Pretoria - Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile and Mbalula on Monday reminded the sporting world and country of the power that the government possesses when he announced that certain federations had been barred from hosting or bidding for international tournaments due to a lack of transformation.
“There is no federation in this country that can host any mega event without government. There is nothing that will happen. They can’t organise anything. It is within the law and our rights and there is nothing they can do,” Mbalula told reporters in Pretoria.
He was speaking after an announcement that he had suspended the privileges of SA Rugby, Cricket South Africa and Athletics SA from bidding for international tournaments due to lack of transformation.
"I have resolved to revoke the privilege of Athletics South Africa (ASA), Cricket South Africa (CSA), Netball South Africa (NSA) and South African Rugby (SARU) to host and bid for major and mega international tournaments in the Republic of South Africa as a consequence of the aforementioned federations, not meeting their own set transformation targets with immediate effect. I will review this decision when considering the results of the 2016/2017 Transformation Barometer,” he said.
Mbalula said the sporting federations had committed on targets for transformation but had subsequently failed to meet them. He said the move to revoke the privileges was among a few punitive measures that can be implemented against them.
He added that the federations could continue playing abroad but warned that failure to comply to the set targets would have monumental consequences.
“We can also impose a punitive measure of withdrawing funding; it will affect Netball, Athletics except the big three. In my decision I thought let’s give them time so that they can go back to the drawing boards and do exactly what needs to be done. They cannot host [international tournaments] but they can travel. The only time they can’t travel abroad is when we withdraw national colours, that is heavy. It means you cannot participate anywhere in the world representing the country,” said Mbalula.
He said the penalties imposed would be reviewed next but it there was no change to the system then the punishment would be elevated. He added that all federations had signed agreements on targets and it was not something forced down their throats.
“We have the political will and buy-in of all the federations. There is nobody tomorrow who will say we are going to court. They can go to court but they are going to be defeated because the by-in comes from the federations and they have committed themselves on the targets, it’s not imposed on them. Our approach has been to say get the political will, get the by-in, transformation must happen and the punitive measures are known by everybody,” he said.