SAIDS Oral submission on the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill [B41-2023]

Sport, Arts and Culture

20 February 2024
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) appeared before the Committee to explain amendments to the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill [B41-2023]. The Bill was introduced to ensure compliance with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations.

Committee Members enquired about the progress of the arbitration case between WADA and SAIDS and the legal costs to date. Since the amendments were mostly concerned with the phrasing of clauses, Committee Members questioned new definitions and the deduction and replacement of any clauses that were non-compliant.

The Bill would soon be put out for public comment and the Committee would continue its processing of the Bill by meeting with different stakeholders to hear their comments on the Bill over the course of the week. The Bill was due to be finalised by the end of March 2024

Meeting report

Opening remarks

The Chairperson officially opened the meeting, firstly congratulating boxing champion, Mr Sivenathi “Special One” Nontshinga, who, for the seventh time in a row, won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Light Flyweight title in Mexico on 17 February 2024. The Banyana Banyana team was preparing for their game against Tanzania on 23 February 2024, and if on a winning streak, would qualify for the Olympics.

The Chairperson appreciated the Committee Members who set aside time in their schedules to attend Portfolio Committee meetings, especially regarding the amendment of bills. The advert for public comments on the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) Amendment Bill would be out by 22 February 2024, and the deadline for written and oral submissions would be 14 March 2024. The adoption of the Bill was expected to happen around 19 March 2024.


The Minister was unable to attend the meeting due to Cabinet duties and sent an apology. Mr B Madlingozi (EFF)’s apology was also noted. He had other committee duties.

The Chairperson presented the agenda, and Ms R Adams (ANC) moved for its adoption and was seconded by Mr E Mthethwa (EFF).

The Chairperson introduced the agenda for the day, noting the Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture has, despite busy schedules and a rushed year, decided to receive submissions from entities to speed up the adoption of the Bill.

Ms Fiona Clayton, Committee Researcher, stated that the current Bill was of priority as several of its sections had been amended.

SAIDS Presentation

Mr Khalid Galant, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), SAIDS, stated that the written submissions had already been submitted in December 2023.

The SAIDS Legal Advisor (name unclear) presented the amended sections of the Bill. Most of the amendments were in the phrasing.

Mr Galant expressed gratitude towards the Committee Secretary, Ms Zoleka Kula, and the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, for their helpfulness and open communication.

Amendments were made to the following sections:

  • Section 1 definitions were amended to fit World Anti-Doping Agency compliance requirements and to avoid legal misinterpretation.
  • Section 10 (1)(d). The phrasing was amended to ensure compliance and avoid misinterpretation regarding standard practices of testing athletes and legal procedures.
  • Repeal of sections 11A to 11C of Act 14 of 1997
  • Substitution of section 17 of Act 14 of 1997
  • Substitution of section 17A of Act 14 of 1997
  • Substitution of long title of Act 14 of 1997

(see presentation)

This amendment, in conclusion, was an attempt to make South Africa compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency Code of Conduct.


The Chairperson commended the straightforwardness of the SAIDS’ presentation, and the Portfolio Committee employees’ dedication to making this oral submission a reality. The efforts made by SAIDS were commendable, despite encountering challenges such as schools refusing random testing of their athletes, amongst other things. The Department of Education has been consulted to assist with this challenge.

Mr M Zondi (ANC) stated that the issue this Bill addressed was a national concern. He asked for clarity – was SAIDS asking to add onto the already WADA-recognised and compliant definitions? Were they intending to develop a parallel organisation to WADA?

Ms V Malomane (ANC) asked about the deletion of section 10(1)(d), which would be changed to “intelligent testing.” She stated that this phrase was vague and asked if it would be added to the list of definitions.

Ms Adams stated that the early consideration and amendment of the Bill was necessary to avoid what had happened in the previous year with the South African rugby team – misinterpretation of the unamended Bill. If section 17(2)(a) of the Bill was to be removed, what was recommended to be put in the 2023 amendment bill? In Ms Adams’ opinion, it was best to delete both section 17(2)(a) and (b) to avoid incoherence.

Mr Mthethwa asked that the original clauses be provided whenever amendments are presented. He asked about compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) when conducting spontaneous tests; what was the solution when athletes refused to provide their personal information?

Mr D Joseph (DA) was unable to speak due to connectivity issues and had Ms V Van Dyk (DA) ask the questions on his behalf. How many anti-doping rule violations did SAIDS propose in section 17(8)? Did SAIDS still encounter non-compliance issues with WADA despite this proposed amendment bill? In the event of approval in Parliament, would SAIDS keep arbitration open? Did all sporting codes inform SAIDS of their schedules to allow for random testing to take place? To date, how much has SAIDS spent on international legal fees?


Mr Galant explained that SAIDS did not intend to develop an organisation parallel to WADA, nor did it intend to introduce new definitions. It just aimed to be compliant with WADA regulations, even in the global context.

The use of the phrase “intelligent testing” was also an attempt to maintain compliance with the WADA code of conduct. The reason for the definition of anti-doping violations in section 17(8) is due to the ever-changing phrasing of the WADA code, which changes every four years, and has expanded in the past eight years. SAIDS was optimistic about the dispute with WADA being successfully resolved. All National Sporting Federations (NSFs) cooperated with SAIDS and provided their updated schedules, which were usually in advance. Close to R1 million has been spent on legal fees to date.

The SAIDS Legal Advisor (name unclear) answered the question regarding the amendment of section 17, explaining that state law advisors had suggested this amendment, and that SAIDS complied, changing only the sections that displayed the possibility of misinterpretation and thus non-compliance. Section 17(2)(b) would thus remain unchanged.

To address the POPIA compliance question, athletes automatically give consent to be tested by SAIDS by virtue of their participation in National Sporting Federations (NSFs).

WADA sent a non-prejudiced letter to SAIDS asking for an amended code-compliant bill approved by Parliament to withdraw the case from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). WADA had resolved to put SAIDS on a “watchlist” until the approval of the amendment bill.

Ms Kula explained that in future meetings, various stakeholders would present per meeting. The nature of this current meeting was due to time constraints.

Comments by Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC)

Ms Sumayya Khan, Deputy Director-General: Recreation and Sports Development, DSAC, commended the presentation by SAIDS and the coherence of the current meeting through the efforts of the employees of the Committee. The DSAC provided the Committee with the list of stakeholders and entities so that the Committee could hold the right people or organisations accountable. Ms Khan requested that SAIDS invite WADA to a Committee meeting so that their side may be considered too. If appropriate, SAIDS could be an observer in meetings with other stakeholders.

Closing remarks by Chairperson

The Chairperson reiterated the importance of Committee Members’ attendance, especially for meetings that were about the amendment of bills. All bills, across all portfolio committees had to be considered by the end of March 2024.

Adv Aadielah Arnold, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, explained the process of passing the Bill, which would start with the approval by the Department, deliberations by the Committee, and further action.

The Chairperson closed the meeting.


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