Ali Bacher calls for speedy transformation in sports

He says government had been tolerant with the slow pace of transformation for a number of years.

Ali Bacher. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Former cricket chief Dr Ali Bacher says that in 2006 he urged Springbok rugby executives to pay more attention to transformation.

Yesterday, the Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula was handed the EPG report on transformation, before delivering a host of directives to 19 of the country's biggest sporting codes.

Mbalula delivered a major blow to Athletics South Africa, SA Rugby, Cricket South Africa and Netball SA today, announcing that their rights to host upcoming international tournaments would be withdrawn after failing to reach their transformation targets.

LISTEN: Mbalula bans SA biggest sporting codes from bidding for major sporting events.

He says the department will reconsider the decision after the results of the 2016/2017 transformation barometer.

Bacher says that government had been tolerant with the slow pace of transformation for a number of years.

"There was a board meeting in 2006 with all the presidents, coaches, Saru, Jack White was also there and our members say the government has been very patient. We need to move quickly on transformation otherwise it will come back at us."

At the same time, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) has blasted Mbalula's decision to prevent different sporting codes from hosting major events, saying he does not have the power to take unilateral decisions, and needs Cabinet approval.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says the minister's decision is shocking and may come back to bite him if the matter is taken up in court.

Holomisa says the decision was taken unilaterally.

"Without even having a Cabinet decision on that as well as the affected sports code, this self-aggrandisement has to come to a stop. How are we going to react if the South African Rugby Union takes us to court or even reports political interference?"

To read Mbalula's full report on Sport Transformation, click here.