Social cohesion through sports

Madam Speaker, sports transcends race, class, politics, language, and belief systems.

As the DA spokesperson of Cultural Affairs and Sport in the Western Cape, I stress how important it is to empower the youth and communities to engage in positive sporting activities. This engagement has proven to be a powerful mechanism in combatting social ills within our communities and affords youth opportunities to excel, despite the many challenges they face on a daily basis. This, in turn sparks a sense of achievement and optimizes social behaviour and in effect promotes social cohesion, which is indeed lacking in some parts of our country.

Also lacking, is the prevalence of positive role models in our communities. The DA acknowledges those who have become role models through sports excellence and congratulates with much pride Team SA on bring home 40 medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. These include 13 gold, 10 silver and 17 bronze, ranking South Africa at 7th place out of the 71 participating countries.

Madam Speaker, cause for serious concern is that our national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, will seemingly no longer be aired through the SABC from 2015. The DA in support of our national colleagues urge all role-players to be transparent in their dealings and to find a solution to ensure that the majority of our people will not be deprived from watching soccer freely on the public broadcaster.

Madam Speaker, in order to promote sport to achieve social cohesion, I will be engaging with the relevant role players to redress and improve sports developments in the Western Cape. This includes writing to SAFA requesting more games be played in Cape Town. It is essential that we harness the talent of not only the youth but all citizens of the country.