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National Sport and Recreation Bill on Track

July 24, 2020

Department of Sports, Arts and Culture

The sports, arts and culture department is committed to ensure that the Draft National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill is processed by parliament in the current financial year.

The sports, arts and culture minister, Nathi Mthethwa, highlighted this during the Sports, Arts and Culture Department Budget Vote 2020/21 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.

During the budget vote speech, the minister pointed out that, for non-contact sport, training and playing under strict health protocols and procedures has resumed while, for contact sport, a staggered process of first resuming with training has been implemented.

The next phase will be that of engaging in competitive activities.

The minister also indicated that government, despite focusing on the challenges posed by COVID-19, has “not taken our eyes off the ball as it relates to the bigger picture of transformation”.

“We have noted the referral back to Parliament of the two pieces of legislation Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB) and Performers Protection Bill (PPB) by the President. We hope that Parliament is going to prioritize these bills.”