Minister Tokozile Xasa: Release of Eminent Persons Group Report

Minister of Sport & Recreation Ms Tokozile Xasa (MP) welcomes EPG Report, Pretoria, Gauteng

The Deputy Minister of Sport & Recreation: Hon. Gert Oosthuizen;
The Chairperson of the Sport Transformation Commission, Mr. Happy Ntshingila;
Members of the Sport Transformation Commission, the EPG;
Board Members of SASCOC Present;
The DG of Sport & Recreation: Alec Moemi;
Leaders of the National Federations of Sport;
Ladies & gentlemen

We once again pause and reflect on the transformation road we have traversed as a sport community. We do this mandated and directed by the Sport Transformation Charter as adopted by the 2011 National Sport and Recreation Indaba. The Sport Transformation Charter acts as a guide to bring about systematic change in key strategic areas like participation opportunity, development of skills and capabilities, representative demographic profiles on and off the field of play, improving and optimizing performance quality, governance and economic empowerment as part of sport’s social contribution. The Charter is based on two sets of drivers, the first is based on strategic considerations, because of their direct impact on longer-term sustainability and the competitiveness of organizations, the other is based on social justice, moral principles and is seen as the ‘right thing to do’ because of social injustices committed in the past.

The historical background

For South Africa to move forward, we honestly have to recognize the past injustices and the impact the legacy of apartheid is having on our sports landscape. We further need to take stock of where we are in this regard.  To truly appreciate the necessity of transformation in sport, it will be prudent that we go through the memory lane and fully appreciate what task we have collectively as a nation and as sport in particular. It was Thursday, 27 June 1956, when the then apartheid-government announced the Apartheid Sports Plan in what was later came to be called the ‘Black Thursday’. This plan supported by legislation such as the Separate Amenities Act and the Education Amendment Laws ensured that a White child was funded 8 times than a Black child in sport. The legacy of this 1956 sports plan is there for all to see. Therefore the 2011 National Sport Indaba has mandated the democratic government to be seized with this historical reality and make sport a true national asset that is enjoyed by all.

On the EPG

We could not have done what we have done if it was not the selflessness of our patriots in the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on Transformation in Sport who have worked hard in producing this sixth edition report. Let me also thank Dr. Basson who has worked tirelessly to ensure that every year we take stock and assess how far we have gone to transform sport as part of the broader agenda of creating a Non-Racial, Non-Sexist, united and prosperous society. We remain indebted to yourselves. The EPG mandate includes the establishment of a management system to monitor, evaluate, advise and report on the transformation status and the effectiveness of implementation of the Transformation Charter and its associated scorecards. We must therefore continuously assess how far Federations are in achieving a predetermined, one-size-fits-all Charter targets and also assess if Federations are achieving their self-set targets.

The summary of the 2019 Status Reports and Barometer

In the 2019 Reporting period, the EPG has essentially provided us with three reports in one. The first being the Individual Federation’s Transformation Barometer Report based on the Scorecard of the Transformation Charter. This report is a dipstick on each federation and looks at the situation and circumstances within a federation and why is it the way it is. The second is a Comparative Transformation Status Dashboard and Narrative' reflects federation transformation status on a comparative basis in 'dashboard' and summary narrative format based on the achievement of predetermined Transformation Charter targets. For the first time ever, the EPG had produced the third report which tells us the status on implementation of its recommendations made in the previous reporting cycles.  The Transformation status report of each Federation indicates that nine (9) of the nineteen Federations achieved 50% or more. This is a great improvement in the overall. In 2018 reporting period, we signed with fourteen (14) more Federations, with four (4) of those achieving 50% or more of their self-set Barometer targets in the first year.

The Barometer has had a positive effect on Federation attitude and support for the overall transformation process. Of the original first 5 pilot Federations (Netball, Football, Athletics, Rugby and Cricket), 4 have achieved their barometer targets, this shows that we are moving in the right direction. It is with disappointment that Athletics has not me its scorecard targets. I will in due course have a meeting with the leadership of Athletics South Africa to insist on them to present me with their plan on how they intend to address this pertinent matter and for them to share with us their thinking, commitments and plans. Athletics is too important for us not to act. I will issue my directives in this regard, having listened to the Board of Athletics South Africa.

