The current debacle that has engulfed Athletics South Africa, ASA, has exposed major problems with the management of sports federations in general. From the SA Football Association, Safa, to Cricket South Africa, CSA, it seems that those tasked with looking after these sporting bodies take it upon themselves to run these organisations into the ground.
Athletics South Africa's financial crisis has resulted in athletes not having been paid their prize money since last year. Having lost all major corporate sponsors, ASA is drowning in debt amounting to around R4,3 million. It is troubling that ASA has reached such a crisis point. The Minister of Sport and Recreation has always been big on rhetoric. He constantly throws parties filled with razzmatazz, while masquerading as Mr Fix-It to all the sports federations.
Why does he wait for a situation to become critical before his department becomes involved? How is it that the department has not established monitoring indicators to stop any financial mismanagement before it starts? It would be better if he became Mr Fix-It before it falls apart, so as to avoid major financial crisis situations in sport.
The Minister needs to get his department in shape. In 2011, he stated that ASA must be cleaned up as this was long overdue. The Minister said we needed honourable people to run these athletes. However, it seems this one slipped right through his fingers, because the board has impeached the president, while on the other hand the president says that he is still the president. It seems as if the SABC's challenges have now migrated to ASA. The Minister needs to be less flamboyant and more proactive, as South Africans are looking for real change and not flowery rhetoric. Either you shape up or you ship out! [Interjections.]