Sports ministry tackles transformation

South Africa’s sports ministry has roped in concerned parties around the country to help resolve transformation issues.

Comments had been received from over 1 000 bodies and individuals since January, Deputy Sports Minister Gert Oosthuizen said on Thursday.

These would serve as input for the national sport and recreation plan—brainchild of Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula—set to be finalised at a national indaba on November 21 and 22.

“We have developed, under Minister Mbalula, a transformation charter. Once we emerge from the sports indaba, nobody must still have questions as to what transformation is,” said Oosthuizen.

South Africa has been struggling to make sport more representative of the country’s demographics, with efforts including quota systems at provincial and national level yielding poor results over the past two decades.

Bernardus van der Spuy, chief director of strategic management and executive support for the national sports plan project, said this struggle had not been the result of poor ideas, but rather failure to put those ideas into practice.

“In the past we’ve had very good white papers [on transformation in sport], but we haven’t really implemented them,” said Van der Spuy.

Transformation in sport, the ministry believed, would go a long way in transforming the nation and dealing with racial issues that divided the country.

“Globally more and more policy makers realise that sport and recreation is more than fun and games,” said Van der Spuy.

“World leaders are increasingly acknowledging that sport and recreation touches virtually every aspect of a nation’s ethos.”

The sports ministry hoped the national sports plan would address concerns around poor sporting facilities, particularly in previously disadvantaged areas, as well as club structures and management of financial resources.

It would also help create an athletes’ forum for sportsmen and women to share their views, as well as a long overdue academy system for promising sports stars.—Sapa


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