South African Boxing Bill: hearings

Sports, Arts and Culture

27 September 2000
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Meeting report

SOUTH AFRICAN BOXING BILL: HEARINGS

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO MEETING
27 September 2000
SOUTH AFRICAN BOXING BILL: HEARINGS

Chairperson : Ms Bhengu

Relevant documents:
South African Boxing Bill
Mpumalanga Provincial Government (see Appendix 1)
Free State Provincial Government (see Appendix 2)
Gauteng Provincial Government (see Appendix 3)

SUMMARY
The presentations made by Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Free State, Northern Province and North West Province resulted in a heated debate on whether the Provincial Directors of Sport and Recreation had got together to discuss the Bill before coming to the meeting as they were similar. Some Portfolio Committee members argued that the Provincial Directors seem to be supporting the old Provincial Commissions in their submissions. The noted that the old Provincial Commissions had been nullified by Parliament after allegations of mismanagement. This had resulted in the introduction of the new Boxing Bill. All Provincial Directors denied that they supported the old system but agreed that provinces should be given a major role to play in boxing, to allow for the smooth operation of the game and protection of boxers.

MINUTES
The Chairperson, Ms Bhengu, said she had three clarifications on the Bill:
- They are not amending the 1954 Boxing Act, rather they are overhauling it. This means whatever is right in the 1954 Act will be continued; whatever is wrong will be taken out.
- The Bill is focused on the interest of boxers, who they believe have been exploited by their employees i.e. promoters, managers and trainers. It aims at putting boxers on the right path.
– The Bill had elements of both section 75 (not affecting the provinces) and section 76 (affecting the provinces) of the Constitution in it.
[Ed. Note: The Bill has been found to be a mixed Bill by the Joint Tagging Mechanism. There are provisions to which the procedure in section 75 of the Constitution applies as well as provisions to which the procedure in section 76 of the Constitution applies. Since there is no procedure whereby Parliament can pass such a Bill, the Bill has been declared out of order. It will be referred back to the Ministry for redrafting into two consecutive Bills instead].

The six Provincial Directors (Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Free State, Northern Province and North West Province) each presented their submissions. They were united in agreed that provinces should be given a major role to play in boxing, to allow for the smooth operation of the game and protection of boxers.

Discussion

Mr Desmond Pieterse (ANC) asked three questions of the Provincial Directors:
- Had the provinces spoken to each other before coming to the meeting as there are a lot of similarities in their submissions?
- Does it mean that the provinces agree with those clauses not covered in their submissions?
- Do the provinces fully agree with Section 29 of the Bill that deals with broadcasting rights?

Mr Ndlela (for KwaZulu-Natal) replied that the provinces had not met before coming to the meeting nor had they discussed these issues in any fashion.

Mr J Carriem (Director, Gauteng) said BSA should sanction all the activities of boxing in this country, including broadcasting. Section 29(2) of the South African Boxing Bill says that the promoter of a boxing tournament should apply in writing to the BSA to obtain approval to broadcast a fight. This should be done 30 days before the said tournaments takes place.

Mr Frolick (UDM) asked the provinces what degree of consultation had they had with all the stakeholders in their respective provinces? Further, he asked North West Province if they thought that they are financially able to take on these responsibilities?

Mr Peet Oberholster (Acting Director: North West) agreed that their budget is limited and he was worried that the funds available would not meet all their requirements.

An ANC committee member commented that seemingly there was a consensus that Boxing South Africa (BSA) should source the provinces and she asked whether that means BSA should pay all the bills?

Mr Morare (Director, Northern Province) supported the position that BSA should sanction all events.

Mr Carriem pointed out that some provincial officials were not referring to the tabled Bill but to an earlier draft.

Mr T.J. Kambule (Director, Free State) acknowledged the fact that the submissions are based on two documents, i.e. the draft Bill and the tabled Bill. He requested that the Portfolio Committee provide them with documents in sufficient time to prepare.

