Regarding quotas in sport, we are racially isolating ourselves once more, writes advocate Jacques du Preez of the FW de Klerk Foundation.
A core policy directive in the Department of Sport and Recreation’s 2013 White Paper on Sport and Recreation stated that "The racial composition of national teams should not be advocated, nor should National Federations be prescribed to on how they should select their teams. National teams should be selected on merit but transformation should be implemented at school/youth levels to prepare a broad basis of athletes for participation at higher levels in future".
This policy directive stands in stark contrast to recent resolutions taken by the Department of Sport following a meeting between Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula and provincial MEC’s for sport and these resolutions should constitute cause for concern for all South Africans.
The resolutions will affect South Africa’s most popular sports such as rugby, cricket, netball, athletics and football.
According to reports, the group decided to increase the 50/50 quota system to 60% representation, after noting what they call a "lack of willingness in implementing transformation, especially the enforcement of quotas" and that "failure to implement the new quotas would result in withdrawal of any form of funding and support to federations and sport bodies".
Mbalula stated further that "the national colours of any federation that is hell-bent on the current set-up and status quo will be withdrawn" and that his department would block sponsorship of any sports association that was hostile to transformation.
Indications from the department are that the 60% requirement would come into effect immediately and that all the resolutions of the meeting must be implemented before the new government administration takes office after the May 7 general elections
Jacques du Preez