economic hardship, our citizens turn to and depend on the library.

As the DA we call upon the department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture to not simply play lip service on the importance of libraries but to also ensure that the necessary support and services are provided to ensure they are functional.

The few issues that I have alluded to above Hon Deputy Speaker is evidence that this ANC led government is incapable of changing the fortunes of our artists and sportsmen. What this province needs is a capable government that prioritises the people’s need and puts the people first. The hopes and dreams of young people are dependent on this department, so a turnaround is obligatory, we dare not let them down.

The Premier needs to devise a plan to make sure that these two departments work together to improve the status-quo.

The DA accepts the oversight report and urges with the department to consider and take action on the issues raised by this house.

I thank you.