Minister concerned by rate of transformation in SA sport

Nathi Mthethwa (Gallo Images)
Nathi Mthethwa (Gallo Images)

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa is concerned over the lack of urgency in the transformation of South African sport. 

In a statement released by the department of sports, arts and culture on Friday, it was confirmed that Mthethwa had met with chairperson of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), Happy Ntshingila. 

The EPG, every year, is tasked with compiling a report that closely examines and documents the rate at which South African sporting bodies are facilitating transformation on all levels. 

It was the findings of the EPG report that, back in 2016, prompted then-sports minister Fikile Mbalula to ban the country's rugby, cricket, athletics and netball bodies from bidding for or hosting major international events because of their transformation results. 

In Friday's statement, relating to the findings in the 2019/20 EPG report, Mthethwa expressed concern over the state of transformation in sport.

"It was a frank and robust engagement that was held in good spirit," the statement read.

"Minister Mthethwa was concerned about the lack of implementation of the EPG team recommendations; and went as far as proposing an investigation on the enforcement mechanism including the possibility of using legislative instruments to ensure that all the transformation objectives are realised.  

"The report highlights that more than 50 percent of the audited federations have achieved their transformation targets.

"Black Africans and women are underrepresented in every sphere of South African sport.

"Less than 10 percent of the 25 000 schools participate in sport and the Minister emphasised that this needs major improvement.  

"The Minister raised his concern on the leadership and governance matters that have consistently undermined the development and transformation of sport in the country.

"He highlighted the urgent need for a fundamental discussion of re-imagining sport in the country, a major part of that being transformation.   

"The Minister also added that we must sharpen our tools for recruitment of talent in townships and rural areas, where a majority of talented athletes come from."

- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard 

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