Mr Ndlela (KZN) said their situation in the province is unique. Sport in KwaZulu-Natal is under the Department of Arts and Culture. He said he received the letter concerning Hearings very late. But fortunately for them they had already discussed some of the issues in the Department.

Chairperson Ms Bhengu said she is really upset by the alleged late notification because she believed that notifications were made as early as 21 September.

On the question of whether the Provincial Directors agree with other sections not included in their submissions, the response was as follows:
Mr Ndlela (KZN) said he had met with the Department and discussed the Bill, which is why he had no serious objections to it.

Mr Kambule (Free State) said their role as government officials is to facilitate a sound environment in sport, hence they believed the Bill is extremely important and should supported.

Mr Morare (Northern Province) agreed that the Bill is very important but he had a question about whether the funding for the provinces comes from BSA or from the Ministry? He asked who pays the bills for the provinces?

Ms Bhengu (ANC) asked whether are there any recommendations from the provinces regarding that issue?

Mr Carriem (Gauteng) said that if the Minister appoints all BSA members (Section 9(2)), then that person is an employee of BSA. So this person should be responsible for all the activities of BSA in this country.

Mr Ntuli (ANC) said most provinces are worried that tournaments cannot take place because of licencing.

Mr Chauke (ANC) said this is the 3rd Commission trying to put boxing in order. He wanted to know what is the current relationship between Provincial Commissions and other stakeholders. He asked what has been happening in the provinces as far as boxing is concerned.

Mr Morkel (NNP) had a question on Sections 9 and 22. He wanted clarity on the bottom-up approach where they should include local governments: how would they like the activities to be extended? Inter-governmental involvement in the sport is very important.

Mr Fihla (ANC) said he was uneasy with the provinces trying to equate boxing with other sports like rugby, soccer, and cricket. He said boxing is the most violent sport; it is not like other sports. Considerations about it violent elements have to be made in boxing, which are not there in other sporting codes. He said promoters are the biggest exploiters of boxers and this should be avoided at all costs.

Mr Ndlela (KZN) commented that in their province they have good relations with all stakeholders.

Ms Bhengu (ANC) noted the comment about the Provincial Departments having similar submissions. She said their provincial submission seemed to be in line with the old Provincial Commissions, they want to maintain their status quo. She said they thought as provincial governments, the Provincial Directors should have identified the problems within the Provincial Commissions. "You seem to look at one side of the story," she said, referring to the fact that Provincial Directors were only concerned about involvement of provinces in boxing. She said everything should be looked at for the betterment of the sport, not to protect certain sectors.

Mr Gana (Director, Mpumalanga) said in their case it is not like that, they are not in favor of the old system – they support the new Bill.

Mr Morare (Northern Province) said the status quo should not remain although they were happy with the introduction of Provincial Commissions in their province. Unfortunately certain things happened. They do not say boxing should go back to what it was. Rather provinces should be given powers as well.

Mr Carriem (Gauteng) said in terms of relationships in their province, there was no transparency. That is why they proposed boxing indabas. For instance now they are proposing a boxing AIDS indaba. He said that he also believes provincial governments are being overlooked. Government should play an interventionist role in boxing. The boxing indabas should ensure that boxers are informed about everything. Exploitation of athletes exists so if the government does not intervene, this will continue.

Mr Kambule (Free State) said there is too much position-mongering in sporting federations. People just look for positions, they do not have an interest in the sport. This is taking place in boxing; many people already regard themselves as potential candidates for the BSA positions.

Mr Kambule reiterated the important role that should played by provincial governments. He said provinces are the ones who deal with the situation on the ground. It will be difficult for the provincial governments to " just tell the people that the national government had decided this or that". He said the provincial governments should not dictate what the people should or should not do. He was referring to the many powers that are given to the national government in the Bill.

Ms Bhengu replied that the government does not say that the provincial government should dictate to the people.

