New minister lifts hosting ban

The new minister of sport Thulas Nxesi has reinstated SA Rugby's right to host international events.

In April 2016, former minister Fikile Mbalula revoked the hosting rights of SA Rugby, Athletics South Africa, Cricket South Africa and Netball South Africa for failing to meet its transformation targets.

On Tuesday, the department of Sport and Recreation confirmed via Twitter that Nxesi had lifted the ban with immediate effect. 

Speaking at the release of a new Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) report – set up by the Ministry of Sport and Recreation – to monitor the pace of transformation in sport, Nxesi confirmed that rugby had met the targets set out in the Transformation Charter. 

'I would like to congratulate rugby, cricket and netball on their improved scores, you were clearly willing to walk the extra mile. Their right to bid for and host major sporting events, which was revoked before, is hereby immediately reinstated,' he said. 'But we would like to re-emphasise our expectations for sporting federations to take charge and provide leadership at school and club levels.' 

The new minister also met with SA Rugby bosses at Saru House in Cape Town last week, where he said hosting the 2023 World Cup could bode well for the country.

'A big part of the 2010 Fifa World Cup legacy are the stadia which were built, which means the necessary infrastructure is in place. It means the hosting costs would be seriously reduced and I believe that the hosting of the Rugby World Cup in 2023 can also leave a huge legacy and make a big impact,' said Nxesi. 

'Rugby is very important in South Africa. We know our team had a slump last year, but we believe we will go back to where we belong as South African rugby.'

Photo: Gallo Images

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