Sports told to shape up or be kicked out

Fikile Mbalula
Fikile Mbalula

FEDERATIONS that fail to deliver on agreed transformation targets will face expulsion, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula warned at the weekend.

He told the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) council in Johannesburg that memorandums of agreement would be signed with several federations next month, including Cricket SA, the SA Rugby Union, and the SA Football Association. More would follow later in the year.

“For those in the next years who will not [achieve] what is agreed to, we talk about consequences.

“We will not support any federation that seeks to bid [to host international events], we will withdraw national colours, we will ensure that we deregister those that are intransigent.”

All federations must belong to Sascoc to enjoy national status.

Mbalula and Sascoc would also sign memorandums of agreement with Netball SA and Athletics SA on April 21.

He said the reason transformation had failed to date was because of the focus on quotas.

“We did nothing from there – there was no blueprint, there was no structured way of doing things . . . What we did was to entertain these [apartheid] apologists and denialists.”

He said transformation would require mass participation, and school sport was critical.

Mbalula also spoke about his proposed ticket-levy system aimed at raising money for development, insisting he did not want fans to bear the cost.

“In what you are already paying to get into a stadium, a share of that must go to development. I’m not saying raise the fees.”

Sascoc president Gideon Sam said federations, most of which were struggling financially, needed to find financial solutions.

“What is your biggest challenge as federations? It’s the number of event organisers taking over from you and running your sport and you’re not getting a cent for it.

“Entrepreneurs are coming into our area and they’re running sport for you and you’re not getting a cent. And when we intervene they take us to court . . .

“There are millions going into sport. Somebody’s making money, but it’s not you . . . People are running every Sunday, but who is making this money? People are cycling all the time. Who’s making this money?”

This question would be discussed at the next presidents’ council meeting in May.

Sam also said Sascoc was dismantling its commission for dispute resolutions and a guideline for handling problems would be forwarded to federations.

“[We must] get on with the real things and stop all the disputes . . . we can’t be spending most of our time doing disputes.”

Mbalula also announced that his department would work closely with the struggling SA National Boxing Organisation (Sanabo) this year, and would review some aspects of the SA Sports Awards.

-David Isaacson

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