Sport will be scrutinised: Minister

2012-06-08 14:44

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula warned sports federations that they were being watched “with an eagle eye” to ensure transformation was taking place.

“Everyone must know Big Brother is watching and no one is going to escape this thing,” he told reporters in Cape Town after the first meeting of the Eminent Persons Group on Transformation in SA.

“Sport must be enjoyed by everyone. In 10 to 20 years time, I’m hoping it will never be necessary to raise the issue of representation again.”

The newly-formed transformation commission would be responsible for analysing gaps in all sporting codes and making sure a quota system, agreed to at the National Sport and Recreation Indaba, was implemented.

Mbalula said South Africa had inherited federations that had been run as “cartels and fiefdoms”, where governance and accountability were foreign principles.

He had tasked the commission’s chairperson Somadoda Fikeni and his deputy Ria Ledwaba with changing this situation.

They would report back to the department every quarter to “name and shame” those who blatantly defied progression.

The commission would also keep an eye on government.

“School sport is a bedrock of what government must achieve. We live in a country where, out of 100 students coming out of the disadvantaged schooling system, only one will progress to high performance sport,” he said.

Mbalula said it was time for South Africa to move past academic debates on transformation and begin acting.

“Let us open this Pandora’s box together. Let us open this can of worms together. Let us open this wound before it is septic as a team. However, remember (that) what we undo together must be restored to its former glory or improved by us, together.”

The other members of the commission are Sam Ramsamy, Marion Keim Lees, Silas Nkanunu, Tim Noakes, Nomfanelo Magwentshu, Willie Basson and Qondisa Ngwenya.

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