Netball SA's board not balanced to meet transformation criteria

This week Fikile Mbalula revoked the privileges of some sporting codes for over transformation targets.

Netball South Africa. Picture: Facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - Netball South Africa says the federation's board has not transformed and they intend to change this.

On Monday, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula announced that he would revoke the privileges of various sporting codes, including Netball South Africa for failing to meet their transformation targets and he will review his decision in 2017.

Mbalula's decision comes after he received a report from the eminent persons group on transformation.

Netball South Africa CEO Blanche de La Guerre says, "Our board at the moment, due to resignations and retirements, is not balanced but the process is in place and we showed Dr. Basson and he agreed but it fell outside of the period of the report given. So in our next period that will be fixed."

At the same time, Athletics South Africa (ASA) President Aleck Skhosana has said he agrees with the steps taken by Mbalula regarding transformation in sport.

Skhosana said the issue must be taken seriously.

"What has been introduced is very good. You can't talk from 1994 about transformation and you become a toothless dog."

He said this move by the minister will not only benefit the ASA, but the country's sport as a whole.

"What the department, Eminent Persons Group (EPG) and South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee have done is quite a good exercise. I'm not saying that it's only good for ASA; it is good for sport."

Meanwhile, former cricket chief Dr Ali Bacher said that in 2006 he urged Springbok rugby executives to pay more attention to transformation.

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

Bacher said 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."

'THE MINISTER'S ACTIONS ARE ILLEGAL'

The Freedom Front plus has condemned the announcement by the minister that four sports federations will not be allowed to host any international tournaments due to a lack of transformation.

The party's Anton Alberts said the minister's choice was ill-considered and that it showed that he was happy with Bafana Bafana, even though the team only had one or two white or players of colour per game.

The party further said that Minister Mbalula's actions are illegal in terms of international sport bodies' rules.

Alberts said a quota system in sports would be illegal.

"The FF Plus views the minister's actions as uncalled for and illegal. In terms of the South African Constitution, we have seen that quotas are illegal, especially in the labour dispensation, so there is no reason it would not be illegal in sport. It takes away the merit nature of sport."

He said they will contact international sporting federations.

"We will be writing letters to those international sporting federations to make them aware that what the minister has done and ask them to take very stern action against the African National Congress government."