Mr Ndlela (KZN) emphasized the fact that their province does not want to retain the status quo. He said KwaZulu-Natal is the first province to have moved boxing from urban to the most remote rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal. People in rural areas are given some boxing equipment through the assistance of the government. He said they would like to see boxing being spread to rural areas and that should be the responsibility of the government.

Mr Carriem (Gauteng) said a relationship between local government and the provincial government in his province existed. He said there are ongoing meetings about sport with local government but admitted that this has not taken place in boxing yet.

Mr Gana (Mpumalanga) responded to the comments by Mr Fihla. He said boxing is a violent sport- but that doesn’t mean that there are no problems in other sports. There is a need for intervention in other sporting codes. The government should not only concentrate on boxing.

Ms Bhengu (ANC) noted that this comment was based on Gauteng’s question of why is it only boxing that is looked at in terms of the Bill.

Mr Carriem (Gauteng) agreed that boxing is a violent sport and boxers need to be protected. However other athletes should be protected as well. Even rugby and kickboxing are dangerous sports.

Mr Pieterse (ANC) said it was clear that boxing could not be compared with other sports. He said that none of the submissions touched on gender. What about allowing women to participate in boxing? Not a single province mentioned that in their presentations.

Mr Obelhoster (North West) said that as a former boxer, he did not think that boxing is for women. He and others from their province have realized that boxing is too dangerous for women. However, he does not want to influence the decision of other people on this matter.

Mr Kambule (Free State) believed that women and girls should participate in boxing, both as administrators and as boxers. However, there were pertinent issues to be addressed before the government could be vocal about this matter. For instance wearing of protective clothing for women is very important, and that should be looked at very carefully. He said for this meeting they prepared their submission for the Bill as it is.

Mr Carriem (Gauteng) fully supported the view that women should take part in boxing and the Bill should sort out small things protective clothing before looking at this issue. He said sport is a right for every citizen of this country it is not a privilege. Everyone has a right to participate in any sport of his or her choice.

Mr Gana (Mpumalanga) said they did not feel they made any omissions on the issue because sport is for everyone. Their province already has a women referee and a judge and that speaks for itself.

Mr Ndlela (KZN) said that it was a matter that came out in their meetings. They believe it is a step in the right direction. Protective clothing is the most important aspect and needs to be looked at very carefully.

Mr Morare (Northern Province) supported the idea; they also have a woman referee and a judge.

An ANC committee member asked: Why protective clothing for women, are woman given special treatment because they are women?

Mr Kambule (Free State) said protective clothing is important for women because of their biological makeup. He said the most important area to be protected on women is the upper part, breasts. He said there’s no difference to this because even men have to protect the lower parts.

Mr Frolick (ANC) asked if the provinces are able to carry all the responsibilities if BSA should give the duty of co-coordinating all activities to the provinces, as most provincial officials seem to suggest.

Mr Kambule (Free State) said they were of the view that provincial offices anyway will perform the functions that are proposed by the provinces in the meeting, that of co-operative governance. This is done to build sport and recreation in the provinces. But the question of licencing should be left to the BSA.

Mr Chauke (ANC) proposed that the Free State should make a written submission on the area of co-operative governance.

Mr Frolick (UDM) asked, based on what they had heard from the provinces, do the provincial officials think that their role has been compromised by this Bill?

Mr Gana (Mpumalanga) said, "It didn’t compromise it, it actually ‘supremised’ it. Meaning that it did cater for them.

Mr Carriem (Gauteng) felt that it compromised it - because they think that their role could have been made far better than it is in the Bill.

Mr Ndlela (KZN) agreed with Mpumalanga that they do not think that their role has been compromised.

Mr Kambule (Free State) said there is a lack of what he termed the "right amount of representation" - because provinces are closest to boxers and the boxing fraternity. So in that sense he feels that the democracy of boxers has been compromised.

Mr Morare (Northern Province) agreed to it as an interim measure. But there is a need to empower provinces and their role should be reviewed.

