Shame on the Department of Sport and Recreation

15 March 2013        


It is with utter dismay and shock that the Department of Sports and Recreation in KwaZulu-Natal failed to dispatch a team of primary school athletes to the South African National Primary Schools Track and Field Championships that started in Sasolburg today.


Concerned parents raised the alarm on Wednesday regarding the logistical arrangements for the provincial team school with me.


I made repeated attempts to contact the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Sports and Recreation and her Department on Wednesday, to no avail. In order to raise these concerns I was sent a text message which informed the athletes late on Wednesday that government had no money available to send them to Sasolburg and advising those who are able to go to do so at their own cost.


Late on Wednesday night this was at long last confirmed by the MEC to me. Why are personal assistants appointed to the MECs when they do not even answer their telephones?


Over 1200 primary school children from all over South Africa were to attend this prestigious event today and tomorrow with only one tenth of the 90 member KwaZulu-Natal team in attendance. 71 of the 90 member team are learners from black schools in KwaZulu-Natal and will never have the opportunity in their lifetime to participate in such an event.


We do not grow Olympic Champions overnight and it takes years to bring these children to this standard. This Department has once again failed to deliver on their mandate and is a disgrace to this province. We demand answers from the MEC as she is the responsible political head that brought this dismal situation to our province.


Issued by:

Henry Combrinck:
Chief Whip Of The Official Opposition In KZN and
Member Of The Sports & Recreation Portfolio Committee, 078 302 0823