South Africa 26.3.2014 08:00 am

Mbalula warns with sanctions

FILE PICTURE: Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: GCIS.

FILE PICTURE: Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: GCIS.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula fired a warning at national federations yesterday, insisting government would place sanctions on bodies that did not comply with a new transformation monitoring system.

Mbalula was speaking at Sascoc House in Johannesburg after receiving the 2013 report from the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on Transformation, which was formed in June 2012, to address apparent prejudices in South African sport.

“To our federations and sports bodies, we implore you to … implement the transformation agenda, and we will support you as we have been doing,” Mbalula said.

“However, if you choose to neglect or undermine transformation we will withdraw our support. This is not a threat, but a stern warning.”

Federations that ignored transformation processes would not be considered as hosts for international events, and government would clamp down on teams and individuals in those sports.

“We are not going to support any team that is going to represent the country which is unrepresentative, finished and klaar, starting from today,” Mbalula said.

“The national anthem, national colours and national symbols can no longer be used to honour and decorate events of racist, sexist or divisive sporting bodies.”

Somadoda Fikeni, chairman of the 13-member EPG, said they had received data from five sports codes – football, rugby, cricket, netball and athletics – in compiling their report.

The committee had not received all required data from federations, with athletics and netball providing no statistics for school sport, but the committee believed a new electronic data system would assist with future evaluations.

Targets would be based on data received at all levels, from school participation to national teams, as well as governance, and Mbalula confirmed that 11 other sports would be included down the line.

“The quota system is unsustainable and counterproductive,” he said. “We need a long-term productive system from grassroots level.”

 

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