Mon, 26 Aug 2019

Cape Town - Athletics South Africa (ASA) will need to explain itself to the Department of Sport and Recreation after the findings of the latest Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report were revealed on Tuesday.

According to sports minister Tokozile Xasa, ASA was the only one of the country's five major sporting codes to miss its transformation target for 2017/18.

All of rugby, cricket, soccer and netball, Xasa said, had reached their targets for the year.

"I will in due course have a meeting with ASA to insist that they present me with detail of how they plan to address this matter," Xasa told media in Pretoria.

"We believe that athletics is too important for us not to act."

Xasa added that, in total, 9 of South Africa's 19 sporting federations had reached the minimum requirement of being 50% transformed.

The report does not deal only with players on the field, but roles throughout the sporting federations.

"We are most encouraged by the areas where we have made progress, including black presidents and black board members," Xasa said.

"An area of concern is coaches and referees within federations. That remains unchanged. We need to work the system right from grassroots through to elite levels."

School sport emerged as a key factor in the EPG's mandate of ensuring a transformed South African sporting landscape, and Xasa committed the department to investing in schools.

"School sport remains the major factor that imparts on the rate of transformation," Xasa said.

"It is the bedrock of everything we are trying to do.

"We need to consciously invest in school sport and we're looking at allocating 40% of our procurement grant to all 9 provinces to school sport initiatives.

"The key is better alignment and coordination between department, schools and federations themselves."

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