Trade union Solidarity said that the implementation of quotas in sport would cause exclusion of good players based on their race. Picture: Jacques Naude

Johannesburg - Trade union Solidarity on Wednesday, said that the implementation of quotas in sport would cause exclusion of good players based on their race and that the government needed to allow sports federations' to deal with sports issues.

"We have enough talent in South Africa that the best are chosen so the merit alone will not hamper the development of sports in South Africa," deputy CEO of Solidarity Werner Human said.

The Sports and Recreation Department made an application at the Labour Court in Johannesburg opposing Solidarity's court action in support of transformation in sport.

"Sports must be de-politicised, what we've seen in the past few years is a stronger presence of ministers and the state departments in the affairs of sport. The effect is that the federations and other sporting bodies have become more silent. This should be reversed. The federations should come up with a plan to take sports further," Human said.

The 2011 Sport Indaba concluded that an independent verification agency was critical to the veracity of the true measure and pace of change and further resolved that there was a need to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Transformation Charter.

This led to the appointment of a Sport Transformation Commission, which was named the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on Transformation in Sport by the minister of sport and recreation to annually review sport’s transformation status and further conduct annual sport transformation audits as well as to make recommendations to the minister.

"We are not against the transformation charter, we are against those provisions that specifically speak to quotas. We believe the quotas are against what the constitution wants us to do and implement and it's against the employment act that states that quotas are not acceptable."

The Sports and Recreation Department said the annual recommendation would be able to assist the sport ministry and the sport movement with sufficient information and insight to assess the transformation status and formulate interventions to improve the rate and effectiveness of transformation in all areas of South African sport.

Human said that Solidarity did not support the politicising of sport because that would affect every race.

"Any measure that can transform sports in a sense that is has more access and identify more talent we support wholeheartedly. Quotas will not achieve that."

Solidarity said sports had evolved and rugby players were now working full-time jobs, which meant they were professional players and would be affected by the implementation of quotas.

"These people are professional players which means they are under employment which means this directly affects them we believe this is important so South Africa knows where we stand with quotas in sports."

African News Agency (ANA)