Sports Minister Mbalula’s acceptance speech of EPG report
The Sports Minister today released the Eminent Persons Group on sport transformation.
PRETORIA - Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula today released the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report on sport transformation.
Read the full text of the minister's speech below:
Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Gert Oosthuizen
MECs for Sport and Recreation
Director-General of Sport and Recreation, Mr Alec Moemi
President of SASCOC, Mr Gideon Sam
CEO SASCOC, Mr Tubby Reddy
Representatives of Federations and Sports bodies
Members of the Eminent Persons Group on Sports Transformation
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media
Today I am pleased and delighted to receive the results of the third Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on Transformation in Sport Report for 2014/2015. This occasion also presents me with the opportunity to pronounce on the Transformation Barometer as submitted to me by the EPG in its dual capacity as an Advisory Committee and Transformation Commission.
The findings and outcomes of the report are presented to the 19 federations and the South African citizenry for public scrutiny, critical reflections and flawless execution by our federations and sport bodies. It is my intention to afford an opportunity to all the 19 sporting codes mentioned above to consider the findings and recommendations with a view to revert to me with individual barometers clearly spelling out transformation targets covering the next five years.
I have written to the 14 additional federations inviting them to present to me their barometer and prepare themselves for signing Memoranda of Agreements with the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa as a matter of urgency. These federations and sport bodies are Basketball, Chess, Table Tennis, Softball, Volleyball, Boxing, Hockey, Gymnastic, Swimming, Baseball, Rowing, Bowls, Juksei and Tennis.
You will recall, ladies and gentlemen, that the transformation status report referred to above covered Athletics South Africa, Cricket South Africa, South African Football Association, Netball South Africa and South African Rugby Union. These 'big five' federations provided the EPG Secretariat with information and data that was analyzed and thus enabling the EPG to interpret the data in line with our multi-dimensional score-card embedded in our transformation charter. It is on this basis that the EPG made its findings and recommendations to the Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa.
The findings and recommendations were announced at a public event in May 2015. Thereafter the five federations, had out of their own volition, signed a Memoranda of Agreements (MoA) with the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa in 2015. The MoA is premised on the transformation barometer with clear and concrete transformation targets and goals over the next five years. The MoA further delineates roles and responsibilities of each party to the agreement and stipulates punitive measures to be taken in the event of non-compliance.
I take this opportunity to remind you what these punitive measures entail. In the event of a federation failing to meet its own set transformation targets, it is within my right and prerogative to consider applying any of the following penalties:
- I may suspend or withdraw Government's funding to the said federation due to non-compliance;
- I may withdraw Government's recognition of the particular federation as a National Federation and where after I will publish such a decision in the Government Gazette;
- In essence, I may revoke the privilege of a federation to host and bid for major and mega international tournaments in the Republic and withdraw recognition of the said federation;
- I may withdraw the federation's opportunity to be awarded national colours via SASCOC to players who participate under the auspices of that particular federation in order to represent the Republic internationally and nationally;
- I may terminate the relationship and any co-operation between SRSA and the said federation due to non-compliance.
- Finally I may withdraw political support and endorsements for sponsorships.
Ladies and Gentlemen I am applying these measures informed by the urgent task for the sport sector to reconstruct the fragmented and deeply discriminatory sport and recreation landscape by establishing a unified sports system that is underpinned by the principles of democracy, equity, transparency, demographic representation, access and increased participation.
The third EPG Report reminds us and confirms that social reconstruction of our sport and recreation system has linkages to economic development in the context of global economies and competitiveness. This report offers respite from the suffocating prism through which we as South Africans view our past and present. At this hour of destiny, South Africa needs more than ever before, sport for development and peace. This report is about the future of South African sport provisioning and quality of opportunities to all sport-loving people of our beloved country.
The Transformation Charter, is the loadstar of the sport movement that draws our attention to the immediate and inevitable necessity for the Sport System to Transform for both Moral and Strategic imperatives:
- Morally: Because it is "the right thing to do" considering the grave injustices of the past; and
- Strategically; because of the reality that 84% of the country's under 18 year old population grouping is Black African and only 16% is white, Coloured and Indian. To ignore this strategic reality from sustainability perspective alone would be suicidal. Thus the reasons for sport organisations to transform rapidly have not only become compelling it had become fundamental.
I have applied my mind to the aforementioned reality and have taken into account the strides made by men and women within the sports movement to achieve transformation goals.
- I recognize and acknowledge the political will and tremendous efforts made by federations and sport bodies in the implementation of National Sport and Recreation Plan and its attendant Transformation Charter.
- It is not my intention to disrupt the momentum gained from the implementation of the Transformation Barometer and the global competitive edge of some federations and sports bodies.
- However, I am mindful of the urgent task for federations to move with speed in the direction of providing quality of opportunities and access to the youth of our country.
On the basis of the aforementioned reasons I have therefore resolved not to revoke punitive measures that may either paralyze our federations financially or deny opportunities to our athletes to compete continentally and globally.
I have therefore 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 federation, 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.
In respect of the South African Football Association, I am delighted that the SAFA has met its transformation targets. I will however issue a Ministerial directive to SAFA as a consequence of their poor drive to penetrate and roll-out football in former model C schools and private schools.
I am directing all federations and sport bodies to establish transformation committees and appoint transformation officers as cricket and rugby has done. These structures must be mainstreamed and be integrated in all business units of the federations and sport bodies.
I have issued the Director-General to convene a Special Heads of Departments meeting (HEDCOM) to consider the EPG Report implications on the recommendations pertaining to Government. These include but not limited to school sport, club development, funding for sport and facilities.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the transformation project must succeed as our Government directed the sport sector to among others:
- Promote social cohesion and nation building across society through increased interaction across race and class through sport.
- Advocate for transformation in sport and recreation.
- Develop talented athletes by providing them with opportunities to excel.
- Support high performance athletes to achieve success in international sport competitions.
- Increase by 10% annually the number of citizens accessing sport and recreation activities.
I end by expressing my gratitude and word of appreciation to Members of the Eminent Persons Group on Transformation in Sport, their invaluable contribution to the sport and recreation community. Their steady hand and unremitting endeavors places the sport movement on a progressive growth and development trajectory. The production of the third EPG transformation status report would not be possible had it not been for the diligent behind the scene work driven by Dr Basson and his team. The Director-General of Sport and Recreation SA has been a pillar of strength and support to the EPG in the last three years.
I am looking forward to the successful implementation of the EPG on Sport Transformation findings and recommendations. I believe that given the political will and support from Government at all spheres and the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), we will achieve an accessible, adequately funded, demographically representative and equitable, democratic and non-racial sporting landscape.