Sports to support grass-root development

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cape Town – Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula says a majority of his department’s budget will be set aside to support grass-root development.

When the Minister tabled his Budget Vote in Parliament, on Thursday, he announced that school sport, a programme that he has been passionate about ever since he was appointed in the sport portfolio, would get a lion’s share from his budget allocation.

“Currently there are about 24 000 schools in South Africa, constituted by about 12.2 million learners.

“Of these schools, 18 786 are registered to participate in the league system. As a department we intend to set aside 25% of our budget which is approximately R400 million for schools sport development,” he said.

The school sport programme has been seen as key to unearthing talent and transforming the sport industry across all sports codes.

He said the school sport was a non-negotiable mandate for the department.

“It is from this programme that we seek to identify talent, to harness, incubate, nurture and develop it to the elite performance level.

“We will also continue to integrate the rest of the priority sporting codes and indigenous games into the school sport system over the medium-term and to pursue the alignment of the school code structures and the federation structures,” he said.

He said his department would team up with the Department of Basic Education to empower educators in code specific coaching, technical officiating, team management and sports administration through the federations and in line with the SA Coaching Framework. 

The Minister also said that his department was implementing norms and standards with regards to the specifications of what can be purchased and distributed regarding sports equipment and consumables.

“A further challenge in delivering sport in schools is the shortage of suitable sporting equipment and apparel. In some cases when schools do get equipment it is of inferior quality, despite the exorbitant prices being charged by service providers,” he said.

The Minister said, meanwhile, that transformation in sport remained a sore point, and that government would not rest until the Transformation Charter has been fully implemented by all sports federations.

He said most federations have, despite his efforts to engage them on various platforms, tried to shift goalposts with transformation talks often degenerating to quotas. –



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