21 February 2019

South Africa: Sascoc Commits to Change After Sports Minister Lashing

Cape Town — The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has committed to implementing the changes suggested in the Ministerial Inquiry Report that was completed towards the end of last year.

This comes just a few days after sports minister Tokozile Xasa made scathing remarks in the press about SASCOC president Gideon Sam , who she referred to as "disrespectful" while questioning his willingness to adhere to political authority.

But, according to a SASCOC release on Thursday, the parties have met this week and there has been some common ground found.

"The Minister of Sport and Recreation, accompanied by the Deputy Minister, and the Director General met with the Board of SASCOC to find a way forward on how we can implement the areas of agreement, clarify areas of disagreement and find solutions emanating from the Ministerial Inquiry Report," the release read.

"The meeting was very constructive and spent a lot of time exploring the intent behind the recommendations as well as clarify the wording on some of the very same recommendations.

"Following various inputs from both sides, it was agreed that SASCOC will work with the appointed facilitator, to ensure that the intent of the report is implemented and that the things that need correction are corrected.

"Further, within SASCOC will sit with the facilitator to map the way forward and determine timelines for implementation."

In December, the sports ministry announced numerous recommendations for SASCOC after the inquiry was completed.

The Sport and Recreation Act of 1998, Xasa said, needed to be amended to clarify the role of SASCOC in relation to the Department of Sport.

The SASCOC board, Xasa added, needed to be made of members without direct links to existing sports federations in the country.

There should also be three independent positions at all times on the board - the president, an accountant and a commercial lawyer - and these appointments would need to be made by and independent committee.

In addition, no board member would be able to serve for longer than two four-year terms, while the president would earn a monthly retainer and not be considered a full-time position.

The positions of CEO, CFO, COO and a Director of Communications, the reports recommends, must be advertised and filled fairly while the applicants must also have no links to any sporting bodies.

Xasa also recommended that travel benefits for the president and CEO needed to be discussed at the next SASCOC board meeting and that international travel in general needed to be limited.

An independent audit should be conducted that examined SASCOC's finances over at least the last five years, and any mismanagement or exploitation of funds need to be dealt with.

Xasa added that the Department had moved for the formation of a national colours board that would determine the awarding of national colours to athletes.

SASCOC have until April 2019 to implement the recommendations in the report.

Source: Sport24

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