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National Sport and Recreation Bill in the Pipeline

May 19, 2021

Department of Sport, Arts and Culture

The Draft National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill is in the process of being submitted to cabinet for approval prior to tabling in parliament.

The sport, arts and culture minister, Nathi Mthethwa, announced this during the department’s 2021/22 Budget Vote Speech in parliament.

The draft legislation designed to promote and develop sport and recreation in South Africa was published for comment in December 2019.

The draft bill also aims to set up a Sport Arbitration Tribunal to resolve disputes between sport or recreation bodies.

The draft bill aims to amend the National Sport and Recreation Act, 1998, so as to:


• delete, amend and insert certain definitions;
• provide for the promotion and development of sport and recreation;
• establish a Sport Arbitration Tribunal to resolve disputes between sport or recreation bodies;
• provide for and regulate combat sport;
• provide for and regulate the fitness industry;
• provide for the procedure in bidding for and hosting of international sports and recreation events;
• provide for the delegation of powers;
• provide for offences and penalties; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The proposed legislation calls for the Sports Confederation to, inter alia, co-ordinate all activities relating to high performance sport in South Africa, including team preparation for major international events; develop and implement guidelines for the promotion and development of high performance sport; develop an incentive policy for high performance sport achievers in consultation with the minister of sports, art and culture; comply with the guidelines or policies to promote equity, representivity and redress in sport and recreation; monitor and submit recommendations for the bidding and hosting relative to an application to host international events to the minister and set up a professional body for sports coaching to develop, educate, train and license aspiring or current coaches.

A Combat Sport Regulatory Authority is also on the cards tasked with overseeing, administering and governing all forms of combat sport.

A proposed Fitness Industry Regulatory Authority will also oversee, administer and govern a safe environment for the fitness industry.

The minister would also be empowered to set up a Committee of Inquiry to investigate any matter that put sport or recreation in disrepute, financial mismanagement and good governance.

Other developments in the pipeline include:


• National Policy on the Repatriation and Restitution of Human Remains and Heritage Objects was approved by Cabinet in March 2021 – contributes to the restoration and re-humanisation of people who were stripped of their dignity during their lifetimes as well as in death;
• National Policy on the Digitisation of Arts, Culture and Heritage will be finalised by March 2022 – department’s contribution in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution;
• Amendment of section 6 of the Constitution to include South African Sign Language (SASL) as an official language underway – department playing key role in finalization of the draft 19th Constitutional Amendment Bill;
• Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers Protection Amendment Bill – department supportive of resumption of parliamentary process on the remitted bills;
• South African Creative Industry Master Plan – in conjunction with small business development department, discussions on Plan to be finalised soon.