Mbalula rails against obdurate sports administrators

South Africa’s sports administrators must take responsibility for a lack of transformation, Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday.

“The fundamental question is, what have we done as federations to develop talent?” Mbalula asked at the launch of the National Sports Indaba, to be held later this year, at Ellis Park.

“I can say without any doubt that we have done zilch. We blame the players, but we never blame the sports administrators who only seem to think about themselves.”

Mbalula said channels would be opened for the input of all South Africans ahead of the National Sports Indaba.

He hoped this would address a lack of transformation and put an end to the controversy surrounding quotas in national teams — 17 years after South Africa’s first democratic election.

“The debate is open to all: peasants, farmers, rural and urban women, teachers and students, players and coaches, sports administrators and managers, politicians and bureaucrats, young and old,” Mbalula said.

He said the indaba was intended to make sport more inclusive and develop a national sports plan for the country.

The future of sport in South Africa was the responsibility of all stakeholders and it was time to take collective action, Mbalula said.

“The National Sports Indaba is intended to pave the way forward for sport in South Africa and its purpose is more than just creating conducive environments, providing resources and facilities and providing scientific support and training.

National sports plan
“It will provide a platform where sport and recreation issues can be discussed frankly and without prejudice; where policies can be translated into practice and a national sports plan for the country can be finalised.”

Sport and Recreation Deputy Minister Gert Oosthuizen said it was hoped the national sports plan would produce significant results by 2020.

“As a first step towards achieving our vision we have finalised the updating of the White Paper on sport and recreation that will be submitted to Cabinet shortly. So the policy is there,” he said.

“Under the leadership of Minister Mbalula we have developed a road map for the department and have ensured alignment with the key policy issues captured in the White Paper.

“To assist with the implementation of the White Paper, we have started the process of developing a national sports plan. It is from policy to practice.

“This sport plan will manifest the implementation plans of the sport and recreation policy directives of government.”

Mbalula said nine provincial indabas would be held on June 11 to discuss the national sports plan. The national indaba would be held in August.

Members of the public who wanted to comment would be able to do so on the Sport and Recreation South Africa website.

Oosthuizen said key components of the national sports plan would include talent identification and development, scientific support services, national and international sporting events and national emblems and colours. — Sapa

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Wesley Botton
Wesley Botton works from Johannesburg. Watches people run, jump and throw. Can juggle three apples and count to 10 in four languages. Chief sports reporter for The Citizen newspaper. My views Wesley Botton has over 3707 followers on Twitter.

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