Cape Town - Sport and Recreation SA (SRSA) and Boxing SA (BSA) have agreed on a strategy to return South African boxing to its former glory.
The objective was to "lift boxing from the doldrums and return it to its former glory", according to statement issued at a joint press conference by Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula and BSA chairperson Ngconde Balfour on Wednesday,
"We are encouraged by the emphasis placed in the interest of the boxer, and we can now look forward to a new dispensation that will benefit the athletes, so that they themselves can have something to show for their involvement in the sporting code in which they have dedicated their lives."
The strategy, dubbed Vision 2017, recognised the need for effective administration and regulation of professional boxing by:
- Ensuring and safeguarding the safety, health, and general well-being of professional boxers;
- Promoting, marketing, and sanctioning quality boxing events and tournaments;
- Ensuring credibility rating of boxers and training licenses;
- Positioning Boxing SA as a point of reference for all international sanctioning bodies;
- Improving the stature of national and provincial titles; and,
- Co-ordinating the activities of all boxing parties in the country.
"To achieve these objectives BSA needs to ensure that there is strong leadership, accountability, and diversity across all business units and governing spheres," SRSA said.
The envisaged functional structure and core business of BSA placed governance and administration, compliance and enforcement, marketing, branding, communication, and events management as the fulcrum around which revenue-generating strategies would evolve.
In the interest of boxing, SRSA had agreed together with BSA on a comprehensive turnaround strategy underpinned by several "milestones".
These included that BSA introduce guiding principles for improved revenue streams and revenue collection.
"We will ensure that revenue is generated from government grants, bequests, site fees, ticket sales, registration fees, tournament licensing fees, penalties, incomes from invested surplus, sponsorship and fundraising, broadcast and advertising income."
Projection and targets for 2013/2014 was R5m, for 2014/2015 R6.2m, and 2015/2016 R7.1m in revenue collection stream.
"We will henceforth establish provincial offices that will be capacitated by a provincial manager, an inspector, and an administrator per province."
The MECs for sport and recreation were being consulted to ensure support from the provinces and extended to the offices, projects and programmes.
Linked to this process, was the urgent establishment of the Professional Boxing League.
"We will in the coming month be launching a programme aimed at training officials, referees, judges, and fight supervisors. Judges' manuals, pocket booklets on the boxers' bill of rights, referees' manuals and supervisors' manuals."
BSA would pursue the establishment of a Boxing Appeals Committee and further explore the establishment of a National Boxing Federation, amalgamating amateur and professional boxing.
"We have both realistic and ambitious plans that in our view will invariably be a cause for robust debates and demand for [a] mindset shift within the sector."
A boxing indaba would be convened in May, involving all stakeholders to deliberate on all matters that affected boxing in South Africa and "ensure that there is clarity on our delivery strategy for boxing in our country", SRSA said.