South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill: response to public submissions & deliberations; with Deputy Minister

Sport, Arts and Culture

13 March 2024
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


The Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture convened a virtual meeting on 13 March 2024 to hear responses to oral and written submissions to the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sports (SAIDS) Amendment Bill by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (hereafter referred to as the Department).

The Department took Members through a detailed matrix covering their responses to proposals made through the submissions and how these proposals were incorporated into the various clauses of the Bill.

Meeting report

Opening remarks

The Chairperson welcomed Members, the Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture as well as officials to the meeting.

The Chairperson informed everyone that the meeting would deal with the responses by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) to the oral and written public submissions to the South African Institute for Drug-free Sports (SAIDS) Amendment Bill.

The Chairperson then invited the Deputy Minister to present opening remarks.

Opening remarks by the Deputy Minister

Ms Nocawe Mafu, Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, said that she had first thought she would be late as her attendance was required at an earlier Cabinet meeting.

Deputy Minister Mafu said that she appreciated the work that the Committee had conducted on the legislation. When the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sports (SAIDS) first received the non-compliant notice finding in September 2023, most South Africans were of the opinion that it was a sad day for South Africa.

The consequences of non-compliance meant that South Africa could no longer host international sports bodies nor could hoist the South African flag at international sporting events.

When the Committee was approached just before the December recess to amend the legislation, it rearranged the Committee programme to deal with the amendments.

The Deputy Minister said that she had no doubt that history would not forget the Committee's work under Chairperson Dlulane. She expressed full confidence that the Bill would meet standards.

She said the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture also extended his appreciation.

The Chairperson said that the Department had shown good initiative during the legislative process. Parliament had entered a very busy phase with the looming elections.

The Chairperson commended the sterling work ethic of all the officials involved.

Ms Sumayya Khan, Deputy Director -General: Recreation and Sports Development, DSAC, also lauded the Committee and parliamentary officials for the work conducted. The Department appreciated the inputs from the legal team.

Departmental Responses to The Oral and Written Public Submissions on the South African Institute for Drug-free Sports Amendment Bill [B41-2023]

Mr Benedict Mokubedi, Assistant Director: Legal Services, Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC), briefed the Committee on the Department's responses to the written and oral submissions on the South African Institute for Drug-free Sports (SAIDS) Amendment Bill.

The first amendment related to the Anti-Doping Association.

The drafting team also did an exercise to ascertain whether any consequential amendments were necessary.

Clause 1 dealt with definitions as well as the interpretation of the Act.

Clause 2 had taken National Treasury’s comments on board and included a reference to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA)

The reference to “Republic' in the Act had also been rewritten to “Republic of South Africa”. This was a specific request by WADA.

Clause 3, section 10 would be amended. Here, SAIDS and the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA's) proposals were fully accepted. These proposals were deemed legally and constitutionally sound.

On Clause 4, the drafting team had listened to SAIDS and WADA. There was thus no need to amend section 11 (2)(l) of the principal Act. This was already captured in the introduced Bill. Instead, amendments to section 11 (2) (m) would be made to refer to “testing pools “in the plural. The same principle applied to “exemption(s)”.

Clause 6 ensured procedural independence between the Institute and Appeals Board. WADA had advised that heavy procedural provisions should be avoided.

Section 17 dealt with Results Management.

See attached for full matrix


The Chairperson thanked DSAC for the presentation and said that the collaborative work effort had made the task easier. This ensured that there were no divergent viewpoints. “It was a noble idea", she added.

Mr D Joseph (DA) thanked the presenters for the brief, yet detailed explanations.

Mr Joseph recalled that during the presentation, Ms Khan had indicated that the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSETA) had called for “sports" to be defined, to which the Department had noted that this was not necessary.  

The Free State Sports Academy (FSSA) had wanted the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI Act) to be included in the Bill. The drafters commented that the law of application was applicable. He wanted to ascertain why the same principle was not applied to the request by the FSSA.

Mr Joseph then turned his attention to the inputs by the South African Rugby Union (SARU) who had spoken to section 17 (7) (c) of the Bill. He wanted to ascertain whether this section spoke to the presence of legal representatives.

