The opinion expressed by Mr Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, that sport in South Africa needs more transformation goes to show that the ANC government does not comprehend the value and contribution made by sport to the country.
The Minister was responding to the annual Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report on transformation in sport and expressed that South African sport is not doing enough to promote transformation.
The FF Plus is of the opinion that that transformation quotas, which are based on race instead of skill, actually detract from social cohesion and nation building. Sport teams must be selected based on merit so that the best possible team can compete in the various sport codes, regardless of race.
The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture should do more to develop sport and to ensure that all communities are introduced to the different sport codes.
Sport conditioning should be promoted on primary school level already. The Department is making no attempt whatsoever to ensure that sport skills are stimulated and developed in children at a young age.
The Department itself confirmed that less than 10% of all South African schools are practicing sports. If the Department promoted skills development at a young age on provincial and local levels at schools and clubs, then players on amateur and professional levels would have the necessary skills to be selected for teams based on merit.
The FF Plus further takes note with concern of Netball South Africa’s strange step to not approve three of the top teams in the national league because they reportedly do not meet district requirements. The fact that Netball South Africa made this decision right after the EPG report was published is suspicious.
It is extremely alarming that the professional netball players of three of the country’s top teams will not be able to participate in the national league, particularly while success in the 2023 netball world cup tournament seems to be within reach if one takes their recent performances into account.