Athletics / 26 November 2019, 07:30am / Ockert de Villiers
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) is in a race against time to make constitutional changes to unlock funding ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Olympic body made important progress over the weekend when the general council voted on constitutional changes as per the recommendations by the Zulman inquiry from 2017.
Council also voted for two executive posts at the AGM, one for first vice president and the other a regular board seat.
Barry Hendricks beat Jerry Segwaba for the first vice-president post, replacing Hajera Kajee, while Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane received an overwhelming majority for the regular board seat.
Hendricks is now the heir apparent to the presidential role when Gideon Sam steps down at the end of the year.
“We, first of all, have to complete the recommendations of the Zulman reports and have already agreed with that as a collective here at the council,” Hendricks said.
“We will have a special general meeting to adopt the amendments to the constitution, and by March 28, we will have the quadrennial elections of the board.
“The current constitution says it must be held after the Olympics while the amendments will include independent board members then there are a few others.”
Apart from the early elections the Ministerial Inquiry recommendations also included incorporating two independent directors onto the board.
Sascoc has been under severe financial pressure after Lotto funding had been slashed. Non-compliance with the Zulman recommendations threatened government funding ahead of the Games.
Sam said while Sascoc has had to find creative ways to make up for the money it no longer received from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), he was hopeful of a significant cash ejection ahead of the quadrennial showpiece.
“R37-million is needed for the Olympics and R17-million for the Paralympics,” Sam said.
“They have the same message ‘can we sort out these things then that money will be made available’. We are not panicking.”
In his address to council before the start of the AGM, Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa intimated the department was running out of patience with the Olympic body.
“Without a plausible explanation and self-evaluation, it would be difficult for me to ask my Department to commit more funds to the organisation,” Mthethwa said.
“The Department has received indicative allocations for the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework with significant cuts in our budget.
“This, therefore, calls on all of us to be efficient in the management of resources, minimising on wastefulness and optimising on value for money.”