South Africa government bans federations hosting events

Four major federations in South Africa have been banned from hosting or bidding for major international events by the country’s sports minister over a failure to meet transformation targets.

Athletics South Africa, Cricket South Africa, Netball South Africa and South African Rugby Union (SARU) are among those affected by Fikile Mbalula’s announcement.

SARU had previously stated an intention to bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Five major federations in South Africa agreed to meet transformation targets set out by the government to encourage more opportunities for black players.

However, speaking about the results of the third Eminent Persons Group on Transformation in Sport Report for 2014-15, Mbalula stated that the four federations had failed to meet targets with only the South African Football Association reaching the agreed requirements.

“I have resolved to revoke the privilege of Athletics South Africa, Cricket South Africa, Netball South Africa and South African Rugby to host and bid for major and mega international tournaments in the Republic of South Africa as a consequence of the aforementioned federations not meeting their own set transformation targets with immediate effect,” Mbalula said.

“I will review this decision when considering the results of the 2016-2017 Transformation Barometer.”

A SARU statement confirmed that talks with the government are planned to understand the implications of the ban on its hopes of bidding for the World Cup.

SARU chief executive officer Jurie Roux added that the governing body accepts the sanction.

“We understand and support the minister’s urgency in addressing the issue of transformation,” Roux said.

“There is no question that we have more work to do and we could be moving faster, but our sport has undergone a major overhaul in how we do business and how we measure ourselves in the past two or three years and we have definitely made great progress.

“Transformation is a key strategic imperative for SA Rugby to remain competitive and to survive in the sports landscape in our country. Our barometer for 2015 shows that we have achieved our target in 11 out of 13 dimensions as agreed with government.

“We have made further progress on and off the field in 2016 to date and over the coming months our commitment to transformation will become even more evident. We are confident that the suspension will be lifted at the next reporting of the EPG.”

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