May 17, 2007

Parliament passes bill to end racism in sports

Parliament has passed a law allowing the government to promote racial equity in sport. Criticised by some opposition parties (like the minority Freedom Front Plus, which represents mostly white Afrikaans-speaking South Africans and the Democratic Alliance) for giving the state too much power of interference, the Sports and Recreation Amendment Bill gives the sports minister the authority to intervene in equity "non-compliance". It also provides for "the promotion of equity and democracy in sport and recreation" and to correct imbalances left over from sport segregation under the racially oppressive apartheid regime.
Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile said that those who had always enjoyed privileges would not feel comfortable with the legislation. "But, those who have always been denied, will accept this bill... to also have access to what others have always had," he told parliamentarians. The bill was passed in the National Assembly with a majority of votes from the ruling African National Congress and the Zulu-based opposition Inkatha Freedom Party. It was referred to the National Council of Provinces, the second parliamentary chamber, for concurrence. (News24, South Africa)

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