The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) is forging ahead with implementing the recommendations of the Zulman report as they look forward to an early election in March.

This was confirmed by the new interim President of SASCOC Barry Hendricks as they prepare for next week’s constitutional meeting where they going ahead with the amendments.

Hendricks became the interim President at the beginning of this month following Gideon Sam’s retirement last month after reaching the age of 70.

He was elected as the First Vice-President in November and he says their plans are clear between now and March.

Hendricks’s Acting Vice-President is Aleck Skhosana, the Athletics South Africa (ASA) President.

The past two to three years have been very difficult for SASCOC and this also includes the suspension and firing of its top management led by their former CEO Tubby Reddy on allegations of maladministration and financial irregularities.

This matter is far from being finalised as Hendricks says they still have to go to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

SASCOC also runs an Operation Excellence (OPEX) programme which is aimed at assisting the top athletics to be ready for the Olympics and Paralympics.

This programme is mainly driven by a model of funding which helps some athletes with camps and training programmes here at home and abroad. But in the last two years, SASCOC has been struggling financially and it’s been difficult for them to keep with their usual funding model of the OPEX programme. Even though Hendricks tried to downplay this.

Another critical part of this constitutional amendment is to push elections forward so that the new administration can be able to access funding from the government in time for the Tokyo Olympics in Japan in July.

Hendricks says the annual general meeting which was held in November paved the way forward next week’s extraordinary congress.

Under the current constitution, the SASCOC elective congress is only scheduled to take place in November.

One of the recommendations from the Zulman’s reports is that the President of SASCOC should be independent and not be aligned to any sporting code.

But Hendricks says this is something which they have managed to negotiate successfully with the Ministry of Sport.Report by Velile Mnyandu