Mr Oberholster (North West) was comfortable but said that provincial representation should be looked at.

In conclusion the Chairperson, Ms Bhengu, noted with appreciation that the submissions made by the provincial officials were well-structured. She said some of the presentations clarified the interaction between stakeholders. The written submissions would be given to the Portfolio Committee members for consideration. Not everything put forward by the provinces in their submissions would be put in the Bill. That does not mean the ideas from certain provinces are undermined. Nor does it mean that if inputs of a particular province are omitted, that province should not support the Bill. The Portfolio Committee would try to look at all the submissions very carefully.

Appendix 1:
MPUMALANGA PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT
Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts & Culture
COMMENTS ON THE BOXING SA BILL, 2000

The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and the Mpumalanga Boxing Commission wishes to submit the following comments and proposals regarding the above-mentioned Bill for your subsequent consideration:

1. Areas of concern are:
·
No consultation was done especially with the Province's and the legal personnel;

· Although the Bill seeks to be in line with the Constitution in terms of recognising the principle of co-operative governance, but it does not say much as to how these tiers of government will assist each other in the performance of the function and the duties as prescribed in the Bill;

· The Bill does not seem to recognise the provincial MEC's in that there is no where that mention is made of consultation of the MEC by the Minister but only that an office should be made available for the representative of the provincial office;

· What role will the present provincial Boxing Commissions play in the nominations and appointment of the representative; and what criteria will be used;

· The Budget of the provincial representative: how much will it be:

Which are the most active provinces and what are the criteria used to determine that;

· Everything is centralised in terms of the Bill nothing is delegated or decentralised to provinces to ensure the development of Boxing and Boxers in the provinces;

2. Proposals:
·
We propose that the provisions of the Bill be revisited especially the provisions relating to provinces;

· That the Legal people in the provincial departments of Sport and Recreation and the Legal people in the various provincial Boxing Commission should have been part of the drafting process;

· Section 6 (2) to read as follows: The Boxing SA in conjunction with the MEC (for all the provinces) shall make available an office with the necessary resources available. There should also be clause, which provides that the Minister should consult the MEC's (responsible for sport and recreation) in the province.

· Section 7(d)(iv) to add "a licensee shall be entitled to have only one license, and if he/she intends changing to another position, he/she will have to relinquish the former license that he/she is holding.

· To add section 7(d)(v) to read as follows: A licensee shall only pay the required fee for registration with his/her province and upon payment of such fee, he/she shall be issued with a certificate, which shall be valid in all the provinces.

· Section 10(2) to read as follows: Notwithstanding the provisions of sub sec 1, the Minister may at his or her discretion disband Boxing SA after:

· Having had a meeting with Boxing SA:
· Having obtained a written report from Boxing SA:
· Having supplied the report by boxing SA to the relevant stakeholders, whether having a direct or indirect irrelevant in the sport, for their deliberations to submit whether the alleged act by the Boxing SA warrants the disbanding of Boxing SA.

· Additional section: Whilst the process in sec 10 (2); above is still being exhausted. The Minister may appoint an interim Boxing Commission.

Proposals for the Boxing SA structure: It should be constituted as follows:
· Chairperson:
· Secretary
· Treasurer;
· 2 additional members (from Boxers, managers. promoters, etc)
· I representative from all the provinces

· CEO is to forward proposals to the various provincial councils at least three (3) weeks before proposed date of the next meeting.

The provincial Boxing Commission: proposed structure - It should be constituted by three representatives from the provincial Boxing Association, referees, judges, promoters, managers, legal, medical, etc.

We hope that our proposals will receive your utmost consideration

MR. E NKWENYANE
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
DEPARTMENT OF SPORT, RECREATION, ARTS AND CULTURE

Appendix 2:
Free State Provincial Government
Free State Department Of Sport, Arts, Culture, Science and Technology Comments On The South African Boxing Bill, 2000

1. Overview
The ensuing comments are a product of a Consultation process that has involved the Free State Provincial Boxing Control Commission and all other roleplayers in Free State Boxing. The Free State Provincial Government and its clients holds the view that the said Bill is the right tool to take South African Boxing in the right direction pending its proper, correct and
democratic implementation.