He also wanted to establish what the purpose of observers would be. “What is the purpose or motive of that person? If that person is a legal person, what happens if it results in a court case. I don't think observers would be necessary if a legal person was there", he added.

Mr Joseph also wanted to determine what happened in instances where an athlete sanctioned in one sporting code decided to participate in a different sporting code under the South African banner.

He further said he was privileged to have been part of this process. He learned “all these things about doping".

Ms R Adams (ANC) said that she agreed with the Chairperson about the outstanding work that had been produced. “You set the goal for the finalisation of the Bill. It looked like a mountain…”.


Ms Khan noted and appreciated the various comments by Members.

On the definition of “Sports”, Ms Khan noted that the drafters had looked at the definition of “Sports" through the lens of the White Paper on Sports and Recreation. These were two separate entities “and how they were delivered". The drafters did not want the Bill to be cluttered by too many new things. In this instance, standard grammar rules as per the dictionary were applied. “The more you put things in the Bill you do not know how it will be interpreted”.

Ms Khan further stated that SAIDS would be in a position to respond to Mr Joseph's other question about sanctioned athletes changing sporting codes.

Mr Mokubedi responded to the questions about observers and the POPI Act. He noted that the law of general application applied to all legislation.

On legal representation, he added that it was up to the Appeals Board to prescribe their own processes and procedures.

On the attendance of observers, Mr Joseph was referred to clause 17, subsection 5. That specific clause detailed that a member of the Institute or that of any of the sports federations could attend as observers. WADA had the same questions. Observers were allowed in both the initial hearing and the appeals process.

Adv Aadielah Arnold, parliamentary legal advisor, echoed the comments by Ms Khan and Mr Mokubedi on the “Sports" question by Mr Joseph.

On the POPI Act, Adv. Arnold noted that the principal Act had not defined nor mentioned the POPI Act. The general rule was that one does not define something that had not been mentioned in the principal Act.

On legal representation during hearings, it was noted that section 17 of the Bill had provided for legal representation or anyone else for that matter. This was dealt fully under SAIDS rules. “It is standard that you can be represented by anyone, may it be a legal representative or anyone else”. This touched on justice and fairness, she said.

Regarding the attendance of observers at hearings, Adv. Arnold was of the opinion that the reference to observers should be removed from the Bill. SAIDS rules dealt with fully with the issue of observers. “We do not want to overburden Section 17 and if I look at the historical comments by WADA, they have asked for it to removed in the SAIDS rules.”

Ms Wafeekah Begg-Jassiem, Legal Manager, SAIDS, said that Article of the SAIDS rules fully covered the question of observers. Whenever SAIDS had a hearing they always contacted WADA and the relevant sports federation.

On sanctioned athletes changing sporting codes, Ms Begg-Jassiem informed Members that SAIDS rule 10.14.3 was clear on the matter. Sanctions would be extended to the new sporting code. “Alternatively, if Bodybuilding South Africa (BBSA) was implying, which I think they were, with regards to bodybuilders that compete at their national champs, then are barred by SAIDS and then compete in other bodybuilding competitions. So, that is a different situation, because we have to look at where does SAIDS, under the Code and the rules, have jurisdiction to ban athletes. Sometimes, bodybuilders will look at competitions that are not sanctioned or organised under government or that fall under the jurisdiction of the BBSA or SASCOC regulations. There is a loophole there.”

The Chairperson asked the various legal teams to consult after the meeting to find common ground on the observer issue.

The Chairperson then called on the Deputy Minister to deliver closing remarks.

Closing remarks by the Deputy Minister

Deputy Minister Mafu thanked the Committee and everyone involved for their work on the Bill. She stated that people “always wonder why South Africa was such a wonderful country, because of things like this.

The Deputy Minister was convinced the Bill would align with WADA's requirements.

Closing remarks by the Chairperson

Once again, the Chairperson thanked everyone for their role in the legislative process. She said that no one was aware that she was about to retire until Ministers and Deputy Ministers started speaking about it.

She said she was proud of her tenure on the Committee and noted the heavy programme that Members had overseen. The Committee had a full schedule ahead of it and will sit straight through from Friday, 15 March until Sunday, 17 March 2024.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.


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