SA Sports Awards costs exaggerated – Mbalula

2013-05-21 18:03

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Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula has rubbished reports that the annual SA Sports Awards would cost R65 million, saying it was an exaggeration.

“I think it’s a deliberate propaganda to smear the good things that we do,” he said during a visit to two Cape Town schools today where he distributed sports equipment as part of his department’s activities leading up to the budget vote on Thursday.

“Sports awards is an integral premier programme of our work and I will not apologise for making it happen for our athletes and the raising of the profile of sports in South Africa,” he said.

Mbalula handed over sports equipment at iQhayiya Secondary School in Khayelitsha, accompanied by outgoing SA cricket coach Gary Kirsten and Olympian marathon runner Lusapho April.

He also visited Tafelsig High in Mitchell’s Plain.

Said Mbalula: “Most of the kids play but they don’t have equipment. In our own projections we can even do better if we get the budget to build facilities in different communities – in fact that should reside with us (as opposed to local government).”

He said the results of his department’s contribution to sports development would reflect during the schools sports championships, which takes place later this year. “The little we do will get us somewhere.”

On the SA Sports Awards, Mbalula said R21 million had been budgeted.

“The R44 million comes from broadcasting through live broadcasting (of the awards) from SABC and SuperSport.”

Mbalula argued that “we are accused when we are actually investing a lot in sport development”.

“More than a quarter of the budget is spent on sports development.”

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