The role of the department of sport and recreation in the provision and delivery of sport and recreation in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mkwalo, Siyabulela Cecil.
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The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sports and Recreation is mandated to provide and deliver sport and recreation in the province, which is done in collaboration with a number of stakeholders. These include the sports federations, South African Students Sports Union (SASSU) and United Schools Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA). Its promulgation as an independent Department in 2004 created expectations about the role it would play in transforming the sporting landscape across the province. To establish the extent to which this has occurred, this study aimed to assess the effectiveness of the Department of Sports and Recreation (DSR) with regards to its provision and delivery of sport and recreation services in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). This was a cross-sectional questionnaire study, whereby three questionnaires were developed, one for the Department, another for the sports federations and the same one for USSASA and SASSU. The questionnaires were intended to obtain information about the provision and delivery of sport and recreation in the province. Each questionnaire was divided into three sections; Section A provided for demographic details, Section B dealt with availability of sporting facilities and transformation, and Section C addressed functions of the Department of Sport and Recreation. Three hundred selected respondents comprised of forty five (n=45) personnel from the Department; one hundred and ninety five (n=195) from provincial federations; thirty (n=30) from SASSU and thirty (n=30) from USSASA. The results of the study showed that significantly (p≤0.05) more respondents (63%) indicated that service delivery by the Department was more focused on urban areas than in townships (26%) and rural areas (11%). Seventy one percent (71%) of respondents from the federations, SASSU and USSASA indicated that there are insufficient facilities in the province and those that exist do not meet the qualifying standards of hosting provincial and national events. A significant (p≤0.05) majority (68%) of respondents from the federations, SASSU and USSASA believed that the Department did not have an integrated approach to planning as a key factor in the provision and delivery of sport and recreation in KwaZulu-Natal, while only 38% agreed that it involved them as partners during its planning of projects. Sixty six percent (p≤0.0001) of the study respondents indicated that the rate of sport and recreation service provision and delivery in KwaZulu-Natal was ‘fast’; 27% reported that it was ‘slow’; 4% revealed that it is ‘very fast’ and 3% responded that service delivery was ‘very slow’. Transformation with respect to women in key positions throughout the province was below 30%, and little effort had been made towards inclusion of people with disabilities in sport and recreation activities. The study revealed that the provision and delivery of sport and recreation by the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation has favoured urban areas, that men remain in key administrative positions, and that policies are not being implemented with respect to community access as a process of sports transformation. It is thus recommended that more resources be allocated to address the imbalance of facilities in rural areas, that more provision be made for women to enter decision making administrative posts, and that funding be consistently made available to the federations to assist with sport development.
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