Xasa wants equal recognition of male and female sports personalities
Sports minister Thokozile Xasa is on a mission to level the playing fields by developing a policy that will compel federations to give women in sport the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
The policy, once adopted will be infused in the department’s transformation agenda, Xasa told delegates at the women and sport policy roadshow in Mthatha on Friday.
This, as some women complained that even when they were elected or appointed into positions of power, that was only done for window-dressing or as a box-ticking exercise.
Xasa said the participation should be on and off the field, with women occupying decision-making structures and key administration positions.
“We open that opportunity for them to also coach professional teams because they can do it,” said Xasa making reference to Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis.
Xasa also bemoaned the lack of sponsorships for women sports and the fact that very few women’s games are broadcast live. The minister said similar road shows would be organised in all provinces, before the policy is finalised.
“We have what is called an eminent person’s growth where we monitor and access performance of each of the federations. If we have this as policy, it’s a commitment that they need to demonstrate to say what extent you will be implementing it,” she said.
Xasa said they wanted more women to be chief executives and presidents of federations.
“It’s not enough to just count the number of women in the current conjecture in terms of configuration of structures.”
Women at the roadshow complained of a lack of support and how they were paid differently than their male counterparts.
Rugby player, Aneliswa Ntaka, said: “We don’t feel inspired to continue with the sport because of that problem [of pay parity].”
Phumla Mlenzana, a tennis and cricket coach, said if one was as lucky to be in a position their inputs were not heeded.
“That makes one to lose interest and self-confidence.”..