Olympics 2012

Mbalula: SA's best ever Games

2012-08-13 20:57
Fikile Mbalula (File)
Johannesburg - The London Olympics have been South Africa's best ever, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said in Johannesburg on Monday.

"We want to congratulate all athletes for their single-minded focus and effort during the Olympics. The collective performance of our team has showcased the determination of all our people to succeed no matter what the challenges we face as a people," he said in a post-Olympic Games briefing.

South Africa also won six medals in 1912, but this time they were not medals of shame, but of glory, he said, referring to
South Africa's apartheid history and decades of isolation as international pariahs.

The six medals showed that the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and sports federations going "back to the drawing board" to strategise after the "debacle" of the Beijing Olympics had produced positive results.

In those Olympics long jumper Khotso Mokoena won the only medal, a silver. The country's performance was "indicative of the smooth transition of the country and the trust that our people have put on our national teams to succeed".

Although it did not reach the 12-medal goal set by Sascoc, the medals should be treasured. He said Uganda had won just one medal and would probably "party for a year".

He also paid tribute to the athletes' families for supporting them.

Runner Caster Semenya won silver in the women's 800m, Bridgitte Hartley won bronze in the women's kayak single K1 sprint, and rowers Sizwe Ndlovu, Matthew Brittain, John Smith and James Thompson won gold in the men's lightweight four.

Swimmer Chad le Clos won gold for the men's 200m butterfly, and Cameron van der Burgh for the men's 100m breaststroke. Le Clos won another silver when he tied for second in the 100m butterfly.

Mbalula singled out some of the athletes - Anaso Jobodwana for qualifying to run against Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt, and javelin-thrower Sunette Viljoen for narrowly missing a medal.

Long term-term planning and investment was needed for a higher medal yield, he said, but not at the cost of providing services such as water in South Africa.

He said the department would lobby the government and the private sector to invest more in the future of sport in South Africa, as well as getting more women involved in sport.

The National Sport and Recreation Plan was already underway, and there was a "junior Olympics" plan to identify and nurture talent at schools.

Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Sports director general Alec Moemi said the department gave Sascoc R48 million for Olympic preparations - R12m a year in the four-year build up.

In addition, Sascoc was given a special grant of R37m this year to boost athletes' preparations.

The department had to help with other funding, such as when the men's hockey team stood a chance of qualifying in Japan, and when Banyana Banyana needed to go to Ghana and Germany.

Swimming SA was given R3m. Money was given to the rowers, the tennis qualifiers, and the paralympics, among others.
The Lotto and sponsors such as Telkom also provided funds, he said. Mbalula said a final tally of costs would be available later.

He would not revisit the question of whether the department had paid for expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's trip to London, saying that had already been clarified.

On August 3, he said the department did not.

Read more on:    olympics 2012  |  fikile mbalula
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Stevenson KOs Sukhotsky

2014-12-20 11:08

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
32 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.