Speakers’ Notes of the Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), Honourable Mr Fikile Mbalula (MP), on the occasion of the meeting with the Western Cape Business people, Century City, Crystal Tours Hotel, Western Cape Province, Republic of South Africa
8 Mar 2012
The January 2011 Strategic Planning Workshop (StratPlan) of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) together with all the Members of Executive Councils (MEC’s) as well as the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) including Sport Federations held in Misty Hills, Gauteng Province was a watershed moment for Sport and Recreation in the Republic of South Africa.
This Strategic Planning Workshop provided the foundation faster change in sport and recreation in South Africa, and made a positive impact on the quality of sport and recreation system in our country.
In this regard, the Strategic Planning Workshop had extensive discussions and conclusions on issues related to transformation, schools sport, facilities, funding and etc. Key to this was the proposal to host the first ever National Sport and Recreation Indaba in the Republic.
At the centre of the strategy to deal with the aforementioned programmes was the matter of levelling the playing field in sport and recreation in South Africa. In this regard, SRSA held a National Sport and Recreation Indaba (NSRI) in November 2011.
The National Sport and Recreation Indaba (NSRI) affirmed the need to intensify the transformation agenda in sport and recreation using schools as incubators for development. It re-affirmed the centrality of schools as bedrock for sport development in our country whilst at the same time confirming schools sport as the important grassroots participation platform in ensuring that sport development is achieved and fulfils the mission of SRSA.
The Sport Indaba stated without equivocation that there should be a structured schools sport programme with dedicated schools sport structures in line with schools’ sport leagues.
It is therefore our collective responsibility to embrace this and provide leadership towards the realisation of this dream. Only through our collective efforts we will achieve a qualitative and sound schools sport system in South Africa.
In the same token the National Sport Indaba re-affirmed the strategic importance of Sports Hubs and also affirmed that it is through the collective wisdom of the people of South Africa as well as private sector to build strong and functioning sports hubs across the country.
It further recognised the importance of rewarding excellence through a well organised South Africa Sports Awards, and committed the SRSA to organise a bigger and better SA Sports Awards for 2012.
It also recognised the steps taken to improve the performance of our national teams and athletes through opening access, efforts for greater integration and coordination of all sport structures and systems.
It lastly acknowledged progress made since 1994, and called on all stakeholders to redouble their efforts and commitments to address the persistent disparities in sport and recreation in the Republic.
Thank you very much for affording us the opportunity to address this august occasion of business people and all our strategic partners in the sports and recreation fraternity.
We asked all of you to gather in this room this afternoon to interact with us and other strategic stakeholders in sport and recreation to partner in making sport accessible and fashionable for millions of South Africans.
We do this fully aware of your busy schedules to look after the health of your businesses and private programmes. However, we saw it necessary to disturb your very urgent programmes in an effort to engage with you in order to confront pertinent challenges that are facing sport development in our country, and challenges that are facing our sport men and women in the Republic.
Today, we are encouraged by the majority of business people contribution towards the development of sport and recreation in South Africa and by all the initiatives put in place by the democratic state since the 1994 democratic dispensation for the participation of all South Africans in the affairs of the country, including in sport and recreation.
Ladies and Gentlemen, progress has been made since 1994 in sport and recreation, however, more still needs to be done to level the playing field in sport. We still witness an inaccessible and unequal landscape in sport as well as lack of a fully funded sport development system in the Republic. Therefore, this sport administration has been given a mandate to correct these imbalances of the past.
In fast-tracking the implementation of such a mandated, SRSA held its StratPlan workshop in January 2011 at Misty Hills in Johannesburg. The workshop adopted a Road Map to Optimal Performance and Functional Excellence with five key strategic priorities that included transformation, schools sport, mass mobilisation and recreation, institutional mechanisms and funding.
To concretely implement these strategic imperatives, the delegates at the November 2011 Sports Indaba charged the government and the civil society to move with speed in improving the sporting environment, access to facilities and sustained development.
