ANC government’s interference destroys potential of sport to unite

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ANC government’s interference destroys potential of sport to unite
ANC government’s interference destroys potential of sport to unite

In any nation, sport is one of the factors with the most potential to unite its people. People from diverse racial and cultural groups are quick to put their differences aside when they share a passion for and take pride in a national team. Therefore, it is lamentable that the ANC government is destroying this potential with its constant interfering.

The government’s relentless obsession with racial quotas and transformation targets have put sport in South Africa under siege. Cricket South Africa illustrates this very well.

The government and politics do not belong in sport. Its management must be left to professional sports persons and the officials who thoroughly know and understand the relevant sport.

What the government should do instead is to focus on building and maintaining proper sports facilities in every municipality and town so as to contribute to the development of young athletes from ground level up so that there can be enough top performers from all races who can compete and be selected for sports teams based on merit alone.

The country has an abundance of sports talent. It must simply be developed. Thus, the solution is equal opportunities and not rigid racial quotas.

The problem with quotas is two-fold:

Firstly, it causes tension in an extremely competitive environment where cohesion determines whether the team wins or loses. And secondly, it inadvertently labels all coloured players as quota players even if they made the team solely based on merit.

That is the direct and unfortunate result of race-based transformation quotas in sport and excellent sports stars of colour are forced to bear that burden on the field. No amount of money and no targets will change anything as long as the government refuses to recognise and implement this principle and start investing in the development of young athletes.

The same goes for arts and culture and the promotion of all South Africans’ right to follow the cultural lifestyle of their choice.

At present, the Afrikaner heritage, history and culture is being severely targeted. But it is not only the Afrikaner culture and heritage that is in the crosshairs. The ANC government has no regard for anyone’s heritage or history, despite all the Department’s lip service in Parliament, in committees and the media.

Likewise, it also has no regard for the arts – the National Arts Council’s sit-in strike, and everything that followed, shone the spotlight squarely on this.

Museums, like the Robben Island Museum, and national heritage sites, like the concentration camp cemetery in Kroonstad, are mostly neglected.

The government has failed to conserve everyone’s heritage, cultural treasures and memorials. It has failed to manage museums for the benefit all South Africans and it offers no support to struggling artists.

For this reason, all people’s cultural heritage, the arts and sports must be protected against the government’s constant interference, which inevitably brings with it corruption and mismanagement under ANC rule, before it is too late and nothing remains for future generations.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Heloïse Denner on FF Plus