Mbalula: Quotas are exhausted

2011-11-16 22:03

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.


  • Christelle - 2011-11-16 22:16

    "Sport was about talent, and not a question of electing people to achieve representivity." Brilliant statement mr Fikile Mbalula. And the same goes for jobs - let it be about talent and not about representivity.

      Sean - 2011-11-16 22:41

      The statement sounds ``brilliant`` , but Mbalula was one of them that said rugby and cricket is way to white !!

      Christelle - 2011-11-16 22:49

      Hi Sean, see my response higher up. I know he said it - but man, we all need to change our outlook - black and white. Let us embrace the positive and continue to fight the negative

      Sean - 2011-11-16 23:02

      I don`t need to embrace :) I`m a soccer player , 95 % of my team mates are black and we discuss matters like these all the time :) I JUST HATE POLITICS IN SPORT :)

      Sean - 2011-11-16 23:06

      Forgot to mention , Mbalula is one of Malemas good friends , so how can one take any positives out of what he said ?

      Christelle - 2011-11-16 23:09

      Most players hate politics in sport, and I understand why, but there are real issues to be addressed, and whether we put our heads in the sand like ostriches, these issues are not going to go away. The general sporting administration in the country has not done much from their side to address the issues, so who would then need to do it?

      nikelom - 2011-11-16 23:53

      Hear you Christelle. But methinks you are being simplistic and conviniently "blind' of the causative facts. To pretend that some among us got ahead as a consequence of "talent" alone is self delusion. There was no logic or rationale to it; it was just job preservation based on the fact of race. Blissfully ignore it or not. I think though we have to find a way, a better way, to better ensure a greater inclusiveness that in the longterm ensures that ours is a stable society. To teach and accept excellence, hard work as a prerequisite to success and achievement. But to also recognise that many factors (stacked in favour or against some) determine success. That for me is a good sensible and sensitive starting point . . . a genuine acknowledgement that, however it be, ours remains an abnormal society, albeit much of it is to the (mis)governing lot's doing. But, equally, to keep an audible silence on roots of the consequences of where were are at is simplistic, superficial and hypocritical.

      Christelle - 2011-11-17 00:15

      @Nikelom - I dont know whether I am missing something here, but you and I are saying is much of a muchness. There has been a lot of window dressing - we have to accept it. We have to right the wrongs of the past, but by doing it irresponsibly will damage the individual and the country in the long run. The original point of these discussions were the fact that Fikile stated that quotas were counter-productive, and his reasoning. Do you not agree with his reasoning - I certainly do. I think you must just scan through my posts again.

      Christelle - 2011-11-17 00:22

      @Nicolom - just as an ad on to my previous response to you - I mentioned earlier that we are only tapping into about 10 million of the 50 million inhabitants of our country - thereby including all races as the white people are only about 4 or 5 million. And my specific point was that we need to tap into all 50 million.

      Sean - 2011-11-17 00:43

      @Christelle- Regarding your last statement - If one could get to all 50 mil , S.A would be a perfect place. Nothing wrong with being positive , but one has to be realistic as well. Just an example , I don`t support wp rugby :) ( go sharks ) , but I reckon the province team was the so called ``most politically correct team`` this year , BUT then they still got blasted by some Wester Cape big shot for not having enough players of colour !

      Christelle - 2011-11-17 00:55

      Sean you are nailing it on the button. "the most politically correct team" It should never even have been called that in the first place - it became that because of our wrong past, and our equally wrong present.. As I said earlier, I understand politics and sport do not mix - but we need to fix these issues. We need to - and we are not going to do it by our constant bitching - that includes the politicians, and the people. We will probably not get to the 50 million in many years to come, but we have to work towards it - buddy, it is no use kicking against the reality of what is happening in our country. And again, the original article was about the sporting issue - and rather than constantly hearing quotas, quotas, quotas, let us say thanks damn goodness he is saying we need to approach this differently.

      Christelle - 2011-11-17 00:56

      Haha Sean, I say go Lions:-)

  • Blip - 2011-11-16 22:29

    If there is ANY race-quota or ANY racial ("transformation") auditing or restriction, then EVERY player who benefits from that quota/restriction is, by definition, a "quota player". They are ALL "quota players" regardless of how good they are. Therefore, to eradicate the whole hurtful issue of "quota players" you have to abandon "transformation" completely. All teams must be picked only on merit. And if they turn out to be 100% white or 100% black, then so be it.

      Christelle - 2011-11-16 22:35

      Blip, In principle I agree with you. But we are sitting with a situation where a large portion of our population did not have the opportunity to grow up in a sporting culture. There might be enormous talent hidden in our country, and if we do not do something to grow and develop that talent, it is lost for the good of all of us. Hell, and are we not the most passionate sporting nation who wants to win no matter what.

      Bobby - 2011-11-16 22:57

      But one needs to look at the starting level: primary schools. Lets try to work to a situation where all talent can be developed at all schools at the same level? We are light years away from that. Try getting a good rugby/swimming/karate/whatever coach for kids in a rural (black) school, and you'll find that there's the core of our problem. This applies to every sport, (except soccer. Most (black) dads think they know what to do as coach for kids and would be happy to volunteer if the possibility & opportunity would be there.)

      Christelle - 2011-11-16 23:01

      Bobby, i agree with you, and most countries have sporting development starting very early - but for all the children. And I believe that is what Filike is talking about.

