Top sports bodies get few pennies

2014-04-13 15:00

South Africa’s top medal contenders, Athletics SA (ASA) and Swimming SA (SSA) did not feature among the top beneficiaries from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

This is according to numbers presented by the National Lotteries Board (NLB) before the sport portfolio committee in Parliament recently.

Sport and recreation received R382.6?million of the R1.6?billion slice in the 2012/13 financial year ending March last year.

Sport gets 22% from the lotto grant budget while arts, culture and national heritage sectors receive 28%, with charities getting 45%, while 5% goes to ­miscellaneous ­purposes.

The Sport and Recreation Distribution Agency advises the lotteries board where the money should go.

The distribution agency funded the African Nations Championship tournament in January, where R130?million went to host cities – Cape Town (R63?million), Polokwane (R28.5?million) and Mangaung (R38.5?million).?The African Nations Championship organising committee got R36?million.

The report noted that ASA were given R2.4?million while SSA received

R750?000.

ASA continues to struggle financially. It failed to raise about R200?000 to send a team to the African Cross Country Championships held in Uganda last month.?SSA has been struggling since the body lost sponsorship in the last term.

Swimmers were on the verge of paying for their own air tickets to the World Championships in Spain last year. But they were saved by the sports ­ministry, which paid R2.7?million to cover the costs.

SSA mostly utilises its funds in developmental programmes, club development and capacity building. The association spent most of its money paying off creditors.

The NLB financials showed ASA member Boland Athletics received

R2.4?million.?This raised questions from certain quarters in athletics as the ­provincial body’s president Dr Harold Adams is the vice-chairperson of the ­distributing agency.

But Adams has dispelled perceptions of conflict of interest.

“I find it very strange that you ask this question just before the ASA elections seeing that the distribution agency have 11 members and all members belong to different sporting codes,” said Adams, referring to the ASA polls ­scheduled for May 24.

“Ironically, the same question appears on the Facebook [page] of former ­president of ASA [James Evans]. The issue of distribution agency members and ­representing various codes of sport has been dealt with in the past few years openly at the sports indabas.”

Adams continued: “Whenever the ‘conflict of interest’ arises, the ‘conflicted’ application gets referred to the chair of the lotto, Prof [Alfred] Nevhutanda, who decides where the application will be referred to. As part of the appointment to the distribution agency, all members are required to state their interest. My ‘conflict’ is athletics and therefore all athletics applications are referred ­elsewhere.

“Our financials reflect a payment in 2011 not 2012,” said Evans when asked what happened to the grant.

This is what other athletics provinces received:

.?Athletics Central North West (R1.1?million);

.?Athletics Vaal Triangle (R990?000);

.?Athletics Gauteng North (R700?000); and

.?Western Province Athletics (R400?000).

Schools received between R50?000 and R100?000.

The NLB will hold an indaba at a date still to be confirmed this month to address some of the common challenges in the allocation of funds.

Sport Federation Lottery Benefits

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