Transformation sports quotas solidarity

Photo: Heung Soon / Pixabay

Sports quotas facing a battle in court: Here’s why Solidarity have cried foul

Solidarity claim that the rules regarding sports quotas give Minister Tokozile Xasa “unlimited power”, as they take transformation to the courts.

Transformation sports quotas solidarity

Photo: Heung Soon / Pixabay

Trade union group Solidarity (Solidariteit) are heading to the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday, in a bid to tackle the sports ministry’s transformation charter. They vehemently oppose the racial quotas that govern sport in South Africa, but the top brass now believe this type of selection isn’t just happening on the pitch.

After submitting a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) request, Solidarity claim that even coaches, board and committee members were also subject rules regarding quotas.

Solidarity argue against sports quotas

Solidarity’s Deputy Chief Operations Officer, Werner Human, has stated that this has given Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa “unlimited power” when it comes to presiding over each individual organisation.

The group are set to tell the court that Xasa now has the mandate to slash funding of any sporting body that doesn’t adhere to transformation rules. Human is aghast with the situation and went on to accuse the ANC of pursuing policies they fought against during the years of apartheid rule.

“Using race as a criterion for team selection is in conflict with the players’ constitutional rights. To carry on pursuing quotas and to politicise sports in South Africa will be a recipe [for disaster], by which all players will lose out.”

“It is ironic that the ruling party now wants to apply quotas, while in 1970 they pleaded with international bodies that sportsmen and women must be judged on merit. Therefore, we stand by our point of view that merit should be the only factor in the selection of sports teams.”

Werner Human

Those arguing for and against transformation

South African Rugby Union (SARU), Cricket South Africa (Cricket SA), Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Netball South Africa (NSA) have all registered their opposition to Solidarity’s legal action, and have been listed as the respondents against the case. However, one sporting body has actually sided with the union.

It was revealed on Tuesday that South Africa Schools Athletics (SASA) have dropped their contentious plans to implement quotas. AfriForum, who are campaigning alongside Solidarity in this matter, had threatened the organisation with legal action after they stated “tougher” transformation targets would be implemented.

But SASA seems to have climbed down from their original stand-point. They will be monitored by AfriForum’s youth wing, though: The Afrikaner-rights group said they will “carefully monitor” their selections from now on.