      Christelle - 2011-11-16 23:04

      Sorry, spelling error - Fikile:-)

      Blip - 2011-11-17 02:13

      Our active sportspeople are mostly under 30. The oldest of them would have been only 13 when Mandela became president. Some of the youngest weren't even born. The "disadvantaged" card has lost its power by now, after 17 years of deliberate quota/transformation advantages. All over the world there are luckier children who can attend better schools and have richer parents who can buy better equipment and pay for top coaches -- that's quite normal. As for a "sporting culture" -- that grows out of schools where many teachers, parents, past-pupils and ordinary community members happily step in to volunteer their time and skills to coach and umpire schoolkids and mark out sportsgrounds for free. It's this "community spirit" or "ubuntu" that really does the business -- not vast sums of money.

      Christelle - 2011-11-17 07:14

      Many things cannot be developed in 17 years. And that was not the point I was trying to make. I know that there are many countries where the poor do not necessarily get the opportunity to go to the better schools, coaching etc, and it will always be like that. But we are sitting with a very different past to those countries - they did not get their democracy 17 years ago.

      Blip - 2011-11-17 08:44

      17 years is MORE than enough to erase any backlogs and shortfalls. Wartime carpet-bombed Germany and utterly-nuked Japan were both back at the top and fully recovered in half that time. And nowhere on earth do ALL youngsters have absolutely equal opportunities. Wealthy people have more. That's just life, whether your in Andorra or Zanzibar. It's that way all over the globe and it's always been that way and always will.

      Christelle - 2011-11-17 11:51

      Blip, I appreciate your viewpoint, but all due respect - we are not talking about any country but South Africa. We are talking about the turn-around of 80% of our people and 17 years is nothing - especially considering the viewpoints of the likes of you and Malema. You are two sides of the same coin man.

  • Shoe - 2011-11-16 22:34

    Okay fine. How about if we consider putting you Fikile Mbalula, and Julius Malema in our long distance swimming team to make up the quota in National Swimming Squad and have you both swim from CT to Robben Island and back???

      Bobby - 2011-11-16 22:58

      Its getting boring

  • Cracker - 2011-11-16 23:26

    Let people enjoy their sporting activities of choice, as participants or spectators. Politicians should only be involved to the extent that they make laws to allow and enforce honesty in the financial affairs of sport. Keep politics and ministers out of normal human enjoyments or even disappointments.

  • Sedeshtra - 2011-11-16 23:28

    Don't you love the way he speaks? Such passion, such dignity... although I doubt that he understands what he says... Viva South Africa!

      Sean - 2011-11-17 00:46

      A Leopard Can't Change His Spots !

  • Ian - 2011-11-17 03:45

    representation does not win silverware nor achieve higher rankings, talent does

  • theodore.kok - 2011-11-17 05:48

    start with soccer idiot and ,the so claled national team suck big time and please why were you not at the airport when a white child came home with 23 gold medals , please stay out of sport and keep your zip up you are an ebarrasment and by the way were did your hear of the word 'slowness' damm and to think you get paid so much money,please invest in reading a good book every day it would improve your speech and your way of pronouncing the words.

  • Andre - 2011-11-17 06:07

    Finally someone in government has seen the bigger picture! Lets face it, we live in a global village. We compete with the rest of the world in everything that we do whether it is sport, industry etc. If we dont achieve excellence we should not compete. Affirmative action should be applied at the start of each process and not at the end. Subsidise better training and education instead of applying quotas that force us to settle for 2nd best.

      Christelle - 2011-11-17 06:53

      Unfortunately some of the people commenting here do not agree with you:-( And until that changes, our country will stay exactly where it is. I suppose they still go to the voting stations, looking for the name of the NATS on the voting ballot.......

      Ianm - 2011-11-17 08:45

      Yeah but start ALL sports education in schools. Extra mural activities must be compulsory and sport must be available in all schools, even the mud schools of Eastern Cape.

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2011-11-17 06:29

    A good way to transform soccer would be to encourage it in the former white schools. Not all the kids want to play rugby, why not offer them the opportunity to play the most popular game in the world. (Before you slate me, I'm not a soccer fan) Bafana is far too black, soccer represents a certain sector of the population - at least rugby and cricket are developing a black fan and player base. Mbalula is on the right track with his comments.

  • Theprodigy - 2011-11-17 08:07

    another politician that is all talk & no this space, this guy is going to put both feet in his mouth.

  • Jeff - 2011-11-17 08:19

    Every international sports body states that no political interference will be tolerated. Does this exclude south africa?

  • grenville.felton - 2011-11-17 08:46

    Fikile the philander here we go again have'nt we heard this before the minsiter before you and before that, Why fikle around with sports that are working. SA FOOTBALL there the problem talk about quota's SAY NO MORE. What have you and minister before done to rectify the poor state of football in this country. No amount of money will turn rural footballers in star, Academies need to be setup scouts need to be sent to ALL color and creed sport playing primary schools and natural talent needs to be found. There is natural talent out there but need a visionary to find them look at africa and south america and even europe most of these kids come from very poor back grounds but are snapped up by performaing clubs sent to academies. And at 14-16 year old are playing for major clubs. So WAKE UP FIKILE and our GOV.

  • The-third - 2011-11-17 08:50

    Sport does not need politics. If you are good enough you will make it, period.

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2011-11-17 08:51

    No you have done the talk. Now do the walk. That is what all sport lovers in SA are crying for. Develop more players. We want a bigger pool to choose from to send "simply the best". (thanks Tina) We just want to win and therefor the more the better. Just remember to develop more players means you must make the local competitions bigger and or more. If not, we going to have some players that is not going to get a change to show their ability because you can only choose so many in a team and or competition. So, money will also be needed. Can you imagine if all sport lovers have their own political party. We will not have these crap politics, currently going on, but o dear, we will work less. Always glued to tv's and we will be the biggest moaners when losing an election.LOL!!!!!

  • Bokfan - 2011-11-17 09:41

    This is definitely the space to watch. But before you get the vuvuzelas out lets see what else is on this agenda. Wanting the best is indeed making the right noises though.

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