Government deserves a red card for tyrannical new Sport Bill – CHRIS HATTINGH
Imagine for a moment the Rugby World Cup winning captain, Siya Kolisi, on a gymnastics mat, trying to perform handstands and backflips. Or imagine Quinton de Kock packing down in the front row of the Stormers forward pack. How about giving Chad le Clos a tennis racquet, and expecting him to play as well as Kevin Anderson? Does all this sound a bit ridiculous? While they’re all accomplished athletes in their respective sport, it would be a reach to imagine they’d be competitive at any sport under the sun. However, proposed legislation would grant the Minister of Sport and Recreation the level of arbitrary power to dictate all manner of minutiae to private sport bodies, and, conceivably, which sport our international stars must play.
The National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill is yet another attempt by the South African government to centralise another aspect of life under its control. The bill will, if enacted, effectively nationalise all sport (and recreation) in the country. Whichever sport you may be involved in, whether it is on an amateur, professional, or even casual level, this bill will give the minister all manner of control over yourself, your club, your association, your team, and your sport. To give one person, or even one whole government department, this much power over a personal part of people’s lives, does not bode well.
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