Expressing her satisfaction with the progress being made in the ongoing battle to achieve transformation, after more than two decades of floundering by government and stakeholders, sports minister Tokozile Xasa says the next step forward will require a nationwide drive to build a solid foundation for school sport.
Releasing the fifth EPG report on transformation in sport on Monday, which was compiled using data submitted by 19 national federations, Xasa revealed that more than half the organisations which were audited had elected black presidents, and 70% had more than 50% black representation on their boards.
Seven of the 19 federations had also elected more women to executive level than what was required by the National Sport Plan and Transformation Charter.
“These (EPG) reports have, after more than 23 years, shown there is light at the end of the transformation tunnel,” Xasa said.
On the sports field, national men’s teams in football, cricket, athletics, boxing, volleyball and table tennis had achieved transformation targets, while rugby, hockey, netball, gymnastics and chess were “moving in the right direction”.
“The detailed report released today shows that transformation as measured in terms of the five dimensions of the transformation charter, is taking place,” Xasa said.
While progress was evident in most codes in terms of administration and high performance, however, Xasa stressed the need to strengthen school sport structures.
A memorandum of understanding would be updated to ensure the implementation of a “functional” school sport system in order to form a “robust foundation” to drive transformation efforts forward and reach long-term goals.
“Audit reports over the last four years have suggested that an effective school sport system, the ultimate source of sport’s human capital, will be the definitive platform on which to transform SA sport from a dominant minority representation position to a majority inclusive reality,” Xasa said.
Funding would need to be provided by the likes of government, Sascoc, Lotto, the Sports Trust and others, while an infrastructure need assessment would be required, along with qualified coaches on a “mass scale”. The programme would also need to focus largely on township and rural schools.