Minister heaps praise on Charl
Cape Town - Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday congratulated Charl Schwartzel on his victory in the United States Masters golf tournament at Augusta.
Schwartzel became the third South African after Gary Player and Trevor Immelman to win a US Masters green jacket, on the day marking the 50th anniversary since Gary Player won the Masters.
"We are grateful to the achievement of the young golfer from Gauteng for flying the South African flag higher at the US Masters," Mbalula told a media briefing at parliament.
Golf is an important sport and the fact that there are about five South Africans in the top 50 official world golf rankings is a positive outlook, as in terms of the number of players, South Africa are number three in the world after the US boasting 18 and England six, he said.
"This magnificent achievement should remind us of the need to join hands with corporate South Africa to increase participation and access to disadvantaged communities.
"We need development and we need urgent directed programmes for talent build and nurturing future golfers."
A young man born in 1984 was clear proof that with the necessary resources South Africa would produce more players in the calibre of Bobby Locke, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Louis Oosthuizen and all those who came to represent South Africa and made the country proud.
"Charl Schwartzel's win is taking place during the month of April when the South African youth are celebrating the life of a young martyr, a doyen of the struggle, a youth whose 'blood nourishes the tree that bears the fruits of freedom' - Solomon 'Kalushi' Mahlangu," Mbalula said.