2. CHAPTER SPECIFIC COMMENTS

2.1 CHAPTER ONE
Section 1: Definitions Endorsed as entailed
Section 2: Objects of Act Endorsed as entailed
Section 3: Interpretation of Act Endorsed as entailed

2.2. CHAPTER TWO
Section 7 (1) d.e.f.g.h.i j.k.l.m.n.o.p.q.r.s.t.u.v.w.x.
This power of Boxing S.A. will be better executed by a provincial office.

Section 7 (2) Should further read that:-
The Boxing S.A. will be the highest court of appeal in the event of a dispute by any licencee.

Chapter 2 (Section 8)
To be added as follows:-
(e) have jurisdiction of all South African and International fights and tournaments.

Section9(2)
Should read as follows:
A person who has been registered by the Boxing S.A. and any Provincial unit
as a licencee may not be a member of the Boxing S.A., unless such person relinquishes his or her licence in writing to the Boxing S.A. and the province that had issued the licence.

Section 9 (4)
This subsection should be incorporated with subsection (1) (c).

Section 11
Subsections (4) and (8) are in contradiction

We move that: Subsection (8) be taken off the bill.

It would be appropriate and correct that THE BOXING S.A 'S CODE OF
ARMS AND UNIFORM COLOURS be included in the "NEW BOXING
BILL".

Section 29
Subsection (4)

Should be added as follows:-

(c) The officer of the police or any magistrate will prior to stopping a tournament, give at least (7) Seven days written and verbal notice to the promoter and the provincial official under whose jurisdiction the said tournament is promoted.

It is imperative that a clause in the NEW BOXING BILL be included, that:-

(a) Licence fees should be valid from the 1st January up to the 31st December, of the year of licencing or renewal.

(b) The remuneration of referees and judges will be as in accordance with magnitude of the tournament eg.

Four rounders
ii Six and Eight rounders
iii Ten and Twelve rounders (S.A. Title fights included)
iv International and Inter-continental fights.
v. World title fights should be as according with the said World body's scale of remuneration.

T J KambuIe
Director: Sport and Recreation
Date: 30/06/2000

Appendix 3:
GAUTENG PRESENTATION TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON
SPORT AND RECREATION ON THE NEW BOXING BILL.

INTRODUCTION
The Bill provides for a new structure for professional and amateur boxing in the Republic of South Africa; to establish a Boxing Commission known as Boxing SA; to promote interaction between associations of boxers, managers, trainers, promoters and officials and Boxing SA; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

In terms of the above mentioned we need to ask ourselves why the need for a Bill that address the above. The key aspects for amending or repealing a Bill or sections of a Bill relate to the relevance of that Bill in the current climate. Further, legislation must relate to the need of society as expressed by that society. The constitution is the primary reference point that must dictate the imperatives that make up the legislative requirement.

The constitution being the primary reference point dictate that:
- All spheres of government observe the principles of co-operative governance (chapter 3)
- Provincial sport is a functional area of exclusive provincial legislative competence
- Chapter 2 of the Constitution affirms the Bill of Rights as the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.

The Boxing Transformation Team (BTT) report is the second major reference point. The BTT concluded its consultative roadshow in 1998, through one-on-one interviews, public meetings and by calling stakeholders to complete questionnaires. Comments on the BTT report (presumably by the Boxing Commission of 1998/9) consider areas of agreement between the BTT and the Commission.
The third reference point relate to the Boxing Indabas held recently. A document entitled "Rationale underpinning the new national structure for boxing in South Africa" was circulated for discussion that seeks to consolidate all inputs received.

The last reference point relate to the existing Acts for Sport and Recreation namely, the National Sport and Recreation Act of 1998 and the South African Sports Commission Act of 1998.

