SARU Oral submission on the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill

Sport, Arts and Culture

22 February 2024
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary


The Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture held a virtual meeting where the South African Rugby Union (SARU) briefed them on their comments on the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill [B41-2023]. The Bill was introduced and referred to the Committee in December 2023, and in recent days, two other stakeholders have been consulted as part of the public participation process.

SARU made a few comments on the Amendment Bill, with two noted as material. These were on the Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) (sections 17 (1) (a) and 17 (4) (a)). Clarity was sought on the TUE application review process, including the role of the Appeal Board. The second sought further clarity on whether the drafting panel intended to include allowing athletes to compete nationally or internationally independent of their membership to such a federation. SARU supported the Bill.

Brief discussions were held on the submission and the Committee noted the comments, to have them form part of the discussions with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as part of the process of finalising the amendments to the Bill.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks

The Chairperson opened the meeting and introduced the only item on the day’s agenda. She noted that the SA Rugby Union (SARU) was the third stakeholder the Committee had consulted on the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill. The agenda was adopted as the meeting started.

Ms Fiona Clayton, Committee Content Advisor, briefly noted that the Bill was introduced and referred to the Committee on 15 December 2023, and the resolution had been made to process the Bill in line with constitutional prescripts, which include elements of public participation, which was the basis for the meeting for the day. 

Briefing by SARU on the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) Amendment Bill [B41-2023]

Mr Khaya Mayedwa, Senior Manager: Government and Stakeholder Relations, SARU, opened the presentation by submitting that the World Rugby Anti-Doping programme uses a combination of education, awareness and drug testing to prevent and detect doping and to safeguard the integrity of the game. As a member of the International Federation, World Rugby adheres to the regulations set forth by the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC), ensuring that our policies and procedures are in line with the WADC and its International Standards. SARU is committed to spearheading the international anti-doping movement and collaborates closely with WADA and major National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) to develop the most effective programme.

Ms Chantal du Pisani, Head: Legal and Compliance, SARU, made a brief presentation on the organisation’s comments on the proposed amendments. She submitted that SARU fully supported the Amendment Bill. She presented two material comments that formed part of SARU proposals:

  1. On Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) (sections 17 (1) (a) and 17 (4) (a)): Clarification was sought on whether the TUE application would be reviewed by the TUE Committee, and then the Appeal Board decides based on their findings? If so, what are the necessary regulatory procedures to be followed?
  2. On Section 17 (a) (2): Clarification was sought from the drafting panel to indicate whether they intended to include allowing athletes to compete nationally or internationally independent of their membership to such a federation. They also requested that in the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) regulations, the process around TUE be outlined in detail.

See attached for full submission


The Chairperson remarked that the Committee would note the SARU submission, which would form part of discussions with the Department in the future.

Mr M Zondi (ANC) remarked that he was satisfied that although SARU supported the Bill, they had made some proposals that would enrich the Bill.

Mr D Joseph (DA) commented on South Africa’s achievement of winning the Rugby World Cup last year and congratulated the organisation. He sought clarity on whether the amendments would be binding on SARU, even though they were affiliated with an international federation like the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Ms R Adams (ANC) sought clarity around the use of banned substances in the sport.

Ms du Pisani responded that SARU was a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and subscribed to the SAIDS Bill. The mentioning of WADA was just to show the Committee how SARU fits into the structures of World Rugby. They have a wider scope of reporting that is SAIDS related and they subscribe to international federations only when athletes participate internationally.

Mr Clint Redhead, Senior Manager: Medical, SARU, confirmed that the organisation remained accountable to the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS). On the use of banned substances in rugby, there have been several positive doping cases in rugby. SARU works closely with SAIDS in the management of that process, as well as the education of professional athletes at school level. South Africa was one of the few countries that conducted unannounced tests. This has served as a deterrent. He noted that the use of such substances was not unique to rugby. SARU would continue to work with SAIDs to clamp down on this challenge.

Ms Sumayya Khan, Deputy Director-General: Recreation and Sports Development, Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, remarked that SARU had made their input when the Bill went to the State Law Advisor. Some of the comments made by the Union today were not different from those made then and the Department was grateful for the participation of SARU and other federations. She proposed that an opportunity be afforded to SAIDS to make some comments.

The meeting was adjourned.


No related

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: