A delegation representing the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation visited the NorthWest Province in order to assess the progress that has been made in the sporting sector by the province. In order to understand the problems and challenges experienced by sport councils, municipalities and schools, the Committee intended to focus on the following aspects:

A number of meetings were held with provincial officials as well as officials from local authorities. In addition, the following facilities were visited:


It was found that there are some positive aspects to the province’s sport programme. For example,

In specific areas in the province, some of the positive elements include the following:

Notwithstanding the positive elements detailed above, numerous challenges and difficulties face the province, including:

In specific areas in the province, some of the problems include the following:


The study tour has identified some positive elements in the province’s sport and recreation programme, such as the existence of several active sporting codes. However, the successes appear to be outweighed by the problems and challenges that remain. One of the most important problems faced by the province, is the fact that it does not receive sufficient funding for sport and recreation. This inevitably has a negative impact on the usability and accessibility of sports facilities, particularly in historically disadvantaged communities. Lack of funding also impacts directly on the ability of local authorities to maintain facilities and grounds and prevent vandalism.

The study tour report has found that many of the best sporting facilities are still located in formerly white areas, usually out of reach of the communities most in need of them. Since most of the latter communities are poor and have high rates of unemployment, they do not have the resources (private transport, financial resources) to reach these facilities. In most cases, public transport is expensive, often unsafe and not available during the required hours. The trend towards the privatisation and leasing of public sporting facilities places additional obstacles in the path of community participation in sport and further impacts on the usability of facilities. Added to these obstacles is that of the vast distances between communities (and hence of sporting facilities), making the need for athletes to travel, virtually a necessity.

The provision and standard of sporting facilities and equipment in historically disadvantaged schools (especially in the rural areas) continue to be inadequate. It also appears that this inequality continues to be divided along racial lines, as is evident in the gap between the sporting standards of formerly white schools and public schools. No information was provided with regard to LSEN (Learner with Special Needs) schools. The lack of progress with regard to school sport is cause for concern, not only because of its retarding effect on transformation in sport, but also because of its effect on the usability of school facilities by a broader spectrum of the public.

It has not been possible to make accurate findings about the usability and accessibility of community sports facilities to the disabled, as no information was provided in this regard. Nor was any information provided about their levels of participation in sport. However, given the lack of adequate facilities in historically disadvantaged areas, it may be assumed that these either do not exist, or are also inadequate. The same situation holds true for women and girls.





















  1. There appears to be continuing racial division in the provision and standard of sporting facilities - for example, in the difference in facilities in the former white areas and that in most historically disadvantaged, particularly rural areas. How may the Committee assist the province in overcoming the legacy of the past?
  2. No information on the availability and accessibility of sports facilities to the disabled, or to women and girls in the province was obtained. For an accurate picture to emerge, it is essential that information with regard to facilities, equipment, the extent of participation and of the difficulties experienced, be provided. How may the Committee ensure that more comprehensive information is gathered on future study tours?
  3. There appear to be problems with regard to lack of co-operation among communities, sports officials, provincial government and local council, that are having a negative impact on the development of sport in the province. How may the Committee assist in ensuring co-operation among all the role-players?
  4. A suggestion has been made that in the rural areas, traditional authorities should also be responsible for the provision of facilities. Is this a viable way forward, or will there be problems with regard to the provision of facilities for women and girls? Could there also potentially be problems in giving responsibility to a non-elected power structure?
  5. The negative effects of privatisation on community participation in sport were highlighted in the report. How may the Committee assist in reversing this trend?
  6. The lack of progress in the transformation of school sport remains a cause for concern, as lack of progress in this regard will hamper the transformation in sport in general. How may the Committee assist in addressing the obstacles to progress in school sport?
  7. An important obstacle to sporting progress, is the lack of funds at both the local and provincial level. This affects not only the provision and maintenance of sports facilities, but also prevents the problem of vandalism from being effectively dealt with. How may the Committee assist in addressing this problem?
  8. Problems such as distance from sporting facilities, inadequate public transport and poverty prevent the use of many such facilities. How may communities be assisted with their transport needs?
  9. Racism is a real problem in the province and is also manifested in sport. How may this stumbling block to progress in sport dealt with?
  10. The province has so many talented youngsters with little hope of reaching their potential. How may they be helped?




Report on a Study Tour of the Northwest by Delegates from the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation, 18 – 19 August 2003.

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