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Date published 03.05.2016

THE TOURISM Business Council of South Africa has appealed to the Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, for a rethink of last week’s decision to block sports federations from hosting or bidding for major international tournaments, which it maintained was “in the interest of sports, travel and tourism and the country as a whole”.

The ruling applies to Athletics South Africa, Cricket South Africa, Netball South Africa and the South African Rugby Union with immediate effect, due to the minister claiming they had not met transformation targets.

TBCSA Chief Executive Officer, Mmatšatši Ramawela, maintained: “It is not for us to dictate to the minister how the issue of transformation in sports should be addressed or what punitive measures to apply… However, given that sports events are a key driver of inbound tourism, we believe that the minister, as part of [the] government should reconsider his decision taking into account the possible negative consequences for sectors such as travel and tourism.”

The association  said it would asses the implications. Ms. Ramawela added: “We have already made contact with our counterparts in government and expressed our concerns. We look forward to having discussions with SA Tourism and the National Department of Tourism… to find ways in which our sector can better respond to this decision, possibly with data to back our concerns.”

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