The Education,Arts and Culture committee heard that Caster Semenya will not allow IAAF rulings to discourage her from competing in sporting events.
The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture appeared before the Select Committee on Education, Technology and Arts and Culture to brief the committee on the 2019/2020 annual performance and budgets of the departments of Sport and Recreation and Arts and Culture for the 2019/20 financial year yesterday at Parliament.
The committee commended the department for its 40 percent budget allocation for the development of schools sports and enquired about the department’s mechanisms to ensure that this allocation is correctly spent.
The department’s Director-General Mr Alec Moemi said, sport at schools has been neglected, and as a result, it is no longer compulsory. Mr Moemi told the committee that teachers often demand overtime for sport activities, especially in rural and township areas. He said the department hopes that the revision of the school curriculum will allow for sports activities to be compulsory in schools.
The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Mamagase Nchabeleng said: “There are certain interventions that we have to make as this committee of the National Council of Provinces, we know what is happening in the provinces we come from, and we know there are things from the 5th Parliament that need to be addressed.” Mr Nchabeleng suggested that a meeting be arranged for the committee to receive an extensive briefing on all the issues that need the intervention of the committee.
Also asked about the department’s support to Ms Caster Semenya, Mr Moemi told the committee that while the department continues to support the two-time Olympic champion in her challenge of the female classifications rule imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), and the appeal against the ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), the department continues to explore avenues such as the European Court for Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Council.
He told the committee that Ms Semenya is strong and determined enough to explore other options that include long distance running. Furthermore, the committee heard that Ms Semenya will not allow IAAF rulings to discourage her from competing in sporting events.