Sport is much more than just a physical activity to the citizens of South Africa. For some sport is their bread and butter, and the career they decided to pursue. For others it is a complete escape from the rat race of life and a very important hobby, and for others it is a part of their lifestyle where they can completely support and celebrate sport in South Africa. Either way, sport is important to the people of South Africa.
In December 2019 the South African government suggested a new Bill that will nationalise all sport in South Africa. This Bill will give all the power to the Minister of Sports and Recreation and will deprive many sport federations from making choices and strip them from their status.
Currently there are 96 sport federations that form part of the Department of Sports and Recreation. These federations include the SA Rugby Union to the SA Sheepshearing Union. The federations are managed on national and provincial level and has thousands of members. Basically, any type of sport you can think of, exercised in South Africa, will be affected by this new Bill.
The new Sports Amendment Act holds a complete nationalisation of all the abovementioned federations, which will place all the power in the hands of the Sports Minister. But, what does this mean to you?
You might be a fitness coach at your local gym, or a sports coach at your local school. The point is, if you earn your money from the fitness or sports industry, this new Act will have a direct impact on your career and life. If you joined a provincial or national sports club the Minister of Sport will determine whether you can earn national colours, how the teams will be chosen and you might even possibly have to pay a fee to the Minister to be able to exercise the sport.
Currently there is no list of careers available that will be affected by this Bill but if you joined a sport federation for your career, the possibility that your career will be affected by this will be influenced by this Bill.
The new Sports Act will give the minister all the power to apply transformation on national, provincial or even local level as he or she thinks fit. The minister will be in control of all regulations and may also adjust policies or even create policies that he or she believes to be important.
To nationalise sport will mean that your career as professional sports person is uncertain and that one person will be able to determine the future of sport in South Africa and therefore also your career.
However, the public has the opportunity to give comments up until 28 February 2020. Solidarity’s Occupational Guild for Sport will not sit back and see that this happens but will submit comments regarding the Sports Amendment Act and we need your voice. If you exercise sport as a career or hobby and are not willing to place your sport in the hands of government, give the Sports Amendment Act a #redcard together with us.