We are mostly encouraged by the areas in which we have made the most progress in, including:

  • The number of black Presidents of National Federations,
  • Representability of blacks on the Boards of National Federations,
  • The appointment of Black CEOs, and
  • The election of Women on the Boards of National Federations.

This is significant as leadership carry the responsibility of philosophy and culture in an organisation. These performance measures must serve as milestones which signposts a Federation’s transformation journey towards an accessible, equitable, sustainable, demographically representative and competitive sport system. Federations must guard against conservative and possible ‘safety-first’ Barometer target setting. This, we believe, will derail the transformation project. We are also grossly concerned about the area of coaches and referees within National Federations. This area remains largely unchanged since the process has started in earnest in 2012. We believe that we ought to work the system from the grassroots to elite levels. There should be no ‘holy cows’ in this regard.

On School Sport

School Sport remains a major factor that impact on the rate and extent of Transformation, it is the bedrock of our entire development continuum and a necessary foundation to aid us to achieve this momentous task. To support longer-term sport planning initiatives, we need to consciously invest in school sport to increase the pipeline of our sporting codes. It is for this reason that 40% of our Conditional Grant to all the nine provinces is ring-fenced for school sport initiatives including leagues and support in the form of playing equipment and attire as well as competitions.

In order to embed this foundation, the department of Sport & Recreation together with the department of Basic Education signed Memorandum of Understanding in 2018, the two departments agreed that:

  • SRSA and Provinces must facilitate the establishment of school sport structures, while DBE initiates the process.
  • DBE to provide basic sport infrastructure, SRSA to facilitate the provision of infrastructure through Sports Trust, National Lottery, Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG), etc.
  • Sport code committees to have a representation in the school sport coordinating committees.
  • Federations to ensure that school sport has an associate membership in their structure.
  • The MoU further made provision for sport infrastructure and resources outlining that provision must be made for utilization of MIG to build some of the school sport infrastructure.
  • SRSA will fund the higher levels of the school sport system including district, provincial and national levels of participation, whereas the Department of Basic Education has to fund the lower levels of the systems including, Intra-School, Inter-School and Circuit based tournaments.

The Memorandum mandates us to invest in school sport and school sport infrastructure, I am glad to report that the coordinating committee jointly chaired by the two departments has been established and is functional. The EPG has also made an assessment of the functionality and operation ability of the MoU between the two departments and made its recommendations. These recommendations will carefully be reviewed and assessed by the Department and an assessment report be submitted to the Minister of Sport and Recreation to consider.

To appreciate the amount of work we are embarking on and understanding that sport is an infrastructure dependent activity, we need an audit of school sport facilities and align our sport infrastructure plans. This work will commence during the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period. It will involve the mining of data on the Education Management and Information System (EMIS) of the Department of Basic Education in phase 1 and the verification of this data via a national sample in phase 2.

On the national demographics and the future of sport

Based on scales developed by the United Nations, the Black African population in South Africa is classified as a young population, the coloured and Indian populations as mature, and the white population as aging. The population demographic profile as at mid-year 2018, according to StatsSA, was total population – 56.5 million; Black African – 41 million (89%); coloured – 4, 6 million (8, 9%); whites – 4,49 million (8,9%) and Indian (2,5%)

Only when we have an insight on the depth and appreciation of the consequences of a changing national population demographic profile we will respond positively and urgently on the EPG recommendation not only as the sport sector but as a society as a whole. The current statistics indicate that 84% of all under 18-year-old South Africans are black Africans. This is a significant segment of our youth populace and its growing rapidly. Currently this population group and segment seems to be ignored in the development plans of some National Federations. There has been an incongruent focus on only the 16% white, Indian or coloured segment. This in itself is a ‘ticking time-bomb’. It raises serious challenges relating to sustainability of these National Federations. The key answer to provide is where will they get players in the future if they continue to ignore the black African child?

The lack of awareness within affected Federations of the potential sustainability consequences of an aging white population on future representative structures threaten the very survival of those sporting codes and it is our duty and commitment to remind them of this impending catastrophe and to urge and nudge them to change course and join us and the nation on this necessary and strategic journey of transformation in all facets of society.


