“One of the cruellest legacies of apartheid is its distortion of sport and recreation in our society,
the enforced segregation of these activities and the gross neglect in providing facilities for the
majority of South Africa’s people. This has denied millions of people and particularly our youth
the right to a normal and healthy life.” Read the African National Congress’ Reconstruction and
Development Programme in 1994. It is now 25 years later and the challenges of delivering
proper sports development in South African townships still persists.
Transformation and Development were the declared goals of sport in the so called new South
Africa, but much has been made of “transforming” the composition of national teams so that
they better represent the nation’s diverse population. So called “development” and
transformation programs are not impactful at a community level in a meaningful way. There are
few sports facilities, little sport at school, and a few community sports clubs with little or no
support from local government. How can we then really say that South African sport is being
transformed and developed? Sport development interventions help, but what is needed is real
development of sport in our communities, and that won’t be possible whilst other more pressing
social challenges exist. With poverty rife priorities lie elsewhere.