The DA calls on Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, to assist South Africa’s swimmers competing in the 2013 FINA World Championships. This follows revelations that the swimmers will have to pay for themselves due to a lack of funds at Swimming SA.
Expecting swimmers to pay their own way undermines the growth and development of sport and the performance of our elite athletes. Our sports men and women need to focus on winning medals for their country, not on fundraising.
There is something wrong when the Department of Sport and Recreation spends millions on non-core activities, but does not do enough to assist our athletes when they compete at the highest level.
Not so long ago, in 2011, the Department of Sport and Recreation spent more than 60% of the National Lottery Board’s contribution on a lavish R46 million sports awards ceremony. And the Department has point-blank refused to reveal how much it cost to send a delegation of government officials to the Olympics last year.
Our sport stars are a source of national pride. The Department must get its priorities right and help find funding for South African swimmers so that they can compete in Barcelona.