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Understanding SASCOC and its Failings

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I know I keep beating this drum, however, in order for we, the public, to understand the machinations and more importantly the failures of SASCOC, we need to understand where and how they are failing.

This excellent article was written and published in April in the Mail & Guardian by Luke Alfred a sport journalist who pulls no punches.


I will find other material which will add more understanding of the overall situation about the poor state of sport administration in South Africa. The ironical part is that institutions like Durban University of Technology (DUT) have a sports faculty which in the case of DUT churns out about 25 graduates p.a. very few of whom find employment in the sport industry. Those young people should be given employment opportunities by Sport & Recreation SA (SRSA) in federations who badly need qualified young entrepreneurial coaches, event organisers and administrators. Through the federations, these youngsters could work with schools and clubs to foster many sports at grass roots level. There should be zillions of jobs in sport and recreation as it is a Billion Dollar industry and yet we are so far behind understanding the opportunities, sports codes are failing.

The point being made is that SRSA have a Regional Development Plan which, like the NDP, is not being shown the light of day because it is not being implemented through a process of engagement and pilot projects. This is so frustrating for me because I and my group of friends in Durban saw the potential 25 years ago and began to do something about it. Sadly many of this group have been hounded out of sport by politicians. Many of the accusations against us were based on racism which was baloney. We were then and probably still are ignorant of the difference in cultures and proposed doing things the way we always have done without "paying respect" to cultural leaders.   

Having left sport administration we watch as sport falls apart and is plundered by the likes of Gideon Sam and his CEO Tubby Reddy.

Already those two are vying for positions both in administration and small business which will skim the Commonwealth Games for every penny they can. Sam still faces accusations of attempted bribery from Arendse in a case that goes back over five years and shows just how Sam thinks.

Sport is failing South Africans who thirst for skills training and knowledge. Kids who attend rural scholls are the ones that I bleed for the most. Down the decades we have discovered sporting diamonds who have burst on to the sport scene through their own talent and determination. Few of these have been "scouted and nurtured" from rural areas simply because of the lack of interested, trained manpower. 

Senior sport administrators have recognised South Africa’s poor performance at the recent  Olympics in Rio de Janeiro despite initially claiming to “have delivered”!

This was reported by Kevin McCullum 28th August 2016:

"Administrators often change their minds.

On Tuesday, Sam said he had delivered on bringing 10 medals back from Rio, which earned particular scorn from Sunette Viljoen, who tweeted: “He delivered? What did he deliver?”

At former sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile’s memorial service in East London, Sam sang a different tune. “How is it possible that a country with 55 million people can go to the Olympics and only come back with 10 medals, tell me how is that possible? This is while a small country like New Zealand, with 4.5 million citizens, gets 18 medals, while a small island such as Jamaica has also won more than we did. Surely that cannot be right,” said Sam and, according to the Daily Dispatch, he got a few laughs for that."

Sadly he has answered his own question and does not realise it. These administrators to whom Sam refers are either too lazy or ignorant to seriously ask this very question and analyse the answers in the South African context. How did New Zealand achieve the success they did in Rio? Take this one step further (or perhaps more than one step), analyse the performance of Great Britain and compare that to South Africa simply because they have comparable populations. There are many comparisons which can be made as hypothetical argument, but what is practical and how do we need to change and improve? Great Britain has infrastructure far superior to that of South Africa. Yes that is true and yet South Africa has won two Rugby World Cups. In addition South Africa has staged a Rugby World Cup, a Football World Cup and a Cricket World Cup. South Africa will deliver a Commonwealth Games in 2022 and yet we cannot organise our domestic competitions sufficiently well enough to win more than 10 medals at Olympic events???

The Dept for SRSA has come up with a “Transformation Plan” which punishes rather than rewards. The SRSA Regional Development Plan has never been properly implemented for any number of reasons but that smacks of a lack of knowledge rather than poor planning. Theoretical plans will fail if they are not implemented through experiments. Planning and implementing pilot projects which are properly planned and resourced will prove or disprove whether a Development Plan will work. It must be given sufficient time to be trialled, analysed, improved and reviewed.  

South Africa has the resources to do so much better by its sport hungry public and yet its administrators fail. We need to address that failure an turn it around.



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Olympic sports received a combined R8.39-million, with rowing getting the biggest share - R2.16-million - slightly less than the R2.19-million annual salary paid to Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy as well as the R2.4-million in allowances paid to board members.



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