SASCOC show the way
Sound sporting governance, an ever closer working relationship with the Department of Sport and Recreation and further developments in the Athletics South Africa matter were just three of the developments to emerge from SASCOC’s General Assembly meeting in East London on Saturday.
On the athletics front, following the February sanctioning of ASA trio Leonard Chuene, Kakata Moponyane and Simon Dlamini after they were found guilty on a number of charges, the SASCOC General Assembly on Saturday unanimously endorsed the sanctions as provided by Advocate Norman Arendse and gave a mandate that ASA should now hold general elections to re-elect the vacant positions of President and Vice-President.
SASCOC CEO Tubby Reddy confirmed the mandate from the Assembly in this regard and said that ASA would now receive a directive from South Africa’s Olympic governing body to hold fresh elections for the vacant positions affected, using the ASA constitution and, while ensuring that the relevant notice period is adhered to, complete the process as soon as possible so that athletics can be administered properly.
Also at the meeting was the Honourable Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula who in his keynote address emphasised the
fact that SASCOC and the Department of Sport and Recreation were already in close alignment and that the relationship would grow ever closer. “We can unashamedly and boldly state that there is general consensus and a common agenda of what needs to be done,” said the Minister.
“From as early as November 10, 2010 we had robust engagement with SASCOC leadership and management and we also met a number of SASCOC federations in January to obtain personally information on future plans and direction… thereafter we will be having closer and regular engagement to drive the matters on our agenda to their logical conclusion.”
Mbalula also warned about the perils of infighting prevalent in sport. “We want the people of South Africa to know the percentage of the total budget Federations spend on court cases as opposed to sports development and transformation.” He went further to say corruption must be stamped out and he will not protect anyone found guilty.
“These issues are raised because of the negative tendencies and disturbing trends we have observed unfolding in our codes. We have a responsibility to protect our national codes. Previously our fight was against apartheid and we defeated the apartheid regime but now our fight is against under-development and resistance to transformation.”
Referring to national sporting pride Mbalula went on to say: “We must never doubt our South African teams and mustn’t dampen our youngsters’ spirit. Every national team that leaves these shores must have the nation behind them.”
“Importantly, should we win the battle of patriotism, development will take place on its own.”
SASCOC president Gideon Sam said the basic cornerstone of sporting excellence was good governance. The ills of SA sport can be traced back to administration. If the leadership is weak then our sport is weak. My anxiety at SASCOC is that of marketing. We have big federations and small federations and the problem is that the big ones do their own thing and then the corporate world can cherry pick where they want to put their money and the small federations get nothing.
“What we need to do is to collectively market ourselves.”
Sam also warned that the days of relying on funding from the National Lottery are not guaranteed. “I have bad news for you,” he told the Federations. “The amount of money to distribute has dwindled in the last three years by 33% each year, not encouraging for sport development at all.
“We’ve been instructed by Lotto to observe carefully for accountability from the federations so I must warn people to keep their hands out of the cookie jar. You are only shooting yourself in the foot.”
The meeting also resolved unanimously that the current members from the SASCOC Board, including the President must continue to be part of the Distribution Agency for Lottery funding for sport as the notion of conflict is absurd given the fact that SASCOC is the sports movement in the country and rightfully must have a role in the distribution of funds to sport.
SASCOC and SRSA will also engage with Trade and Industry to engage and devise the best strategy for the usage of these funds to help implement the National Sports Plan.
SASCOC Federations also had the opportunity to address other imperatives in society and the role expected from them when they received presentations from both (CATHSSETA) addressing skills development and SANAC addressing the fight against HIV/AIDS.
SASCOC agreed to join Minister Mbalula to ensure that an event is hosted by the Sports Movement in Honour of our great leader MADIBA on his birthday on 18 July which will showcase sport and music and for proceeds raised to go to the Nelson Mandela Childrens Foundation.