In this context we would like to call upon all the private sector, companies and businesses as well as civil society to join hands with us in the Schools Sport programme anchored on three important components:
- Physical Education
- Top School Leagues, and
- Youth Olympics.
SRSA regards schools sport as‘bedrock’ of sport development in South Africa. We would like to partner with us in the roll-out of Schools Sport. We want schools in South Africa to be incubators and nurseries for sport development and talent identification. We want to use schools sport as a platform to encourage social integration and integrated social inclusion.
As from this year 2012 onwards, we commit ourselves to maximise access to sport, recreation and physical education in every school in the Republic.
We have identified schools sport as a strategic opportunity for sport development and talent identification. In this regard we have developed an Integrated School Sport Delivery Framework that is being implemented in 2012 and beyond.
At the same time, SRSA and the Department of Basic Education are mobilising schools and society to register their schools’ teams to participate in the Leagues’ five competitions categories that will ultimately lead to the National School Festivals for all the winning schools.
For an example, schools will be required to participate in Intra-School Competitions, Inter-School Level competitions, District Level Competitions, Provincial Competitions, and National Competition.
We are therefore here to appeal to all business people and private companies to put their valuable time and money to support all our young athletes’ especially in schools and further assist our educators with the necessary coaching and officiating skills as well as sport administration and management, among other things.
In this regard, through the SRSA partnership with the Department of Basic Education and other key stakeholders, we agreed to prioritise and magnify this programme. We are launching the Magnificent Wednesdays. This Wednesday programme will be used as a vehicle that will drive the School Sport Programme for the country on a weekly basis. This is an ambitious yet achievable programme where major business faculty is needed to inject more financial and kind support for a better South Africa.
By doing this we believe that Investment in education and sport are not parallel, they are dialectically intertwined Corporate Social Investment of business entities should be channelled to priority areas, particularly on school sport.
We would like to use this available platform to exchange ideas on how we, together with you, can fast-track the implementation of our national sports and recreation plan. We hope to discuss with you new modern ways of developing modern sport clubs and teams. We want to share experiences with you on how to use modern technology to advance sport development especially at the level of schools, clubs and federations.
In the same token SRSA together with SAFA will utilise the FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust Fund to roll-out the construction of artificial football fields to be utilised to roll-out the implementation of Regional Sports Hubs. These hubs will take the form of the construction of Multi-purpose centres, High Performance Centres as well as Sports Academies across the country especially in rural and neglected areas.
We would therefore like to continue and maximise our efforts in the spirit of the Indaba and build on that foundation for a well-rounded and a sound sport system in our country.
We will do so determined to alter the balance of forces in sport and recreation landscape towards a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous sport and recreation system in the Republic, because we believe that seventeen years in our democratic dispensation South African sport is still faced with a huge backlog in terms of transformation, our national teams are still predominantly unrepresentative, distribution of facilities is still skewed and access not open to all.
As an ‘active and winning nation’, SRSA held first ever South African Sports Awards in October 2012. The SA Sports Awards is a platform to celebrate excellence; rewarding achievement in sport and recreation and well-designed recognition of luminaries in and off the field of sport.
SRSA together with SABC and SASCOC organised a very successful SA Sport Awards for our country. We therefore want to host a bigger and better Awards in October 2012. To do this successfully, we are here to also mobiles partners towards this historic event.
We therefore urge business to partner with us by contributing towards the success of the SA Sport Awards or Adopt a Sport as a token of appreciation of ‘a winning nation’, or/and Adopt a Hub as a symbol of promoting ‘an active nation’.
In conclusion, these challenges effectively define the need to transform the sport and recreation landscape in South Africa for the better. The transformation of the sport and recreation system intended by the Ministry of SRSA is a far-reaching process and it needs the support of the entire South African nation in particular and our broader society in general, especially the private sector and business community.
Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
8 Mar 2012
[ Top ]