Other Sport

Sports indaba 'not just talk'

2011-11-21 17:01
Fikile Mbalula (File)
Johannesburg - The two-day sport and recreation indaba in Midrand will be about action, not only talk, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Monday.

There would be mechanisms to hold people accountable, he told delegates.

Mbalula said one of the proposals to be adopted at the indaba, which began on Monday morning, was for 15 percent of all municipal infrastructure grants to be invested in sports facilities at local government level.

"We have agreed in principal on that and it is something that will have to kick into effect immediately in terms of the national sports plan," Mbalula said.

The first day of the indaba had been devoted to delegates deliberating on issues in the six commissions.

The commissions discussed mass participation and school sport, the geo-political constitutional boundaries versus sport federation boundaries and sports councils, facilities, role demarcation at macro level, amateur versus professional sport, and transformation.

Mbalula said transformation was about more than quotas and race.

"It is, among other things, about equity and access to facilities and sport and recreation in general.

"A transformed sector must be able to support development.

"Unlike previous discussions about this issue, we have this time drafted a transformation charter with a scorecard, and we also have a draft transformation perspective to guide us."

He said there had been enough talk on the issue and the indaba was the start of intense engagement on this topic.

There needed to be a clear division of roles between the sports ministry and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) to avoid wasting resources.

Deputy Sport Minister Gert Oosthuizen said the collaborative partner agreements that needed to be developed would be signed by March 2012.

"Certain consequences will flow from this indaba," Oosthuizen said.

"We don't want to pronounce on all the consequences that may come out but if there are legislative imperatives we will have to engage with that process."

It was announced that a school sports programme would be rolled out in January.

Mbalula said it would be possible at the conclusion of the indaba to go to government and the National Lottery Board with a solid plan to back up requests for funding.

"This sports indaba and sports plan is about building a case and saying we need more," he said.

The indaba got underway with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe bemoaning the poor performance of the country's national soccer and Olympics teams.

This indicated that sport development had not always been up to scratch, Motlanthe told delegates.

"Much to the amazement of many we won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, only to start backsliding from then on until we failed to qualify for any international competition," he said.

"The same seems to hold true for the Olympics. Overall, our athletes have been successively doing poorly at continental competitions and Olympic level."

Sport achievements since South Africa's re-admission to the international arena should be celebrated, Motlanthe said.

However, shortcomings should be tackled with vigour.


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