All those who are concerned about the future of sport and recreation in South Africa should give very serious attention to the National Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill [B-2020] that has been presented for public comment before 28 February. The Bill has serious implications – not only for sport and recreation – but also for the principle that citizens and organisations in free societies should be able to go about their lawful activities and business without undue interference or prescription by the state.
The Bill – which will amend the National Sport and Recreation Act, No. 110 of 1998 – would diminish the role of sports federations, clubs and individuals and give the Minister (Mr Nathi Mthethwa) wide-ranging powers to dictate policy to virtually everyone involved in the sport and recreation sector. In terms of 1998 Act, his power was limited to determining general policy – only after consultation with the Sports Confederation. The Bill would give the Minister the untrammelled power, “from time to time to determine and publish policy objectives to be achieved by Sports and Recreation South Africa, the Sports Confederation and sports or recreation bodies”.