The Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, said an annual Nelson Mandela Sports Day will be launched in partnership with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and the South African Football Association (SAFA).
“This event will be consistent with the government programme to observe 67 minutes of our time in honour of Nelson Mandela and the United Nations resolution on Nelson Mandela International Day,” Mbalula said.
Investigations are also under way to set up a National Sports Hall of Fame. In the meantime, exceptional athletes, coaches, administrators and technical officials will have the opportunity to be profiled in the Little Green Book while they are living.
The department will also honour its sports stars at the South Africa Sports Awards at the Sun City Superbowl.
Despite its limited budget of just over R848 million in 2012/13; the department has been able to undertake a number of initiatives, which included supporting the country’s Olympians and Paralympians during the 2012 London Games.
It also supported the Netball Diamond Challenge and the Basket Ball League in partnership with the interim structure of Basket Ball SA and National Basketball Association (NBA), and enhancing the work of Boxing South Africa as well as the South African Institute of Drug Free Sport.
The opposition however took aim at how the department had chosen to allocate its budget, adding that it was spending on lavish items by for example budgeting R21 million on the 2013 SA Sports Awards event.
COPE MP Graham MacKenzie suggested that various methods should be used with which to top up the sports department’s budgetary allocation, such as allowing taxpayers to make donations to sports areas or by putting levies on sports tickets and sports licenses.