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Cape Town - JUST two weeks before the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour, a Western Cape High Court ruling has erased concerns that cyclists associated with Cycling South Africa could face fines and disciplinary action if they took part.

The ruling has been hailed as “hugely important for the cycling community” by Steve Hayward, chairman of the Pedal Power Association (PPA), which organises the Cycle Tour. He said the court had provided clarity on the interpretation of the law which applied to the administration and control of cycling events.

Before that, he said, CSA members and those with CSA licences faced being disciplined and fined if they took part in the Cycle Tour, if the event was not sanctioned by CSA.

In her recent judgment, Acting Judge Kate Savage was clear that the CSA’s recognition by the international controlling body, the UCI, as the only authority for the administration and control of cycling did not in fact give the CSA the power to administer and control cycling.

“Any such power of administration and control would arise consequent either to it being conferred by statute, or by way of a contractual relationship in existence between the parties,” she said.

There was, however, no such binding contractual relationship, and no such power was conferred upon it by law.

The activities of the PPA, which has been in existence for 35 years and has more than 18 000 members, are centred in the Western Cape, where it organises weekly fun rides and five big annual events, including next month’s Cycle Tour.

In the court application, the PPA argued that CSA was not empowered, by law or otherwise, to force it to get prior CSA approval. CSA opposed the application on the basis that it was recognised as the national federation for cycling by the UCI. Its stance was that the PPA was not entitled to operate autonomously.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) also opposed the application on the basis that the UCI would not sanction cycling events if CSA, as the national federation, had not already done so.

Weekend Argus