Athletics SA face wrath of government for transformation efforts

Athletics SA face wrath of government for transformation efforts

Tokozile Xasa during the 2018 South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Olympic House on June 09, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images)

The embattled federation didn’t meet its targets for the annual EPG report.

Not for the first time in its history, local athletics has emerged as the black sheep of South African sport.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) suffered the indignity of being the only member of the so-called Big Five federations to miss its transformation targets.

Sports minister Tokozile Xasa on Tuesday “insisted” that the governing body meet with her urgently to discuss their indiscretions following the release of 2017/18’s Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report, which chronicles how sporting codes are progressing on becoming more representative.

“I will in due course have a meeting with ASA to insist that they present me with detail of how they plan to address this matter,” Xasa told a media briefing.

“We believe that athletics is too important for us not to act.”

In 2016, then minister Fikile Mbalula took the radical of suspending five federations – which included cricket and rugby – from bidding for international events as sanction for not meeting their targets.

It’s unclear what Xasa has in store for ASA.

Meanwhile, rugby, cricket, soccer and netball all met their objectives, with Xasa in particular impressed with how federations are electing more black presidents and board members.

A major concern though remains a lack of transformation within coaching circles.

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