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Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill Heading for Parliament

January 14, 2020

Department of Sport and Recreation

14 January 2020

Draft legislation designed to promote and develop sport and recreation in South Africa is heading for parliament.

The sport and recreation department published the Draft National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 42946.

The explanatory summary sets out the department’s intention to table the draft bill in parliament.

The department published the proposed legislation for comment in December 2019.

Comment is sought until 28 February 2020.

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.

Meanwhile, the department has also published the Draft South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill’s explanatory summary in Notice 15.

The proposed legislation was published for comment earlier this month. Comment is also sought until 28 February 2020.

The draft bill aims to amend the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Act of 2007, so as to:

• delete certain definitions and to insert, amend or substitute other;
• provide for the testing of learners participating in sport;
• provide for prior consent in writing by parents or legal guardians relative to testing of learners under the age of 18 years;
• provide for undergoing dope testing for members of the fitness industry;
• provide for inspection, power of entry by inspectors;
• provide for the appointment of inspectors;
• provide for prohibitions relative to the possession and distribution of illegal substance as prescribed by the WADA;
• provide for compliance with performance system; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

According to the draft bill’s memorandum, amendments to the principal act are needed to address problems such as the lack of jurisdiction to test school children involved in sport for the usage of performance enhancement substances; lack of transparency and openness in board appointments; the exclusion of recreational activities such as the fitness industry from the act and the lack of any prohibition in terms of possession and distribution of prohibited substances as proclaimed by the World Anti-Doping Association.