Remarks of the Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), Honourable Mr Fikile Mbalula (MP), on the occasion of the Signing Ceremony for the 4th World Conference on Doping in Sport 2013, Johannesburg, Michelangelo Hotel, Gauteng Province, Republic of South Africa
26 Mar 2012
Deputy Minister SRSA, Mr G Oosthuizen
All Members of the Executive Councils (MECs) present here today
Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Mr Parks Tau
Members of the Mayoral Committee and all Councillors present here
Directors General of the Republic of South Africa who are present here this morning
Leadership of the Sport Councils
National Federations Presidents and representatives present here, Representatives of World Anti-Doping Agency who joined us to grace this important occasion
All representatives of SASMA, SAIDS and CDA who graced us with their important presence
Sports men and women
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
Fellow South Africans
In 2001, South Africa hosted the International intergovernmental Consultative Group on Doping in Sport and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive committee meeting. In November 2013, the Republic of South Africa will be hosting a first ever World Conference on Doping in Sport on African soil, here in Johannesburg. This is the third WADA meeting in South Africa after Johannesburg together with the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) hosted the first of three Education Symposia in November 2011.
The November 2011 symposium was aimed at providing a necessary platform for anti-doping education experts and scholars across the world to assist 37 African countries to assess their anti-doping education needs and receive valuable material and guidance on education programmes and strategies in the fight against doping in sport across Africa.
Ladies and Gentlemen, on 7 July 2011, the Ministry of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) entered into an official agreement with the WADA by signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with its President, Mr John Fahey. One of the conditions in the MOA was for the SRSA to enter into a separate Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) stipulating an interest to host; and the roles and responsibilities of the two organisations in hosting the WADA Conference in November 2013.
Today, therefore, is an official appointment of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality as a host city to host on behalf of SRSA the 2013 Anti-Doping Conference to be held at Sandton Convention Centre in November. We are this morning entrusting the CoJ with the responsibility for organisation, staging and hosting of the Conference in accordance with the Agreement signed between WADA and SRSA, and under the guidance of WADA and SRSA.
SRSA is today also officially delegating its obligation; in terms of this Agreement we would sign this afternoon, to the CoJ to host the Conference. We will however, remain solely responsible as well as WADA for the undertakings made in the MOA between WADA and SRSA.
Ladies and Gentlemen, SRSA has taken the responsibility to bid for the hosting of this Conference in South Africa to showcase our commitment to the struggle against doping in sport. Since the inception of WADA, South Africa has shown total interest and uncompromising support for the fight against doping in sport especial the World Anti-doping Code.
In order to show this total interest and uncompromising stance against doping in sport, South Africa has since signed a number of International Agreements that are solely aimed at the war against doping in sport. We signed the Copenhagen Declaration on Anti-Doping in Sport, ratified the UNESCO Convention on Doping as well as represented Africa with diligence in both the WADA Executive Committee and Foundation Board.
Our country has also provided leadership in Africa in the implementation of the Anti-Doping Strategies and became a leading example in the fight against Doping in Sport, we have also contributed immensely in the resource mobilisation for other ‘poor African countries’ that lack necessary resources to fund our glorious war against doping in sport.
The good work done in our country against drug and alcohol abuse by our sister departments of health, education as well as the police are a testimony to the commitment displayed by the government of the Republic of South Africa in the war against substance abuse.
The South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) and the Central Drug Authority (CDA) are one of the leading institutes in the world in the fight against substance abuse in sport and in education as well as in broader society.
As we continue to learn from the information widely distributed by WADA in order for countries to effectively implement the Anti-Doping education programmes by Anti-Doping Organisations; SAIDS and CDA have shown their commitment in this cause and assisted in mobilising communities behind the vision drug free society and put education and awareness programmes at the centre of their strategies.
As the Director of Education and Programme Development of WADA Mr Rob Koehler articulates that: “Education is a powerful tool in the fight against doping in sport; (such for a, like the November 2011 Symposium (and the Anti-doping Conference in November 2013) allow us to better understand the needs of the Africa and the world and to share our knowledge with those in the field in Africa (and the Diaspora)”
Hence by submitting our intention to host this historic conference in an African soil was our noble display of our seriousness to join hands with the peoples of the World, Africa and the Diaspora in the battle to fight a disease that is killing the principle of fair play in our beloved sport. With the increasing number of school going age youngsters in South Africa who are found using Doping to gain advantage against their competitors is a cause for concern.
This conference shall work as our embroiled commitment in this noble cause of rooting-out all forms of unfair play in sport including doping and cheating. We will use this conference to mobilise society against doping especially in school sport as we roll-out the schools sport programme this year.
It is because of this track record as displayed above through our actions and commitment that, on 21 November 2010, WADA Foundation Board selected SRSA as the host and organiser of the conference on the basis of our bid submitted and our track record which speaks for itself.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the success of the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup also contributed to making South Africa a preferred place for sport and recreation activities. Leaders of the world especially in sport, economics and politics have chosen South Africa as a destination for meetings, conferences, investment, and tourism in particular sport tourism. What we need to do is to invest more on activities that will continue to put South Africa on the top of the global map for visitation and conferencing with a special reference to sport and recreation.
As our athletes will be participating in the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics Games in July this year, they must put our Anti-Doping Flag high on the sports fields of London. They should play fair and commit themselves in good behaviour and anti-doping way of living. We will also go to London to make sure that the work of WADA, world-wide, is gaining momentum as all South African athletes won’t involve themselves in any activity that will embarrass the country and the sport.
As the President of WADA, the Honourable John Fahey, AC, puts it: “It is important that WADA evolves with the times in order to meet the challenges presented by an ever-changing world and in particular the growing sophistication of those who dope and those who help them dope”
We are therefore with this official signing of this Agreement recommit our country in the fight against doping and that South Africa and the City of Johannesburg will raise the anti-doping flag in sport into higher heights.
Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
26 Mar 2012
[ Top ]