Three sports bodies have tournament bans lifted

CLEANING HOUSE: Sports Minister Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi
Picture: Sunday Times

Sports Minister Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi has confirmed that Cricket South Africa (CSA)‚ the South African Rugby Union (Saru) and Netball South Africa (NSA) would be allowed to bid and host international tournaments, after their ban was lifted with immediate effect yesterday.

In April last year‚ former sports minister Fikile Mbalula banned Athletics South Africa (ASA)‚ CSA‚ NSA and Saru from bidding and hosting major international events in the country due to their failure to meet their transformation targets.

Nxesi lifted the ban on three of the four federations when presenting the latest EPG Transformation Status Report at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

“It comes from the barometer‚ the targets that they have set for themselves with the previous leadership in the ministry‚” Nxesi said yesterday.

“It becomes very clear that in terms of their efforts to meet the targets they have gone beyond 50%. We are saying, therefore, that they have the right to bid and host international tournaments.”

Nxesi warned that federations might lose the right to bid and host if they regressed on transformation policies in the coming years.

“Let’s not pre-empt‚ let’s be positive, but our assessment and follow-up is going to be on an annual basis and possibly if they are moving to the negative we might act otherwise.

“We are starting a trend which is going to go up and not down. We congratulate the federations on their greatly improved barometer scores. “You clearly were willing to walk the extra mile.” But the sports minister was not impressed with ASA and was scathing in his assessment of their poor structures, governance‚ and lack of systems.

He said they would work closely with ASA so they addressed their challenges such as provision of data and improvement of club and school athletics.

“If we look more closely at the data on athletics contained in the EPG report‚ we see that the problem is that you simply didn’t provide data against a number of categories.

“This points to a lack of systems and poor structures and governance in the code and my department will work with you to address these challenges.

“Of particular concern is the paucity of data in relation to club and school athletics‚ the very bedrock of our sport system‚ and essential to ensuring the sustainability of the code over the long run and at the highest level.

“I am, therefore, issuing a directive to ASA to directly exercise control over the South African Schools Athletics’ Association (Sasaa) with the intention of strengthening governance‚ accountability‚ alignment and the organisation of competitions and identification of talent.”

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