• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Transform or forfeit government support – MEC tells Cricket

By Khuthala Nandipha

MEC for Sport in the Eastern Cape, Fezeka Nkomonye-Bayeni, has called for the withdrawal of government support from all national sporting codes whose structures resist transformation and are showing no interest in fighting racism.

Addressing the media in East London today (Thursday, 23 July) alongside cricket legend Makhaya Ntini, Bayeni lamented the silence from Cricket South Africa (CSA) following revelations of a forced retirement by Ntini last week.

“Cricket does not want to change, it would seem. We cannot be talking about racism in 2020 in this country. National sports organisations that share the same sentiments must be forced to pay special focus on their management style and transformation goals. We need to ensure that government does not offer them support so that they may not compete with other countries on an international platform claiming to represent the country, that is our way forward,” she emphasised.

That the province has massive talent, be it sports or arts, was unrefuted and the MEC and Ntini called for an intensive focus on its developed and creation of discrimination-free spaces.

The provincial and national Department of Sport, Arts and Culture have also pledged full support towards Makhaya Ntini realising his dream of harnessing and developing talent in cricket in young girls and boys through a province-based Cricket Academy.

Corporate companies, the Border Confederation for Cricket, and EP Cricket have also been approached to assist in the envisaged opening of the academy which Ntini launched 12 years ago. It never received any backing and as a result, it was not realised.

“I will be personally scouting talent all over the province, looking for children from the age of 7 to 23 across all races and gender. This is a batch of children we want to ensure that they never experience racism and discrimination on the basis of their gender and colour. They will grow up together and get the same opportunities. This will also complement school sport and ensure that talent is being developed around the clock,” said Makhaya Ntini.

Bayeni added that as a province they wish to ensure that Ntini is remembered for breaking records and paving the way for young people to dream big and achieve just as much.

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