South Africa

Mbalula focuses on boxing development

2015-05-20 15:07
Fikile Mbalula (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says he is serious about developing boxing at amateur level, detailing his plans ahead of the department’s budget vote in Parliament on Wednesday.

These include signing an agreement to develop boxing in the army, as part of Operation Victory Lap.

"You know that South Africa is very much behind when it comes to getting more medals out of boxing, which we can (win) at the Olympics," Mbalula told journalists.

"We are getting young people into the army to train for the army, but at the same time, training to become professional boxers.

"That is why India was number 1 at the Commonwealth (Games)."

He said the best athletes and boxers had come from the defence force, police and the mines in the past.

"Already now, we have some of the boxers training now.

"You will see the next 10 years or so, even less, five, some of the kids and young people who come through that (system)."

Mbalula told the media that the SA National Boxing Organisation would be the federation of the year and amateur boxing had been allocated R10 million.

There was also an intention to broadcast professional boxing on SABC television channels.

The minister recently came under fire on social media for attending the boxing match between Floyd 'Money' Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio in Las Vegas at the start of the month, with some questioning who had funded the trip.

He attended the boxing match in the United States on May 2 and his spokesperson Esethu Hasane told Beeld newspaper it was not an official visit.

Mbalula emphasised on Wednesday that sport development and transformation continued to be their apex priority and that this reflected in the budget vote.

"We are no longer sucking thumbs and talking transformation out of 10.

"We have got a programme of action," he said.

"Transformation is not going to be achieved over one day, but those who are blocking transformation; they must know we have got an appointment with them on a daily basis. There is no turning back."

Read more on:    fikile mbalula  |  boxing

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