In an effort to critically examine the Bill, due consideration must be given to these reference points.

DISCUSSION.
1. CONSTITUTIONAL IMPERATIVES
Noting the above mentioned chapters of the Constitution as reference, the following must be borne in mind:

a) Sovereignty and democracy.
As one sovereign country, it is essential that any policy document seek to achieve a national single objective for the benefit of the entire citizens of the Republic. In doing so, the value system enshrined within the founding provisions of the Constitution must be adhered to (Section 1 (a-d)

b) Co-operative Governance
The principle of co-operative government must address Section 41 (1) (a--h) and take account of the functions as listed in Schedules 4 and 5. Due cognisance must be taken of the impact of this Bill on provinces (refer to Sections 75 and 76 of the Constitution Act)

c) Bill of Rights
Government faces a major challenge to act in such a manner that it gives meaning to "the people shall govern". As we consider the various aspects of the Bill we need to consider whether the Bill limits these rights and if so whether it conforms to Section 36(1) of the Constitution.

In pursuit of the noble objectives as espoused in the Constitution, various Commissions have been established, such as the Youth-, Human Rights-, Electoral Commission, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities and the Commission for Gender Equality to name a few. The fundamental objective for the establishment of these Commissions is to ensure their independence, impartiality and effectiveness. As can be noted from the many Commissions and Boards established through the legislative process, a common thread that cuts through all of these, is the fact that every Commission is constituted by the affected stakeholder groupings who possess relevant expertise. In addition the legislation allows for participation and representation of the affected interest groupings in that Commission. Commissions such as the SA Geographical Names Commission, the Heritage Council and the Lotteries Board are examples that highlight the commitment to ensure direct stakeholder involvement in the policy direction and governance of that environment.

2. The Boxing Transformation Team (BTT)
The BTT report is considered to be the founding document in the development of the New Boxing Bill. Through the consultative process the BTT's findings relate to the size of the Boxing Commission, the establishment of a boxing forum, the independence of the boxing commission and the incorporation of marketing and development functions.

Above all the BTT report states that the stakeholders want the professional boxing in South Africa to be managed, administered and marketed by professionals; for the boxing commissions to become more user-friendly; for better representation of licensees at official level; and for easier access to television. The lack of a forum in which the principles of democracy, accountability and transparency can be exercised was expressed.

It further highlights the apparent lack of understanding and familiarity of the Act by the Boxing fraternity. The BTT further perceives that the current Commission produces fear, animosity and conflict among licensees instead of support.

The BTT report recommends that:
- The existing Act be abolished and brought in line with the principles of equality, democracy and freedom of association.
- A new structure for the Boxing Commissions, both at provincial and national levels, be established that allows for the formation of a Boxing Council,
comprising of Associations representing the various stakeholders within the boxing fraternity
- The Minister appoints the National Commission with specific portfolios as well as a regional (provincial) representative.
- The regional representative replaces the current provincial commission.

3. The Boxing Indaba's
The Boxing Indabas held to-date sought to find solutions to the difficulties within boxing. It is unfortunate that no resolutions/declarations were issued at the end of the indabas that give a clear perspective on agreements reached. However, major areas of concern relate to access to broadcasting, development of boxing, financial records, benevolent funds for boxers and general maladministration.

4. The National Sport and Recreation Act and the South African Sport Commission Act
Clauses 2(1), 6(1) and 13(1) empower the South African Sports Commission (SASC) and National sport federations to deal with matters pertaining to sport. Similarly, the South African Sports Commission Act provides for the autonomy of sport organisations under clause 12 (h) . As we consider aspects of the Bill we need to take these clauses into account.

