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ON AUGUST 29 we, as the Ministry of Sport and Recreation in South Africa, installed the new board of Boxing South Africa, which will serve the boxing community for the next three years.
The installation of the board follows the timely appointment of the CEO, Moffat Qithi.
This signals the sense of urgency with which the ministry views the immediate task of transforming and developing boxing.
We are convinced that under chairperson Ngconde Balfour we will, together with all the stakeholders in boxing, form a formidable team that is charged with the responsibility of reviving boxing to its former glory.
On a lighter note, we wish to confirm that it is true that the former minister, Mr Balfour, cut his hair. He has a very nice hairstyle, in keeping with his new role at BSA.
On a serious note, the chairperson and his board have the mammoth task of focusing their attention on the interest of the boxers.
We need to join hands with the board and other stakeholders in putting the interests of all the boxers at the heart of all our programmes and campaigns. We are convinced of the board's willingness and preparedness to carry this mandate to its logical conclusion.
South Africans long for the days when the nation would wake up in the early hours of the morning or at the crack of dawn to watch boxing beamed to our television screens. We took great pleasure in watching the likes of Dingaan Thobela, Welcome Ncita, Brian Mitchell, Jacob Matlala, Jan Bergman, Pierre Coetze, Johnny du Plooy, Ditau Malefyane, Thulani Malinga, Arthur Mayisela and many more.
Thanks to those faces and voices of the likes of Bert Blewett, towering legends like Stan Christodoulou, Mzi Mnguni, Harold Volbrecht, Rodney Berman and Hlapane Masitenyane.
We want to bring back the glory of boxing through a decisive commitment to strong leadership and quality management.
We want this team to work with provinces to bring sport to our community centres, institutions of learning and other centres where sport can be played and displayed.
We want to see provinces working with BSA, SABC, SuperSport and gentle media and promoters to ensure we get a beautiful picture in our lounges.
I must again congratulate BSA for taking decisive action by punishing those boxers who don't make an effort to profile the sport. A case in point is the decision they took on national champion Tshepang Mohale, who gave the sport bad publicity by being floored in a fight of little significance.
It is wrong for a champion to be so tired within three ordinary rounds in a fight. We want to have quality output in terms of our boxing. We can't allow boxers to do that.
We must now action our programme by convening the boxing indaba. Boxing must shine. We want all our boxers who excelled in boxing during the amateur ranks being taken good care of and being given necessary guidance and support to reach the national ranking stages and thus progressing to the international stage. And the most important aspect of this is discipline.
Good luck to the new board of BSA. Tsela - tshweu banna le basadi! - Fikile Mbalula is Sports Minister