Athletics SA fail to meet transformation targets

Tokozile Xasa (Minister of Sport and Recreation) during the Minister of Sport hosting a Special Breakfast with Banyana Banyana at Garden Court Nelson Mandela Boulevard on January 16, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Tokozile Xasa (Minister of Sport and Recreation) during the Minister of Sport hosting a Special Breakfast with Banyana Banyana at Garden Court Nelson Mandela Boulevard on January 16, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

Athletics SA (ASA) were named and shamed as the only one among the top five federations who failed to meet their own transformation targets.

This was revealed by Sport Minister Tokozile Xasa when she released the 6th Eminent Persons Report (EPG) on transformation in Pretoria on Tuesday where she also confirmed that SA Rugby‚ Cricket South Africa (CSA)‚ Netball South Africa (NSA) and the South African Football Association (Safa) met their targets.

According to the latest report‚ SA Rugby‚ CSA‚ NSA‚ who all have World Cup commitments later this year‚ met 50 percent or more percent of their targets.

A concerned Xasa said she would schedule a meeting with ASA‚ who are repeat offenders‚ to find out why they have failed to meet their targets.

“We have top five federations and ASA are the only ones who have failed to meet their targets‚” she said after releasing the report.

“But we have said that let's give them the benefit of the doubt.

"We have to understand why they did not meet their targets and beyond that we will issue a directive from there.

"We believe that athletics is too important for us not to act on what is happening.

"What is even more worrying is that they did not meet their targets last year‚” she said.

Xasa added that nine of South Africa's 19 sporting federations reached the minimum requirement of being 50% transformed.

Sports Ministry Director General Alec Moemi said if ASA’s explanation does not satisfy Xasa‚ the athletics federation could face serious penalties.

“There are penalties and the first one is withdrawal of funding‚" he said.

"The second is stopping them from bidding and hosting international events‚ which we have used before.

"We can also withdraw national colours and the minister has the power to invoke her powers of political premium where she has leverage on advocating for sponsorships.”

Xasa also put sharp focus on the issue of school sports and said that they are putting together new strategies to improve participation at this level.

She warned that federations who continue to ignore or deny opportunities to black children would suffer the consequences as the statistics show that 84 percent of under 18s in the country are black African.

“School sport remains a major factor that impacts on the rate and extent of transformation‚" she said.

"It is the bedrock of our entire development continuum and a necessary foundation to aid us to achieve this momentous task.

"To support longer-term sport planning initiatives‚ we need to consciously invest in school sport to increase the pipeline of our sporting codes.

“It is for this reason that 40% of our conditional grant to all the nine provinces is ring-fenced for school sport initiatives‚ including leagues and support in the form of playing equipment and attire as well as competitions.

"Key to this lies on better alignment and coordination.”

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