Mbalula pledges over R600 mln to developing SA sports

The sports minister also allocated R300 million to facilities in townships and rural areas.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has pledged over R600 million to developing South African sports.

Mbalula delivered his 2016/2017 budget in Parliament earlier today.

He says one of the main focuses is improving transformation, adding that he will not retreat from imposing strict penalties on federations that do not comply.

The budget had been increased from R979 million to R1,028 billion for the next year.

Minister Mbalula says 66 percent of the sports budget has been allocated to grassroots development.

"It is only through optimal investment towards development that we will truly achieve transformation in sports."

With transformation and development the definitive theme of his speech, Mbalula reiterated that the revoked rights of four federations would stand after failing to meet transformation targets.

"I'm forging ahead with the penalties imposed on athletics, cricket, netball and rugby based on their failure to meet their own set targets."

The minister also allocated R300 million to facilities in townships and rural areas while stating the department would be handing out ministerial bursaries for talented athletes spotted in 2015.