Minister Anroux Marais' speech at Master Plan Workshop Central Karoo
WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
MASTER PLAN FOR SPORT AND RECREATION CONFERENCE
6 SEPTEMBER 2018
Good morning, goeiemôre, molweni nonke
I am delighted to address you at this very significant Master Plan Workshop for Central Karoo municipalities in our beautiful Prince Albert today.
The Western Cape Government prides itself on our slogan of Better Together. However, more so, we strive to personify this slogan in the planning, implementation and outcomes of all our initiatives, programmes and projects delivered to the people of the Western Cape. This conference is only one of the many platforms we have incorporated in our bid to encourage innovative partnerships and to improve already established partnerships which will indeed render us Better Together.
Each of us are present here today because we all agree that sport does indeed make a positive contribution to the development of youth and the quality of life in our communities. We can then also agree that our role as stakeholders in sport development and promotion is of utmost importance and there exists an urgency in fulfilling our tasks as effectively and efficiently as possible because sport unites, fosters tolerance, acceptance, reinforces healthy living, builds civic pride and community participation. All of which is much needed in the current national climate we find ourselves.
I would like to emphasize that there is urgency in fulfilling our tasks as effectively and efficiently as possible and to do so Better Together. As our guideline, the National Sport and Recreation Plan has outlined specific roles for municipalities, federations and provincial departments which will be discussed at length during this conference. Of importance will be the deliberations around developing a master plan for Sport and Recreation for Central Karoo district municipalities as well as to explore possible sport tourism and events strategy.
I am pleased to know that sport will be used as a vehicle to unite our rural towns while contributing to the social capital needed to uplift and empower our communities. The programme also makes provision for engagements on facilities, which has for a long time been a recurring issue between municipalities and province. We can only optimise sport tourism and implement event strategies if we have adequate infrastructure in place.
Constitutionally, sport and recreational facilities in the various municipalities are the responsibility of the municipality. It is of pivotal importance that when any facility is planned, a maintenance plan as well as a dedicated maintenance budget is also factored in in the planning stages. The current financial situation that we find ourselves in is dire on both provincial and local level. We simply cannot afford to build facilities costing millions of Rands and then not have a maintenance plan in place, which more often than not renders the costly facilities white elephants and essentially wasteful expenditure but worst of all, not in a state for our communities to make use of.
I urge all municipal mayors, managers and officials to make full use of your MIG funds and to better understand its application process and how to optimally appropriate the funds in a sustainable manner to deliver on our mandate to those who call the Western Cape home.
Together, we are mandated to incorporate a culture of sporting participation, develop excellence and create an enabling environment for our youth as an alternate to the anti-social activities dominating our communities. It is pivotal for us, regardless of political affiliation or differing cultural backgrounds to increase trust, social inclusion, quality education and confidence in government so to contribute to peace, the wellbeing and enrichment of our communities.
The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step and we have a long way to go, but together we can redress the challenges our communities are plagued with through sport. An individual’s circumstances can indeed be improved through participation, developing and excelling in their preferred sporting codes and it is not only the individual’s circumstances changed, but that of their families, their communities, provinces and country as well.
I thank you.