INTERPRETATION
Considering the above-mentioned developments a few issues are clear.
- There is general agreement that the structure for Boxing in the country is bloated and requires downsizing
- Maladministration is rife within boxing
- Boxers fee exploited
- Access to broadcasting remains a challenge

Questions that require attention include:
- Should boxing be treated differently to other codes of sport?
- What is referred to by "the independence of Boxing SA"?
- What is the need for an Act to specifically govern the sport of boxing?
- What is the role of the boxing fraternity in the administration and policy formulation of boxing?
- Are "outsiders" better equipped to deal with boxing matters than the boxing "people"?

The provisions of the Bill should therefore address the issues under consideration. We will now consider each provision as provided for in the Bill:

1. A new structure for professional and amateur boxing in the Republic of South Africa;

The Bill provides for the establishment of a new structure for professional boxing and not amateur boxing. The amateur wing of boxing is governed by the constitution of the South African National Amateur Boxing Organisation (SANABO). The Bill provides for the Chairperson or General Secretary of SANABO to be a member of Boxing SA to promote and focus on amateur boxing.

2. To establish a Boxing Commission known as Boxing SA
The Bill provides for the establishment of a Boxing Commission which is a juristic person known as Boxing SA. The powers and functions of Boxing SA allow Boxing SA to administer boxing in the Republic. Whilst there is general agreement to downsize the commission, it is evident that the Commission will now maintain 10 offices.

Confusion is evident on the role of the Provincial Officer and the need for "provincial" commissions. The status of the "Provincial Officer" is not defined, that is, is the Provincial Officer a member of Boxing SA or is he/she an employee of Boxing SA. It is implied that the Provincial Officer is a member of Boxing SA (refer section 7(1) (c)

The independence of the commission in relation to the boxing fraternity is not fully understood by the boxing family.

3. To promote interaction between associations of boxers, managers, trainers, promoters and officials and Boxing SA
The BTT report calls for a forum or boxing council. The Bill allows for the establishment of associations for boxers, managers, promoters, trainers and officials, but fails to articulate the powers and functions of such associations. If the sole purpose of the associations is to promote interaction then there is no need for such associations. As referred too earlier other commissions have been established to ensure stakeholder contribution to the decision making process.

4. And to provide for matters connected therewith.
understanding the fact that the safety of boxers and their general well being is of paramount importance, it would be necessary to incorporate features in the Bill to reinforce this area. Post-fight medical checks are as important as pre-fight medical check-ups. The appointment of medical practitioners must be in accordance with predetermined criteria.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Given the above we recommend.

1. The Bill should be amended to ensure that the boxing fraternity plays a leading role in the decision making process thus, strengthening the principles of democracy. This can be achieved by establishing a boxing council consisting of the various associations as articulated in Section 41 of the Bill. Further that the powers and functions of the Boxing SA be limited to the day to day affairs of boxing. The Council would then consider policy matters and refer such to the Minister.

2. This Bill should be seen as an interim measure towards the formulation of an all-inclusive Act that governs all sport. Sport types such as rugby, full-contact karate and other contact sport ought to be catered for within one set of legislation.
3. It may be advisable to retain the old format of commissioners, scaled down to three members and a representative from the regions and the SANABO respectively. The three members to be elected every two to three years, subject to approval by the Minister.

4. That the Bill recognise the constitutional functions assigned to Provinces. Here two options could be considered. One option is that the Member of Executive Council (MEC) nominates the regional representative to be appointed by the Minister. The other option is to allow for a more democratic approach by allowing the boxing fraternity to elect their regional representative.
5. The attached table marked "Annexure A" considers each section with recommendations

CONCLUSION:
The Minister needs to be commended for his energetic intervention towards the transformation of Boxing in the Republic. Finding a lasting solution in a domain where the dynamics of boxing vary from one extreme to next be no easy task. Countries around the world are confronted with similar dilemmas as we recently heard from the representative of the United Kingdom.

It is therefore incumbent upon us to spare no effort in considering all options that will make us the envy of the world. This can only be achieved through the establishment of a creditable commission that is totally accountable and transparent and enjoys the full support of the boxing fraternity in the country.



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