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