Members of the National Sports Council met at Karridene, in KwaZulu-Natal, from 11 to 14 September 2018 to develop a common workable plan for the revival of sport in the department.
CDC Human Resources, Romeo Adams brought fresh thinking to the Council when he challenged the options previously explored in sport. “As leaders in sport we cannot be problem-seekers. We must be solution-driven to the issues. We require creative thinking to create opportunity for funding for sporting codes. We can no longer be gatekeepers. Let’s be the enablers instead,” Adams said.
The CDC has since his appointment joined the department’s weight-loss challenge. The 2017 Challenge was won by Deputy Commissioner Financial and Management Accounting, Nandi Mareka. “If a correctional official is expected to be within a level of fitness, then management should take the lead,” Adams shared.
Correctional officials are exposed to high levels of pressure due to strained working environments. Sport presents a much needed escape through which officials can remain fit and healthy. Health is a dynamic process because it is always changing. We all have times of good health, times of sickness, and maybe even times of serious illness. As our lifestyles change, so does our state of health.
Sport has not been prioritised over the past financial years due to cost containment measures in the department.
The Directorate Employee Wellness received a wafer-thin budget of four hundred thousand (R400 000) for the 2018/19 financial period to cater for 23 sporting codes. This made hosting of sports championships a near impossibility. However, sporting codes with financially strong trust funds have explored championship possibilities and used the bare minimum to realise them.
The Facilities Fund contributes greatly to progress and sustenance of sport. An estimated 33 000 officials contribute towards the fund. From the R17.68 contribution, R5 is paid towards sport at national, regional and development fund allocations.
The sport development fund currently stands at R5.8 million. A five year development plan and model for funding was crafted to prevent the depletion of the existing fund. Chances of participation at the next World Police and Fire Games remain bleak unless there is a change in budget control and allocation.
The department entered into a memorandum of understanding with Netball South Africa, which aims to promote the sport and to realise a progressive move towards the recruitment of netball achievers into DCS employment.
The Sports Council donated food to Zamokuhle Children’s centre in Chesterville, where about 117 young children are cared for.