Mbalula: No transformation in sports bodies means no funding
He says the department will only reconsider the decision after the results of the 2016/2017 barometer.
JOHANNESBURG - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says he'll withdraw funding from South Africa's major sports bodies if transformation targets are not met.
Earlier today, the minister delivered a major blow to Athletics South Africa, SA Rugby, Cricket South Africa and Netball SA, announcing their rights to host possible upcoming international tournaments have been withdrawn over their failure to reach transformation targets.
He says the department will only reconsider the decision after the results of the 2016/2017 barometer and that a host of other punitive measures will be implemented for any further non-compliance.
Mbalula these measure will affect some of the smaller codes.
"We can also impose the native measure of withdrawing funding. It will affect netball, athletics and everybody else there except the big three. My perception was let's give them time so that they can go back to the drawing board and do exactly what needs to be done."
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The sports minister says no sporting code can host a major event without the blessing of government.
Mbalula says the department is well within its rights to impose the measures.
"There's no federation in this country that can host any mega event without government, there's nothing that will happen, they can't organise anything and it is absolutely within the law, our right and what we can do."
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Mbalula also says action taken against sporting federations that have failed to meet transformation targets is part of a five-year agreement reached with bodies.
He says the action shouldn't come as a surprise as sporting associations knew there would be consequences if they didn't meet the set targets.
"It's like the World Cup where we had a big dream and today we wake up and we think we must punish, no. Federations themselves understand what we are about and what we are doing."
Mbalula says there is a will to transform but federations need to do more.
"The progress we have noted that they are making is equally important, we must know that, they must do more and with all our support. Should there be resistance, we will double up on the punitive measures.
Meanwhile, renowned Sports Physiologist Dr Ross Tucker says transformation has failed at grassroots levels and says the targets at professional level is contrived.
"To force the teams to look a different way… that for me is an inefficient and I don't look at the rugby side and say there should be more black players today because there aren't any to pick from in many instances for that national coach or for that Super Rugby coach. So the failure is coming up from the bottom, not happening where you see it on the shop window or on television."
To read Mbalula's full report On Sport Transformation, click here.