Mbalula complains of R1?bln budget

2013-05-24 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Extraordinary levies could help relieve the financial pressure on the Department of Sport and Recreation.

“The revenue from levies on the sale of tickets, sports social venues and sport gambling could then go into the department’s budget,” was the advice Cope MP Graham MacKenzie had for Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula.

In his budget speech, Mbalula had complained about the budget of just over R1 billion on which the department has to manage this year.

Democratic Alliance MP Winston Rabotapi expressed concern about the continued corruption, mismanagement and continuing power struggles in sports federations, as well as the department’s inability to look after the interests of the country’s top athletes.

The department’s plan to spend R65 million on the national sports awards evening this year also came under fire.

IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa said this amount was ridiculous and it could be far better used to pay for the country’s top athletes to participate in international competitions.

Mbalula explained that the department has to transfer at least R815 million of the R1 billion to the provinces, municipalities and sports federations.

“The national department therefore has only R285 million to spend on its own activities and salaries,” he said.

He said at least the department had also received an extraordinary amount of R156 million to stage the National Soccer Championships in 2014.

Deputy minister Gert Oosthuizen added that the department’s R10 billion sports plan for the next eight years is in line with the national development plan.

This plan recognises the part that sport and recreation play in the creation of social cohesion.

“Transformation in sport remains a dilemma with which the department is struggling, even if sport is currently flourishing under the ANC,” said Richard Mdakane, chairperson of the portfolio committee for sport and recreation.

He asked Mbalula to put pressure on sports federations to speed up the transformation, which the minister promised to do.

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