Just after Bafana Bafana had lost their opening African Cup of Nations game against Ivory Coast 1-0 in Cairo, Egypt, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa spoke about the Football Indaba that the country needed to have.
Five months later, that Ministerial Football Indaba is going to take place in November from the 15th until the 17th.
It’s expected that all the stakeholders in the game will be in attendance in Johannesburg as Mthethwa tries to get a clear picture of where SA football is, and how it can improve both at amateur and professional levels.
The area of schools football has long been identified as another space which is derailing the progress of football in the country.
Infighting between football leaders in the country has seen schools football failing to reach the desired heights and Mthethwa is expected to prioritise this area.
Earlier this week, Mthethwa held his first full meeting with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) board and that’s where the talk of a possible early election came from.
With the two departments being merged, it appears as if Mthethwa now wants his presence to be felt in the sports fraternity.
The Ministerial Committee of Inquiry report by Judge Zulman was released at the end of last year and the deadline was set for April for SASCOC to implement all the recommendations.
And that was during the era of Mthethwa’s predecessor Tokozile Xasa who had also inherited the inquiry from Thulas Nxesi. It’s for this reason that Mthethwa says they can’t afford any more delays.
There was also a facilitator who was assigned from the Department of Sport and seconded to SASCOC to ensure that the report was implemented.
Veteran sports administrator Mthobi Tyamzashe played this role, Mthethwa says he’s also been responsible for this road map that they are now following.
All eyes will be on the SASCOC AGM on the 23rd of next month where it’s expected that the two retired board members, Les Williams and Hajera Karjee, could be replaced by independent board members as per the recommendations of the Zulman Report.
SASCOC Vice-President Barry Hendricks suggests that this is the direction they are taking. – Report by Velile Mnyandu