We are inspired by the National Development Plan that envisions a South Africa where all people will be more conscious of the things they have in common, rather than their differences and where shared experiences will cut across divisions of race, gender, space and class. The Plan recognises sport’s role in promoting social cohesion and fostering nation building.

Sport related objectives in line with the NDP imperative targeted at ‘Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and redress includes the need for each sporting code’s participation profile to reflect the Population demographic of the country by 2030 on the basis of expanding sport participation opportunity for all.

The Solidarity Case

We believe firmly in this vision of the NDP. Those who are opposed to this plan are themselves opposed to the harmonious and prosperous future of our country. We will not be deterred by racists who shout out loud on their high pedestals and look down upon us and label us as reverse racists, when all we seek to do is to correct the injustices of the past and redress past imbalances to unite our country in all its diversity.  

It is on the basis of this background that as the Ministry of Sport & Recreation, we opposed the case brought by the union, Solidarity in the Labour Court. The first round has been won. The Labour Court had dismissed the case on the arguments of ‘points in limine’. Solidarity had decided to appeal this ruling and we are determined to oppose this action that seeks to ensure that the status quo of unrepresentative teams is maintained and select privilege by sections of our society are entrenched and protected.

We believe as a government that this case has to be won decisively.  The consequences of a loss are too dire to contemplate. It will set a terrible precedent that will in future be applied by others to turn back all sectoral charters in other sectors and reverse all gains of transformation in society already made. Only unfair discrimination is outlawed. Fair discrimination is allowed in our legal system, having being championed by the 1996 Constitution to achieve redress. We should therefore stand firm as South Africans who have a peaceful future of our country at heart and reject the enemies of progress and an inclusive society. The transformation agenda can’t be delayed any further and neither should we allow that it is swayed to the periphery of the mainstream focus of society.

On the excerpts reports

The 2019 reports are quite exciting as for the first time, the EPG has also produced two important excerpts reports. The EPG made an assessment of the Preferential Procurement spend of National Federations on BBBEE companies. We are quite encouraged by the levels of spend from Federations such as Cricket South Africa, whose spend on BBBEE compliant companies was 99% of all of their procurements spend.  The picture is quite encouraging. We will in future also ask the EPG to also assess the support to Small and Micro enterprises to ensure that as a sector we support the entire value chain. We also ask the EPG to also look at procurement spend on locally manufactured goods, particularly on playing equipment and sport apparel.

The EPG also for the first time, put together a report on Gender in Sport. As our focus on women in sport continues, this has to be an area that is regularly assessed and monitored. There are so many impediments to women’s participation in sport and we have a responsibility to create and enabling environment for women’s participation in sport to thrive. Accordingly, I have initiated a process of the development of the Women in Sport Policy.

Despite more women than ever playing sport and working in sport structures, gender inequalities continue to exist in participation opportunities, support for athletes, and jobs for women as well as generally in the administration of sport. Gender equity will never be complete without changes in how people think and act about masculinity and femininity and in how sports are organised and played.  We are therefore currently engaged in an extensive process of consultations and a Provincial Roadshow to solicit inputs and views on the discussion document prepared by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa on this policy. We hope the draft Women and Sport Policy will mainstream women issues in sport. In this regard, we will engage with Federations and other stakeholders.

The future that should be…

South Africa is a sporting nation, its passion for sport will be seen by all in the upcoming World Cups this year, South Africans will be cheering for the Cricket Proteas in May, the Under 20 Amajita in May, Banyana Banyana in June, Netball Proteas in July, and the Springboks in September. Zolani Tete is also making headway in the prestigious World Boxing Super Series. We hope the teams will reflect a progress forward in their transformation outlook, but most importantly they will do their part in flying our flag high. Most organisations have very competent people crunching numbers, but that is not the real challenge. Someone who can take measurements and analyse data can always be found, but only a measurement leader can create the right environment for making sure that the right questions are asked.

In conclusion, let me once more thank the work done by EPG Committee, the efforts of Federations who are diligently supportive of the tedious process of gathering and submitting the data required to complete the report. Transformation is the right thing to do and most importantly, it has become to the most strategic thing to achieve to ensure sustainability.

Mickey Modisane
Cell: 082 992 0101

Vuyo Mhaga
Cell: 076 636 5193

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