Cape Town - The new Minister of Sport and Recreation, Thulas Nxesi, says that sport development will be a major focus for both himself and his department as he settles into his new role.
Nxesi, who replaced Fikile Mbalula in cabinet reshuffle at the end of March, was speaking after a meeting with SA Rugby president Mark Alexander in Cape Town.
“I am very passionate about development and was interested to hear what SA Rugby’s development programmes entail, in the schools, because that’s where the youth is,” said the minister.
“They provided me with the documents and I still have to study those, but it’s good that at least there is something going on in terms of youth development.
Nxesi stressed the need for not only rugby to focus on development, but all sports in the country.
“However, we can always do more – but that is not only the responsibility of rugby – and the federations will have to work together with Departments of Sport and Education, pull all the necessary resources together and ensure we identify talent in rural areas and townships.
“The role of sport is big because the majority of our youth are unemployed and if we have solid sporting programmes at clubs, village and community levels, and the youth can engage in sports over weekends, we can keep them away from crime. But that is a tall order.”