Other Sport

Mbalula: Quotas are exhausted

2011-11-16 22:03
Fikile Mbalula (File)
Cape Town - Sport quotas are exhausted and have generally been counter-productive, Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Wednesday.

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Quotas were introduced to achieve the goal of integration but this had yet to be realised, he told a media briefing at Parliament on the ministry's "transformation perspective document".

It was necessary for the country to be strong in terms of sport development, and for this a national development plan was required.

"There is slowness [in transformation] because there is no agenda," he said.

"People complain. They moan about a whole lot of things, about transformation... but everyone needs to be speaking about transformation knowing what is the plan."

Mbalula said there was an over concentration on three major sporting codes - cricket, soccer and rugby.

What happened in netball, basketball, amateur boxing, or even boxing itself, among others, appeared to be "none of our business".

"You will be interested to see that in most of the sporting codes in our country, if you do an examination, we've achieved maximum transformation there, and through the quota system, among others," he said.

"And I think transformation must not only be measured in terms of the top three commercial [sport codes]. It must be measured across in terms of sport."

Sport was about talent, and not a question of electing people to achieve representivity.

The key question was whether there were developmental programmes to nurture players. If blacks did not play rugby, were there programmes for those that did play to be nurtured, guided, and off-loaded into the system so as to ensure representivity?

"So how are we going to achieve that? We are saying this transformation must be narrowed down to a score card... [for] the different federations," Mbalula said.

"Secondly, there must be a binding transformation charter."

Without a strong developmental approach, there would not be black players making the national team in the future.

"Because when we go to a World Cup, we're not going to select a person simply because of colour," Mabalula said.

"We want the best in the World Cup... nobody wants to be a failure because of 'I'm here just to add up numbers of black people'. We are there because we want to compete.

"At the end of the day, I don't want to be a quota player. I want to be there on merit and I want my talent to be recognised."

There were many black players who wanted to play rugby. The question was why were they not finding their way through in the different competitions.

This was one of the issues the national sport indaba would look into in Midrand next week, Mbalula said.

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