Sport & recreation

Role players
Programmes and projects
Major events



The Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) oversees the development and management of sport and recreation in South Africa.

The SRSA responds to the National Development Plan’s imperatives of nation-building, social cohesion and a healthy national lifestyle by encouraging participation in sport and recreation at various levels, developing talented athletes and supporting high performance athletes, and supporting transformation in sport and recreation, as stipulated in the National Sport and Recreation Plan.

The department has started with preparations following the Commonwealth Games Federation announcement in September 2015 that Durban would host the 2022 games in Durban.

In 2015/16, the SRSA was expected to establish a National Sports Hall of Fame.

Developing talented athletes

The department’s Talent Identifcation and Development Strategy includes the Ministerial Sports Bursary, which is awarded to learners from grades 8 to 12 for the duration of their high-school career.

The bursary allows them to attend a sports-focus school, of which there were 24 across South Africa in 2015. These schools are identifed by provincial departments as having exceptional sports coaching and facilities. New recruits for the bursary programme were identifed during the 2015 national school sport championships.

Including those already on the programme, a minimum of 40 athletes who meet the performance criteria were expected to be supported in 2016/17. A second level of support was to be provided to 40 emerging athletes with the potential to compete at a high-performance level, but who are not yet on the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (SASCOC) operation excellence programme.

These athletes request specifc support, which is provided on an ad hoc basis on consideration of their circumstances and their performance potential.

Elite athletes are supported through the SASCOC’s high-performance programme. These athletes are expected to perform at the four major games – the All Africa Games, World Games, Commonwealth Games, and Olympic and Paralympic games).

Role players

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC)

SASCOC is the national multi-coded sporting body responsible for the preparation, presentation and performance of teams to all multi-coded events, namely the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Games, All Africa Games, Olympic Youth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and Zone VI Games.

It also look after the various national federations affliated to it, together with the various provincial sports councils. SASCOC is responsible for the awarding for National Protea Colours to athletes/offcials who have met the criteria to represent South Africa in different sporting codes and arenas.

South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS)

The SAIDS promotes participation in sport without the use of prohibited performance enhancing substances and methods, and educates sportspeople on fair play and the harmful effects of the use of prohibited performance enhancing substances and methods.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

The Africa Regional Office of the WADA was established in Cape Town in 2004 to coordinate the anti-doping activities of the agency throughout Africa.

This includes promoting and maintaining effective lines of communication between the WADA and all relevant stakeholders, governments and public authorities, the broad sports movement, national antidoping agencies and laboratories.

South Africa continues to serve as the African representative on the Executive Committee of WADA.

Boxing South Africa (BSA)

BSA administers professional boxing, recognises amateur boxing, creates synergy between professional and amateur boxing, and promotes interaction between associations of boxers, managers, promoters and trainers.

Programmes and projects

National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP)

The NSRP's five strategic objectives, namely:

  • transformation
  • priority codes
  • ethical environment
  • geo-political sports boundaries
  • amateur versus professional sport.

Major events

Africa Games

Team South Africa fnished in third place with 122 medals at the 11th Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo from 4 to 19 September 2015.

Big Walk

The Big  Walk is  staged  on  the  frst  Sunday  of  October to encourage participation in physical activity. The Big Walk takes place in October to align it with The  Association  for International  Sport  for All’s (TAFISA) World Walking  Day.

TAFISA encourages and lobbies countries to walk by creating advocacy  and  awareness  during  October.

Annual National Recreation Day

The first-ever National Recreation Day was held on 2 October 2015, at Tshwane Events Centre. Although not a public holiday, the day provides an opportunity to all South Africans to be actively involved by participating in recreation activities that will improve their health and well-being.

National Indigenous Games

The 10th Indigenous Games 2015 event was held in Polokwane, Limpopo from 20 to 24 September 2015.

The games played included khokho, intonga, ncuva, morabaraba, diketo, drie stokkies, kgati, dibeke and juskei, all of which are indigenous to South Africa and played in various parts of the country. The games also provide recrea- tional activities for young children and families.

South African Sports Awards

The 10th South African Sports Awards ceremony was held at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Mangaung, Free State in November 2015.

  • Wayde van Niekerk received the 2015 SA Sport Star of the Year, 2015 People’s Choice and Sportsman of the Year awards respectively.
  • Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio received the Sportswoman of the Year Award.
  • The Sportswoman with a Disability and Sportsman with a Disability awards went to Ilse Hayes and Lucas Sithole respectively.

Other winners included:

  • Volunteer of the Year – Nkosinathi Ngubane.
  • Coach of the Year – Graham Hill.
  • Newcomer of the Year – Kagiso Rabada.
  • Team of the Year – Springbok Sevens.
  • Sport Journalist of the Year – Bareng-Batho Kortjaas.
  • Photographer of the Year – Veli Nhlapo.
  • Recreational Body of the Year – Indigo Skate Cam.
  • Indigenous  Games  Star  of  the  Year  –  KwaZulu-Natal Dibeke Team.
  • National Federation of the Year – Basketball SA.
  • Administrator of the Year – Virginia Mabaso.
  • School Team of the Year - St John’s College: Junior Men’s Pair.
  • Developing School Team of the Year – Montshiwa Primary School.
  • Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achievement Award  – Rev Makhenkesi Arnold Stofle; Mohamed Margiet; Enos Mafokate, and Dr Chomane Chomane.

Major sporting activities

Major sporting codes in South Africa include, among others:

  • Athletics;
  • Biking;
  • Mountain Biking;
  • Cycling;
  • Boxing;
  • Cricket;
  • Canoeing;
  • Rowing;
  • Golf;
  • Hockey;
  • Ice Hockey;
  • Motorsport;
  • Flying;
  • Netball;
  • Rugby;
  • Running (including South Africa’s two world-renowned ultra-marathons – the Comrades Marathon in KwaZulu-Natal and the Two Oceans Marathon in the Western Cape);
  • Soccer;
  • Surfing;
  • Sailing;
  • Swimming;
  • Tennis, and
  • Chess.

Source: Pocket Guide to South Africa 2015/16

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