South Africa: Mthethwa Salutes Women in Sport

As South Africa commemorates Women's Month, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has paid tribute to women in sport, who are flying the South African flag high on the global stage.

"Our women in sport epitomise the meaning of being South African. They are stories of resilience, stealth and determination that warrant celebration. They are symbols of possibility, glory and hope for many South Africans," Mthethwa said on Thursday.

Addressing a live engagement session with the media on the support provided to the creative and arts sector, the Minister recognised Olympic champion and world record holder, Tatjana Schoenmaker, as well as surfer Bianca Buitendag for their stellar performance at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"At the Olympics currently underway in Tokyo, Tatjana Schoenmaker made us all proud as she scooped gold and silver medals, while setting a world record. Bianca Buitendag also added to South Africa's glory with a silver medal.

"Another star flying the South African flag high on the global stage is our very own Kgothatso Montjane, who is the first black South African woman to reach the finals at Wimbledon," the Minister said.

According to Mthethwa, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture provides both financial and non-financial support to team South Africa for the Olympics.

The non-financial support includes facilitating the vaccination of team members and coordinating with sister departments on matters such as international travel, and co-ordinating with the South African Mission in the host country.

In addition to the annual grant to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the department made a special allocation of R7 403 102.53, which was earmarked for high performance athletes and persons with the potential to receive medals.

This is over and above the additional resources provided through the Lotto.

"We remain committed to our excellence recognition programme, as it has been over the years. In this sense, we are looking into rewarding athletes who do well internationally. This issue though needs discussion with SASCOC, a discussion that will take place after the Olympics.

"Issues we also keep raising with SASCOC include the need for teams sent to the Olympics to be both competitive, with the potential of returning with medals, as well as representative of our demographics," the Minister said.

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