In accordance with the primacy and importance which the IFP attaches to having a strong and independent civil society, the IFP believes that government involvement in sports structures at all levels must be limited to the bare minimum. Government’s role must largely be a supportive and regulatory one. Government must create the necessary statutory and financial framework within which the private sector, individuals and communities can establish effective sporting and recreational bodies, and the necessary infrastructure to enable South African sports people to take their place in the international sporting arena.
The IFP’s commitment to federalism and empowerment of local communities, people and structures also means that the IFP believes that legislation dealing with sport and recreation should be the responsibility of provincial and local levels of government, thus allowing for sports structures and organisations to be built from the bottom-up, not the top-down. Direct government funding of sporting and recreational activities should be limited to start-up subsidies. To this end, government should set aside a fixed percentage of the envisaged National Lottery for sports and recreational development, especially the building of sporting infrastructure in previously disadvantaged communities.
Sports management system
A four-tier sport management system should be put in place.
- Local community structures in which sports and recreational clubs and associations are formed and which fall under the aegis of local government;
- Regional Structures in which local associations come together to form sporting structures which are recognised under provincial statutes;
- Provincial Structures which have Sports and Recreation Councils to advise provincial sports ministers; and
- A national structure comprising a South African Sport and Recreation Council which is established as a consultative body in which provinces will come together on matters of common interest.
Administration and management of sport and recreation shall be performed by elected officials at various levels i.e. provincial, regional and community. There should be adequate liaison and co-operation with the national and provincial sports departments in respect of control, policy, and the funding and financing of support services and projects.
Women and children in sport
The IFP attaches particular importance to enriching the lives of women and youth by helping them to make sport part of their lives. A sound sports and recreation policy must inter alia send out a clear message to women that they should feel free to participate in all sporting or recreational activity, and at all levels. The many problems of youth in modern society could be ameliorated through a vigorous sports policy, initiated in the community, encouraged in the schools and, where appropriate, promoted as a career choice. The IFP supports the establishment of the United School Sports Association of South Africa as a means of promoting sports among children of school going age in South Africa. School sport should serve as a nursery for the senior provincial and national federations.
The funding and financing of school sport and recreation should be the responsibility of local and provincial levels of government.
Addressing the backlog in sporting resources
In order to address the problem of inadequate sporting resources in South Africa a coherent sporting and recreational resource provision and development policy needs to be produced and implemented, based on provincial assessments of development needs. In these assessments, which should be measured against international standards, attention should be given to funding, development, sports equipment and facilities, coaching and training, selection, marketing and fund-raising.
Government role in sport
With regard to international and continental sporting relations, the IFP believes that government’s role should be purely facilitative. Such facilitation should embrace the hosting of international sporting events in South Africa. Attention should also be paid to the potential for young South Africans to pursue sporting careers, as well as the tourist potential of sport in South Africa.
The IFP supports the establishment of provincial and national sporting and recreational federations operated in accordance with international rules and guidelines as laid down by the appropriate sporting bodies. The IFP believes that each sporting and recreational code should be allowed to determine its own emblem. Provincial sports colours should be determined by the respective provincial governments after due deliberation with sports persons and associations throughout each province.
The IFP believes that sport has the potential to produce in South Africa the following indispensable benefits:
- Political understanding and tolerance;
- Sound economic growth and social upliftment;
- Freedom of association;
- A sound culture characterised by a high work ethic;
- Harmony, peace and good health from a fit, strong and playing society;
- The ability to use leisure time efficiently and profitably; and
- Eagerness to be involved in doing something as a means of relaxation.